7 January 2009 – The Mattar family

6 January 2012 | Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

“It would be great if someone could take me to the dessert and leave me there, that way I wouldn’t have to see people”

Mahmoud Mattar (Photo: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights)

At around 09:30 on 7 January 2009, Israeli forces targeted the al-Taqwa Mosque in the Sheikh Radwan district of Gaza City. The mosque was 150 metres from the home of Mahmoud Mattar, who was 14 at the time. Having run to the scene of the attack, Mahmoud was present when two further strikes hit the area, killing two 15 year old boys, including one of Mahmoud’s school friends. Mahmoud was thrown unconscious and suffered severe burns and shrapnel wounds. He has been left totally blind as a result.

Mahmoud tells of the changes in his life since the attack: “I used to go by myself to the sea. I was independent. Now I need someone to go with me everywhere I go. I go out maybe once every two or three months, I spend my days inside.” Mahmoud’s self awareness of his injuries means he is now afraid to go out and be amongst people. “I don’t want to go out due to the comments I get from children. Anytime I do I cover my face with my clothes and dark glasses”, says Mahmoud. “The glasses broke yesterday.”

His isolation has left him with a bleak outlook on life. “It would be great if someone could take me to the dessert and leave me there, that way I wouldn’t have to see people.”

The emotional and physical scars of 7 January 2009 have taken their toll on Mahmoud. Keeping his head lowered into his chest and pausing to catch his breath as a result of breathing problems related to transplanted bone matter in his nose, Mahmoud says he is not the young man who spoke with such optimism for the future, in spite of his injuries, three years ago. “When I was in Egypt for medical treatment and when I got back to Gaza everything was calm and people were so supportive of me. But things changed, people started fighting and it’s always noisy. The change you see is out of my hands.”

Mahmoud has been left anxious and short tempered. “I have become very nervous since the attack. If someone is kidding with me I will try to hit them with anything at hand,” says Mahmoud. His anger has resulted in problems in school, for which he was suspended for a year. “As a result of my rushed reaction to incidents there are problems between me and the teachers as well as other students.”

Mahmoud has also had to adapt to the new challenges he faces, including learning brail, which took him a year of dedicated study.  Mahmoud was in Grade 9 at the time of the attack three years ago, he is now in Grade 10.

Mahmoud’s anxiety complicates his family life with his parents and siblings as well as his school life. “Mahmoud is a good guy,” says his father Hani, “but he can be problematic, including being violent with me. But I understand, I am patient with him.” His mother Randa, 38 adds; “he can be very destructive, including taking his anger out physically on the home or his little brother.”

Speaking of the future, Mahmoud says: “before the attack I played lots of sport and I had wanted to be a PE teacher or to open a sports club. But all these hopes are destroyed. Now my only wish is to leave my formal education and focus on my religion and learn the Koran”.

Mahmoud hopes to eventually receive surgery to clear his breathing, as well as reconstructive plastic surgery, which he says has been promised to him by many charity organisations, all of whom have failed to deliver; “If I could get the surgery I would be more comfortable amongst people.”

Like any young man, he also has dreams to be married, but his parents say there is no room in the house for another young family.

Mahmoud is dismissive regarding the prospect of justice before Israeli courts. “I don’t expect the case to be successful. The Israeli’s are liars; they attack children and are careless in what they target.”

PCHR submitted a criminal complaint to the Israeli authorities on behalf of Mahmoud Mattar on 30 December 2009. To-date, no response has been received.

The series of narratives:

6 January 2009: Al-Dayah family
5 January 2009: Amal al-Samouni
4 January 2009: The Abdel Dayem family
3 January 2009: Motee’ and Isma’il as-Selawy
2 January 2009: Eyad al-Astal
1 January 2009: The Nasla family
31 December 2008: The Abu Areeda family
30 December 2008: The Hamdan family
29 December 2008: Balousha family
28 December 2008: The Abu Taima family
27 December 2008: The Al Ashi family

via 7 January 2009 – The Mattar family.


Chicago and Nabi Saleh Honor Gaza’s Children with Mass Balloon Release – must see video

Related: Never Cast Lead Again – Memorial

On the third anniversary of Gaza Invasion, Chicago and Nabi Saleh Honor Gaza’s Children with Mass Balloon Release

CHICAGO, IL (December 31, 2011) — Over two hundred people gathered to honor Gaza’s children with a mass release of balloons marking the third anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s brutal military invasion of Gaza. After marching from Millennium Park to Grant Park, participants released one balloon for each of the 344 children killed during the 22-day attack on Gaza from December 27, 2008 — January 18, 2009. In a parallel event, families in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh also gathered for a balloon release. In response, the Israeli army fired tear gas and mustard gas at those who participated in the action, including children, and arrested at least seven .

The Chicago event was organized by Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights (CMPR).”We organized this event to express our grief over deaths of these children and celebrate the resilience of the people of Gaza,” said CMPR member Ishan Chakrabarti. Tied to each balloon was a card with the name and age of each child killed in the Gaza Massacre. The balloons and ribbon were 100% biodegradable and the cards were made from Lotka paper embedded with flowerseeds. “Wherever they land, these cards will plant seeds in the ground that will bloom into beautiful flowers to pay tribute to the memory of each child,” said Chakrabarti.

At the event local community members performed selections from “The Gaza Monologues,” a collection of monologues written by Palestinian children who survived Israel’s assault. Immediately before releasing the balloons, participants also observed a moment of silence.

Prior to the Chicago commemoration, the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh gathered for a parallel balloon release. The Israeli army responded to the balloon release by firing tear gas and mustard gas at participants, including children. They arrested at least seven, including two internationals. Palestinian activist Amra Amra said that during the event, “Five year old Samer asked his mom if he would be a martyr like Mustafa Tamimi.” On December 9, 2011, Mustafa Tamimi was murdered when the Israeli army shot a tear gas canister at his face. Tamimi became the first person to die while participating in Nabi Saleh’s weekly nonviolent demonstrations against Israeli annexation of their land. During these demonstrations, the Israeli often uses tear gas, mustard gas, skunk spray, and violent arrests against the participants. Of Samer’s question, Amra said, “These are not normal questions children ask their parents! Yet it is normal questions for children living under occupation.”

Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights CMPR is a diverse, youth-led movement advocating for Palestinian human rights, civil rights and equality through citywide educational events, grassroots campaigns and creative, direct action.
 Many CMPR members are involved in other Chicagoland Palestinian solidarity organizations, including several chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine.

For who does not understand the need or concept of resistance of Palestine, recommended read: History of Resistance | The Eagle of Palestine

Israel is not looking for Peace

History of Israeli Genocide

Essential Read: The Promised Land ~ by Jad KhairAllah



Martyred By Israeli Occupation Attacks

انّا للہ و انّا الیه راجعون

May Allah Subhana wa Ta’ ala grant the Shuhada Jannatul Firdaus, and ease it for their families, loved ones and anyone around them. Allahumma Ameen ya Rabbil Alameen. ‘ Inna Lillahi wa ‘ Inna ‘ Ilayhi Raji’un, Allahu Akbar


* The list of shuhada does not display, the numerous victims of the zionist occupation which are undocumented by media. Nor it displays the victims of the “silent onslaught” due to restrictions of movement, ability to go to hospitals for treatment or life saving surgery, due to lack of medication because of the blockades and so on. For example: The Slow Motion Genocide by the Siege on Gaza only, killed 600 patients since Gaza got under Israeli Siege.

For an overview of All Israeli Massacres Palestinians go here

Neither does this list, display the avoidable mortality. A clear and statistical factual evidence, about the number of deaths due to indecent ruling by occupation forces. For even an occupier has obligations under International Laws, Geneva Convention and the Hague regulations, which it is neglecting. These circumstances, together with deliberate policies of the occupier to neglect and even deny every basic human right, severes avoidable mortality which is totally silenced by media or reporting organisations. While in the Holocaust, 1 on 6 Jewish people directly died of deliberate neglect, so if we believe the facts over 1 million due to avoidable mortality, neither should these same circumstances be ignores which are ongoing in Palestine. For this report displays a avoidable morality of at least 0,5 million Palestinians.

How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all.