Gaza police forces and their bereaved families rebuild one year on

 Rami Abu al-Sheikh’s parents outside their home in the Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza.

Rami Almeghari writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, LIve from Palestine, 4 March 2010:

Rami Abu al-Sheikh’s parents and siblings still remember how caring and tender their son was before he was killed during Israel’s invasion of Gaza last winter. Rami was 27 years old and was one of hundreds of Gaza police personnel killed by Israeli air strikes during the 23-day assault. He was killed at the main Gaza Strip police station located on Salah al-din Street, the territory’s main road.

“He headed for his work in the morning of Saturday, 27 December 2009. At 11:20am, we heard sporadic explosions around. We got concerned about him, so I began calling his cellular but it was turned off. Right after the shelling stopped, I rushed to the police where my son was present, yet I was not able to make sure if he was alive,” recalled his father, Suleiman Abu al-Sheikh.

Rami was the eldest son and had the closest relationship to his father. Sitting in the bedroom where Rami used to live with his wife and four-month-old baby, Suleiman explained that his son “used to have a high sense of responsibility toward me, his mother, two brothers and sister.”

Recounting the story of his son’s death, Suleiman recalled that after they heard about the shelling of different police posts around Gaza, he started to search for his son at the hospital. “At the morgue of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the central Gaza Strip, I began looking at the dead bodies of many other police members. I recognized my the pants that my son was wearing that awful day [on one of the bodies]. His face was totally distorted.”

Rami’s mother was initially reluctant to speak about the day her son was killed. Umm Rami explained that “On that sad day, Rami accompanied me to a weaving shop, where I used to do some work. About a couple of hours later, as the bombings grew louder, I felt like my heart would pop out and I became very concerned about my son. Later on in the evening, I realized he was killed.”

She added, “All I can say is that I do hope that peace prevails and that all mothers here and even in Israel won’t lose their loved ones.”

Originally posted at http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11116.shtml

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