Israel-Hamas war: All my 35 family members killed including mom, dad, and grandma – survivor


“He wants to know about his family but I don’t know what to say. ” Instead, I breathe deeply and try to avoid the question by talking about something else like a child would do.

Moein Abu Rezk is the only family member left for his nephew, Omar, who is very sick at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip.

Omar’s left hand was cut off and he had big cuts on his right leg, smaller cuts on his chest and face, and a jaw that was not in the right place after an Israeli attack that Moein says killed 35 of his family members, including his mom, dad, and grandma.

Up until now, Moein has chosen not to tell Omar about their deaths because he’s concerned it might make his condition worse. He’s hoping to get Omar to Egypt for medical treatment with the help of the United Arab Emirates government and the Emirates Red Crescent.

“He needs to be given the information carefully so he doesn’t get shocked or lose control,” Moein told BBC Arabic in a series of voice messages on Sunday night.

“He hasn’t seen anyone, but he wants to know where his mom and grandma are. ”

But, Omar might not be able to get to the Egyptian border in an ambulance because there is a lot of fighting and bombing in Gaza’s Middle Area.

Israeli soldiers have split Gaza into two parts and surrounded Gaza City. They did this in the first two months of fighting against Hamas, which Israel, the UK, and other Western countries consider a terrorist group.

Soldiers and tanks are moving far into the southern city of Khan Younis. The main road from Deir al-Balah is now a “battlefield”, so people in the Middle Area can only use one supposedly safe route along the Mediterranean coast to evacuate.

A lot of people from the north of Gaza went to the Middle Area because the Israeli military told them to leave their homes and go south of the Wadi Gaza river two months ago.

The war began when Hamas attacked southern Israel on October 7th. 1,200 people were killed and about 240 others were taken hostage. This led to the order to start the war.

Since that time, over 18,200 people have died in Gaza according to the area’s Hamas-controlled health department. Omar is one of over 49,000 people who have been reported injured.

The Israeli army is working to find and destroy terrorists and their weapons. They have targeted more than 22,000 sites since the war began.
Omar is with his uncle Moein Abu Rezk at a hospital in Deir al-Balah, in the middle of the Gaza Strip.

Moein told BBC Arabic that Omar and his family were at his grandmother’s house in Nuseirat camp, near Deir al-Balah, when it was bombed by the Israeli military without any warning.

“We have never seen missiles like these before. ” He remembered the missile falling and destroying all the houses in the area.

“Thankfully, the house had a hole and Omar fell through it. ” But his left arm was very badly hurt and had to be cut off right away.

“On Saturday, he lost a lot of blood and his haemoglobin levels dropped, so he needed to go to surgery to get a blood transfusion. ”

Moein said the hospital was really bad. They couldn’t find a bed for Omar even though he was very hurt. He had to wait in a hallway while doctors and nurses did their best to help him.

“We don’t have enough medical equipment and tools, so we have to find practical solutions to deal with the situation instead of using the best medical methods. ”

“We don’t have any medicine for the pain, so we’re trying to make him laugh to help him feel better. ”

Moein agreed that this way only worked sometimes but said, “We don’t have any other choice. ”

He said he hopes that Omar will go to the Rafah border with Egypt next Thursday. Then he will go to a special hospital for treatment.

Lena Shakora, her husband, and three young sons have managed to stay safe from the Israeli bombing, but she said they are still going through a very scary and difficult time.

They left their home in Sheikh Radwan district in Gaza City and are now staying in a house in a farming area near Deir al-Balah with their family.

Every morning, I remember that there is a war and that people don’t have enough food to eat. It’s really hard to be forced out of your home and have no food,” Lena told BBC Arabic on Sunday night.

My family and I are in a room with 40 people and all the windows are broken because of the bombing. We are essentially sitting outside. It’s really cold and people feel embarrassed.

Lena said her sons hurt their backs from carrying heavy containers of water. Furthermore, the water is not clean because the treatment plants and pumps are not working due to a shortage of fuel, which makes the situation even more difficult.

The family had to eat bad food because the stores were empty and they didn’t get any help.

We really hope to have some flour to make bread, and we also want to use clean wood to bake it.

“Many people search for wood wherever they can find it. ” She said the bread is not safe to eat because it was made using wood from a bombing site.

The UN said they couldn’t give things to people outside the city of Rafah because it’s too dangerous and they are not allowed to move around freely.


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