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Testimony: 10 year-old lost his eyesight in a bombing in which a friend was killed and another wounded, Gaza Strip, Jan. '09

Lu'ai Subuh, 10

I am 10 years old and live with my family in Beit Lahiya. A few days after the Israeli bombing started, my family went to stay in UNRWA's girls' school, next to the Abu Rashed Pool.

On Wednesday morning [7 January], people began to move about in the streets and we thought the army had left Beit Lahiya. My father decided to go to our house to bring clothes and food and some things we needed. I went along, together with my sister Huda, 13, and my friends Husam Subuh, 10, and Mahmud Abu Laylah, 10. There were a few people in the street. We got home, took the things we needed, and started back to the school. While we were walking, my brother Rajab called my father and asked him to bring a small gas balloon we had at home, so that we could cook. My father and sister started walking back to the house, and Husam, Mahmoud, and I waited for them.

They had just gone a little distance when there was an explosion. We were hit. We fell down, and I couldn't see or hear anything. Then I started hearing again. I heard combat helicopters and gunfire, and I didn't know where they were firing. Husam, Mahmoud, and I stayed where we were for about an hour, maybe more. Then the daughters of our neighbors came and took us into one of the houses. My father and uncle came there and took us to an ambulance. They told me that Husam had been killed and Mahmoud was wounded. My eyes were hurt, and I don't know if I'll be able to see again.

I don't know why the helicopters fired at us. We weren't close to any target, and only my friends and I were in the street at the time. Just now I was told that I'm going to a hospital in Saudi Arabia today or tomorrow.

Lu'ai Osama Rajab Subuh, 10, is a pupil and a resident of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. His testimony was given to ‘Atef Abu a-Rub by telephone on 12 Jan. '09.