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A mother in Gaza bids adieu to 5-month-old twins, born after 10 years of wait

By Humaira Ahad

Heart-wrenching videos circulating on social media in recent days show Rania Abu Anza holding her five-month-old lifeless twins in her lap, speaking to them while crying and wailing inconsolably.

The twins, who were born after more than ten years of struggle with infertility and multiple rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF), were killed in an Israeli airstrike in the city of Rafah, southern Gaza.

“Abu Warda, have you gone son? Have you gone my sweetheart? Have you gone Souson? Souson, answer me, I will sing a lullaby for you. Look how beautiful they are,” the crestfallen mother told her slain kids while cradling them fondly.

Abu Anza spent a decade trying to become a mother. The year 2023 proved lucky for the 29-year-old woman and her husband. After at least three rounds of IVF, Abu Anza was finally able to conceive.

On October 13 last year, the Palestinian woman gave birth to twins - a boy and a girl.

The jubilant father named the baby girl Wissam while the boy was named Naeim. The mother had nicknamed her son Abu Ward, “father of roses” and would call her daughter Souson meaning “Iris.”

The sight of two newborns was comforting for the young parents and gave them hope amid colossal despair and hopelessness due to the events that have unfolded in Gaza since October 7 last year.

They were born a week after the Israeli regime launched its genocidal aggression on Gaza, which has until now killed more than 30,800 Palestinians, including over 14,000 children.

On March 2, the apartheid regime snatched the comfort and satisfaction of being a mother from Abu Anza. The home where the family had sought refuge in Rafah deemed “safe” by the occupying regime was pounded by an airstrike, killing Abu Anza’s two children, husband and 11 other relatives.

“I screamed for my children and my husband. They were all dead. They left together and left me behind,” the grief-stricken mother said.

On that fateful night, Abu Anza woke up as usual around 10 pm to feed her baby boy. Unaware that she is seeing her children alive for the last time, the Palestinian mother went back to sleep with Naeim and Wissam resting in her arms.

Half an hour later, all hell broke loose as an explosion ripped through the house, razing it down. All her family members were killed but she managed to survive.

“They are all dead. Their father took them and left me behind,” said the inconsolable mother.

The airstrike also killed Abu Anza’s sister, nephew and pregnant cousin while nine members of her extended family remain under the rubble.

Dr. Marwan al-Hams, director of the hospital where the bodies were taken, said that out of the 14 people killed in the Abu Anza house, six were children and four were women.

“I didn’t get enough of them, I swear I didn’t get enough of them,” said Abu Anza, reciting soul-stirring elegies for her 5-month-old twins.

“Why did they kill my children and my husband? My aunt and all the family? Why did they take my children? This agony will haunt me forever. They deprived me of hearing Mama.”

Like scores of mothers in Gaza whose children have been killed by the child-murdering regime in the past five months, Abu Anza’s world has come crashing down.

“Life is gone. They have gone, my husband is gone. My husband said he would not leave me. We were preparing for Ramadan, my love Abu Naeim. I don’t know how to continue my life.”

More than 14,000 children have been killed in the besieged strip by the Zionist regime since October 7, according to local reports, while many are still trapped under the rubble.

The number of children who have died from malnutrition and inadequate medical care in Gaza is 23. Many more are on the verge of being starved to death – due to malnutrition and dehydration.

Almost 7,000 people, 70 percent of them being women and children, are reported missing and are believed to be under the rubble.

“It is not a loss to be martyrs in the way of Allah, I swear it is not,” the bereaved mother screamed, rubbing her face against the lifeless bodies of her two little martyrs.

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