Two weeks ago Khaled Abed Drabo was trapped inside his house several days into the Israeli ground offensive. Artillery shells hammered his neighborhood east of the Jabaliya refugee camp. Three tanks parked outside his front door, and loudspeakers announced that civilians should leave the area.
Khaled says that’s when his wife, mother and three daughters stepped outside the front door waving white flags. They stood on the front steps for five minutes waiting for instructions from the Israeli soldiers only 10 yards away. But instead, Khaled says, a soldier appeared on one of the tank turrets, raised his rifle and began shooting. All three of the girls fell.
Khaled’s mother was shot in the upper left arm and abdomen. Recovering at her brother’s house, she tells the same story. ”The soldier shot us slowly aiming at each one.” The women fled back into the house dragging the bleeding little girls. Suad, 7 years old, died immediately from bullets to her chest. 2 year old Amal survied a few moments longer. ”She was asking her mother for candy and chips. Then her mother asked her: ‘Do you love me.’ She said: ‘Yes.’ Then she died.
The third daughter, Samar, aged 4, was bleeding from a wound to her lower back. The family waited frantically inside the house for two more hours hoping for an ambulance to come during a 3 hour “humanitarian pause” in the fighting. No one came. And Khaled decided to carry his wounded mother and daughter a mile to a hospital.
Khaled called out for help but no one came to his aid. The Israeli soldiers, he says, were eating potato chips and chocolates as they walked by. When they reached the hospital, his daughter Samar was transferred to the Egyptian border and is now in Europe getting medical treatment. Contacted in Brussels, her uncle says she may never walk again.