Wafaa had long had a profile picture on her Facebook account featuring a woman in prayer with the caption: “God, give me what I wish to have.”
And on 9 September, the miracle Wafaa and Fadi had prayed for happened when Maha, Khaled, Abdul-Khaleq, and Mahmoud – a quadruplet set of a girl and three boys – were born.
Despite over a decade of waiting, the couple had not given up hope and finally resorted to in vitro fertilisation treatment.
Their story became known among the people of Gaza, and many shared their congratulations to the happy couple on social media after the birth was reported on local news.
Tragically, however, the dream would prove to be short-lived. Exactly one month later, Wafaa and her four babies would be killed in an Israeli air strike on their home in Gaza City, leaving Fadi the sole survivor of his new family.
The 19 October attack also killed 10 more members of the al-Baba family. They are among the 5,087 people, the majority of whom are women and children, who have been killed in over two weeks of Israeli bombing.
The Israeli military has carried an unrelenting bombing campaign on the besieged Gaza Strip since Hamas launched a surprise land, air, and sea attack on Israel on 7 October. Around 1,400 people have been killed in Israel, the majority were civilians.
Fadi and Wafaa had chosen to name two of their children after their fathers, Khaled al-Baba and Abdul-Khaleq al-Swerki, a relative told Middle East Eye.
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The tragic ending of Wafaa and Fadi’s story saw Palestinians and people around the world grieve the family on social media, with most highlighting the couple’s long journey to conceive children.
“Following a long life of trying, they finally had quadruplets. But after a month, Israel decided that this happiness must not continue, and killed Wafaa and her four children,” an X user wrote on the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Wafaa’s sister, Duaa, also took to social media to express her grief over the loss of her sister and her babies.
She shared a photo of the family’s home, now reduced to ruins, with the caption: “O’ visitor, be gentle when you knock, for there are no longer any people in the house.”