Jihad Abu Daqah, 24
I live with my family in a two-story house in the Abu Daqah neighborhood, in Abasan al-Jadidah in the Khan Yunis district. I live on the second floor with my parents, my unmarried brothers and my brother Muhsen, who is married with three young children. In the yard we have a small shed used as an outdoor kitchen, where we store food supplies and baking pans. Our house is next to the Dhaw a-Nurein mosque in Abasan.
This morning we heard planes and, by the sound, they were mainly observation aircraft. My mother, Najwa, age 50, told me that she was going outside to prepare dough in the outdoor shed.
I told her that there were a lot of planes overhead and asked her not to go outside, because the previous night a plane launched a missile at a house and a woman was hit and killed. She tried to reassure me, but I said the planes were not leaving the area and, because it was foggy, everything that moved could become a target. I suggested that I go to the bakery to buy some pita but she told me to rely on God and insisted on going out to the kitchen in the yard to prepare the dough.
A few seconds after she went out toward the shed, I heard a strong explosion. Smoke and dust covered the house. I started looking for my mother and calling her, but couldn’t find her. A few minutes later, I found her severely wounded. I began shouting for help. The rest of the family arrived and we took her to the European hospital in Khan Yunis. Now (at 2:00 PM) she is out of surgery. I hope she will be okay.
I don’t know what damage the house sustained. Meantime I prefer to remain with my mother at the hospital. The most important thing for me is that she comes through this all right. We live in a residential area and I don’t know of any security-related building in our vicinity. When my mother went out to the yard, she was not holding anything suspicious in her hands. The Israeli army should have realized that she was a civilian and not a fighter.
Jihad Samir Abu Daqah, 24, is a resident of Absan al-Jadidah in Khan Younis. His testimony was taken by 'Atef Abu a-Rub, by telephone, on 18 Nov. 2012.