We were very excited for Al-Fitir Eid this year which comes after we finish Ramadan, a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset. My little brother and sister bought El-Eid clothes since the first week in Ramadan when the mad war was not there yet. They were waiting impatiently for Ramadan to end so they can wear their brand-new clothes and celebrate the Eid, which for our children symbolises joy and happiness embodied in playing on swings. The war started in the second week of Ramadan. Since then, their dreams, Gazan children's dreams of having a happy Eid started to fade away.
My little 12-year-old brother and 9-year-old sister did not stop asking questions. When is this going to end? Are we going to celebrate? Are we going to wear our new clothes? They kept asking till the Eid came but their questions were answered with bombs and new massacres everywhere.
In the first day of Eid, I woke up to the news that my mother's cousin was killed. My mother rushed to my grandfather's home unconsciously when she learned about her cousin's death. We followed her minutes later. At the door, children related to Mohammed, the martyr, were sitting at the threshold crying.
The scene of those little children crying is very heart wrenching. Those children were supposed to be celebrating and enjoying the Eid by now. They were weeping over their beloved uncle instead. I went into the martyr's home concurred with grief. His wife and sisters were there, shocked and full of sorrow. Everyone in the home was unable to believe what had just happened. They were unable to believe that Mohammed, who was always smiling, is now gone, forever. He wasn't going to come and light up the house with his smiles and play with his children, niece and nephews and throw candies at them.
I sat there, in between my relatives who were mourning Mohammed, thinking of the hundreds of victims killed since the start of the attack on Gaza who didn't have a funeral held for them due to the continuing bombardment and rising number of killed people. "What is happening now here is happening, happened, and will happen in many places across Gaza," I thought to myself.
My thoughts were then interrupted by a loud noise outside; I hurried outside. It was Mohammed, carried on the shoulders of men chanting, "Rest in Peace, Mohammed. We will continue the struggle." Everyone was chanting these words as we followed the martyr into his home. Mohammed laid there while wrapped with a flag of Palestine. Everyone he loved came to say the last goodbye and give him the farewell kiss.
Mohammed is/was married with two children; 4-year-old Malak and 2-year-old Ahmed. They were the only ones not crying, they were unable to comprehend what was going on. Malak somehow believed that her father is simply sleeping and that the men are taking him to his work and that he will come back soon. She didn't know that he father was gone forever. She couldn't realise that she will grow fatherless.
The Eid was unlike any other Eid we ever had. Grief was spread all around. Even when children tried to celebrate and forget about the airstrikes, Israel came after them and killed them while playing on swing. Ten children were killed in a drone attack while playing on a mini Ferris wheel in the beach camp in the first day of Eid.
How come the "self-defense" that Israel claims legitimises all the crimes Israel is committing against the innocent inhabitants of the besieged Gaza Strip. It's in the name of 'self-defense' that the Israeli Occupation Forces killed children playing on the beach, children playing on the roof of their house feeding pigeons, children playing on a mini Ferris wheel.