Tens of thousands of Palestinians have fled their homeland in Gaza: UN | Gaza News
In giving birth to her baby Hasan on the floor of a classroom in Gaza City, with her five other children entering and leaving, Suheir al-Arbeed compiled a list of essential needs.
“We need food, clothing, duvets, mattresses and milk,” al-Arbeed, who gave birth two weeks ago, told Al Jazeera in a telephone interview. My back hurts from lying on the floor while I wear a thin cover. ”
“I have to ask other people for my son’s diapers,” he added. “I’m trying to breastfeed her but she’s hungry and she’s just crying.”
The 30-year-old was one of hundreds of families living north and east of Gaza fleeing their homes on Thursday night, when Israeli artillery fire and rocket launches rocked the ground under their feet.
The families fled on foot, and ran in the dark for several miles to the Gaza al-Jadeeda school, one of the facilities run by UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.
“There were no vehicles or vehicles,” said Al-Arbeed, whose home is in the Shujaiyah area northeast of Gaza.
For Umm Jamal al-Attar, this is not the first time he and his family have left home. He told Al Jazeera that he spent 40 days hiding in school during the 2014 Gaza war, when Israel killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, including 1,462 civilians in 50 days.
Umm Jamal, her husband and five children fled their home in Atatra, north of the town of Beit Lahia, when a nearby house was thrown by an Israeli weapon.
The attack killed Lamya al-Attar and his three children – Amir, Islam and Mohammed – living in a second house.
“The Israelis were bombing us with weapons and ammunition. They also burned some kind of oil,” said Umm Jamal, adding that he had not been able to return home to get clothes or food.
“Our children should not be distracted by toys or anything else that might remind them of the bombshell and the horrors they have been living in,” he said. “The bomb blast is what they just say here.”
‘Urgently needed help’
A bomb blast in the Gaza Strip, now in its second week, has killed 201 Palestinians, including 58 children and 35 women, according to health officials in Gaza. More than 1,300 were injured.
Israel has claimed that at least 10 people, including two children, were killed in a rocket attack by Hamas, a Palestinian group that controls Gaza.
The strike began last Monday when Israeli forces fired protesters from the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, injuring hundreds of Palestinians. When Israel failed to meet Hamas’ deadline to withdraw its troops from the area around the holy site, which is sacred to Muslims and Jews, Hamas fired several rockets into Jerusalem. Soon, Israel defeated a plane in Gaza.
According to the United Nations, more than 38,000 Palestinians in Gaza have relocated, seeking shelter at 48 UNRWA schools across the coast. That number includes at least 2,500 people whose homes were completely destroyed in an Israeli bombing.
In a statement on Monday, UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hassan said the agency had begun providing basic services to displaced families.
“We urgently need help,” he said, referring to Israel’s closure on May 10 when crossing borders were used to bring aid.
‘I want my children’s blankets’
Majda Abu Karesh, a mother of seven whose home in Beit Lahia has been destroyed, said the families had to take care of themselves.
“This is the fourth battle we’ve been wanting to stay at school,” he told Al Jazeera.
“For five days now we have been lying on the floor, and we have not received any food or anything from UNRWA. There isn’t even clean drinking water, and toilets are confusing. ”
Shaher Barda, who was forced to leave Shujaiya and his family shortly after putting on their clothes, said the refugee agency “did not pay much attention to the situation”.
“We collected it, and each person paid one shekel ($ 0.30) to buy enough water,” he said. “We did not come here by election, but because our houses are not bomb shelters and no one can escape Israeli plots.”
A Israeli military spokesman on Friday acknowledged the magnitude of the bomb blasts and bullets, saying the bombing also involved 160 fighter jets and used about 450 arrows and ammunition to hit 150 goals within 40 minutes.
The spokesman said the military had disrupted Hamas’ main highways, but many in the region had criticized the move, saying they did not see fighters.
Rajai, a relative of Barda, said he and his family could not return home because it was dangerous.
“For many families here, since we live in an area near the Israeli fence, this is not the first time they have fled,” he said, sitting on a cardboard box now in his bed.
“We want the world to help us,” he continued. “And we in Gaza are behind the Aqsa and Palestinian Mosques in Jerusalem and elsewhere. We must all stand together. But now I just want blankets for my kids, who can’t sleep last night because of the cold. ”