Nine year-old Mohamed Badran was looking forward to hugging his parents and playing with his six brothers during the three-day annual holiday that follows the holy month of Ramadan. Despite the fact that the Israeli war has devastated any hope of happiness in Gaza, Mohamed remained hopeful.
But days later, with his mother and his uncle standing beside him in Al-Shifa Hospital, Mohammed told MEMO: “All my dreams were shattered after two Israeli tank shells darkened my life and wounded all my brothers.”
After the dawn prayer of the first day of the holiday, Eid Al-Fitr, Mohamed and his family members were sleeping peacefully in their house. Mohamed prepared the new clothes and toys his mother had bought him and his brothers to wear for the holiday.
He went to bed, looking forward to his mother waking him up in the morning. He did not know at that moment he was going to close his eyes forever. Two merciless Israeli tank shells hit his house, destroying his bedroom and wounding him and his six brothers.
“They were sleeping like angels,” Mohamed’s uncle told MEMO. “Their father was preparing to take them outdoors to visit their uncles and aunts. Instead, they were taken to visit the hospital.”
All Mohamed’s clothes were burnt and the toys he bought for Eid torn to pieces. He is unable to see his broken dreams. In fact, he will probably never see his dreams, the faces of his parents, or enjoy the colours of his toys or clothes again.
Mohamed and one of his brothers sustained serious injuries. Although he did not lose his sight, he lost his two eyes. Doctors have said there is a slight opportunity he will be able to see the light again through a donated or artificial eye.
After five of his brothers left the hospital, his mother feels her heart is divided into two parts; one wants to stay with Mohamed and the other with his brother in a different department in the hospital.
In 34 days of war on Gaza, the Israeli occupation has killed around 1,900 Palestinians and wounded around 9,000 others. Most of them, according to UN statistics, were civilians. At least 400 children are among the dead.
Mohamed’s story became well-known to people in Palestine and abroad. Many doctors and charities offered to treat him and help him see light again and hope slowly returned to Mohamed that he would one day see the faces of his parents again.
But amidst this increasing hope, the Israeli occupation killed Mohamed’s father this morning while he was performing the dawn prayer in Al-Qassam Mosque in Al-Nusairat Refugee camp. An Israeli F16 rocket landed during the prayer, killing five and wounding around ten others.
Nidal Badran, Mohamed’s father, was among the dead. Now Mohamed has lost complete hope of seeing his father’s face again.