It is no longer possible to say that there are safe areas in the Gaza Strip! As the Israeli bombardment affected areas in the center of Gaza City that one day were considered safer compared to the eastern and western areas adjacent to the borders with Israel. Israeli shells and missiles have reached the areas of markets, official and security offices, and prominent residential buildings in the Strip. The cruelest thing remains for Gazans to wait hours as they watch their homes to be destroyed in front of their eyes after their evacuations!

At ten o’clock in the evening of the second day of the last escalation, one of Nabil Al-Sakka’s neighbors knocked on the door of his apartment, shouting and demanding that he evacuate it quickly, because the Israeli occupation intends to bomb his apartment which is located in the city center. Like this neighbor, the residents of the neighborhood informed their neighbors to evacuate their homes adjacent to the tower, and they do not know how much time they have before the planes will target the tower, while the fate of the adjacent houses remains unknown.

The Tower is considered one of the most prominent towers in Gaza City, and it consists of eight floors containing residential apartments, large commercial stores, and various offices, including those belonging to television channels and newspapers. At 2:30 a.m. last Tuesday, the Israeli occupation planes carried out their threat, and that was preceded by four warning missiles that were done by using war drones. On the other hand, the Islamic Jihad was continuing to launch rockets across the border. 

At that time, Al-Sakka and his wife Iman were going through difficult psychological moments, along with their three children: Samira (18 years old), Samir (16 years old) and Mona (10 years old). Al-Sakka tells GazaPress that, “At the first moment, I did not think about anything, and I went out with my children carrying only my phone, while my wife carried some of our official documents, especially our IDs and bank cards.” Al-Sakka refused to go to houses close to the neighborhood to take shelter, “before knowing our fate after the bombing. I insisted on watching the bombing to be reassured. Fortunately, the tower was not completely destroyed.”, he continued.

Al-Sakka adds, “I am a man with a strong physique and muscles, but I stood in front of my children and cried over my house, waiting for it to be bombed,” pointing out that “my wife and children cried as well. We bought our apartment three years ago, and I worked hard as a project coordinator with a number of institutions, and my wife works as an English language teacher to be able to obtain such an apartment. He adds that when we went to it after the bombing ended, “unfortunately, we found severe damage in it, while most of the furniture was completely destroyed.”

Warnings of bombing usually happen through contacts made by the Israeli side with the guards of the towers, as what happened with the guards of the many towers in the Gaza Strip during the escalation.

As for the other buildings, Israeli occupation forces depend on the communications of the guards of these buildings or some of the residents who inform every one of the urgent needs to evacuate before the bombardment. However, this time, no date was set for the bombing, unlike what was happening in the aggression of 2021. At that time, the Israeli forces gave the residents a quarter of an hour, at most, to vacate their homes.

In such situations, people do not know what to take with them when they evacuate their homes. They may think of many purposes that mean to them and preserve precious memories to their hearts, but that is not possible, as it is necessary to carry the least possible and hasten to escape. Thus, many choose their documents, official documents, and money, while others insist on photo albums. For their part, the women are keen to carry their jewelry, while the children tend to take their toys and games.

As for Camellia Obeid, last Wednesday she carried her wedding photo album and her children’s toys she had bought previously. She quickly got out when her neighbors informed her of the Israeli army intention of targeting their house. “Unfortunately, the house was completely destroyed and we no longer have a safe shelter anymore”, Obeid added.

She says that she spent more than an hour waiting for the bombing, her eyes didn’t escape her apartment, recalling the memories of her children there. Obeid dreamed of living in this area, which is one of the most prominent neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip and which is closed to schools and markets, while public transportation is available in the area. However, she couldn’t not hide her shock today, as this is not the first time that she has witnessed the destruction of her house. In the 2021 aggression, her parents’ house was targeted in the east of Al-Bureij camp, in the central Gaza Strip.

A real tragedy happened to Mrs. Najwa Aisha (48 years old) as a result of the Israeli bombing that hit her house in Gaza on the third day of the Israeli aggression. This causes paralysis and sadly turns her life upside down.

The tears on Najwa’s cheeks hardly stop as she receives her relatives at hospital, as she is now lying in the orthopedic department in a critical health condition, she urgently needs extreme medical attention.

Najwa was the main breadwinner for her family, as she has four children while her husband suffers from a disability. This accident had made the family’s condition very bad. Both the mother and the father now can’t walk and no once could help the four children.

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