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No Mother’s Day for Gazan moms mourning their children

May 11, 2024 at 4:56 pm

A woman whose baby died in the Israeli attack on the Maghazi camp area mourns as the dead bodies of those killed in the attack are brought to al-Aqsa Hospital for burial in Deir al-Balah, Gaza on May 11, 2024. [Ashraf Amra – Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian mothers in the Gaza Strip are grappling with profound loss as Mother’s Day approaches amid relentless Israeli attacks on the enclave, Anadolu reports.

Israel has killed more than 34,900 Palestinians, with the vast majority being women and children, and injured over 78,500, following a Hamas attack on Oct. 7, which claimed less than 1,200 lives.

The onslaught has left countless mothers bereft of their children, leaving many orphaned children.

Despite the grief and hardship they have endured, mothers who have lost their children, spouses, and relatives in the Palestinian enclave are steadfastly clinging to life, displaying remarkable resilience in the face of adversity.

Mothers whose homes have been destroyed by Israeli airstrikes and who are now living in tents in Rafah, will greet Mother’s Day with sorrow, grief and pain.

Mother’s Day around the world falls on different dates of the year but International Mother’s Day is observed on the second Sunday in May.

Mothers in the Al Mawasi area of Rafah, where there is no water or electricity and consists of agricultural and land areas, hope to return to their homes as soon as possible.

Mothers wish for an end to Israeli attacks and to live in safety with their children and loved ones.

READ: Dozens of children in Gaza demand reopening of schools

Losing one’s soul

Hanaa Abu Jabal, a 55-year-old mother of eight, shared her pain of losing a child in the war. “Losing a child for a mother means losing her soul,” she told Anadolu.

Her family started to stay in tents after being forcibly displaced, she said. “We are living in very difficult conditions. There is no water, no food, no clothes. And we are also facing the threat of genocide.”

Underlining how hard is the situation in Rafah, the Palestinian woman urged the international community to support Palestinians.

The plight of Palestinian mothers extends beyond physical displacement. Many, like Maha Hashan, have been forced to confront the stark reality of life without their loved ones.

Hashan recounted her heart-wrenching ordeal of losing her 9-year-old son in a bombing raid that left her daughter severely injured.

“This war must end and we ask the countries of the world to ensure that humanitarian aid enters Gaza,” she said.

“My son left me with three grandchildren,” said Najah Al-Akkad, 70. “We migrated from place to place and finally found ourselves in this tent made of nylon. I lost my son in an Israeli attack, and now I have three grandchildren left.”

Al-Akkad cited the struggle for survival with her grandchildren, noting that they have difficulty finding water, medicine and food.

Earlier, the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) said more than 10,000 women have been killed and 19,000 injured in the Israeli onslaught. “The war in Gaza continues to be a war on women,” it said.

The agency added that “37 children lose their mothers every single day.”

READ: Gaza media office: Israel occupation escalates aggression in Rafah