Nazi killed my father before my eyes

  • Even as a child in Gaza I understood that timing is priceless.

    That the difference of a second or a minute could determine whether you live or die. Whether you make it home safely or whether you’re killed by the bullet of an Israeli sniper.

    In Gaza, our lives are lived by the Israeli military’s timing.

    On 18 May 2004, I was in my family home in Tel al-Sultan, part of the city of Rafah close to the sea, nestled in the bosom of my aunt and likely avoiding my mother’s nagging to drink my morning cup of milk.

    Though I was only four, I remember impatiently waiting for my father to come home, because he had promised he would return with sweets and hugs for me.

    Yet, in these small moments of happiness, Israel found a way to inject its cruelty so that loss would become a lifelong companion.

    Only moments later, the Israeli occupation army invaded Tel al-Sultan. It was in these seconds that my future life was determined, when an Israeli sniper shot my defenseless father, who had no idea a military invasion was occurring.

    The Israeli soldiers let him bleed to death on the ground. They denied the ambulance entry into the area where he was shot and threatened to shoot anyone who moved toward him.

    Three of our neighbors were shot and wounded in this way.

    A bloody, horrible scene I witnessed firsthand, and one that I haven’t been able to erase since.

    My father was wearing baby blue shorts.

    Since then, I can’t see that color and not think of it as the color of death.

    The Israeli invasion continued until 24 May, killing at least 60 Palestinians. The bodies of many of those killed, including my father’s, had to be stored inside produce and ice-cream freezers) because the occupation army restricted movement.

    My fifth birthday fell just seven days after my father was killed.

    (📸 Taiseer Kalloub / photo courtesy of family)

    From “Israel killed my father — before my eyes” by Sahar Taiseer Kalloub. Read the full article at

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