Over 60 members of Gaza family killed in separate Israeli strikes

GAZA STRIP, PALESTINIAN TERRI­TORIES  -  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 Israeli leaders”, he told AFP. The dead and injured were reportedly taken to Gaza City’s Al-Shifa hospi­tal, which was mostly destroyed in a recent Israeli military operation.

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 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 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 on October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of about 1,170 people, according to an AFP tal­ly of Israeli figures. Israel’s retaliato­ry military campaign has killed at least 33,634 Palestinian people, mostly women and children, according to the territory’s health ministry.

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