Courage is not confined to a specific segment of society; it extends beyond soldiers in battle.
In the midst of the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza, civilians are making sacrifices and displaying extraordinary bravery, whether in an attempt to save others or by reaching out to help those in need.
Rami Abu Shaaban, a 52-year-old man, who studied biochemistry at Maastricht University in the Netherlands is one of the selfless individuals who sacrificed their lives to save their neighbours.
Rami, not a military fighter or member of any Palestinian faction, worked as a trainer in human development and marketing for over two decades.
When tanks approached the Al-Rimal neighbourhood of Gaza City, where Rami lived, he heard gunfire followed by cries of women and children.
According to his sister, Rasha, Rami rushed to check on his neighbours and discovered that three of them were injured.
Waiting for ambulances proved futile due to the presence of Israeli tanks roaming the area, raining bullets on homes and streets and on everything moving.
Ignoring the danger, Rami went out to rescue the injured, only to be ambushed by tanks that fired more bullets, killing him and a neighbour who’d joined him in the rescue effort.
Rami’s selfless act cost him his life, leaving behind four orphans.
In the centre of Gaza, in the Al-Bureij refugee camp, Mohammad Refaat al-Saloul, 33 years old, risked his life to save his neighbours following an Israeli airstrike.
He carried a child, but while attempting to escape the danger, another rocket was dropped on the residential square, injuring Mohammad and burying the child under the rubble.
Mohammad, a hero in his own right, suffered fractures in his ribs and back, along with head injuries, but still dug through the debris to find the injured child.
His story is a testament to the moral and humanitarian duty that drives young individuals to help those in need, even in the face of danger.
Ahmad Abu Khdeir, a 55-year-old paramedic working in civil defence, sustained multiple injuries while trying to rescue a family who’d been targeted by Israeli shelling.
Ahmad and his colleagues received a signal that a house belonging to the Halou family was being bombed.
They rushed to the scene, extracted three martyrs, and began searching the area despite the risk of being targeted again.
‘At times, bodies or the wounded are thrown tens of metres away, and when I was searching the rooftop of one place, a second missile landed on the same house, resulting in injuries to my foot and head,’ said Khdeir.
He emphasised that rescuing victims is a purely humanitarian act before it is a job, and the most crucial weapons are courage and boldness.
‘Based on our experiences, we know that the occupation sometimes targets the same location more than once, exposing our lives to danger, but this is our duty,’ he said.
Bassil and Raed Mahdi, two obstetricians and gynaecologists from Gaza City, were dedicated to their profession and community.
Refusing to leave their hospital – as demanded by the Israeli occupation army—and the displaced families seeking refuge there, the two brothers lost their lives when their medical facility was targeted by Israeli strikes.
In the neighbourhood of Sheikh Radwan in Gaza City, Maher Al-Ghoul and his son-in-law, Mohammad Al-Taweel, were carrying empty yellow jerry cans, searching for drinking water for their children and the neighbourhood’s children.
As soon as they crossed the ‘Second Street’ in the neighbourhood, an Israeli tank opened fire on them. Mohammad Said Al-Ghoul, also known as Abu Al-Saeed, joined them, disregarding the gunfire.
Before reaching them, an Israeli sniper shot and killed him, as confirmed by several eyewitnessses and members of the Al-Ghoul family.
Abu Al-Saeed seized the opportunity of having a signal on his phone and called for an ambulance, rescue, and all the international organisations he knew.
However, there was no response.
The replies were either negative, as the area was defined as a ‘military operations zone’, according to the occupation’s notification, or there were delays in reaching them due to road destruction or the Israeli occupation forces shooting at anything moving.
Maher and Abu Al-Saeed Al-Ghoul, both community activists and employees in the Palestinian Authority, had decided not to leave Gaza and not to head south, fearing a repeat of the Palestinian people’s catastrophe in 1948, Nizar Al-Ghoul, Maher’s cousin, said.
He added that since October 12, Maher and Abu Al-Saeed decided to assist the residents who’d stayed in their neighbourhood.
‘They formed something like a resilience committee in the neighbourhood to organise queues at bakeries – before they were bombed – and provide clean drinking water, food, and medicines for chronic diseases for families who decided not to leave,’ said Nizar.
The bodies of the martyrs, Abu Al-Saeed, Maher, and Mohammad, remained lying in the street for three days, as no one dared to approach them because of Israeli snipers.
Then, the neighbours moved them and buried them in the courtyard of the Sheikh Radwan Clinic, near the place of their martyrdom, according to Nizar.
Since the beginning of the Israeli aggression on Gaza, the toll of martyrs has approached 15,000, including 22 from civil defence and 205 from medical teams and paramedics.
Each story represents a sacrifice for the sake of humanity, a struggle against adversity, and a commitment to helping others despite the Israeli genocide.
These unknown heroes, from all walks of life, continue to emerge from the heart of the devastation in Gaza, embodying the spirit of resilience and resistance against Israeli aggression and genocide.
Meanwhile, a senior Palestinian official has described as ‘extremely catastrophic’ the health situation in the Gaza Strip in general, stressing the urgent need for medical and health supplies.
Munir al-Bursh, director-general of Gaza’s Health Ministry, made the remarks on Sunday, as the four-day humanitarian truce appeared to be holding in the besieged enclave.
‘The quantities of medical aid and fuel that arrived in the Gaza Strip, especially to the northern areas of the strip, are very limited and insufficient, in light of the catastrophic health condition of the hospitals,’ Bursh said.
‘Medicines and medical supplies must be brought into Gaza in large quantities, in line with the catastrophic health situation in the Strip,’ he added.
Only three hospitals are now operating in Gaza, namely Al-Maamadani, Al-Awda, and Kamal Adwan, which are serving some 900,000 people, and al-Bursh warned that these are all on the brink of collapse.
Israeli occupation forces continue their genocidal airstrikes, bombing hospitals in the besieged Gaza Strip.
He also emphasised ‘the need to strengthen the health system in Gaza and the northern regions and provide adequate health services.’
Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7th after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.
Tel Aviv has also imposed a ‘complete siege’ on Gaza, cutting off fuel, electricity, food, and water to the more than two million Palestinians living there.
Hospitals in the besieged Gaza Strip have faced relentless attacks in recent weeks, pushing most of them to the brink of collapse, as the Israeli regime continues its genocidal campaign.
Last Thursday, the Government Media Office in Gaza said that 26 hospitals and 55 health centres were out of service in the blockaded territory.
Israeli forces also targeted 55 ambulances, while dozens of others are out of service due to fuel shortages.
A four-day truce took effect last Friday to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza after seven weeks of unrelenting bombardment.
According to the Gaza-based health ministry, so far 15,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes, most of them women and children.