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What It's Like to Live Beneath Bombs in Gaza

(Photo: Reuters)

GAZA - I tried to write two days ago, but I did not know where I should start.

Do I start talking about the terror and the fear that we feel due to continuous bombardment of houses and agricultural lands across Gaza by Israeli warplanes? Or do I tell you about the bombing by marine boats all that make us feel that we are threatened with death at any time?   

But I decided to write about last night; it was the hardest and the heaviest. Many homes and mosques were bombed randomly. A hospital and association for the disabled were targeted too. We spent all night in fear and tension without electricity trying to calm the children. No matter how hard we tried, they did not stop crying.

In the area where I live, three houses and a mosque were bombed in a period of 15 minutes. Messages reached the many of the people ordering them to leave their homes, some residents left and others decided to stay.

I called my friend Maha after I heard the news about the bombing of several houses in the ​​Deir al-Balah Refugee Camp and I could not reach her. My heart was racing. She contacted me after hours to tell me that they left their home. Their neighbors had received a warning message before their home was bombed. Four floors with four families and they had just three minutes to leave the house.

They live in a very crowded residential area with no space between homes. All of the refugee camps in Gaza are like this. So they told all their neighbors about the warning message.

What could they do in 3 minutes? Is it enough to come to grips with the shock or to take the papers, clothes and property?

They did not take anything with them.

The house was bombed while people were leaving their homes. It was then bombed again killing and injuring a lot of people, mostly women and children, and caused many houses in the area to collapse.

My friend Maha’s family is one of hundreds of families whose houses were destroyed, leaving them homeless without anything. They went to her uncle's house where 20 people are living in less than 120 square meters (1200 square feet).

This is happening all over Gaza. The same story is repeated every hour with a different family.

We have endured a very bad situation for years due to the siege. And now we are threatened with death at any time.

But we love life and we will stay here.

You can actively support those living under siege in Gaza by sending Emergency Aid Now! through the Middle East Children's Alliance.

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Safaa El Derawi

Safaa El Derawi, Gaza Project Assistant for Middle East Children’s Alliance, is an environmental engineer living in Nuseirat Refugee Camp, Gaza.  In addition to her work with MECA, she volunteers with youth groups working on issues related to water and the environment and providing awareness to the community about the causes of Palestine’s water crisis, their water rights, and the suggested solutions.

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