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Gaza: child survivors of Nuseirat massacre say Israeli soldiers targeted them deliberately

June 11, 2024 at 11:56 am

Civil defense teams try to extinguish the fire that broke out after Israeli attacks on Nuseirat camp in Deir al Balah, Gaza on 08 June, 2024 [Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency]

Mohammad Matar has told Anadolu news agency of the horrors of the massacre committed by the Israeli occupation army against the Palestinians in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. Miraculously, the 15-year-old child survived the brutal attack.

Matar is being treated for his wounds in the Nasser Medical Hospital in Khan Yunis. An Israeli soldier shot him twice at point blank range, hitting him in the shoulder and stomach. The bullets exited his body through his back.

The Israeli occupation army attack on Saturday killed 274 Palestinians and wounded at least 700 others in a massacre committed after a major artillery and air bombardment of the refugee camp. Matar was walking in the street when the explosions began. He did not expect the area where he lived to be turned into a battlefield.

Within seconds, the boy told Anadolu, a number of Israeli helicopters flew overhead and fired randomly into the street where he was walking. He headed quickly to his home and gathered with his family members in the basement to take cover. Minutes later, the family heard the sounds of Israeli tanks in the area, so they ran up to the first floor, where they thought they would be safer.

Soon after, Israeli soldiers burst into his family home. “There were about 10 people in the house, and suddenly the soldiers took my brother, father and grandfather, blindfolded them and put black bags over their heads.” That’s when one soldier approached him without warning and shot him twice. He couldn’t stand up, so the soldier pulled him up forcibly, and then threw him to the floor. My body was paralysed at that point,” he told Anadolu. “They also shot my younger brother and killed him, and my aunt was also shot.”

Matar pointed out that those who were injured were left to bleed for more than half an hour before they were transferred to hospital. He also said that US Rangers were among the Israeli troops. “The badge was on their shoulders.”

Nine-year-old Mohammad Al-Samouni also survived the Nuseirat massacre. He was wounded in his right hand during the Israeli military operation. “We were sitting in the tent that we were displaced to in the camp, and suddenly we saw tanks and Israeli soldiers in front of us,” he explained. A soldier threw an “explosive ball” at him, which caused the severe wound in his hand. His father and brother were killed instantly, but the youngster was unable to provide further details.

READ: 4 Israel soldiers killed in southern Gaza