Saturday night in Gaza was nightmarish. Israel’s ferocious assault on the civilians of the Gaza Strip increased in intensity to an unprecedented degree, so much so that people are comparing it to the massacres in Sabra and Shatila and Qana.
I am staying with friends, away from my family, in the west of Gaza, but every Israeli shell shakes the house and increases my worries about their safety. Ever since Israel attacked Gaza I have been trying to find a safe place for my family to stay. I have seven brothers and with our wives and children there were more than 60 of us living in four buildings.
On the third day of the war, one of the buildings was attacked by an Israeli F16 and destroyed. The bpmb damaged the other buildings, making them unsafe to live in. I took my wife and some of my children to their grandmother’s house. I do not know where my brothers and their families are, or even if they are still alive.
When the Israeli occupation forces started their ground operation, they started to shell Gaza indiscriminately from tanks in the east and warships in the west. The shelling has been concentrated in the eastern parts of the city, but dozens of shells have landed elsewhere, causing much damage to homes and many casualties.
On Friday, my wife phoned me and told me that she wanted to leave her mother’s house and go anywhere to be safer. She went to her uncle’s house. On Saturday, she phoned me and asked me to go somewhere else because her new refuge was also unsafe. I took her to my sister’s house in the centre of Gaza City.
After last night’s continuous Israeli strikes from ground, air and sea forces, which killed 40 people and wounded more than 400 more, my wife phoned me in the morning telling me that my sister, whose husband is a journalist and has not been at home since the beginning of the war, suffered a panic attack as her neighbours fled from their homes and headed to public areas and schools.
As I write, I do not have or know of any safe place to take my family; I am afraid to drive my car and go to collect them.
Neither my friends nor I can sleep because the heavy shelling makes us feel unsafe as the bombs shake the house to its foundations. This happens more than 40 times every minute of every hour. Palls of smoke hang over eastern and central Gaza City.
The Israeli airstrikes are relentless and they are targeting civilians, who are fleeing from their homes; the death toll is rising, as is the number of those wounded. Everyone in Gaza feels unsafe and we are heading, men, women and children together, into the unknown.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.