My mother told me that her grandfather had just finished building a big house with and for his only, newly-wedded son's family when Israel occupied Majdal. They took refuge in Gaza, thinking they'll return in a matter of days when things settle down a bit. Little they knew that Israelis will settle in theie homes while the real owners of the homes/land will remail refugees for the rest of their lives. When Israel occupied Gaza Strip, my mother's grandfather paid a long waited visit for Majdal as soon as it became possible. He toured the city/town silently and went to see his house. An Iraqi jewish family was living there. With a broken heart, the old man returned to his current refugee camp home. He died a few days later holding the keys of his home.
I never knew the old man and I can never imagine the pain, agony and suffering he went through after the Israeli occupation. My mother told me how kind-hearted he was and always attributed a lot of her childhood happy moments to his involvement. But as a child she always wondered why he'd cry almost every time at meal times. Later she knew and explained to me that it must have been really hard on him to watch his only son barely able to meet the basic needs of his growing family. It's only fair to say that the Israeli occupation turned Palestinian people's dream into nightmares.
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