'The pain keeps getting worse': Palestinian teenager mourns friend killed in Jenin raid

Sadil Naghnaghia, 15, was among seven who died as a result of Israeli military operation in June

Sadil Naghnaghia, 15, died after being shot while filming an Israeli military convoy carrying out a raid in Jenin in the occupied West Bank. Photo: Wafa
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Nothing has felt the same for 14-year-old Doha Turkman since her best friend was killed by Israeli gunfire on June 20, during a raid on Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

Sadil Naghnaghia, a 15-year-old Palestinian girl, was shot in the head as she filmed Israeli military vehicles as they passed her home.

Seven people were killed and at least 91 injured in the raid.

Sadil fell into a coma and was declared dead a day later.

"We are trying to be strong for Sadil. That's the way she liked seeing us," Doha tells The National on WhatsApp. Her profile picture shows her in a black dress and Sadil, dressed in white.

"I visit her mother every day. She has become as important to me as my own mother.

"We thought our wounds would become less painful with time. But the pain just keeps getting worse.

"I used to share every detail of my life with Sadil. And now suddenly she's gone."

Doha had known Sadil her whole life. "The first day of school that I attended without her was very difficult," the teenager says.

"The first Eid without her was very difficult. I can't even concentrate on my exams because we used to study together and spend our exam season together.

"The school itself, I feel has wilted. I don't have an urge to learn."

Sadil's classroom desk was decorated by some flowers and a few words written by her loved ones.

"They say life doesn't stop for anyone and that it goes on. But ever since Sadil's martyrdom, I feel nothing has moved on," Doha says.

"Even when I'm in the midst of something, I can't feel it happening."

Jenin has been raided by Israeli troops since Sadil was killed. Three Palestinians were killed in an operation this month.

Doha's family was among dozens displaced by the violence in June. Her family fled to a relative's house in Jenin city, in a journey that began at midnight and ended about four hours later.

"I really missed her on the day of the raid. I missed her presence," Doha says.

"When these things would happen, we would keep track of all the people injured and gone.

"I opened our conversations [on her mobile phone], waiting for her to send me a message or to check up on me, because my brother went missing for 12 hours.

"We did not know where he was. And Sadil was always good at keeping everybody informed about the latest."

Doha says she and her friends pass by the cemetery where Sadil is buried every day on their way home from school.

"We go when it's less crowded because in the mornings the graveyard is full of people visiting their loved ones," she says.

"My friends are I are always consoling each other and trying to stand by each other because Sadil used to love seeing us together."

At least 196 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since January, including 40 children, and 24 people have been killed in Israel, UN figures show.

On Tuesday, Israeli forces killed Qusai Omar Suleiman Alwalji, 16, and Mohammad Rebhi Njoum, 25, in Jericho in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.

Updated: August 16, 2023, 8:17 AM