Dr Ayman Abu al-Ouf worked until the wee hours of last Sunday at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, where he was chief of internal medicine, trained medical students and supervised a ward for patients. COVID-19.
A former colleague Told the BBC, “I would say he was the most generous and compassionate person I have ever seen in my life.”
Dr al-Ouf had been home for about an hour when there was an airstrike on his street. The IDF says the target was over an “underground military structure” occupied by Hamas. But when the underground structure fell, so did the foundations of homes and shops, “causing unintentional losses,” according to a statement.
Ayman Abu al-Ouf was buried under the rubble and died. His mother, father, wife, Reem, and their 17-year-old son, Tawfik, and their 12-year-old daughter, Tala, did the same.
Ibrahim al-Masry, 14, was playing in his front yard in northern Gaza when an airstrike struck. He and his brother were killed along with several other relatives. A surviving brother Told AFP, “We were laughing and having fun, when suddenly they started bombing us, everything around us caught fire.”
Ido Avigal was also killed this week when shrapnel from a rocket fired by Hamas burst through the window where his family had taken refuge in the southern Israeli town of Sderot. The Times of Israel said her mother and 7-year-old sister were injured. Ido Avigal was 5 years old.
Khalil Awwad and his 16-year-old daughter, Nadeen Awwad, a Palestinian family living in Lod, Israel, died when a rocket fired by Hamas landed near their car. Nadeen Awwad was interested in biochemistry and “a very, very special girl,” her director told Kan Broadcasting. “She dreamed of changing the world.”
Residents of Gaza City have just started digging wreckage and rubble. They will find more people, neighbors and friends who have been lost.
A ceasefire has now taken root, after 11 days of rockets, bombs and street violence. Hamas and the Israeli government have claimed some sort of victory.
There will be a lot of analysis and discussion of what, if anything, has been accomplished at the cost of so many lives. More than 250 people have been killed in Gaza, including more than 60 children. Twelve people were killed in Israel; 20 unrest that broke out in the West Bank. Whatever gains each side saw, it was real human lives lost – mothers, fathers, friends and children.