October 19, 2023 at 10:42 a.m. EDT
By means of textual content messages, voice notes and telephone calls, 4 households shared the onerous choices they’ve been compelled to make. These are their accounts.
A health care provider, who spoke on the situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to talk to the media, works at Gaza’s largest hospital. As he walks the halls of al-Shifa hospital, he passes the a whole lot of households who’ve taken refuge there. He hasn’t seen his household since Oct. 5 and says he sleeps solely three hours an evening.
There are millions of folks hiding right here. Half of the accidents are amongst folks below 15 years outdated. There’s no drugs.
There are folks sleeping on the bottom, between corridors and roads, within the backyard and below the stairwell . Wherever they’ll relaxation.
We had 18 amputation circumstances in 24 hours.
You get somebody injured and he can be the one survivor from the whole household. Otherwise you deal with a baby that’s been below rubble for greater than 40 hours.
We’ve no time to breathe.
Crucial factor is my household, might god defend them.
I discuss to my household each now and again. My spouse is at an UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] faculty and there’s no web, so we are able to solely communicate when she has entry to a telephone line. 4 days in the past, she advised me that they put the ladies in a single room and the lads exterior in a courtyard. There was bombing close to the varsity, she advised me, and a chunk of shrapnel struck a younger man within the head in the midst of the varsity. He died on the spot.
The final time I slept correctly was Oct. 5, I used to be on shift the following day. It’s additionally the final time I noticed my spouse, and my youngsters. The final time I slept in my home. And my mattress. And my mattress. And my pillow.
I do not know what occurred to my home, however the whole space was bombed. Our colleague yesterday went to his home discovered it crumbled like biscuits. We are saying, “Okay, we didn’t die.” However what comes after? If the battle ends and I need to return, there’s no residence.
‘We’ve stopped bathing to preserve water. And we solely eat one meal a day.’
Mohammed Ahmed Abu Rukbeh is a human rights researcher. He has been looking for a secure place for his household to shelter from Israeli airstrikes. He says his kids are so traumatized by the fixed sounds of bombs, they’ll barely stroll.
At daybreak on Tuesday, October eleventh, Israeli warplanes launched a “fireplace belt” over al-Sika Highway east of our residence. The reddish glow of the missiles resembled lightning over our neighborhood. By 6 a.m., the airstrikes have been transferring nearer, and I made a decision to take my kids to my father-in-law’s home in Abu Qamar.
We handed ambulances and stretchers alongside our stroll. I noticed Civil Protection forces accumulating items of a girl’s physique. My youngest son, Karam, was so horrified by the wreckage of the bombs that I needed to carry him the remainder of the way in which.
Ultimately, we arrived to my father-in-law’s residence, solely to study that the Haifa Mosque subsequent door was scheduled to be bombed.
Subsequent, we walked to my brother Sayed’s home and located it filled with my siblings’ households. I made a decision that we might keep, although we didn’t match: My household simply wanted to remain alive. Screams erupted throughout the road: Israeli forces had notified the neighbors that their residence can be bombed.
I stood helpless, not realizing the place to go. I discovered myself strolling to an UNRWA faculty close to Abu Rashid’s pool in the midst of Jabalya camp, however there wasn’t sufficient area for our large household there.
I sat within the courtyard for about two hours, feeling misplaced. I thought of returning to my residence in Tal el-Zaatar and going through demise, or remaining within the streets and pleading for shelter.
After 4 makes an attempt, I discovered my household a spot to relaxation with my sister on the north aspect of Gaza Metropolis. We’re secure, however everyone seems to be unwell. My kids’s complexions have turned yellow. We’ve stopped bathing to preserve water. And we solely eat one meal a day — sandwiches, so long as our provides final.
‘My household frightened about staying at residence with out sufficient meals or energy’
Wafa Ulliyan, who lives in Toronto, has dozens of relations in Gaza. She has been speaking with them when potential. Their frantic messages supply a window into the agonizing choices Gazan households are going through as they determine whether or not to threat demise and keep of their properties within the north the place Israel has issued clear orders to evacuate, or depart behind every thing they know and go south, the place the Israeli army can be hanging. Each morning she wakes up, afraid to see what texts she’s going to learn.
My Mother, my brother, my sisters, my husband’s entire household — everyone seems to be there.
When Israel began bombing Gaza and dropping leaflets within the north, my household started debating the place to go. Over 30 members of my prolonged household reside in Gaza Metropolis. My mom, my brother and my sisters Abeer and Sana reside down south in Rafah.
Up north, my household frightened about staying at residence with out sufficient meals or energy. Additionally they frightened about discovering no less than three taxi drivers who can be prepared to drive them south.
Earlier than Jamal and the others arrived from Gaza Metropolis, my mother’s neighbor in Rafah obtained discover of a bombing. Mother wished to remain residence and host our members of the family from up north, however my sister Samar, who lives in Turkey, pleaded along with her to depart.
The Ulliyan household’s journey
The Ulliyan household’s journey
That evening, my sister Abeer’s home in Rafah was broken in an Israeli airstrike.
The home windows and doorways have been blown off from the shock.
Furnishings and glass have been scattered in all places.
My household is sheltering in Rafah now, regardless of the harm, however the wait is insufferable. My household retains messaging to say, “In the event you don’t hear again from us, forgive us.”
‘We determined it might be higher to die at residence’
Basel al-Sourani is a global human rights lawyer. His household and a neighbor are the one ones left of their southern Gaza neighborhood. They sleep on mattresses within the hallway, however nowhere actually feels secure. He’s misplaced religion within the his work and feels betrayed by the world.
We already tried evacuating south to Khan Younis on Saturday, however the scenes have been horrifying. Airstrikes, crowds, no energy. Smoke and explosions lower than 400 meters away.
After two days, we returned residence. We determined it might be higher to die at residence than grow to be refugees in Sinai.
Now we’re fully alone in Tal al-Hawa, aside from one neighbor. We’ve a properly for water and two batteries that I bought for $600 from a person in Shujeiyah at the moment. He delivered the batteries by automotive — , folks need to go on with their work regardless of the dangers. The vast majority of Gazans reside beneath the poverty line, in order that they depend on day by day revenue to feed their households, and issues have gotten an increasing number of costly right here.
I’ve moved all of our furnishings away from the home windows in order that the glass doesn’t fall on us in case of an airstrike. And our mattresses are lined up within the hall as a result of the bombing is worst at evening.
I do not know what to do. It’s simply so exhausting mentally.
My buddy Ahmed has simply texted to ask if we are going to host his son.
I’m undecided what to inform him. I’m undecided if he shall be secure. Nowhere in Gaza is secure proper now.
What’s the worth of worldwide legislation if states will not be implementing it or respecting it?
If I keep alive, I’m quitting.