The Global Day of Parents being observed on Tuesday brings painful memories for Palestinian parents, who lost their children recently in Israeli bombings in Gaza.
Yusuf al-Masri and his wife, proud parents till recently, are sitting near the cupboard of their children Ibraheem, 11, and Marwan, 7, arranging their clothes and smelling their school uniforms.
Mother is yet to believe that she has lost her both beloved sons in the Israeli bombing on May 10.
Both of them were playing with their cousins in the nearby fields awaiting to taste the choicest dishes their mother had prepared for breaking the fast on the 28th day of the holy month of Ramadan.
“We still believe whatever happened was a dream, I see my sons around me all the time, waiting for them join us at the dinner table, but they will return,” said Masri.
He has now decided to hide the clothes of departed children from his wife since her situation is becoming worse.
“I try to keep my grief, but it's not easy to see my wife in pain,” he said with deep bitterness.
Besides losing his two sons, Masri’s brother also lost his son Ahmad, 21, who was preparing for his wedding, daughter Rahaf, and an infant Yazan to the Israeli bombing.
The parents recall innocent mischiefs of their children and the happier times when they were together.
The mother was preparing to arrange their demands of toys for Eid. The new clothes, she had brought for them to wear on Eid are staring at her.
“They were pampered children. All the money I earned was to fulfill their wishes. But they are gone now. The army killed them in cold blood,” Yousef told Anadolu Agency in a breaking voice.
The first Israeli airstrike in Gaza killed 10 Palestinians including five children.
Playing in the filed
Masri’s sons were playing with the horse in the field and their cousin Ahmad, 21, was collecting the harvest. Suddenly, the bombing turned the field into a pool of blood pool.
“Marwan was in first primary grade, he was a quiet boy. His evaluation was always excellent,” said the father, while showing certificates of excellence, he had received from the school.
“His teacher was very sad and troubled. She talked about how it’s very hard to bear the pain of losing her student,” said Masri.
The parents remember fights at the home on the choice of a TV show. The brothers preferred to watch Tom and Jerry and their sisters had their shows.
Masri has also stopped looking at the nearby internet cafe, where Ibraheem was playing internet games or practicing his hobby of working on computers. Palestinian father’s phone is full of games that Ibraheem preferred to play, wishing he returns for a moment to play again.
Born in 2010, after his five sisters, Ibraheem has a favorite for the entire extended family. “We celebrated many days when he was born. His grandmothers prepared many traditional foods for the celebrations,” Yousef said.
This attack by the Israeli army against the Masri family was not the first one.
In the 2014 war, the Israeli forces attacked Yousef's home and destroyed it completely. They lost all the memories including videos of celebrations. Earlier in 2008, as well when they were living on the east of Bit Hanon, their home was attacked and many of the family members were killed or injured.
Masri said he is yet to emotionally compromise that his sons are no more.
“I keep calling them and then I recognize that they have passed away. My message to the world is to stop Israel from fabricating the lies and myths that it has woven to kill our children,” he said.
He said the Israeli government needs to be prosecuted for such heinous crimes of killing innocent children.