GAZA CITY — “Don’t be afraid,” Ahmed al-Mansi tells his two daughters, trying to keep their attention away from the sound of warplanes flying over their home in Gaza. “Keep playing. Don’t be scared. It’s OK.”
In his daughters’ vlog, we see al-Mansi spend the days leading up to Eid giving his children new clothes, toys, and sweets, hoping to distract them from the war raging outside. Two days after filming the vlog, the 35-year-old dad was killed in an IDF strike.
Gaza is roughly the size of Philadelphia and one of the most densely populated places in the world. During the course of an 11-day war earlier this year, it was hit with an estimated 1,500 missiles. These attacks levelled buildings and destroyed homes.
In return, Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israel, most of which were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system.
The war was sparked by tensions around an Israeli Supreme Court case that will decide the fate of Palestinian families living in occupied East Jerusalem. The UN’s human rights office spokesperson Rupert Colville said the potential displacement of the Palestinian families to give their homes to Israeli settlers is “prohibited under international humanitarian law and may amount to a war crime.”
All told, 260 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed during the 11 days of fighting. In the latest episode of Source Material, we uncover the tragic, human consequences of the Israel-Palestine conflict through the death of a father, Ahmed al-Mansi.