Israel paints Palestinian Mothers’ Day with Blood

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Dr Aayesha Soni

Dhu al-Qa'dah 08, 1445 2024-05-16

Daily News Analysis

by Dr Aayesha Soni

“Every 10 minutes a child is killed or wounded (in Gaza). They are protected under the laws of war, and yet they are ones who are disproportionately paying the ultimate price,” said UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk.

“The latest images of a premature child taken from the womb of her dying mother, of the adjacent two houses where 15 children and five women were killed—this is beyond warfare.”

These harrowing images, reaching our screens daily from the streets of Gaza and now Rafah, have led to an incorrigible jolting of the moral conscience of millions of people globally.

Israel has decimated the boundaries of international humanitarian laws, and women and children have paid the highest price.

In January 2024, UN Women released a report titled, “Gender Alert: The Gendered Impact of the Crisis in Gaza”.

It addressed Israel’s unprecedented targeting of civilians over the preceding three months.

The report found that around 70% of people Israel has killed in Gaza are women and children.

It means two mothers are killed every hour since the beginning of Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza.

Two mothers per hour and a child every ten minutes—these “fancy” statistics aim to create a comprehensible understanding of the scale of Israeli destruction.

What does it actually mean?

It means that we have failed the people of Gaza.

UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous defined this failure when she said, “We have seen once more that women and children are the first victims of conflict… the generational trauma inflicted on the Palestinian people over these… days and counting, will haunt all of us for generations to come”.

While all eyes are on Gaza and the western regimes and their media outlets see this conflict as starting on October 7, the brutal occupation of Palestinian land and civilian suffering at the hands of Israel has spanned 76 long years.

Organisations such as Save the Children, Defense of Children International (DCI) and The Palestinian Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, have been tracking the arrest and detention of Palestinian children in Israeli jails for years.

Testimonies and first-hand accounts document that the practice of detaining children was a long-standing human rights concern.

Israel does not release numbers of detainees in its military prison system.

It is the only country in the world that automatically and systematically prosecutes children in military courts.

Save the Children, that has been present in Israel/Palestine since 1953, released a report last July.

It reported that during arrest, 42% of children were injured and 65% were arrested during the night.

The majority of children experienced appalling levels of physical and emotional abuse, including being beaten (86%).

Another 60% of children experienced solitary confinement and 70% said they suffered from hunger.

The most common ‘crime’ these children are believed to have committed was “rock-throwing” against the Israeli Occupation Forces.

With Palestinian children frequently the target of Israel’s apartheid policies, it can only be imagined what the toll on their mothers has been.

Emerging evidence of “mass graves” in Gaza in recent weeks only serves to strengthen the case against Israel’s inhumanity.

The recovery of hundreds of bodies “buried deep in the ground and covered with waste” at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, central Gaza, and at Al-Shifa Hospital in the north make it difficult for one to sleep at night.

I recall seeing one of the images from the emergency workers who uncovered these graves- baby hand ties were pointed out.

Another video shows a Palestinian mother desperately rummaging through rubble, looking for any signs of her children still being alive— her screams of agony no less haunting from tens of other videos showing similar scenes.

My mum and I found it difficult to celebrate Mother’s Day this year.

We were acutely aware of what our counterparts in Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territories are encountering.

They are challenging evil and not allowing Israel to continue with impunity its wanton destruction and death.

It is an obligation on all of us to join this struggle.

Dr Aayesha Soni is a specialist neurologist and medical volunteer with the Gift of the Givers.

Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use
Copyrights © 1436 AH
Sign In
Forgot Password?
Not a Member? Signup