GAZA, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- A 128-year-old Palestinian, who died on Tuesday night, was buried on Wednesday afternoon in a cemetery in northern Gaza Strip, the man's grandchildren said.
Rajab al-Toom, who was born in the city of Be'er Sheva 128 years ago before the state of Israel was born in 1948, died on Tuesday night, his grandchildren said.
Al-Toom left his hometown during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and moved to live in Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip.
He witnessed the Ottoman era, the two world wars, the British Mandate and the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1967.
When he left his hometown of Be'er Sheva in southern Israel in 1948, he had been married and had eight children. He built up a house in Jabalia refugee camp, and he passed away on Tuesday night leaving 350 grandchildren.
Al-Toom said in an earlier interview with the press that he witnessed the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in 1994, and he voted in two presidential elections and two parliamentary ones.
He also witnessed Islamic Hamas movement's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007 following weeks of internal fighting between Hamas militias and the security forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
His grandchildren said that al-Toom still keeps the old documents that show his ownership of his land and home in Be'er Sheva, which is now considered as one of the largest cities in southern Israel.
"My grandfather died and he still has the dream of his right to return to his hometown," said Mohamed al-Toom, one of his grandchildren, adding "no one can forget this legitimate right, the right of return."
On Wednesday afternoon, dozens of his relatives, friends, neighbors and grandchildren joined his funeral.