Central Gaza homes turn into refuge for the displaced

Central Gaza homes turn into refuge for the displaced
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The clock above Gaza Strip resident Ahlam Abed chimed 6:00am and in that hour there was strong knocking on the door of her house. The knocking was one of fear.

Behind the door there was a Palestinian family that sought safety from Israel's ceaseless rocket and bomb attacks on the homes of the Gaza Strip, which has been suffering Israeli strikes since July 7.

When she opened the door, Abed saw the children of the fleeing family. Their faces were full of fear and the dust induced by Israel's bombs and rockets.

Other Palestinian families were seeking safety inside the 45-year-old woman's house already, leaving no room for any newcomers. Even with this, Abed could not tell her new visitors to go somewhere else.

"Five families have been staying at my home to flee Israel's attacks on the northern and eastern parts of the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war on July 7," Abed, a mother of four children, told Anadolu Agency.

"I don't know how to help the people coming here; food isn't enough and there's no space left for any new comers," she added.

Central Gaza homes, which are considerably away from Israel's strikes in the northern and eastern parts of the Gaza Strip, are quickly turning into a refuge for Gazans displaced by Israel's attacks or ones escaping these attacks.

Leaving Israel's shelling of their homes behind, northern and eastern Gaza residents seek safety in the homes of other Gazans in the central part of the Palestinian enclave or in central Gaza's schools, churches and mosques.

But the stampede from the northern and the eastern parts of the city into its center is creating difficulties for everybody.

None of the members of the five families seeking refuge in Abed's home dare to get out of the home to buy their needs while Israel continually seeks objects to strike.

Most of the people who have come to Gaza's center from the northern and eastern part of the strip have left everything behind: their clothes, properties and money as well.

In leaving their homes, these people cared first and foremost to flee with their lives from Israel's war machine that was making its most brutal sketch in the attacked parts.

Abed says while her house is now bursting at the seams with people, she is ready to receive even more people and offer help to fellow Gazans from the north and the east.

Alia Abu Elba, another central Gaza homeowner, had almost the same feelings. Abu Elba has offered shelter and sleeping space for 20 people inside her home.

"There isn't any more space inside the house," Abu Elba said. "Some of us sleep on the floor, others wait until the morning to find space where they can sleep," she added.

In one of the corners of Abu Elba's house, 17-year-old Haya Jamal was sitting on the ground, while her eyes were full of tears.

She said she was afraid for her father who had to leave Abu Elba's dense house and seek space in another house.

"Why does the world leave us to die like this?" Jamal asked. "When will this bloody war against us stop?"

She said that her utmost dream now was for her and the other members of the same family to reunite in security under one roof.

A humanitarian ceasefire has started coming into effect in Gaza. The ceasefire was proposed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier.

The humanitarian lull comes hard on the heels of intensive Israeli shelling of homes and sites in the Gaza Strip, shelling that started on July 7.

Around 1000 Palestinians have been killed – mostly civilians – and more than 5840 others injured in Israel's offensive, now in its third week.

Gaza-based resistance factions, meanwhile, fired rocket at Israeli cities in response to relentless Israeli bombardments.

Israel's military operation, dubbed operation "Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the densely-populate Gaza Strip – which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – within the last six years.

PHOTO CAPTION

A Palestinian inspects a damaged house which police said was hit by an Israeli shelling that killed 8 members from al-Qassas family, among them four children, in Gaza City July 21, 2014

Source: AA

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