April 24, 2024

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After 10 years of trying, a Palestinian woman gave birth to twins. They were killed by an Israeli raid

After 10 years of trying, a Palestinian woman gave birth to twins.  They were killed by an Israeli raid

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — It took 10 years and three rounds of in vitro fertilization for Rania Abu Anza to become pregnant, and only seconds later to lose her five-month-old twins, a boy and a girl.

An Israeli strike hit her extended family's home in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah late Saturday, killing her children, husband and 11 other relatives, and leaving nine others missing under the rubble, according to survivors and local health officials.

She had woken up around 10pm to breastfeed the boy, Naim, and returned to sleep with him in one arm and Wisam, the girl, in the other. Her husband was sleeping next to them.

The explosion came after an hour and a half. The house collapsed.

“I screamed for my children and my husband,” she said on Sunday, crying and holding her baby blanket to her chest. They are all dead. “Their father took them and left me behind.”

She closed her eyes, leaned her head against the wall, and patted the package in a soothing gesture that she finally had the opportunity to give.

Israeli air strikes have regularly bombed crowded family homes since the beginning of the year The war in GazaEven in Rafah, which Israel declared a safe zone in October but is now the next target of its devastating ground offensive.

The strikes often come without warning, usually in the middle of the night.

Israel says it is trying to avoid harming civilians and blames the deaths on the armed group Hamas because it deploys fighters, tunnels and rocket launchers in densely populated residential areas. But the army rarely comments on individual strikes that often kill women and children.

Mourners carry the bodies of Palestinian twins killed in an Israeli raid on a house in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Sunday, March 3, 2024. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

The army did not comment on this attack on Sunday, but said that it “follows international law and takes possible precautions to mitigate the harm to civilians.”

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Among the 14 dead in Abu Anza's house were six children and four women, according to Dr. Marwan Al-Hams, director of the hospital to which the bodies were taken. In addition to her husband and children, Rania also lost her sister, nephew, pregnant cousin, and other relatives.

Farouk Abu Anza, one of his relatives, said that about 35 people were residing in the house, some of whom were displaced from other areas. He added that they are all civilians, most of them are children, and that none of them are armed.

Rania and her husband Wissam, both 29, spent a decade trying to get pregnant. Two rounds of IVF failed, but after the third round, she learned she was pregnant early last year. The twins were born on October 13.

She added that her husband, a day laborer, was so proud that he insisted on naming the girl after him.

“I didn't get enough of them,” she said. “I swear I couldn't get enough of them.”

Less than a week ago, Hamas-led militants stormed southern Israel in a surprise attack, wreaking havoc on local communities, killing about 1,200 people – most of them civilians – and taking about 250 hostage, including Children and newborns.

Israel responded b One of the bloodiest and most destructive Military campaigns in modern history. The war resulted in the deaths of more than 30,000 Palestinians, according to statistics Ministry of Health in Gaza. About 80% of Gaza's 2.3 million people have fled their homes, and a quarter of the population faces famine.

The ministry said last month that more than 12,300 Palestinian children and teenagers were killed in the war. About 43% of the total toll. Women and children together make up three-quarters of the dead. The Ministry does not differentiate between civilians and combatants in its statistics.

Israel claims to have killed more than 10,000 Hamas fighters, but has not provided evidence.

Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli raid on a residential building in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Sunday, March 3, 2024. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli raid on a residential building in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Sunday, March 3, 2024. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

Humanitarian workers say that the war has turned life for the surviving children into hell, with some of them in northern Gaza now out of care.

“The feeling of helplessness and despair among parents and doctors when they realize that life-saving aid, just a few kilometers away, is out of reach, must be unbearable, but even worse are the cries of pain of these children who are slowly dying under the eyes of the world,” said the Regional Director. For UNICEF, Adele Khader, in a statement on Sunday.

Until Saturday, Abu Anza's family was relatively lucky. Rafah survived Massive destruction in northern Gaza and the southern city of Khan Yunis, where Israeli tanks and ground forces clashed with militants piece by piece after waves of air strikes.

Rafah is also located in the shrinking area of ​​the Gaza Strip, where Humanitarian aid can still be delivered.

But Israel said that the Rafah crossing would be next, and nearly 1.5 million people who took refuge there would be transferred, without specifying their whereabouts.

“We have no rights,” Rania said. “I lost the people who were dearest to me. I don't want to live here. I want to get out of this country. I'm tired of this war.”

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Magdy reported from Cairo.

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Complete AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.