A Palestinian-American family are still in shock after they learned that they lost 42 family members spreading over three generations in Gaza in a single day.
Tariq Hamouda lives with his wife Manal in Maple Grove, Minnesota; they both met when they were younger while living in the same neighbourhood in Gaza before moving to the US in 2004.
Mr Hamouda, who spoke to CNN in an interview, said that his wife took days to come to terms with the news that she lost four brothers, a sister and most of her nieces and nephews on 19 October in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
“Up until last night, she is still denying [what happened],” Mr Hamouda told CNN.
“She loves every member of her family. She spent the summer with them.”
Manal’s family, the Saqallahs, lived in a family compound in the Sheikh Ejleen neighbourhood of Gaza City.
One of her brothers was an ENT doctor, while the other three were eye doctors who operated the largest chain of family-owned eye clinics in Gaza.
They believe the family were killed in an Israeli airstrike when two explosions destroyed their home.
While there have been multiple strikes on Gaza City by Israel since 7 October, the outlet explained that they were unable to independently verify this claim.
The Israel Defense Force (IDF) told CNN they could not comment without house coordinates; the family did not want to provide them for fear of reprisal.
The ongoing war has killed over 8,000 Palestinians, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza, and has left thousands of buildings in ruins.
Over 1,400 people have died on the Israeli side of the war, according to recent reports, mainly civilians who were killed in the initial attack.
Manal’s cousin, Eyad Abu Shaban, who lives in South Florida, also spoke to the outlet, saying that the ages of their dead family members range from 77 to just three months old.
Mr Hamouda said the same of his own family, who said they “had nothing to do with anything at all.”
He claimed that surviving members said the IDF called their family and that there could be military activity in the area but did not warn them to evacuate.
Videos shot by a neighbour showed the remains of the family compound, which is now nothing but rubble, said the news site.
Another video by surviving family members also reportedly showed their family members’ bodies being wrapped in white burial shrouds and being placed into a mass grave.