Eid in Gaza: ‘There were kids torn to pieces’

Note: This post contains excerpts from a report by Sudarsan Raghavan, William Booth and Ruth Eglash. You can read the full report here.


Shifa Hospital in Gaza City received the dead and the wounded after rocket attacks on Eid. (Max Becherer for The Washington Post)

At Gaza's Shifa Hospital on Monday, chaotic scenes unfolded as the dead and the wounded arrived, some by ambulance, some carried in the arms of relatives. One woman was shaking uncontrollably and screaming, “My brother, my brother."  One man was crying in front of the mangled corpse of his father.

On the first day of Eid, which marks the end of a holy month of fasting, celebrations were absent from most streets in Gaza. Instead, attacks reportedly killed 18 people and injured 70. The relative calm that had taken over Gaza early Monday was gone.


The wounded were rushed to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. (Max Becherer for The Washington Post)

Naji al-Deen was seated on a chair, staring blankly, his clothes covered in blood.

Like hundreds who had arrived at the hospital, he was from nearby al-Shati camp, also called Beach Camp, a seaside neighborhood filled with refugees from the 1948 war that created the Israeli state. On Monday, it was a death zone. Children had been playing on a portable swing set, as well as in the tree-lined street, witnesses said. Around 4:30 p.m., the blast occurred.

“It was Eid and the children wanted to play,” said Deen, his voice cracking. “Then we heard the explosion.  I saw my son running covered in blood. There were kids torn to pieces.”


Families mourn and bury their young ones after rocket attacks in Gaza. (Max Becherer for The Washington Post)

Deen said he carried his son in his arms to Shifa Hospital, where he was being treated for his injuries. At least seven children were killed, witnesses said.

Reporters said that a shell or rocket also hit a facility in the hospital compound but that there was no serious damage and that it was unclear whether there were any deaths or injuries.

Hamas officials blamed Israeli airstrikes for the blasts at the hospital and at Beach Camp. A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces denied firing at the hospital and the refugee camp and attributed the explosions to failed rocket launches by Gaza militants.

Instead of celebrations of Eid, some Gaza streets were flooded with mourners participating in funerals.

Still, Palestinians tried to observe their holy day. Some held their early morning prayer during the first day of Eid inside a destroyed mosque.


A group of Palestinians prays in a destroyed mosque in Gaza. (Eyad Baba/Associated Press)
Swati G. Sharma is a digital editor for the World and National Security and previously worked for the Opinions section.
SECTION: {section=world, subsection=null}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=5, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=5, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Comments
SECTION: {section=world, subsection=null}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=5, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=5, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Show Comments
Most Read World
Next Story
Adam Taylor · July 28