Haunting last message of teenage trainee doctor killed with family in Israel airstrike

“Ambitious and kind” Besan Helasa was killed along with her mother, brother and sister days in Gaza

Barney Davis
Wednesday 18 October 2023 17:02 BST
A week on from the Hamas attack on Israel

A trainee doctor killed alongside her family in Gaza posted a tragic last message on social media just days before her death.

Besan Helasa, 19, died in an Israeli missile strike on her home on Saturday, her devastated friends and colleagues said.

Just days before she had paid tribute to her teacher, Mohammad Davbbour, who colleagues say had also been killed in an airstrike in the war-torn country.

Besan Helasa “loved life” but was angry about the treatment of Palestinians (Facebook)

Beasan’s last post on X spoke of her anger at living under “barbaric occupation” and how Palestinians “would not forgive the whole world” if their plight is ignored.

“I have dreams I have not yet fulfilled,” she wrote. “I have a life that I have not fully lived.”

“I have a family that I love and fear for,” she continued. “If we are all exterminated by this barbaric occupation, our crime is simply that one day we defended our land that was stolen from us and demanded our basic rights as human beings. We will not forgive the whole world.”

Photojournalist Belal Khaled shared a distressing video on his Instagram account showing Besan’s uncle in tears as he surveyed the bodies of his loved ones. He pointed at Besan’s body, covered by cloth alongside her mother, brother Omar and elder sister Marah.

Paying tribute to Besan, a close friend told The Independent the teenager was someone who “deserves life more than all of us”.

“Besan is a 19-year-old girl who just loved life,” her best friend Dalia said. “A dreamy, ambitious, intelligent, kind girl who loves us and we love her. She loves all things.

“She was in her third year studying medicine. Besan deserves life more than all of us.”

Palestinians leaving Al-Ahli hospital (AP)

Her killing came amid a wave of deaths of medical professionals during the siege of the Gaza strip.

Paying tribute, her tutor Dr Belal Aldabbour wrote on X: “I mourn my student Bisan, a future doctor whose life was cut too short.”

Another colleague described Besan as “a beautiful friend, with a beautiful face and heart”.

“Today I can only pray for mercy and the highest heaven for all of you,” they wrote. “Today you are there, and perhaps I will be with you in a few days.”

On Wednesday Hamas said that an explosion at the Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital in Gaza killed hundreds of people and blamed Israeli strikes.

Israel says a failed rocket launch by militants in Gaza was the cause of the blast and accuses Hamas of inflating the death toll.

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