Self-portrait by slain Palestinian artist Duniyana Al-Amour (via Facebook)

The Palestinian art community is mourning the death of Duniyana Al-Amour, a 22-year-old artist and college student from the city of Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip, who was killed by Israeli forces on Friday, August 5. Al-Amour was one of at least 44 Palestinians, including 15 children, killed in an Israeli attack on Gaza launched Friday. More than 360 other Gazans were injured, with 20 of them in serious condition.

“We were sitting in our front yard when we suddenly heard gunfire from the Israeli military’s watchtowers near the separation fence east of Khan Yunis, followed by the sound of a big explosion from a tank shell that hit the martyr’s house,” Mohammad Al-Amour, a family member of the slain artist, told the Palestinian publication Al-Hayat al-Jadida.

“We hurried to the targeted house and found that Duniyana Al-Amour had died immediately from shrapnel that pierced through different parts of her body,” the family member added. “Things were fairly normal in the area […] there was no reason for this attack.”

The Israeli army’s spokesperson’s unit has not responded to Hyperallergic’s request for comment.

Al-Amour studied visual arts at Gaza’s Al-Aqsa University. “I am not making anything amazing. I am merely trying, amidst this isolation, to make life bearable,” she once wrote about her work on her Facebook page.

Yousef D. Hammash, an advocacy officer working for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Gaza, was the first to share the news about Al-Amour’s death on Twitter, along with some of her paintings.

Israel called the weekend attack a “pre-emptive” operation, targeting leaders from the militant group Islamic Jihad. The Israeli army said it has so far killed 15 members of the group, including a senior leader. The militant group fired hundreds of rockets at Israel in response. A shaky ceasefire between the two sides, brokered by Egypt, was signed Sunday.

This weekend’s violence was the worst that Gaza has witnessed since Israel’s 11-day bombardment of the city in May of 2021, which killed at least 261 people, including 67 children, and wounded more than 2,200, according to the United Nations.

Hakim Bishara is a Senior Editor at Hyperallergic. He is also a co-director at Soloway Gallery, an artist-run space in Brooklyn. Bishara is a recipient of the 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital...

Elaine Velie is a writer from New Hampshire living in Brooklyn. She studied Art History and Russian at Middlebury College and is interested in art's role in history, culture, and politics.