"I have no one else but him. I can’t believe what happened and I don’t want to believe.”
Trigger Warning: This story mentions war violence that some readers may find disturbing.
A Palestinian woman named Najwa Abu Hamadeh welcomed her only child after 15 years and five rounds of IVF treatment. It only took a missile explosion to steal her son away.
She lost her 18-year-old son Khalil as Israel and Palestinian militants reached an agreement on a cease-fire, mediated by Egypt, that has put an end to the most recent round of warfare in Gaza, according to NBC News.
“Yesterday, my son and I were having dinner,” Hamadeh, 48, who lives in the crowded Jebaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, said. “He quickly went out of the house before we finished dinner” to join his friends.
Almost immediately, “there was a strong bombardment” that shook her home, she said. As soon as she heard the explosion, she ran out of her home, screaming out her son's name. She then ran into a neighbor who was looking for her son Ahmed, also known as Hamada.
It took five rounds of IVF treatments for a Palestinian woman to conceive her only child.— NBC News World (@NBCNewsWorld) August 9, 2022
The 18-year-old was killed by a missile in the latest Israeli-Palestinian fighting. https://t.co/0n9lGko2Oq
“My son Hamada! My son Hamada!” the neighbor was yelling, she said. “Hamada and my son went out together.” They soon realized that the missile exploded in front of a supermarket near their patched-together homes.
“When I went out on the street, I searched for his clothes … I searched for him on the ground,” Hamadeh said. “The street was full of dust.” It didn't take her long to find her son's body. “He is my only son,” she said.
The teenager was one of five people killed on that spot. Hamadeh was preparing for the future when the tragic incident occurred. She was planning on getting her son married and welcoming her grandkids but now that dream will never be fulfilled. “I wanted him to graduate quickly so that I could find a bride for him," she said.
“The first thing I saw was the body of my son’s best friend,” Hamadeh told Al Jazeera. "That’s when I screamed and knew that my son might also have been killed. Minutes later, I found my son. He was soaked in his blood and lying on the ground. I was screaming so hard, calling for an ambulance.”
"I have no one else but him. I can’t believe what happened and I don’t want to believe,” she added.
Ceasefire holds between Israel and Palestine overnight, conflict ends after three days of violence— Transcontinental Times (@Transctimes) August 8, 2022
44 deaths ,more than 300 people wounded: Palestinian authority#Ceasefire #Israel #Palestine pic.twitter.com/RFQ6z1GTtS
Following weeks of rising tensions, Israeli jets started bombing Gaza on Friday in an offensive they claimed was directed at the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 46 Palestinians were killed over the course of three days, including 16 children and four women, while more than 300 were injured.
However, the clash, which for a brief moment appeared to be heading into all-out war, did not result in any Israeli casualties or significant injuries.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Ilia Yefimovich