Gazan mother tells ITV News of her grief after Israeli airstrike leaves her baby without legs

ITV News' Cari Davies reports, with words by Deputy News Editor Liz Little

A Palestinian mother living in the southernmost district of Gaza has told of the moment Israeli shelling targeted her home, killing 14 members of her family and leaving her young daughter without legs.

Speaking to ITV News from the European Hospital in southern Gaza, Nihad Mohammad Abu Jazar shared her family's experience in Rafah - a supposed 'safe zone' the Israeli military have directed Palestinian civilians to seek refuge.

On October 11, Nihad was asleep in her home with her baby, Fatima, and extended family when an Israeli attack shook the building, and saw it crumble to the ground.

"We woke up to the noise of rockets and found ourselves under rubble," says Nihad.

"In the blink of an eye we didn't recognise where we were. The whole area was destroyed."

Fatima pictured before she lost both of her legs from an Israeli airstrike. Credit: ITV News

Nihad, Fatima, and one other woman were the only survivors. But Fatima's legs were crushed.

They both had to be amputated from below the knees.

Only 14-months-old, Fatima was conceived through IVF. Her parents had spent 14 years trying for their little girl.

"My daughter was my only wish," Fatima cries. "I wished to have her day, after day."

One month on from the deadly strike on her home, Nihad is seeking refuge in a hospital, where Fatima receives treatment every day.

Fatima now receives treatment in hospital every day. Credit: ITV News

The mother breaks down as she details her young daughter's daily life - in which she survives on a rotation of constant painkillers.

"We've been homeless, living in hospitals," she says.

"Every day my daughter is in surgeries. She has operations every day - and can't eat to have them. May God help me."

Nihad says her only hope is for her beloved Fatima to one day have a normal life - away from war and destruction.

"My wish is for my daughter to have prosthetic limbs. To live her life just like other children."

Located in southern Gaza, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have migrated to the already densely populated city of Rafah for their safety - under the instruction of the Israeli military.

The war, now in its sixth week, was triggered by Hamas’s October 7 attack in southern Israel, in which the militants killed more than 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and captured some 240 men, women and children.

According to Palestinian health authorities, at least 11,470 Palestinians have been killed since, while about 2,700 people are reported missing.

Rafah is now also the only crossing point for humanitarian aid. Despite this, attacks continue to take place in central and southern areas of Gaza, killing families like Nihad's.

The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) says it will strike Hamas targets, wherever they are.

Nihad has pleaded for the Israeli shelling in Gaza to end, and for more international assistance to protect the millions of displaced Palestinians.

"We've been through enough. Let them stand with us, this is enough," she added.

"What are they waiting for? The Palestinian people are being killed slowly."

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