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Israel-Palestine war: Woman who lost fiance to Israeli air strike last year killed in Gaza

Abeer Harb killed during Israeli bombing of homes in Rafah 14 months after her partner was killed during three-day assault on enclave
Abeer Harb, who lost her fiance Ismael during an Israeli onslaught on Gaza in August 2022, was killed by an Israeli air strike on 12 December 2023 (X)

A Palestinian woman whose fiance was killed by an Israeli air strike last year has herself now been killed by an Israeli air strike in southern Gaza.

Abeer Harb was among at least 23 people killed after Israeli warplanes targeted a number of homes in the southern city of Rafah. Dozens of others were injured.

The Harb family home, which was bombed, had been sheltering a number of displaced people. At least six children were among those killed, according to Anadolu Agency. 

Harb's fiance, Ismail Dwaik, was killed in an Israeli air strike during a previous Israeli bombing campaign in Gaza. 

"Abeer is gone. Finally, she has ascended to be with the love of her life," Abeer's father told local media.

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"She used to wish to be reunited with him in a beautiful heavenly wedding. I believe she's getting that now." 

Thousands of displaced Palestinians had fled to Rafah after Israel told Palestinians they would be safer there. 

However, the United Nations has said nowhere is safe in Gaza, and Rafah has been subjected to heavy bombing in recent days.

Israel's relentless bombing campaign has killed over 18,400 Palestinians in Gaza, most of whom are women and children. 

It came after Hamas's surprise attack on southern Israel which resulted in the deaths of 1,200 people, mostly civilians.

'Wedding party in heaven'

Harb's fiance Ismail Dwaik was killed by Israeli forces on 6 August last year. They were due to marry just weeks later. 

"Ismail was kind, honest, smart and reliable," Harb told Middle East Eye days after her fiance was killed. "He used to be scared for me about everything. All people loved him." 

During the three-day military offensive in August 2022, Israel's military killed 49 people, including 17 children and three women.

"I promised him while hugging his body that I would not marry anyone and wait for our wedding party to be thrown in heaven, God willing," Harb said.

Although she attended Dwaik's three-day funeral, she said she believed she might hear his voice again.  

"I do believe he's alive. I'll keep waiting for a call from Ismail, in which he will reply to me with: I love you too," she said.

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