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Humans of Gaza: Dr. Amin al-Bahiti, cheerful dentist killed while searching for food

By Humaira Ahad

Dr. Amin al-Bahiti, a young and cheerful Palestinian doctor, had a humble dream – opening a dental clinic in his hometown, the Shujaiya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City.

He also wished to see his homeland free from occupation and wanted to contribute towards peace and prosperity in Gaza, the besieged Palestinian territory likened to ‘an open-air concentration camp.”

But like thousands of other young Palestinians, Al-Bahiti did not live to see his dream translate into reality. The 24-year-old dentist and college lecturer was murdered by the Israeli regime.

Al-Bahiti left his home on the morning of November 5 to find food for his starving mother and nine siblings. He never returned. His body was found two days later in the debris of a destroyed building targeted by an Israeli airstrike.

The young man full of dreams and aspirations completed his bachelor’s in dental sciences in 2021. Apart from dental procedures, he also taught dentistry courses at the Al-Azhar University in Gaza.

As a dedicated family man, Al-Bahiti had shouldered the responsibility of supporting his family after his father’s untimely death a few years ago.

The family lived in the Shujaiya neighborhood in eastern Gaza City, once home to 100,000 Palestinians. They were forced to leave when a regime airstrike reduced their house to rubble.

Al-Bahiti and his family took refuge with relatives in the southern part of the besieged territory that was “deemed safe” by the occupation forces. The building where the family was sheltering was razed to the ground by Israeli bombardment, killing all its occupants.

Before the events of October 7, the young doctor was known for his exuberant nature and never-fading smile. He would go out of his way to help and support his family, friends and colleagues.

Al-Bahiti’s cheerful demeanor had made him popular among his students. It was a common sight to see young boys and girls encircling the teacher outside the classroom, eager to take his academic advice.

“My favorite classes at university were taught by Dr. Amin al-Bahtiti. He was always helpful to me,” Tasneem Elholy, a dentistry student from Gaza, wrote on social media.

The young dentist was forced to desperately search for food for his starving family amid the Israeli aerial blitz. At least 32 people, 28 of them children, have died of starvation in the besieged Gaza Strip since October 7, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

Starvation has been used as a tool by the Israeli regime since the start of the genocidal war on the besieged territory seven months ago. The regime cut off all supplies from the coastal strip, including food, water, electricity, fuel and aid on October 9, leaving Palestinians to fight starvation and death.

On Thursday, the UN relief chief issued a warning about the harrowing living conditions in Gaza.

"Civilians in Gaza are being starved and killed, and we are prevented from helping them," Martin Griffiths wrote on X, painting a grim picture of the situation in Gaza.

Griffiths said, "Nothing and no one has been allowed in or out of Gaza" for the past three days.

"The closure of the crossings means no fuel. It means no trucks, no generators, no water, no electricity, and no movement of people or goods," the UN relief chief stressed.

"Our supplies are stuck. Our teams are stuck,” he wrote. "This is Gaza today, even after 7 months of horrors."

The regime has been preventing essential aid delivery to some 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, in both northern and southern parts, weaponizing starvation against the population.

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