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Humans of Gaza: Sidra Hassouna, 7-year-old whose body was dismembered  

By Humaira Ahad

The graphic image of a seven-year-old’s mutilated body hanging by a wall of a damaged building in the Gaza Strip with her legs severed shocked the world last week.

Sidra Hassouna, a resident of northern Gaza, had sought refuge with her family in the southern end of the besieged strip, temporarily declared a “safe zone” by the occupying regime.

On February 14, the regime launched a major overnight attack on Rafah that killed more than a hundred Palestinians sheltering in makeshift tents and deserted streets.

On the same fateful night, a missile struck the place where the Hassouna family had sought refuge, killing the whole family and tearing the body of their little daughter into pieces.

The lifeless body of little Sidra, who wished to become a science teacher, was identified by the Palestinian ambassador to the UK, Husam Zamlot, who said the young girl was his wife’s cousin.

“This is seven-year-old Sidra, the cousin of my wife. The impact of the Israeli missile was so powerful it flung her out, leaving her mutilated body dangling from the ruins of the destroyed building in Rafah 48 hours ago,” he wrote on X, previously Twitter.

Sidra was killed with her twin sister Suzan and their 15-month-old brother Malik. Their parents and grandparents also died in the airstrike, wiping away the entire family.

“My wife’s aunt Suzan, her husband Fouzy Hassouna, two of their sons, Muhammad and Karam, Karam's wife Amouna and her three children (7-year-old twins Sidra and Suzan, and 15-month-old Malik) were all killed,” Zamlot said.

“The family had been displaced from the north of Gaza and took shelter in Rafah. We will be relentless until those responsible [are] brought to justice.”

Expressing condolences to Zomlot, former leader of the UK’s Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn voiced his disgust at the genocide being committed by Israel.

“My dear Husam and family, I am shocked angry and appalled at your loss and the thousands more in this disgusting onslaught on the Palestinian people,” the outspoken British politician wrote.

As the news of Sidra’s death spread on social media, a wave of shock and heartbreak reverberated.

The photo and videos of her lifeless body, circulated by netizens, illustrated the horrors faced by the Palestinian children as Israel continued bombarding the territory for more than four months.

Angry netizens called for accountability of the regime’s war crimes in Gaza.

“We are not equal. It’s all about the skin tone. Sidra Hassouna Habibi, you are now in a better world,” wrote Proudarabiye, sharing a picture of Sidra and her sister, both wearing the same jacket.

Stephen Corry, a British indigenous rights activist, considered the 6-year-old Hind Rajab’s audio and 7-year-old Sidra Hassouna’s graphic image as the most shocking records of genocide ever recorded in history.

“Will the voice of Hind Rajab (6) and photo of Sidra Hassouna (7) now symbolize- for the world- the Genocide of Palestinians? They are among the most moving and shocking records of genocide ever recorded,” Corry wrote.


“Say her name Sidra Hassouna. I am so sorry dearest angel. We have failed you. We don’t know how to stop it. Watching her hanging with her shredded legs will haunt me until the day I die,” wrote Rachida Benamar, a lawyer and an entrepreneur on her X account.

“Our hearts are bursting out of our chests. I am terrified for humanity.”

Israeli regime has been planning a full-fledged ground offensive in Rafah where almost 1.3 million people have taken refuge after being displaced.

Israeli attacks have already killed more than 29,000 people in the coastal strip, including over 12,000 children and an equal number of women.

After being displaced from the other parts of the strip, Gazans have nowhere to flee now.

UN relief chief Martin Griffiths said last week that Palestinians “are the victims of an assault that is unparalleled in its intensity, brutality and scope."

Griffiths said over a million people were "crammed in Rafah, staring death in the face. They have little to eat, hardly any access to medical care, nowhere to sleep, nowhere safe to go.”

Sounding alarm, the UN humanitarian chief said military operations in Rafah “could lead to a slaughter in Gaza. They could also leave an already fragile humanitarian operation at death’s door.” 

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