My uncle has been killed by Israel

Sakib Mhanna with his daughter Sarah. (Photo courtesy of Amjad Ayman Yaghi) 

My uncle Sakib Mhanna has been killed by Israel.

Sakib had been uprooted from his home in Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza, during November.

He and his family moved to a building in the southern city of Khan Younis. The building hosted many other displaced people.

Five people were killed along with Sakib when the building was targeted in an Israeli airstrike earlier this month.

Sakib’s father Abdullah, 78, was seriously injured in the attack, during which a wall fell on his head.

Abdullah subsequently died from his injuries. He had Alzheimer’s disease and Sakib was taking care of him.

Sakib’s son al-Hussein, 19, was also injured. Al-Hussein is out of intensive care yet is still being treated at the European Gaza Hospital in the Khan Younis area.

Sakib used to have a carpentry and upholstery business. About five years ago, he closed the business as Gaza’s economy deteriorated amid a relentless Israeli blockade.

He found other work in order to support his family.

“Tenderness and love”

His 10-year-old daughter Sarah has autism.

Sarah was extremely close to her dad. “He was the main source of tenderness and love for her,” said Samar, Sarah’s mother.

Sakib had been trying to receive assistance for Sarah abroad. While a suitable year-long program had been identified in Jordan, it was too expensive for the family.

“Sarah needs intensive treatment,” Samar said. “She also needs to live in a healthy environment. That means being outside the Gaza Strip.”

My uncle had told me he was frustrated that the authorities would not defray the costs of Sarah’s treatment.

The assistance she needed was categorized as mental health treatment. Financial help for medical care outside Gaza was generally reserved for people with what are considered physical conditions.

He had also been in touch with various charities but had not had any luck with securing funding.

It is impossible to predict at the moment what the future holds for Sarah. All we know for certain is that Israel has killed her beloved father.

Amjad Ayman Yaghi is a journalist based in Gaza.