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Over 60 members of Gaza family killed in separate Israeli strikes

The rubble of the Tabatibi family home after it was struck last month
The rubble of the Tabatibi family home after it was struck last month - Copyright AFP MANAN VATSYAYANA
The rubble of the Tabatibi family home after it was struck last month - Copyright AFP MANAN VATSYAYANA

Gaza’s Tabatibi family is in mourning for the second time in less than a month, after separate Israeli bombardments on buildings they were sheltering in killed more than 60 of their kin.

The latest strike occurred in the early hours of Friday in Gaza City’s densely populated Daraj neighbourhood, killing at least 25 members of the family, a relative told AFP. 

In a narrow street, the six-storey building where the Tabatibi family had been staying was still standing on Friday, balconies barely hanging to its facade, the ground floor charred and its inside strewn with rubble.

“We didn’t hear a missile come down or anything, we were all asleep”, Khaled al-Tabatibi, a surviving member of the family, told AFP.

“Our house, my sisters, their children, their daughters, all of them are martyred, all of them are in pieces,” he said through tears.

“When the occupation aircraft bombed the house, we were asleep. We don’t know why they targeted the house, it’s a massacre, annihilation.”

Ziyad Dardas, a neighbour whose brother was injured in the strike, was at a loss for words.

“This is madness, this is the peak of crime from our leaders and Israeli leaders”, he told AFP. 

“To the (Palestinian) Authority, to Hamas leaders, I say why is this not enough?”

The dead and injured were reportedly taken to Gaza City’s Al-Shifa hospital, which was mostly destroyed in a recent Israeli military operation.

– House bombed ‘while we were in it’ –

The Tabatibi family, which has been displaced by Israeli bombardments on several occasions, had already been in mourning.

On March 15, the family had gathered in central Gaza to eat together during the first Friday night of Ramadan, a reunion that soon turned into a bloodbath.

An air strike hit the building where they were staying as women prepared the pre-fasting meal, killing 36 members of the family, witnesses told AFP at the time.

The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza, which provided the same death toll, blamed Israel for the strike in the city’s Nuseirat area, as did survivors.

Asked about that strike, the Israeli military said it targeted two “terror operatives” in Nuseirat “throughout the night,” without elaborating.

“They bombed the house while we were in it. My mother and my aunt were preparing the suhoor food. They were all martyred,” Mohammed al-Tabatibi said at the time at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, before the bodies of his relatives were stacked on a truck to be driven to a cemetery.

The war in Gaza erupted with Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of about 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli figures. 

Israel’s retaliatory military campaign to destroy Hamas has killed at least 33,634 people, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry. 

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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