Airstrike kills renowned doctor in Gaza and relatives who sought shelter together

by Ryan Lee
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In an unfortunate turn of events, Shaymma Alloh received a devastating call from Gaza: her family’s shelter, housing 26 relatives, was struck by a missile. Tragically, among the casualties on late Saturday was her brother, Hammam Alloh, a 36-year-old esteemed doctor. Hammam had been working at Shifa Hospital, now surrounded by Israeli forces, in northern Gaza.

Hammam, along with several relatives, had taken refuge in his in-laws’ house near the hospital, having no alternative shelter. The aftermath of the strike left a horrifying scene where family members discovered their loved ones’ bodies – one was horrifically mutilated by the explosion, while two others were found under debris.

Shaymma, speaking to The Big Big News, confirmed the deaths of her father and two in-laws from her U.S. residence. She opted not to disclose her specific location due to security concerns.

Hammam, a notable kidney specialist at Gaza’s primary hospital, had been featured in interviews with the American media outlet “Democracy Now!” discussing the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Despite the evacuation of thousands from Shifa Hospital following its encirclement by Israeli troops, Hammam, along with hundreds of patients and displaced individuals seeking refuge, chose to remain.

Hammam, in his final interview with the outlet on October 31, expressed his commitment to his patients over his own safety. His death, along with those of thousands of civilians including women and children in Gaza, raises significant questions about the conduct of the war. Israel asserts its focus on Hamas targets while minimizing civilian harm and accuses Hamas of using civilians as shields. Conversely, Palestinians and rights groups accuse Israel of indiscriminate civilian harm.

Last month, Israel advised Palestinians to evacuate to Gaza’s southern region amidst a ground invasion. Daily windows for civilian escape from northern Gaza were also arranged by Israel. However, many civilians, like Shaymma’s family, remained in the north due to lack of housing options in the south.

Shaymma learned of the tragedy from her sister in Qatar, who had heard about the neighborhood being targeted. Unable to contact her brother or father, she finally reached her mother, Haifa, who was in shock and hiding nearby. Upon inspecting the house, Haifa found Hammam’s body among the rubble, alongside two severely injured men. The body of Hammam’s father-in-law, with a fatal wound, and their father, found under a concrete wall’s remains, were also discovered. Overwhelmed with grief, Shaymma could not recount further details.

The Israeli military stated that it could only comment on specific strikes if given exact coordinates, which Shaymma was unable to provide.


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