Breaking News Emails
A weeklong bombing campaign by Israel has pushed Gaza's biggest hospital to the brink — beds filled with the critically injured, the wails of relatives filling the air and supplies running short.
In one bed sat Na'ema Al Battch, the matriarch of a Palestinian family that lost 20 members in an airstrike. She had a broken arm, but spoke only of the pain of seeing sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, nieces and nephews killed.
"May Allah avenge you, Israel," she said as she was comforted by two other women who survived the attack. "You left no one of my family."
A doll with a red dress and a head scarf lie next to Shayma'a Al Masri, a three-year-old girl with an IV in her arm and bandages on her torso.
Her father, who fingered a string of beads as he spoke, said he lost his wife and two teenage children in an Israeli airstrike on July 9.
The family was walking on the street when the bomb hit. He survived only because he had run back into the house to grab some belongings before they escaped the violence.
His eldest daughter, 17-year-old Aseel, was engaged to be married when she was killed. "We had arranged her clothes, gold, and everything was planned. It was just a matter of time," he said. "Praise be to the lord who has chosen her."
Another patient, 11-year-old Ahmed Shamalakh, took shrapnel in the chest after an airstrike hit as he was picking dates in the yard by his family home. His mother brought him homemade squash soup because he would not eat hospital food.
A 15-year-old named Sally, who has cerebral palsy, was living in a home for the disabled that was attacked. She suffered burns on 25 percent of her body and the doctors at the overburdened hospital said they were struggling to keep her alive with a dwindling supply of ointments and bandages. Two women were killed, and six others were injured in the attack.
Over 180 Palestinians and one Israeli civilian have been killed since hostilities flared up a week ago.
Alfred Arian contributed to this report