Israelis laughed after shooting me, says survivor of 8 June massacre

Fedaa al-Qedra

The Electronic Intifada  /  July 8, 2024

Momen has been told that he will never walk again. 

Momen is a 16-year-old boy struggling to cope with the physical and psychological pain inflicted on him one month ago.

His family had lived in al-Zahra, central Gaza, but fled that area when it had come under attack at an earlier stage of the current genocidal war. They went to stay with Momen’s grandfather in Nuseirat refugee camp.

On 8 June, Momen was with his grandfather in a family-run supermarket when they heard the sound of explosions. A rapid decision was taken to close down the shop and head for his grandfather’s home in the hope that it would be safer there.

About 30 minutes later, they realized that the Israelis were nearing his grandfather’s house in tanks. His grandfather locked the house and told the 15 or so people inside it to gather in one room.

Soon afterwards, Israeli soldiers broke down the door of the house and began firing everywhere.

As they approached the room where the family had gathered, Momen’s grandfather raised his voice. He alerted the troops to the fact that there were civilians in his home.

The Israelis entered the room and removed Momen’s father and grandfather from it.

“They covered my father’s head with a black bag and tied his hands, then they told him to kneel down and look at the floor,” Momen said. “After that they blindfolded my grandfather and told him to lie on the floor.”

Momen’s 12-year-old brother Ahmad was ordered to strip. The soldiers bound up his hands and beat him.

The soldiers burnt Ahmad’s neck with a cigarette as he screamed in fear.

“They started beating my dad and asking him about the resistance and weapons,” Momen said. “My father told them that there are no weapons in the house, that we are civilians and displaced people and do not know anything about the resistance.”

The soldiers threatened Momen’s father that if he did not give them a confession, they would kill the children.

Momen, his brother Yamen and their aunt were all shot.

According to Momen, one of the soldiers laughed after wounding him.

“He was deliberately trying to scare me,” Momen said. “My mom begged him not to kill me.”

Once the soldiers left the house, Momen’s father called an ambulance. None was able to reach the family, so his father put Momen on the roof of his car and Yamen inside it, then drove them to hospital.

By the time they reached the hospital, Yamen had died.

Momen had to undergo surgery at Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis, southern Gaza.

His left kidney and part of his liver were removed.

“I also suffered a fracture in my spine and now I cannot move my legs,” Momen said. “The doctors say that I will never walk on my feet again.”

More than 270 Palestinians were killed in the 8 June attack on Nuseirat.

One month later, everyone who survived Israel’s brutality on that day is still in deep shock.

Fedaa al-Qedra is a journalist in Gaza