The funeral procession of Essam and Subhi Al Batsh passes through Gaza City yesterday after they were killed in an Israeli raid. Image Credit: Nasser Najjar/Gulf News

Gaza: The house of the Al Batsh family was full of sadness and pride when it was crowded with people mourning the the deaths of two family members, Essam Al Batsh, 43, a main leader in the Ayman Juda Brigades, a sub-division of Fatah's Al Aqsa Brigades, and his nephew Subhi Al Batsh from the Al Qassam brigades.

They were killed earlier yesterday when a sphere plane targeted their civilian car in the midst of a crowded area in Gaza city.

Both Hamas and Fatah flags were raised high on the rooftop of the family's house as members of both parties participated in the funeral.

Gunmen from both Hamas and Al Aqsa brigades were standing alongside during the funeral, honouring the martyrs.


Ala'a Al Batsh, Essam's brother and Subhis's father said: "Despite my son being a member of Al Qassam, he always looked at my brother Essam as an idol for fighting the occupation.

"We are ready to sacrifice more martyrs until Palestine is free," he declared. "God willing we will establish an independent Palestine with its capital Jerusalem."

The Israeli army and agencies accused Essam Al Batsh through their official website of planning a military operation in Elat in 2007.

The operation led to the deaths of three Israeli soldiers. It also announced that Essam had planned other attacks and operations against Israel.