Skip to comments.As darkness descends, so does dread for families close to Israeli targets
Posted on 07/13/2014 5:11:47 AM PDT by bert
Amid rising civilian death toll, parents in Gaza find it hard to comfort young as nightly airstrikes continue July 12, 2014 11:13AM ET by Mohammed Omer GAZA CITY For Ala al-Jarwsha, his wife, and their two children, the most difficult moment of the day comes when night falls. Huddled together in the darkness, the parents struggle to comfort their children, who constantly ask about the loud explosions heard outside.
The family moves from one corner of their apartment to the next, as this is where they feel most safe. Other families living nearby sleep under their beds to try to protect themselves.
"It is a heated night, where we don't know who will be in the news. It could be all of us," the 31-year-old father told Al Jazeera, as his eldest child, three-year-old Mohammed, grabbed at his leg and didn't let go.
It is one hour after midnight, and no one is asleep in the family's home not even Jarwsha's two children, Mohammed and Ahmed, aged one-and-a-half. This has been the case for the past five days, since Israel's military offensive on Gaza began.
"Dad, we are going to die," one of the children said.
The Jarwsha's home is just a few hundred meters from the house of a Hamas leader in Gaza, making the family more fearful than most that it may be hit by an Israeli bomb.
In the early morning hours on Friday, the house shook three separate times as a result of nearby explosions. "We only have the faith in [God] to protect us," Jarwsha said.
The Jarwshas' fears are widespread among many in Gaza. At least 124 Palestinians have been killed and 750 injured as the violence entered a fifth day on Saturday. According to the United Nations, Israel has fired more than 1,100 missiles and 100 tank shells, and carried out about 330 naval shellings.
The U.N. also reported that the destruction of residential buildings is the main cause of civilian casualties in the current violence engulfing Gaza: An estimated 342 housing units were destroyed as of midday on Thursday, forcing 2,000 Palestinians to seek refuge with relatives.
The Israeli government denies allegations that it is targeting civilians in Gaza, and insists that it is only going after members of Hamas. The Israeli military also inferred that civilian homes in Gaza serve "military purposes," and wrote on social media that its soldiers "target them for a reason."
"Israel targets Hamas terrorists and not innocent civilians," Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, said on Tuesday. "Hamas bears full responsibility for any harm that comes to Israeli and Palestinian civilians alike."
But the U.N. estimates that 77 percent of all deaths so far in Gaza have been civilian casualties. Navi Pillay, the U.N. human rights chief, expressed concern on Friday over the mounting civilian death toll.
"We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes," Pillay said in a statement.
"Such reports raise serious doubt about whether the Israeli strikes have been in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law."
With electricity cuts usually lasting between 12-16 hours each day, families don't have access to much information about where the air strikes are taking place. The power outages also impact peoples' ability to share Ramadan meals, with many forced to eat whatever they can find, often in the dark.
"It is only [in the] daylight that we can live. I never liked nights during Israeli wars, whether we are being bombed by F16s or [Palestinian] rockets are fired from nearby, we are afraid, as the noise is too loud," Jarwsha said.
This has left families in Gaza spending each night fearing where and when the next air strike will hit. "Israeli shrapnel never discriminates," said Jarwsha, as his wife and children cried.
"For this reason, I never like the night. It [reminds] me of how vulnerable we are in this unprotected home."
Fear and loathing and anxiety and death will be required to have the citizens of Gaza reject Hamas.
Pali’s deserve any and all calamity that befalls them.
Quit your missile attacks or get bombed to hell where you belong.
Hmmm. Guess when the rockets start raining down on Israel the folks don’t even bother to look up or change their routine just because of some rockets being fired at them. You would think sooner or later the regular “innocent” folks would get fed up with ham-ass and tell them to take a hike. Unfortunately they are probably more afraid to speak out against ham-ass than they are the IDF comin’ over. And, what better way to raise(brainwash?) the kids than by pointing out the evil the IDF is doing. Future martyrs in training.
Boo f’ng hoo. You voted for the barbarians.
The Palies favor Muzzie terrorism against Israeli by at least 75% and that number isn’t going to change any time soon even with what Israel is doing.
Call da’ amber lamps....
When does the hammering really begin, Israel?
Even the US Obama Tiger Beat media can’t match Al Jazeera for sheer propaganda.
Nowhere in this article or any other coverage has the role of ‘Palestinian’ ‘leaders’ (quotes intentional...twice!) been mentioned or discussed.
Typical cowards who talk tough and are now getting their comeuppance.
The ‘Palestinians’ are good at threats, rocket launches and begging for cash and sympathy from the craven UN, not so good at actually protecting the people they claim to represent and bone-stupid when it comes to weighing success against defeat.
“Ashkelon resident Moshe Nissimpor decided that the best way to halt rocket fire from Gaza - in light of what he terms the government’s failure to do so - is some vigilante justice. Nissimpor developed a homemade 200-millimeter ballistic missile which he planned to launch from Ashkelon into the Gaza Strip. “From this day onwards, we will push back to the stone age every place which dares shoot missiles into Israel’s sovereign territory,” he said Wednesday. “It is time the world understood Israelis’ lives are not expendable.” “I’m afraid this is the only language the Palestinians understand, and this is the language in which we’ll speak to them. I have many Gazan Palestinian friends who live as Hamas hostages. Once we bring an end to the rocket fire, Gaza’s residents will also live in peace,” he said.”
Wonder if this guy ever thought of becoming an American. I would welcome him, he would be valuable on our southern border.
There are no innocent Muslims. They must all die if anyone else is to survive.
They are obliged to kill you.
“Dad, we are going to die,” one of the “Moslem” children said.
...and a month ago they were in school learning why Jews were pigs and apes and that it was okay to kill them...
No matter how much pressure Israel puts on the Islamic residents - they will not accept the fact that their own leaders and mindset that is trapped in 7th Century Arabia exposed them to this present danger.
Iraq was no different...the local villages had not ONE WORD to say to the militias that set up next to them in the fields and rained Chinese 107mm and 122mm Grad rockets onto our location and 60mm mortars - UNTIL, we started firing back with 120mm Mortars did the local villagers then deem it important to come talk with us...it was okay up to that point we were being wounded and in danger of being killed, but that didn’t matter to them until their own families were in range of our tubes...Protect Israel and let the ret of them kill each each other over who’s goign to control Islam and who isn’t...
Didn’t note the article stating that the Israelis warn the citizens to vacate ahead of their strikes.
Didn’t note the article stating Hamas started this or that they don’t warn of missiles prior to firing them.
Note to Hamas..Don’t attack a gunfighter with a knife.
That like asking a infant to reject it's mothers breast...
they are not “protecting the people”- they are using them as human shields, placing rocket launchers in their neighborhoods and arms caches in their schools mosques and hospitals
Saddam Hussein did the same thing in his wars, I remember DESERT STORM he packed one of his underground command bunkers with civilians and over 100 were killed - journalists staying in a Baghdad hotel were shielding the military bunker that lay underneath it- and we remember Saddam the creeper coaxing little “Stuart” to his arms as he used foreign civilian hostages as shields for his military sites before Bush41 launched the war
how many modern cultures have acted this way? choosing civilian death as a tool against the “enemy”?
Vietnamese, Japanese WW2, Arabs... others?
I have worked with Arab Muslims for years and not a single one ever made a threat or expressed an obligation to kill me or any other American or nonbeliever.
There are hundreds of millions with no desire to kill me
You are correct. The current effort, however, seems to be having that effect if the article can be believed
Does anyone really care what the blood-lusting palis say about anything? They are the ones who want to murder all israelis. They are the ones who incessantly rocket Israel. They are the ones who teach their children to follow in their murderous steps. The best thing is to do the palis a favor and kill them all. They are uncivilized degenerates. Only when someone they are attacking strikes back do you hear these lamentations. Whining murderers.
No. The average American liberal pretends to, but really it's just hatred of Israel. Even they don't really give a sh*t about any stinking palis.
Sounds like Israel needs to step it up during daylight hours. Why should the enemy only be worried at night?
“Daddy - why don’t those bad Israeli’s just let us fire thousands of missiles at them and then do nothing? Why don’t they just let us kill them?”