Israel-Hamas war: Mass graves & a city in Gaza robbed of funeral rites

DEIR-AL-BALAH: It was neither the place nor the time for a correct goodbye, mentioned Omar Dirawi. Not right here, on this dusty discipline strewn with lifeless individuals wrapped in blankets and zipped up in physique luggage. And never now, as Israeli airstrikes crashed round him for the third week, erasing extra of his neighborhood and sundering tons of of households and friendships.
But on this October week in Gaza’s central city of Zawaideh, the 22-year-old Palestinian photojournalist buried 32 members of his household who had been killed in Israeli air raids final Sunday.
Dirawi’s aunts, uncles and cousins from Gaza Metropolis had heeded Israeli navy evacuation orders and brought refuge in his dwelling farther south. Days later Dirawi was unloading their our bodies from the again of a truck, digging a slim trench partitioned with cinder blocks and reciting abbreviated funeral prayers earlier than dusk, when Israeli warplanes screeched and everybody ran indoors. “There’s nothing that feels proper about this,” Dirawi mentioned of the mass burial. “I have never even grieved. However I had no selection. The cemetery was full and there was no area.”Palestinians say this conflict is robbing them not solely of their family members but additionally of the funeral rites that lengthy have supplied mourners some dignity and closure amid insufferable grief. Israeli strikes have killed so many individuals so rapidly that they’ve overwhelmed hospitals and morgues, making the traditional rituals of dying all however unattainable.
An estimated 1,700 individuals stay trapped beneath the rubble as Israel’s air raids impede and imperil civil protection employees, one in all whom was killed throughout a rescue mission Friday. Typically it takes days for medics to get better our bodies. By then corpses are sometimes too swollen and disfigured to be recognizable.
“We have now tons of of individuals being killed on daily basis,” mentioned Inas Hamdan, a Gaza-based communications officer for the UN Palestinian refugee company. “The entire system in Gaza is overwhelmed. Persons are coping with the lifeless nonetheless they’ll.”
The nightmare of ending up as an nameless physique piled up in a morgue or chucked into the filth has more and more haunted Palestinians in Gaza. To extend the probabilities of being recognized in the event that they die, Palestinian households have begun sporting identification bracelets and scrawling names with marker on their youngsters’s legs and arms. In some circumstances, our bodies have decomposed a lot they’re unrecognizable even to their kin. In different circumstances, not a single member of the family could survive to say the lifeless.

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