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Elderly farmer, granddaughter, died hours before Gaza truce

Nov. 29, 2012 6:34 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 2, 2012 9:40 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Elderly farmer Ibrahim Abu Nasr was determined to harvest his last two olive trees, despite ongoing Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip last Wednesday.

The ceasefire between Israel and Gaza militants would come into effect just nine hours later.

But as Ibrahim, 80, began prayers in the olive grove in Abassan village, east of Khan Younis in south Gaza, an Israeli missile struck the site.

His 15-year-old granddaughter Amira was bringing him lunch at that moment, and was also killed when she was hit by shrapnel.

Ibrahim's son and Amira's uncle, Khalil Abu Nasr, described to Ma'an the family's shock when the missile struck. The relatives were in their house next to the olive grove, when the sound of an explosion pierced the room.

"We rushed out to the land, and what we saw tore our hearts," he said.

Khalil's brother was also seriously wounded by shrapnel and is recovering form his injuries.

Another of Khalil's brothers, Abed, had been killed in the last Israeli war on Gaza in 2008-9.

Khalil said his elderly father insisted on visiting his land despite the war. He could sit all day tending his crops without boredom or fear, as he grew up on this farm, the son recalled.

"As an 80-year-old he did not go to plant explosives or to kill, but simply to harvest olives," Khalil said.
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