• Khan Younis

  • Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 5:25 AM
    Last Update : Tuesday, May 28, 2024 at 8:29 AM

Palestinians Mourn the Destruction of Khan Younis School Destroyed in Israeli Bombing

(AWP) - With heavy footsteps laden with exhaustion, Um Mohammed rushes towards what is left of Haifa Public School in the heart of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, which was destroyed by Israeli bombing.

Like all her neighbours, she graduated from the school, and as she walked closer to the rubble she muttered tearfully, “May God compensate our grief with something better, have mercy on us oh God.”

She explained, “This was my school and the school of my children, my family, and all my neighbours. We all graduated from this school. It is over 80 years old. Scientists such as Dr Farouk Al-Farra, may God rest his soul, graduated from it.”

“How can my heart not ache over this school and all the schools that have been destroyed?” she asked.

The school was built in 1943 and was subjected to a heavy Israeli strike, turning large parts of it into rubble and destroying many of its distinctive features.

The two-floor school was built of hand-carved stone in an Islamic architectural style and had fragrant pink plants and jasmine cascading down its sides, mixed with the aroma of the past and the dazzling Palestinian heritage.

Hosni Saqr Abu Mohammed, a local resident who graduated from the school where his children were still attending, said bitterly, “This was part of our heritage. It dates back to the 1940s. Haifa school in Khan Younis was old and a landmark. What happened to it happened. Me and others will feel heartbroken over it.”

“By God, I was heartbroken, but there’s nothing we can do. My house was burned down, but I was even more upset by [the destruction of] the school. I can rebuild my house, but this school is an old building. How can it be rebuilt as it was?” he asked.

Abu Mohammed questioned what danger a school sheltering thousands of displaced Palestinians posed to justify it being bombed and destroyed by the Israeli army.

The 54-year-old promised to rebuild the school, as he slowly walked towards the rubble, stopping to pick up one of the scattered stones and kissing it.