IT BROKE US: Eyewitnesses recount ordeals as Friday of death and burials ends sixth week of devastating war

At the end of a sixth week of war, a day of burials and death but also signs the conflict is deepening.

In the settlement of Modiin, the Marciano family were burying their daughter Noa.

Her body was one of two found by Israeli forces near al Shifa hospital in Gaza.  She’d been a soldier in a military base overrun by Hamas on 7 October and was taken hostage.

Noa Marciano

Her sister Yuval was choked with tears as she delivered a heartbreaking eulogy.

“I love you. I’m glad at least you’re here. I will bring my grandchildren; I will bring the family. I won’t give up on you, everyone will know about Noa Marciano.” 

Friends of family of Ms Marciano at her funeral

In the moshav of Olesh to the west, another grief-stricken Israeli family are preparing to bury their grandmother this weekend. 

Yehudit Weiss was also found dead by the IDF near al Shifa.  She had been taken hostage during Hamas’s initial attack, when her husband Shmulik was killed. 

Her son Omer told me about the family’s double heartbreak at being told first about his father’s death, then his mother’s.

“It broke us the first time when they told us about my father and the next time it tore us apart, we didn’t know how to deal with it.  We are taking it day by day,” he said. 

Yehudit and Shmulik Weiss

Like the relatives of some 240 hostages, they hoped for a breakthrough that would bring their grandmother home.

But the waiting and the uncertainty, he said have been unbearable.

“It’s unbelievable pain. Every day passes, every hour, every minute, and we don’t have information,” he added. 

“We buried our father, and we weren’t able to mourn.  We kept ourselves busy, and we did everything we could to bring my mother home.”

Omer Weiss

In Gaza itself, another family is also preparing to bury relatives.  Eleven of them.  The Tabatibi family lost that many in multiple Israeli airstrikes in Khan Younis.

Alaa Abu Hasira said they were among the thousands who have travelled south from northern Gaza, told they would be safer there by the Israelis.

“We were in Gaza City, and as a result of the conflict we moved to Khan Younis. All my sisters died, and my son and daughter also. I wish I had taken my daughter in my arms, and my twin sister also died,” she said.

Others in Gaza were buried alive today.

Israeli airstrikes in Nusseirat have left dozens under the rubble of residential blocks collapsed by Israeli airstrikes.

A Friday of death and burials, ending a sixth week of this devastating war.

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