Military fires missile at building, killing two sixth-floor occupants
The persons killed

Amirah ‘Abd al-Fatah ‘Abd a-Rahman Subuh, 58
Her son: ‘Abd a-Rahman Yusef ‘Ali Subuh, 18

Testimony of Mu’az Subuh, 29, a father of one, Amirah’s son and ‘Abd a-Rahman’s brother:

I live with my family in the a-Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City. My mother Amirah, my brother ‘Abd a-Rahman, my brother ‘Ali and his wife Nasmah, and my two brothers Baraa and Anas all live in a-Shati Refugee Camp, on the sixth floor of a seven-story building near the a-Susi mosque.

On Monday, 10 May 2021, I went to my mother’s with my wife and daughter for Iftar dinner. We stayed with them until 1:30 A.M. I had a feeling the situation was going to escalate, so I suggested they move in with us. It’s really close, less than a kilometer away, but I thought it would better for them to stay at my place, mainly because my brother, ‘Abd a-Rahman, has cerebral palsy. But my mother refused.

We went back home, but I wasn’t calm. In the morning, I prayed the dawn prayers and went to my mother’s house. I got to their street around 4:30 A.M. When I was about 50 meters away from the building, I heard a very loud explosion. There were clouds of smoke and dust, and I heard people shouting. The building my mother and brothers lived in had been bombed.

I tried to get into the building, but people there stopped me because they were afraid of another strike. They suggested I wait for the ambulance and the Civil Defense crew. They tried to reassure me and told me they’d seen my brother ‘Ali at the mosque and had prayed with him. I felt on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I was sure my family was dead. I saw the sixth and seventh floors had been completely demolished. They looked like one floor. I lost all hope that anyone in my family would make it out alive.

Some neighbors went up to the apartment and came back down and told me my brothers Baraa and ‘Ali and ‘Ali’s wife Nasmah were alive. As for my mother and my brother ‘Abd a-Rahman, they said, “We didn’t find them. We’re looking for them, but it looks very bad.” Then they told me my mother was injured and on the way to hospital, and that I should go there. When I arrived, I discovered she’d been killed. I hugged her, kissed her body, and screamed and shouted, “I told you to come to our house! Why didn’t you listen to me?!” Then they put my mother in the morgue.

 

Amirah Subuh and her son ‘Abd a-Rahman Subuh

I called the neighbors to check on my brother ‘Abd a-Rahman. He’d been under the ruins for more than an hour and I was sure he was dead, because he’s disabled and it’s hard for him to get around. Sometime later, ‘Abd a-Rahman was also taken to the ER. The doctors examined him and pronounced him dead. Then they put him in the freezer next to my mother.

I stayed there until 11:00 A.M., praying for their souls. Then we took their bodies to my sister Hala’s house near a-Shifaa Hospital, so people could bid their farewells. Everyone was so sad.

I lost my mother and brother in a sudden explosion that happened right before my very eyes. I had a happy life with my family, with my mother and brothers. My mom was everything to me. I lost my father in 2003 and have been an orphan for many years. Now I’ve lost my mother, too. I’m still in shock. I can’t stop thinking about her. I tried to salvage things that belonged to her and to ‘Abd a-Rahman from the rubble, as keepsakes.

My mother always wished that when her day came, it would also be ‘Abd a-Rahman’s. She hoped they would die on the same day. God listened to her. ‘Abd a-Rahman was always close to my mother. He never left her side and always tried to help her, despite his disability. They had a very strong bond. My sister Hala, who’s our only sister, is in a bad way now. She and my mother were very close. Hala visited her every day and if she couldn’t, she’d call her. I hope God will help her bear the pain and help us, too. I hope he has mercy upon them and that they’ll go to heaven. 

There was no reason to bomb the house and kill them. My mother was an elderly woman and my brother had special needs. The Israeli military bombed them without any warning. That’s the “target bank” Israel talks about: my mother and my brother ‘Abd a-Rahman.

  • A Hamas military wing operative lived on the seventh floor. He was not home at the time. It is not known whether that was the reason for the strike.
  • Testimony given to Olfat al-Kurd on 9 June 2021
Mu’az Subuh, 29, a father of one, Amirah’s son and ‘Abd a-Rahman’s brother
Mu'az Subuh

In the morning, I prayed the dawn prayers and went to my mother’s house. I got to their street around 4:30 A.M. When I was about 50 meters away from the building, I heard a very loud explosion. There were clouds of smoke and dust, and I heard people shouting. The building my mother and brothers lived in had been bombed.

Testimony of Baraa Subuh, 27, Amirah’s son and ‘Abd a-Rahman’s brother:

On Tuesday, 11 May 2021, at 2:00 A.M., I came home and found my mother and my brother ‘Abd a-Rahman awake. My mother was reading the Quran. I sat down with her, ‘Abd a-Rahman and my sister-in-law Nasmah for the meal before the fast. Then I went back to the living room. At around 4:30 A.M., my brother ‘Ali went to the mosque to pray and my mother told me to go to bed. We went to our bedrooms but a few minutes later, before I’d fallen asleep, the house suddenly collapsed on top of me. The wardrobe fell on me, too, and the wall behind me fell out to the road. There was a lot of dust and I had trouble breathing. There was no power and the house was pitch black.

I managed to pull myself out from under the debris and went to the room where my mother and ‘Abd a-Rahman sleep. It was in ruins. I called out but couldn’t see anyone. I started removing the debris to get them out. It was only then that I realized Israeli airplanes had bombed the house while we were in it. There was no warning before they fired.

The solar boilers on the roof were leaking into our apartment. I started running around the house looking for ‘Abd a-Rahman and the rest of the family. I found my sister-in-law Nasmah and told her to go down to the ground floor. I also found my brother ‘Ali, who was looking for my mother and ‘Abd a-Rahman.

In the end, we found mother’s body under the rubble. I started removing the debris that was covering her. Meanwhile, an ambulance and Civil Defense crews arrived, so I put her on a stretcher and told ‘Ali to go with her. I stayed home to look for ‘Abd a-Rahman with the Civil Defense crew and people from the neighborhood. Suddenly, I felt weak and short of breath. I was given first aid and taken to a-Shifaa Hospital.

‘Abd a-Rahman was under the rubble for an hour and a half before we found him. The paramedics brought him to the hospital. Because of the amount of rubble, I didn’t believe he’d survive and when we found him, he was lifeless. When I saw that my brother ‘Abd a-Rahman was dead, I felt great sorrow. I also saw my mother lying lifeless and felt she was sending a message that she wanted to die along with ‘Abd a-Rahman, because he was disabled and we have no father, so there would be no one to care for him without her. ‘Abd a-Rahman was very attached to her.

In the meantime, we’ve rented an apartment for me, my brother Anas, and my brother ‘Ali and his wife. Anas and I are unemployed and things are very tough financially. Our house cost a lot. We also had more than USD 17,000 in it, as well as my sister-in-law’s and my mother’s gold jewelry. It’s all gone.

Ever since my mother and ‘Abd a-Rahman were killed, we’ve been struck with grief, pain and despair. We pray for them all the time. They’re gone, and so is the home in which we had a good life together. Life is hard without my mother, whom I loved so much, and without my brother ‘Abd a-Rahman, who was the soul of the house. We’ve lost his smiles and the sounds he used to make around the house. I hope we can stay strong after their deaths.

  • Testimony given to Olfat al-Kurd on 13 June 2021
Baraa Subuh, 27, Amirah’s son and ‘Abd a-Rahman’s brother
Baraa Subuh

‘Abd a-Rahman was under the rubble for an hour and a half before we found him. The paramedics brought him to the hospital. Because of the amount of rubble, I didn’t believe he’d survive and when we found him, he was lifeless.