A Palestinian family of six insists on staying in its home in the city of Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip despite it being reduced to rubble as a result of an Israeli airstrike, Anadolu Agency reports.
The family continues to live in difficult conditions after Israeli warplanes destroyed its two-storey home last month.
The attack also seriously wounded the head of the family, 51-year-old Khaled Naji.
27 Amid the ruins of the house, his wife, Siham Naji, is cutting tomatoes and peppers, preparing breakfast for her family, with the help of Khaled and one of their children.
Despite the dire situation, the family insists on staying in the home, working with dedication to provide for basic needs and secure a living.
Life in rubble
In the early morning hours, they struggled to search among the rubble for some pieces of wood from the furniture destroyed by the bombing.
The father works hard to remove the rubble to find a little wood to light and prepare breakfast food known as a “tomato frying pan,” consisting of tomatoes, peppers, and garlic which are stirred over the fire until cooked.
Despite the devastation and pain that befell the family, the wife tries to caress her grandson on a mattress she placed on top of the rubble.
The family takes shelter in a cracked room, which is what remains of the house, to sleep in and spend their time inside.
Khaled told Anadolu that they were surprised by the bombing of their house even though there were no military targets near them.
The Israeli missiles turned his house and his neighbours’ houses into rubble.
“The bombing caused deep wounds in my hand and burns on my body after I recovered from under the rubble …,” he said.
Overcrowding prompted me to return to stay in my home after I saw residents setting up tents made of torn clothes, nylon and tin (at a temporary shelter)
He explained that he lives in part of a dilapidated room in which he lives with his family, despite their house being completely destroyed.
“We prepare food and bread on top of the rubble,” Khaled said. “Despite the destruction, we will remain steadfast. We cannot leave our homes. They (the Israeli army) want to force us to leave our homeland, and we will not accept that with our lives.”
He said they are the owners of a cause and the owners of the land.
The Occupation (Israelis) came from many countries. They are all mercenaries and have no homeland …There is no possibility for us to abandon our land, despite the destruction
“The Occupation destroyed our house, and I hope the war will end. All my toys are gone,” the child, Youssef, said.
Siham, the wife, said: “We live in a small part of the remaining room of the house. We cook food over the fire.”
She added: “There is no water or homes to stay in, and winter is coming. We do not know how to adapt and live.”
“The humanitarian truce is not enough to alleviate people’s suffering. We hope that peace and stability will return to our lives,” she added.
On Friday, the humanitarian pause initially set for four days between Israel and the Palestinian factions entered into force at 7 a.m., local time (GMT0500).
The humanitarian pause agreement includes the release of 50 Israeli prisoners from Gaza, 13 of whom were released, in exchange for the release of 150 Palestinians from Israeli prisons, 39 of whom were released, and the entry of hundreds of trucks loaded with humanitarian relief, medical and fuel aid to all areas of the Gaza Strip.
Israel launched a massive military campaign in the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by Hamas on 7 October.
It has since killed at least 14,854 Palestinians, including 6,150 children and over 4,000 women, according to health authorities in the enclave. The official Israeli death toll stands at 1,200.