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When An Emergency Medical Technician’s (EMT) Home is Bombed

31. July 2014

by Raed el Nems source: http://www.palestinercs.org/en/sdetails.php?sid=45

“Kindly send an ambulance to the Mu’amar family home in Al Jneineh neighborhood”.


The phone call dropped like a bombshell on PRCS’ EMT Saleh Mu’amar (31) who works at PRCS’ Emergency Medical Services Center in Rafah. The call came at 4:00 a.m. following a day that had left a heavy toll of casualties caused by Israel’s continuous shelling of homes in Rafah Governorate. Alongside other EMTs, Saleh had provided assistance to civilians as part of PRCS’ emergency medical and humanitarian services offered since the start of this latest Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip.

Upon receiving the call, Saleh jumped out of his seat. He was shaking. “This is my home address”, he managed to say. His colleagues tried to calm him down as they quickly prepared to head to the targeted areas. They begged him not to come along, but he insisted on being there to help in the rescue efforts just like he always did.

The ambulances left the center, their sirens wailing. Saleh’s voice could be heard in the ambulance as he prayed for his family. The three minute-ride felt like an eternity to him. He sat in the ambulance with his face in his hands, saying his prayers and muttering incomprehensible words.


When they arrived at the scene, they discovered that Israeli warplanes had bombed parts of the second story of Saleh’s building. “That is my house”, he said, jumping out of the ambulance and running to the house. He was shocked by the smell of explosives and the fumes coming out of his burning home.


Then his heart fell as he saw three bodies amidst the rubble. He went down on his knees, turned one of the bodies, and started screaming: “this is my brother Mohamad”. With shaking hands and tearful eyes, he turned the other two bodies and shouted: “these are my two other brothers”. Saleh then completely collapsed as he held the remains of his three brothers, killed while they were having the Ramadan dawn meal on their house’s balcony. His colleagues tried to console him, then started crying with him, their tears mixing with the blood of Saleh’s three younger brothers.

His colleagues suggested they take him to hospital, fearing he was going through a nervous breakdown, but he refused. Tears welled in his eyes as he helped place the three bodies on stretchers. The prevailing silence was so thick. Saleh carried his 3 brothers’ bodies without saying a word and sat next to them in the ambulance, holding them tightly as he said his final goodbye to them. Saleh had not seen his brothers for the past five days as he was working around the clock at the EMS center.

Saleh, and all Palestinians, have learned the hard way that you can lose loved ones in the blink of an eye as Israel continues to randomly target civilians in a crying violation of international treaties.


Saleh said goodbye to his three brothers, and promised his colleagues to return to work very soon, adding that “his homeland still needs him”.