Shell-shocked Gaza Strip family tell of terrifying ordeal during Israeli airstrikes

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Families in the Gaza Strip are coming to terms with the extent of the damage caused by the recent Israeli airstrikes, with a number of young children also left shell-shocked by the conflict.

The Palestinian-Israeli violence that erupted on 10 May 2021  has become the worst conflict since 2014, leaving at least 243 Palestinians killed, including 66 children, while 1,910 others were injured.

The attacks also claimed the lives of 12 Israelis, including two children, with 300 injured.

At least 2,000 homes and more than 15,000 construction units have been destroyed or partially destroyed during the 11-day conflict.

The conflict erupted just as many families were preparing to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr feast on the evening of  12 May 2021, which marked the end of the month of Ramadan.

One family told how they lost their house in a barrage of airstrikes at a time which should have been a happy occasion.

“We were getting ready to celebrate Eid al-Fitr to bring joy to the children and to get a change of atmosphere. (But) we have only come out with the clothes we are wearing,” said the father of an affected family.

“Look at this, my new pair of jeans for Eid al-Fitr. It is all ripped. I did not put them on. I was wearing my pyjamas when my dad came to us to wish us a happy Eid. I didn’t put them on. We were asked to leave the house, and I put on my cousin’s slippers, not mine, as we rushed out. I did not take my father’s present. I didn’t take anything with me except for my iPad,” said his distraught daughter.

The victim’s mother was left deeply saddened about the destruction caused during the conflict and hopes everything can be resolved.

“They destroyed us, they ruined our lives. We are down and suffering a great deal. Everything is destroyed,” said the mother.

The Palestinian-Israeli violence was triggered by anger from people in Gaza over the home eviction threats for families living in East Jerusalem. On Friday, a ceasefire ended the 11-day bloodshed between the two parties.

Video: Israel-Gaza | Ceasefire in place, but issues of the agreement still to be worked out


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