‘The candle of our homes are gone’: Eight children killed after blast reduces Gaza block to rubble

todayOctober 20, 2023 2

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‘The candle of our homes are gone’: Eight children killed after blast reduces Gaza block to rubble

A man has described how 10 members of his family were killed after an explosion reduced their block to rubble – eight of whom were very young children.

Warning: This article contains images of children in distress and body bags

Uday Albakri, 28, said: “My son was in my hands. Hopefully, he will be one of the birds in heaven.”

His son was one-and-a-half years old.

He said there had been “no warning” before the blast – the source of which has not been verified – hit the four-storey building.

The entire structure collapsed on them as they sheltered on the ground floor, killing his brother’s three sons, two of his sister’s boys, and his other sister’s two sons. The eldest of the children was three years old.

“They all got martyred. Eight children, eight children from one family,” Mr Albakri said, adding that his mother, 60, and his brother’s wife also died in the explosion.

“No child is left in our family. We were happy with them. They were the candle of our homes. And they are gone,” he said.

Gaza bombing khan younis Father who  lost son

‘My son was in my hands,’ Uday Albakri

The deadly blast took place yesterday evening, metres away from the Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis to the south of the Gaza Strip.

Mr Albakri told Sky News one minute he was fast asleep, the next he was “flying in the air and hitting the ground” before finding himself at the hospital.

Describing the aftermath, he said: “All the rubble and the stones were on us, and the children were martyred instantly.

Mr Albakri blames Israel for the wave of strikes hitting Gaza, including this one.

He said: “[Netanyahu] is targeting civilians and civilians only. He did not target any resistance. Only civilians got martyred, our children got martyred. None of us have taken arms, not my brothers, not myself, not my sisters, not my mother.”

Gaza rubble and dead body blurred

A corpse is carried through the streets

Israel has repeatedly said its aim for the Gaza onslaught is eradicating Hamas and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would “do everything it [could] to keep civilians out of harm’s way” when speaking to US leader Joe Biden on Thursday.

Body bags Gaza Sky News

The number of dead keeps rising

Mr Albakri has implored for the war, which started after Hamas launched a deadly attack into Israel last weekend, to “come to an end”.

The names of the children who were killed were: Zahir, Eileen, Dila, Hamada, Jamal, Auday, Nabil and Asil.

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Palestinians hold funerals for loved ones

Hospital faces ‘catastrophic’ situation

Doctor Yousef Akkad works at the Gaza European Hospital some 200m from the blast which “shook the whole” building.

Dr Akkad said: “This caused a lot of fear and horror to everyone in the hospital, including patients and the people accompanying them, plus the nurses,” adding that families were using the hospital as a shelter.

He described the casualties entering their doors including “one martyr [with] a big hole in his head”.

The doctor added: “A worried woman arrived, and she was looking for her children. We asked her to look at the corpses and identify her children. She identified two of them as her sons. She did not know the rest.”

Gaza hospital baby deaths

A row of dead infants in a Gaza hospital

Wounded baby in Gaza hospital

A wounded baby is treated

Israel said it was imposing a “total blockade” on Gaza, cutting electricity supplies and halting flows of food and fuel after Hamas’s attack and abduction of nearly 200 people.

Describing the state of the hospital, Dr Akkad said “the situation is catastrophic”.

He said: “In the first moments of the war they cut the power, after that we started relying totally on generators to produce power.

“God forbid the generators stop working or we run out of fuel for them, then the hospital will become a cemetery for all the patients we have.”

He said the hospital was running low on medication, especially those needed for bone surgeries, and he expects essential medicine to last “days, not weeks”.

Hospital Gaza under strain

Hospitals in Gaza are facing a serious supply shortage

At the Egyptian side of the Rafah border, humanitarian aid for Gazans remains stationary as the green light is yet to be given.

During Mr Biden’s visit to Israel, Mr Netanyahu said he would not thwart the delivery of food, water and medicine from Egypt for civilians in Gaza as long as this aid does not “reach Hamas”.

Dr Akkad said he would not close the hospital “under any circumstance, even if the hospital falls on our heads”.

His parting message was “please stop this war. Help save Gaza”.

Sky News approached the Israel Defence Forces for comment on these deaths.

Written by: Newsroom

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