17 January 2012

Ramadan aged 9 goes to heaven with his father

This family were sleeping when the ruthless people who had taken their land by force and terrorism in 1948 bombed their house.

Voices from the Occupation: Ramadan Z.- Fatality
Posted on: 11 Dec 2011 Defence for Children International

Date of incident: 9 December 2011 Age: 9 years Location: Gaza City
Nature of incident: Killed in Israeli 'air strike'

This family were sleeping when the ruthless people who had taken their land by force and terrorism in 1948 bombed their house. There is no end to the loss or to the suffering.

On 9 December 2011, a nine-year-old boy is killed and his eight-year-old bother is injured when their house is hit in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City.

Nine-year-old Ramadan lived with his family in the Al Murabetin neighbourhood of Gaza City, near a training camp of Hamas’ military wing, Al Qassam Brigades. On the evening of 8 December 2011, “planes were bombing different targets in Gaza, and drone planes were circling overhead,” recalls Ramadan’s mother, Sa’da. “Their sound was very annoying and they interrupted the television signal, so my husband had to turn it off.”

“I prepared the beds as usual to put the children to sleep,” she continues. “That day, my husband had bought new blankets for the children, and Yousif and Ramadan started fighting to choose them. They were so excited about the new blankets. When they slept I went to bed with my husband and my little baby, Ahmad. Everything was quiet, and my husband told me that the training site had been evacuated in case there was bombing,” Sa’da explains.

At around 2:00 am, “I was half asleep breastfeeding Ahmad, when I felt the house was collapsing and rubble and stones falling on me. I covered Ahmad’s face and mine with the blanket to protect him, and immediately after that I heard an explosion shaking the entire place. More stones started falling on me, and the walls started collapsing. The window fell on my chest and abdomen. I turned my body to cover Ahmad. I was in a lot of pain and could not understand what was going on.”

Ramadan's school notebooks found under the rubble. The next thing Sa’da remembers is hearing the neighbours shouting, rescuing her and her family out from under the rubble. At the hospital, Sa’da regained consciousness and asked about her family. She was told that her husband had been killed, and both Yousif and Ramadan were being treated at the hospital. “I was discharged from hospital the next day at around 3 pm, and went back home to say goodbye to my husband before the burial. Later that day, at around seven in the evening, I received shocking news. People started crying around me and I asked: “Who died?” They said it was my son Ramadan.”

Speaking to DCI on 11 December 2011, Sa’da says: “I haven’t been able to cry. I couldn’t even cry when they brought Ramadan on Saturday for me to say goodbye. Yousif has been transferred to an Israeli hospital for further treatment... If he dies, I won’t be able to bear the loss of my two sons and their father. I am now living at my father-in-law’s house.

Rima (3) was not injured but she spends her time sleeping. She opens her eyes and cries because she is very scared. She clings to me and cries herself to sleep. Iman (5) is still little but when you ask her about what happened, she says the house collapsed on us and her father went to heaven. She never mentions Yousif or Ramadan. She thinks the mourning tent in the neighbourhood is a party we are having because her father went to heaven. I should cry, right? But I cannot. I pray for Yousif to get better and come back home, and for God to have mercy on his brother and his father.”

11 December 2011