Palestine: Tears and prayers fill Gaza mortuary after ceasefire ends

Only in the first 36 hours A cease-fire between Israel and Hamas endsAccording to the Gaza Ministry of Health, 193 Gazans were killed and 652 wounded in “dozens of Israeli massacres”.

A man carries a small body in a white blanket and tries to hold back tears. At its feet, many women weep for their dead children, and a little further away, some men pray for the dead.

The mortuary of Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, south Gaza StripFilled again After a week-long ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.

Since the end of the cease-fire on Friday, Israeli bombers have again pounded the city, crushing narrow swaths of territory.

“My son Mohammed tried to take the women and children out of the tent,” says Jumana Said. AFP.

“But the bomb fragment hit his head and he exploded (…) I saw his brain,” he recalled before breaking into tears.

The woman’s family, who wears a pink and blue veil, had to flee their home in Gaza City, north of the Strip.

On October 27, the Israeli army began its ground operations in the enclave, 20 days after Hamas launched a bloody offensive against its border.

He asked all northern Gazans — 1.1 million people — to leave their homes in the face of intense fighting in the area to date, according to Palestinian armed groups and the Israeli military.


“They threw leaflets saying, ‘They’ll be safe in the south,’ and we leave and see: My son is dead. My son Mohammed was a good boy who listened to me when I wanted to leave,” he repeats. If it’s a terrible cult ritual.

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By his side, his daughter Joanna, unable to hold back her screams. He wants to understand.

“Why was my brother murdered who was not connected to armed groups? What are these bombs that kill like this? What have we done? Do they want Hamas? What does that have to do with us?” .

Israel vows to “destroy” Hamas after Islamist militants kill 1,200 on October 7 In southern Israel, according to officials, mostly civilians.

Since then, the Jewish state has bombed the enclave and, according to Hamas, has ruled it alone since 2007, killing more than 15,000 people, most of them women and children.

At Nasser Hospital, doctors, medical assistants and relatives routinely remove bodies wrapped in gauze or placed in body bags.

Families rush to see their loved ones one last time. Some stroke the dead man’s hair, touch his hand or kiss his face, sometimes still stained with blood.

For the Gazans, these dead are “martyrs,” so their bodies do not receive traditional Muslim funerals.

A prayer for the dead

Bodies are carried on stretchers or even on long metal trays that belong in the morgue’s cold rooms, where electricity is intermittent or absent.

Funerals take place without delay, and there is not always time and possibility to contact all the relatives.

But in the hospital yard, everyone takes time to stand side by side and pray for the deceased.

A man refuses help. In her arms she carries her son wrapped in a white cloth. He places it before men who pray.

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Other families rush to collect the bodies of their dead and load as many as they can into vehicles bound for saturated cemeteries.

New stretchers emerge behind him. A weeping mother speaks to her son, wrapped in a black body bag. And another prayer begins.


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