A young girl from Gaza has survived an Israeli airstrike that destroyed her home and killed her mother and all four of her siblings.
Suzy Eshkuntana, 6, has been reunited with her father after being pulled from the rubble of her home and rushed to Gaza’s Shifa hospital on Sunday.
The girl was trapped for seven hours under the debris.
She has since been reunited in hospital with her father, who was also being treated for his wounds. ‘Forgive me, my daughter. You screamed to me to come to you, but I couldn’t come,’ Riyad Eshkuntana told her after medics brought them together in adjoining beds.
The Palestinian family’s home was hit in Israeli air strikes early on Sunday on Gaza City, a wave of attacks that Gaza health officials said killed 42 people including 10 children and raised the death toll in Gaza from a week of bombardment to 192.
Rescuers carry Suzy Eshkuntana, 6, as they pull her from the rubble of a building at the site of Israeli air strikes, in Gaza City on May 16
Palestinian girl Suzy Eshkuntana, 6, is treated by a medic at a hospital after being pulled from the rubble of a building amidst Israeli air strikes
Palestinian girl Suzy Eshkuntana, 6, is treated by a medic at a hospital after being pulled from the rubble of a building amidst Israeli air strikes, in Gaza City
Israel says it is attacking the militant Islamist Hamas movement that controls the densely populated Gaza Strip and that along with Islamic Jihad and other militant groups has fired 2,800 rockets towards Israeli cities.
Those rocket barrages have killed 10 people in Israel, including two children. They have also sent millions of Israelis scrambling to ‘safe rooms’ and shelters as rocket warning sirens go off at all hours of the day and night.
‘The reason we have these casualties is because Hamas is criminally attacking us from civilian neighbourhoods,’ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. broadcaster CBS.
The strike on the Eshkuntana home was in the same area as an Israeli strike on a militant tunnel system in Gaza. The collapse of the tunnel system caused the houses above to collapse and led to unintended civilian casualties, the military said.
Rescuers carry Suzy Eshkuntana, 6, as they pull her from the rubble of a building at the site of Israeli air strikes, in Gaza City
Rescuers search for people in the rubble of a building at the site of Israeli air strikes, in Gaza City on May 16
Dozens of rescue workers, police officers, relatives and neighbours gathered at the wreckage of the Eshkuntana house during the search and rescue operation.