Video: In Rafah 'they're exterminating entire families’

Said Khatib / AFP - Bodies of some of the nine members of the same al-Ghul family at the morgue of a hospital in Rafah on August 3, 2014
3 min

FRANCE 24’s special correspondents in the Gaza Strip met a French teacher whose brother and nephew were killed in an Israeli strike. As the death toll rises, Palestinians say that entire families are being wiped out by the bombardments.


Men rarely cry in Gaza but after a month of bloodshed there is no more holding back. Waleed Abu Dobaa, a French teacher, lost his brother and a nephew during an Israeli bombardment in Rafah, in southern Gaza.

FRANCE 24’s special correspondents in Gaza talked to him as he was preparing to bury his relatives.

Abu Dobaa says that his brother had nothing to do with Hamas, the Palestinian militant group fighting Israel.

"What resistance? My brother was killed by a missile while he was helping someone wounded!", says the French teacher, struggling to hold back his tears. He says that Israel's violence is gratuitous and indiscriminate. More than 1,800 Palestinians - mostly civilians - have been killed in the conflict. Israel has so far lost 64 soldiers and three civilians.

Entire families wiped out

Over the weekend, Rafah came under heavy Israeli fire. Dozens of residents died as Israel shelled the area - many of the victims were under the same roof, according to Abu Dobaa.

"They are exterminating entire families. There are many families in which every single member was killed. Do you understand what that means? It's insane. People do not realise what is happening here," he told FRANCE 24.

FRANCE 24's special correspondents in Gaza went to a hospital where bodies were piling up. As they interviewed injured Palestinians, more wounded civilians continued to arrive.

Nine-year-old survivor

Saja Mustafa Zorob is recovering in a hospital bed. The nine-year-old girl does not know yet that she is the only one in her family who survived an Israeli air strike.

"I have no idea what happened. We were sleeping at my aunts' house with everyone, my two uncles, my grandma and my mummy. All of a sudden I woke up and I was in an ambulance," she said.

Bodies in the Gaza Strip have to be buried in haste. Abu Dobaa’s brother and nephew were laid to rest in a row of freshly dug open graves.

Minutes after the burial, people who attended the funeral rushed off to avoid being hit by another Israeli air strike. In Gaza, even graveyards are no longer safe.

Video report by Gallagher FENWICK, Nizar SADAAWI, Matthieu MABIN

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