“Oh, God! I have never seen such a terrible scene,” cried Kayed Abu Aukal.
The emergency doctor could not believe himself seeing the remains of what was days back Shahd, a full-fleshed 4-year-old Palestinian girl.
She died when an Israeli shell was fired at the backyard of her home in the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Ghazzah, where she was playing. When her parents attempted to rush to the rescue of their kid, who fell to the ground amid a pool of her blood, volleys of Israeli bullets kept them a distance. For the next five days Shahd’s body was left lying in the open for dogs to tear out.
“The dogs did leave one single part of the poor baby’s body intact,” said a tearful Abu Aukal. “We have seen heart-breaking scenes over the past 18 days. We picked up children whose bodies were torn or burnt, but nothing like this.” For five days Shahd’s brother, Matar, and cousin, Mohamed, tried in vain to reach her body. Every time, the Israeli occupation forces fired at them. Seeing the body of the little girl being torn to pieces by the assaulting dogs, the two made one final attempt; it turned out to be their last. Israeli bullets pierced their bodies were pierced before they could reach Shahd’s torn limbs, joining a long list of more than 1400 Palestinians killed by Israel since December 27.
Omran Zayda, a young neighbor, said the Israelis knew very well what they were doing. “They chased her family and prevented them from reaching her body, knowing that the dogs would eat it,” he said. “They are not just killing our children, they are intentionally doing so in the most heinous and inhuman ways.” Zayda said words, and even cameras, cannot describe the horrific scene. “You can never imagine what the dogs have done to her innocent body,” he said, fighting back tears.
Many Palestinians insist Shahd was not the first or only such case. In Jabalya, when Abd Rabu’s family was trying to bury three of its dead, the Israeli forces started firing at them, witnesses said. They then released their dogs at the bodies, deserted by mourners who sought shelter from the Israeli gunfire, they added. “What happened was awful and unthinkable,” Saad AbdRabu, the deceased boys’ uncle, said. “Our sons died before our eyes and we were even prevented from burying them,” he cried. “The Israelis just released their dogs at their bodies, as if they have not done enough.”