“I think our child is dead. All I want now is you by my side,” the mother
of Lamis Hamdan, a four-year-old pupil, sobbed to her husband over the
Lamis’s father was desperately searching hospitals, hoping to find
his daughter among the surviving children of the Jab’a bus crash on Thursday
“I know that she’s in heaven now,” her mother cried as she stood
in front of the ER at the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah. Other women
stood to comfort her, saying that her daughter might be alive.
wouldn’t they tell me if she is still alive?” she asked.
grandmother, Majida Juwailes, told The Jerusalem Post
that her granddaughter was
a very lively child.
“Her mother is always frightened that something will
harm Lamis. She’s always playing and moving,” she said. “I don’t know who is
responsible for [the accident].
I just pray to Allah that we find her
Lamis’s fate was still unknown at press time, because the
Palestinian Health Ministry declined to publish victims’ names before their
families identified them.
Dozens of Palestinians rushed to the medical
complex as news spread that the hospital was in a need of blood
In the children’s section, the names of the injured were
written on papers hung on room doors.
Families who had found their
children sat next to them while others frantically searched for their children’s
Mohammed Amireh returned to the ER fighting the urge to cry, when
a policeman asked him whether his daughter had a necklace with a key in it. He
sadly nodded his head in approval.
“She had two braids,” he
The policeman, now certain it was Amireh’s daughter, took him to
the morgue to identify his daughter.
“Some of her features were clearly
visible, and the house key was laying at her side,” the father said, only a few
hours after he drove his daughter to the school bus.
Marwa, five, was the
youngest of four siblings and always the first one to arrive home from school.
She would usually sit at the computer and wait for her brother, Amireh
Marwa was buried in Anata cemetery Thursday evening.
the hallway, another family anxiously awaited news of their loved
Ola Julani, a 37-year-old teacher from Shuafat, has taught at the
Anata kindergarten for the past three years. She drives her car there daily, but
had accompanied her students on the trip. Her sister Abir, 29, came running from
the children’s section to the ER. Her nephew had survived the accident, but her
sister’s fate was still unknown.
Abir sat next to her mother, Laila, as
other family members asked an official to allow them into the ER to identify
Julani. Laila whispered a few prayers, “May God forgive the driver if he was
Searching through West Bank and Jerusalem hospitals, Naser,
Julani’s tearful husband, could not find his wife anywhere.
her family members to comfort Julani’s husband. “He loves Ola to death, don’t
leave him alone,” she said.
Julani was married four years ago and was
planning to start a family. Her father, As’ad, told the Post that his daughter,
the eldest of five siblings, was the stepmother of two daughters.
said she could still hear her daughter’s laughter. “Why did she have to go
today? Why did the school principal allow the trip?” she asked.
say that, mother,” said Abir. “We are believers [in God].”
requires believers to never question God’s will, which is considered blasphemy.)
The stressed family quarreled with TV crews who wanted to film them awaiting the
Hours later, Ola’s husband and father were taken to the morgue to
identify the body. “She was severely burned,” her husband said slowly. “It’s
very difficult, but no one fails to recognize his wife,” he added, in
Naser remembers his wife’s last words: “She told me I am going on
a trip. I said have fun, but what can I say? Thank God for
everything.Alhamdulillah [praise be to Allah],” he told the Post
evening, Julani’s body was taken to the al-Aksa Mosque to be prayed upon and was
buried in Jerusalem.
Anata Mayor Ibrahim al-Rifai officially confirmed
the death of Milad Salameh and Zaid Nimr, two five-year-old students. He said he
was awaiting official confirmation on the deaths of two other children: Salah
al-Dweik and Lamis.
The sadness caused by this accident was reflected on
Facebook and Twitter, where many Palestinians posted black photos expressing
their grief and calling Thursday a sad day in Palestinian history.
blamed the delayed Palestinian ambulances, questioning the readiness of the
Another widely-shared photo was of some Israelis’
Facebook comments about the accident.
Some of them praised it, and one
comment read: “Thank God they’re Palestinians; I hope there is a bus like that
Other Israeli comments attacked the the racist remarks and
condemned the writers, but the first shared photos only had a translation of
five Hebrew remarks expressing joy for the accident.
Many media programs
were canceled Thursday, and a Palestinian singer scheduled to perform that day
canceled a party in the Ramallah Cultural Palace.
Fatah official Tawfik
Tirawi postponed his son’s wedding, which was scheduled for Thursday in
“We were waiting for a white, snowy day, not a dark, black
day,” someone commented on Facebook.
Two other children were killed today
in separate car accidents – one near Bethlehem and one in Hebron.
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