GAZA — Alaa Abu Hatab went out to buy bread for dinner, sweets and toys for the Eid holiday. When his home in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip was attacked by the Israeli Defense Forces on May 15, almost his entire family was killed. including his wife and four sons.
“I lost my whole family. But my daughter, Maria, survived,” said Abu Hatab, 34, whose home is in Chat, or Beach Camp, north of Gaza. Killed in air raids too.
“You can’t talk anymore,” he said of Maria. “She’s in shock.”
For 11 days Gaza, one of the most densely populated places in the world. Was repeatedly attacked by the Israel Defense Forces. It said it had targeted military and intelligence infrastructure belonging to Hamas in response to rockets that militants attacked Israel.
during the Israeli invasion 254 people were killed in the Gaza Strip, including 66 children, and more than 1,900 were injured, according to the health ministry there. Israel said 12 civilians, including two children and a soldier, were killed.
Both sides announced a ceasefire over the weekend. And President Biden has followed up by pledging to help rebuild the Gaza Strip.
The restoration efforts that lie ahead are likely to be large: Gaza’s Ministry of Construction and Housing says more than 107,000 Palestinians have been displaced from their homes due to air strikes. More than 1,800 homes are thought to have been demolished or severely damaged, and another 13,000 were moderately or partially damaged. Three towers were completely destroyed.
The World Health Organization says Gaza is facing a public health crisis as a result of air strikes. Damage to two dozen medical facilities, three water plants are closed. And hospitals are facing shortages of fuel and energy.
In addition to physical damage The family said the air strikes had a severe psychological impact on the population. especially in children
Israa Hatem, 26, said she felt lucky to be alive. “I live in a four-story house in Gaza with my mother and siblings. and air raids [were] Everywhere, unfortunately there. [wasn’t] A safe place in the Gaza Strip,” she said.
“People in Gaza hate nights,” she said. We thank God that we were saved.”
during an air raid Her family – 11 people – crowded downstairs for safety reasons. “I spent the day holding my three-year-old daughter Meral in my arms, comforting her and telling her stories,” Hatem recalls. “She began to ask me about death and how people die.”
As for Abu Hatab, his home was destroyed and most of his family was killed. The road to recovery will be a long way to go. International aid in the form of food and medicine has arrived. But there is no clear timeline for rebuilding assistance.
His surviving daughter Maria Currently living with Aunt He visited her in the morning. before going to work selling vegetables
“I don’t know where to go each day,” he said. “I move from house to house because I don’t have another house.”
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