Palestinian girls run away after an Israeli air strike on a house in the northern Gaza Strip on Nov. 18. Photo by Mohammed Salem/Reuters.
In Gaza, there are no sirens, no warnings and no bomb shelters. “We put plastic on the glass so that if it’s shattered during an air strike we won’t get hurt,” 35-year-old Marwa Bahar relays by telephone. “We run out to get supplies — bread, gasoline for generators and water — whenever we can. During bombing it’s safer in the apartment stairwell but nowhere is really safe.”
A colleague told me about the Almadhun family — four of the five family members are deaf. There’s no electricity in Gaza so they have no way of receiving television cues or audio warnings of any sort when air and naval strikes are ongoing.
“We also stay together. My sister lives on the 10th floor and now she has move into our place on the second floor,” added Bahar. “If people live in different parts of the city, they stay together in one place. It helps with support. If anything, this situation makes people more committed to Hamas.”
His face smeared with soot and white dust coating his black T-shirt , 30-year-old Ahmed Saleh stands atop the rubble that had been his home a day before.
“It was morning and we were sleeping. The walls collapsed. We didn’t understand what was happening and we couldn’t find the children. We had to dig them out. They were buried underneath the rubble.”
The irony is that as European, U.N., U.S., Egyptian and Arab League leaders work overtime to hammer out a ceasefire deal, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Israel continue pounding each other. And the death toll is mounting in Gaza.