The family of 14 was still huddled under the stairwell when Israeli soldiers stormed the outer gate.
“My father opened the back door and stepped out. They shot without warning. He died immediately,” said al-Helo.
The soldiers then ordered the rest of the family to leave the house. “Get out, get out,” al-Helo said they screamed. When he tried to remain in the house with his father Fouad’s body he said the Israeli soldiers told him “If you stay here we’ll kill you.”
They left, trying in vain to find shelter. “We were knocking at the doors of people’s houses along the road, desperate to get in. Everyone was afraid to open, or had left their home,” said al-Helo.
The terrified family had only walked a few hundred meters down a back lane before Israeli snipers began shooting at them, hitting one-year-old Farah in the abdomen. The girl, whose name means “joy,” didn’t immediately die, instead suffered for the next few hours, intestines falling out. Her mother, Shireen, breast-fed her in a desperate attempt to comfort the baby.
I don't think I am ever, ever going to get that image out of my head.
That every single citizen of Gaza hasn't taken up arms against Israel is a testament to their self-restraint and their desire for peace. I don't know if I would be that restrained under the same circumstances.