World Bulletin / News Desk
Israel air strike killed five Palestinian sisters sleeping in home next to mosque in Gaza, British report said.
"One of the mosque walls Israel air strike hit collapsed on to their small asbestos-roofed home and they were all killed in their beds", British newspaper Independent reported.
"The eldest sister, Tahrir, was 17 years old, the youngest, Jawaher, just four."
"They grow up day after day and night after night. Within a second, I have lost them," the girls' father, Anwar Balousha, told the paper yesterday.
The 37-year-old, along with another three of his children, was himself injured in the attack on the densely populated Jabalya refugee camp.
The funerals of the sisters – Tahrir, 17; Ikram, 15; Samar, 12; Dina eight; and Jawaher, four – were attended by family members and thousands of mourners.
"But with space running out in the cemetery, the five girls had to be buried in just three graves, one for the eldest and the others forced to share", said the report.
"Mr Balousha wept down the phone, saying he felt "how a father who lost his five daughters would feel". With recorded readings from the Koran audible in the background, along with occasional explosions in the distance, he added: "It is the will of Allah. We are believers in God."
As Israeli strikes continued, Ibrahim Balousha, the uncle of the dead sisters said "We are just people, human beings and not animals."
After the funeral, 16-year-old Iman, who was briefly buried in the rubble of the family home but survived, described her unlucky siblings' dying moments. "I told my sisters, you will be martyrs, this is the end."
UNRWA spokesman Christopher Gunness told the paper, "The killing of these young girls is another tragic illustration that this bombardment is exacting a terrible price on innocent civilians. As with the killing of UNRWA students [on Saturday] we hope there will be a thorough and impartial and transparent investigation.
"Most important of all there has to be accountability. We need to know if international law was violated and if so, by whom," he added.
Last Mod: 30 Aralık 2008, 17:03