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Sheikh Issa Miqdad was killed by an Israeli airstrike in the Nuseirat refugee camp. (Photo: Supplied)

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

‘Nations can only liberate themselves by paying a high price, and we are willing to give our lives for the liberation of our homeland, Palestine.’

Israel’s war on Gaza, which now entered its seven consecutive month, has been one of the most destructive in modern history. 

Relentless Israeli strikes have targeted schools, houses, hospitals, churches, and mosques, in an attempt to erase the Palestinian population of Gaza, along with all forms of Palestinian life. 

Children, women, paramedics, doctors, and religious figures were not spared by Israel’s vengeful, genocidal war. 

During its bombardment of the Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza, Israel has destroyed several mosques. 

On Tuesday, April 16, the beloved Sheikh Issa Miqdad was killed by an Israeli drone at the door of the Salman Al-Farsi Mosque, just before dawn prayer. 

“The day before, we prayed together and Sheikh Miqdad stood as usual to preach to our people,” Sheikh Mohammad Hisham, the imam of Al-Farouq Mosque, told The Palestine Chronicle.

“Since the beginning of the war, Sheikh Miqdad urged worshippers to remain in their homes, not to leave the camp, and to thwart the occupation’s plans to displace us from our country,” he continued.

“On Tuesday, we were shocked to hear the news of his martyrdom.”

‘My Brother, Issa’

The Palestine Chronicle spoke with Musa Miqdad, the brother of the slain sheikh, to know more about this man, who was an important and revered figure within his community.

“I heard the sound of the door opening at dawn, and I knew that my brother Issa had gone out for the prayer, as was his daily routine. Minutes later, I heard the sound of bombing near our house. I immediately thought of my brother Issa and his sons,” Musa told us.

“I rushed out and I found my brother Issa’s children at the house door. I asked them about their father and they told me that he had gone to the mosque. We hurried out looking for him, but did not find him in the mosque,” Musa continued.

“Eventually, we found him, lying on the ground, a martyr, his blood spilled everywhere, having been directly hit by the strike.”

Issa was 36 years old, he worked in the Palestinian police’s guidance and counseling department, and was pursuing a PhD in Islamic Sharia at the Islamic University of Gaza.

“He had a special relationship with all residents of the Gaza Strip,” Musa told us. 

“When the home of the journalist Wael Dahdouh was bombed, our house, which was adjacent to it, was also damaged, and Issa was injured,” Musa said.

That incident, however, did not prevent him from continuing to encourage Palestinians amid the horrors of the war. 

“As soon as he recovered, he started moving between the mosques of the Central Governorate, calling on people to stand firm on the land, not to leave, and not to migrate or relocate to any other area,” Musa explained.

“Issa used to go to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital almost daily, participating in the funerals of martyrs, comforting their families, leading the prayers for the martyrs, and standing as a preacher urging people to remain steadfast and patient,” he continued. 

“My mother would ask him to be careful and not to travel between mosques preaching to people, fearing for his life. But he would smile at her and tell her that he would continue to expose the crimes of the occupation and keep educating the people about Israel’s plans on Gaza”.

Musa told us that he did not expect for his beloved brother to be killed at the door of a mosque he loved and grew up in. 

“Issa was committed to the battle of awareness during this war, and we will continue his message. Nations can only liberate themselves by paying a high price, and we are willing to give our lives for the liberation of our homeland, Palestine.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Abdallah Aljamal is a Gaza-based journalist. He is a correspondent for The Palestine Chronicle in the Gaza Strip.

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