Testimonies of Mu’az Subuh and Baraa Subuh
Military fires missiles at four buildings late at night, killing 46 people (part 3)
In two adjacent buildings, 22 members of the al-Kolak (al-Qolaq) family were killed:
In one building, eight members of the family were killed:
In the adjacent building, 14 members of the family were killed:
In the third building, which belongs to the Abu al-‘Oaf family, 22 people were killed:
In the fourth building, the al-Ahlam building, about 500 meters away, two occupants were killed:
- Some members of the famimly spell their name with a K (al-Kolak), while others spell it with a Q (al-Qolaq).
Testimony of Rami al-Ifrangi, 45, a father of four who lost his wife and children in the incident:
I lived with my mother, my wife Rajaa Abu al-‘Oaf and our four children in the a-Safa building in the a-Rimal neighborhood, on a-Thurah Street, which is parallel to al-Wehdah Street. Our building was 60 meters away from the Abu al-‘Oaf building. After the war broke out on 10 May 2021, I stayed with my wife and our kids, Dima, Yazan, Mira and Amir, in the apartment. We followed the news all the time. We heard airstrikes all over Gaza City. My wife and kids were scared of the bombings, and we kept the kids busy so they wouldn’t hear the explosions and the sound of the drones hovering over us all the time.
On Saturday, 15 May 2021, at around 4:30 P.M., my wife went with our four children to visit her family on al-Wehdah Street and bake holiday cookies. They planned to sleep there and come back the next day, just for a change of scenery in the middle of the war and the bombings.
At around 11:00 P.M., I went to bed. My mother also went to her room. Suddenly, I woke up in a panic to a series of loud explosions very close to us. The power went out. I checked the time. It was 1:00 A.M. A cousin on my father’s side called to ask if we were okay. He lives near me and thought the explosions were in my building. I told him I’d woke up in fright from the sound of the explosions. I looked out the window to see where the strike had been. Just then, my cousin ‘Imad ‘Ali Hassan called and told me that it was the Abu al-‘Oaf building. When I heard that, I was shocked. I was very scared.
I immediately ran over to the Abu al-‘Oaf building, where my wife and four kids were. I got there in less than a minute. I saw a shocking, unbearable sight. The building and the street were totally destroyed. I stood there in total shock. I also saw Amin and Mu’in al-Kolak’s buildings in ruins. People were screaming and crying, running from place to place, some looking for siblings and relatives.
Ambulances and Civil Defense crews arrived. Everyone was searching for people, trying to save them. I wanted to save my wife and kids. I saw one girl taken out and I was sure it was my daughter Dima. I later found out it was Shaimaa Abu al-‘Oaf, who had also been killed. More people were extracted, some dead and others wounded. I also saw them remove bits of bodies. I saw them extract Dr. Ayman Abu al-‘Oaf and his wife Rim. They also extracted his mother Majdiyeh and Diana, ‘Alaa Abu al-‘Oaf’s wife, who was wounded.
Then they brought out my wife Rajaa’s body. They also got out my two sons, who had been sleeping side by side. Their faces were blue, which means they died of suffocation. At first I was sure they were still alive, but the Civil Defense crew told me that no one in my family had made it and they were all dead. I was in shock. My whole family was killed. I have no one left in this world.
They continued getting people out. They removed ‘Omar Abu al-‘Oaf, who was wounded, and Hazem, who rented an apartment in the building. The body of Muhammad, who owned a mobile phone shop he was renting from Bahaa Abu al-‘Oaf, was also recovered. They were all taken to a-Shifaa Hospital.
On Sunday, we buried my wife and kids at the cemetery. I went back to my apartment in shock. I couldn’t believe what had happened. I couldn’t believe I was going home without my wife and kids. The apartment is sad, empty, abandoned, and has no signs of life. They were bombed by Israeli airplanes while they were asleep at their grandfather’s house. Everything is ruined for me forever. They killed my wife. She had a master’s degree and worked with international projects in the Gaza Strip. My children were outstanding students and knew English and French. Especially my daughter Dima, who drew, danced and took part in festivals. My wife and I raised our children for 16 years. Their lives were wiped out in an instant.
- Testimony given to Muhammad Sabah on 31 May 2021