Between May 10 and May 21, an Israeli military assault on Gaza killed
 256 Palestinians, 66 were children. 

Left behind to grieve are thousands of
 mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sisters and brothers. 

Here are some of their stories.

Alaa Abu Hatab, 34

Lost his wife Yasmeen and four of their children in an Israeli attack on their home in the Shati Refugee camp - Gaza City.

Yousef, 11

Belal, 10

Maryam, 8

Yamen, 6

His youngest daughter Maria, 5, was also home… she survived.

Yousef was the man of the house and my right-hand man whom I could always depend upon.

He fasted the whole month of Ramadan except for two days even when it was difficult for him.

He always kept his daily prayers. May God be pleased and have mercy on him.

He dreamed of becoming a pilot when he grew up and wanted to travel around the world and to serve his country.

He loved going out and to play.

He was just a little boy.

Maryam was a kind, soft-hearted girl. I really loved her. We named her after my mother.

She was always very active and helped her mother at home.

She was very intelligent, may God have mercy on her.

Five days before Ramadan, Maryam broke her leg.

She was feeling down and we wanted to cheer her up.

She died before we could even remove her cast.

Alaa Abu elouf, 48

The father of five lost two of his daughters Shaima and Rawan. His wife Diana was badly injured in the attack and succumbed to her injuries after more than two weeks in intensive care.

Shaima, 20, was a dental student whose wedding was a few weeks away.

It took rescue teams ten hours to retrieve her body.

Shaima’s life was dedicated to her studies.

There are some people who strive to succeed and others who just want to get by.

She always wanted to be number one.

[After the attack], my brother in law thought it was his daughter who was killed.

He went to the morgue.

The next day [when we saw them], I felt something was wrong, I asked where’s my daughter?

I returned to the morgue.

It was Shaima.

Ahmad Aloul, 35

Lost his father Moueen Aloul and several members of their family.

Moueen Aloul, 67, was one of three neurologists in the Gaza Strip and head of the mental health department in North Gaza.

Al-Aloul was killed in an Israeli attack on his home on May 16.

My father was one of the only doctors in Gaza who specialised in the field of EEG and treating seizures in children.

He received mental and neurological health training with the World Health Organization.

He just wanted to walk again.

He fractured his pelvis seven months ago and was recovering from surgery.

He could only move around with a walker or wheelchair.

He died asleep in his bed.

Ramy Ifranji, 45

Lost his wife Rajaa and their four children in an Israeli attack on their home on May 17. Yazan, 14, and Dima, 16, were the oldest two.

Rajaa Abu al-Ouf, 37, was a psychologist and a mother of four. She was a social worker at several UN programmes in Gaza and was hoping to pursue her PhD.

Rajaa loved life. She loved taking care of her children, loved buying them clothes for Eid, loved taking them out to restaurants, parks, to swim.

May God have mercy on them.

Yazan’s dream was to study IT and one day become a computer engineer.

He always had a beautiful smile on his face, everyone loved him. He used to greet everyone with good manners and a constant smile.

Dima was very good at English and French. She was supposed to go to Jerusalem to complete studies in French.

But the Zionist occupier destroyed my family’s dreams and wishes.

Ali Soboh

Lost his mother and brother on May 11 when an Israeli attack hit their family home in the early morning.

His mother Amira, 58, was a mother of six. The youngest was Abdulrahman, 19, who had cerebral palsy.

We were looking for my brother Abdulrahman and my mother.

“Mother! Mother!” we were shouting everywhere. We heard no one at all.

With Abdulrahman, if he had fallen, nobody would have been able to pick him up.

I found my mother, thank God, I cried out: “Mom, mom, are you alive?”

I tried looking for a pulse… I looked everywhere.

At the Shifa Hospital they took her to ICU and then told me she had passed away.

I pleaded with them to try one more time, she was my mother, the soul of our home and she meant everything to us.

My mother would often pray that she and Abdulrahman would die together - she was afraid of leaving him on his own or living without him.

God answered her prayers - they died together.

The latest aggression on Gaza is over for now, but its destruction has torn apart families and displaced thousands.

The list of loved ones lost forever to senseless attacks continues to grow.

Produced by

Maram Humaid
Hosam Salem
Alia Chughtai
Mohammed Haddad
for @AJLabs