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Testimony: Vegetable merchant and small son killed in Israeli bombing of Gazan police building, 27 Dec. '08

Muhammad al-Mansi, vegetable merchant

On Saturday (27 December), at around 6:30 A.M, I went to work in the vegetable market with my cousin, ‘Abd al-Hakim al-Mansi. The kids left the house with us and went to school. At around 11:30, ‘Udai, Abd al-Hakim's son, finished school and joined him at the vegetable stall. He was seven years old and was in the first grade.

‘Abd al-Hakim's stall was about 50 meters from mine, and about 10 meters from the interrogation wing of the Police Force. I saw planes in the sky, and suddenly a missile was fired at us. The police building was hit and completely destroyed. People were killed by the missile and also by the building collapsing. ‘Abd al-Hakim and little ‘Udai were hit by shrapnel all over their body and killed instantly.

‘Abd al-Hakim was 29 years old and had five children. In the morning everything was completely normal in the market. People were milling around buying vegetables. It was the first day of the Israeli attack on Gaza.

Muhammad Jamil al-Mansi, 37, married and father of six, is a vegetable merchant in Deir al-Balah, the Gaza Strip. His testimony was given by phone to ‘Abd al-Karim Sa'adi on 1 January 2009.