Video: A Gaza midwife tells her stories

Houriya Muslih is an iconic figure in Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

She has assisted in the births of hundreds of children, many of them in Maghazi.

Muslih was born in the village of al-Batani al-Sharqi, northeast of Gaza.

In May 1948, the village came under attack from the Givati Brigade, a Zionist paramilitary group that is now a unit of the Israeli army.

“We were in our homes when Zionist paramilitary groups attacked us,” Muslih told The Electronic Intifada.

Zionist forces ethnically cleansed the Palestinian residents of the village and completely obliterated it.

“They gathered young men in our area,” she said, including her father, and shot them in the back of her heads.

Muslih’s father was shot in the leg and survived.

“Their blood was all over my father. I pulled him out, I wrapped a kuffiyeh around his head and around his foot to stop the bleeding.”

No Israeli settlements were built in the place of al-Batani al-Sharqi or its neighboring village, al-Batani al-Gharbi.

Muslih, now 85 years old, became a midwife at 25.

She was taught by a Malaysian doctor working with UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza.

“I work as a midwife all over the Gaza Strip In al-Bureij, Maghazi, Deir al-Balah, Nuseirat, they even know of me in the Egyptian city of al-Arish because I was good at my job,” she said.

During the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, Israeli occupation forces shot her in her foot, affecting her ability to walk until this day.

In 1991, during the first intifada, Israel killed her son Muhammad at the Erez checkpoint, the only crossing for people between Gaza and Israel.

Video by Ola Mousa, Ahmad al-Salmi and Ahmad al-Danaf.