A devastated dad from Sheffield is heartbroken with grief today after losing 11 relatives in an Israeli air strike on Gaza.
Palestinian man Musheir El-Farra, who has lived in Sheffield for 25 years, has lost his second cousin and many of his family – including five little children – after their homes were hit by Israeli missiles as slept.
The 52-year-old, of Heeley, said they were killed and injured –wearing only pyjamas – as they tried to flee their flat in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.
Musheir is chairman of Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign and spoke at a city centre rally on Saturday.
He has lost relatives in the conflict before but never on such a scale.
Among the dead are his second cousin Abdul Malik El-Farra, 62, and children aged four, seven, eight, 11 and 12.
Five other relatives, including second cousin Mahmoud El-Farra, are fighting for life in intensive care.
Musheir, a civil engineering consultant, who moved to the UK to study at university, said the family was sleeping when their building was hit by a first ‘warning’ missile.
“They got up and dressed in their pyjamas and they tried to run away,” he said.
“But as they got to the ground floor they were hit by a second rocket and killed.
“The others were running, and were about 40 metres away from the building when the third missile was launched and it hit them.
“Initially nine of them died from my two second cousins’ families, and others died later in hospital. Five of them were children.
“People in the neighbourhood came out to carry the dead, and they were injured and killed between the second and third missiles.”
“These people have the most sophisticated weapons with the most sophisticated viewing equipment,” he said. “Why did they do that? I don’t understand.
Dad-of-two Musheir learnt of the attack from a friend’s Facebook message before speaking to a relative in Gaza and discovering the full extent of the tragedy.