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Father Of Surviving Girl Injured In Iran Attack: We Are Victims Of Israeli Negligence

16.04.2024 15:27

'My daughter Amina was seriously injured in head in unrecognized village of Al Qura in Negev, underwent 2 surgeries without improvement,' father Mohammed Al Hasouni tells Anadolu 'We have no shelters. We are victims of Israeli authorities' negligence.

Seven-year-old Amina Al-Hasouni is critically injured after being hit by shrapnel in an Iranian attack, with her father saying: "We are victims of Israeli authorities' neglect."

Her father, Mohammed Al-Hasouni, told Anadolu that he and his family were asleep in their home in the unrecognized village of Al-Fura in the Negev region when sirens sounded in nearby areas.

The Al-Hasouni family consists of 10 members who rushed to evacuate from their home, which has a tin roof.

"She was inside the house when missile shrapnel hit her, causing a direct head injury," he said.

"We took her to the hospital, where she remains in critical condition. She underwent two surgeries, but there has been no improvement in her condition. We pray for her recovery."

The Red Crescent previously announced that this girl was the only one injured in the Iranian attack, while 30 others suffered from panic and stampede.

Al-Hasouni added that when sirens sounded in nearby Israeli areas, he wanted to move his children to a nearby open area as there are no shelters in the village.

Without services

Al-Fura is one of 36 unrecognized villages in Negev, inhabited by around 150,000 Arabs, according to the head of the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages in the area, Atiya Al-Asam.

Al-Asam said these villages are unrecognized by Israeli authorities and thus do not exist on the state's official map, "meaning the state refuses to provide any services such as water, electricity, healthcare, and education."

"Moreover, the state refrains from defending and protecting these villages. If rockets were to come towards them, the Iron Dome missile defense system does not intercept them because they are considered open areas devoid of population," he added.

"They (Israeli authorities) know that Arabs live there," he continued, alleging that claims of them being open areas are an excuse used to justify not protecting these villages.

For decades, unrecognized Arab villages have struggled to gain official recognition from Israel, but to no avail.

Al-Asam stated that "the most vulnerable areas are the unrecognized villages, as in every previous war between Israel and Hamas, there have always been casualties in these villages."

No shelters

In every conflict, the Israeli military's Home Front Command instructs residents to head to shelters or fortified rooms, but these are not available in unrecognized villages.

"We don't have shelters, no one even sees us. We are victims of Israeli authorities' neglect," Al-Hasouni said.

"What do we do in such situations? We only ask for mercy from God," he added.

"They (Israeli authorities) only remember us when they want to demolish our homes. My home is threatened with demolition on the pretext that it was built without a permit. They don't want us here," he continued.

Many homes in unrecognized towns face the risk of demolition, and most residents of unrecognized towns are Bedouins who rely on sheep herding for their livelihood.

Protecting children

According to Al-Asam, "the lack of protection for Arab citizens in Negev from danger in case of war is a deliberate act by state authorities."

He added that "the state prevents residents from protecting themselves by prohibiting the construction of shelters while not providing shelters for them, thus not ensuring security and protection."

He emphasized that "the state is primarily responsible for all injuries that occur in these villages."

Outside the intensive care unit, Al-Hasouni waits for his daughter's recovery.

"My other children are afraid to return home after what happened; they are staying in a nearby tent," he said.

"All we ask for is protection for our children," he concluded.

Iran on Saturday launched an airborne attack on Israel in retaliation for an April 1 airstrike on its diplomatic compound in the Syrian capital. It reportedly fired more than 300 drones and missiles, with almost all intercepted by the air defense systems of Israel and its allies – the US, France, and the UK.

*Writing by Alperen Aktas from Istanbul -

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