The family, of Palestinian origin, is mourning the deaths of 42 relatives in a single day in Gaza.
Thousands of miles away from the horrors of war in Gaza, Tariq Hamouda and his wife Manal can’t believe the loss of three generations of their family.
More than a week after learning that 42 family members died in the war between Israel and Hamas, these Palestinian-Americans living in Maple Grove, Minnesota, say they still haven’t fully absorbed the news.
Hamouda explained that Sakallah, whose real name is Sakallah, lost four brothers, a sister and most of their children when two explosions destroyed the Sakallah family compound in the neighborhood of Sheikh Ejlein on October 19.
Hamouda and his family explained that it was an Israeli airstrike. Israel launched a series of bombings against Gaza City starting October 7, including several attacks in the area that same day.
CNN cannot independently confirm that this was an Israeli attack. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it could not comment on the matter without the House’s approval. The family declined to provide coordinates to CNN for fear of retaliation.
Video recorded by a neighbor and obtained by CNN shows what remains of the family compound: charred rubble and what relatives say are three buildings, now surrounded by nearly intact homes in a residential area.
“Until last night she was in denial [lo ocurrido]”However, the pain felt at home in America is very real,” Hamouda told CNN last Thursday, referring to Manal.
“She loves all her family members. She spends the summer with them,” explained Hamuda, who said he and his wife are originally from the same Gaza neighborhood but have lived in Minnesota since 2004.
He says there have been fears and many clashes between Israel and militant groups in Gaza since that year, but nothing like this.
Israel declared war on Hamas on October 7 after the militant group breached the barrier separating Gaza from Israel, killing more than 1,400 people, including civilians and soldiers, and kidnapping more than 220 others, according to Israeli officials.
In response, Israel carried out heavy bombing attacks on Gaza. He says he wants to destroy Hamas, which rules the coastal region. But the 2.2 million Palestinians who live there have been caught in the crossfire, unable to escape as Israeli and Egyptian border crossings are closed.
Israeli bombings have killed at least 8,485 Palestinians and injured more than 21,000, according to the latest figures released by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, taken from the Hamas-controlled area. It says another 1.4 million people are internally displaced Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations, after the IDF warned residents of northern Gaza to evacuate south.
But Hamouda has no time to mourn the dead, and is worried about what will happen to those who have survived so far.
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