Wesal al-Sheikh Khalil, a 15-year-old Palestinian girl, spent Sunday joking with her little sisters in their cramped apartment in the Gaza Strip.
She was preparing to join mass rallies the following day against the decades-long Israeli occupation on the Gaza Strip’s eastern border.
“This could be my last meal with you as I might be martyred on Monday,” Wesal jokingly told her sisters as they were dining on Sunday.
Despite her mother’s appeals not to participate in the rallies, Wesal got up early morning on Monday and took her 12-year-old brother to join thousands of fellow Palestinians in the border protests.
A few hours later, her brother came back crying and screaming that his sister had been shot dead by Israeli soldiers during the protests.
“I did not believe his words and told myself that my daughter will be back home soon,” the bereaved mother said.
With tears rolling down her cheeks, the mother ran away to Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Gaza to look for her beloved daughter.
With the hospital overwhelmed with bodies of those killed and injured during the protests, the mother kept looking until a female journalist told her about an unknown girl being kept in the hospital morgue.
With heavy steps, the mother went to the morgue. To her shock, she found her daughter laying there.
“My daughter wished to cross the border fence along with thousands of Palestinians and go back to our original town in historical Palestine, from where our family was evicted in 1948,” the mother said.
Wesal was the first Palestinian martyred by Israeli forces during Monday’s border protests.
On that day, at least 62 Palestinians were martyred and hundreds injured during the demonstrations, which were part of weeks-long rallies marking the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment — an event Palestinians refer to as the "Nakba" or "The Catastrophe."
Since the rallies began on March 30, more than 110 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured by cross-border Israeli gunfire, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.