Israeli bombing turns Gaza into ghost town

2014-07-12 15:38
Palestinian militants of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, attend the funeral of militant Mohammed Obied during his funeral in the town of Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip. (Said Khatib, AFP)

Palestinian militants of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, attend the funeral of militant Mohammed Obied during his funeral in the town of Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip. (Said Khatib, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Palestine
    The traumas and tragedies of historic Palestine are impacting every twist and turn in the countdown... Now R209.00
    buy now
Gaza City - It's the holy month of Ramadan, when people throughout the Muslim world meet with friends and family, buy presents for loved ones and break a day-long fast each evening amid colorful street scenes.

But not in Gaza City, one of the world's most densely populated cities. A ceaseless Israeli bombing campaign, with airstrikes every five minutes, has turned the frenetic hub of the Gaza Strip into a virtual ghost town, emptying streets, closing shops and keeping hundreds of thousands of people close to home where they feel safest from the bombs.

In Israel, hundreds of rockets fired by Gaza militants also send civilians running into bomb shelters and staying close to home. However, there have been no fatalities there, while the death toll in Gaza topped 120 on Saturday from the five-day offensive.

In Gaza, residents remain torn between fear for their safety and sadness over the loss of a normal Ramadan, usually a time of deep spirituality leavened by great joy and celebration.

'People are afraid to go out'

"The situation is very bad and not usual at all," housewife Umm Al-Abed said. "People in the month of Ramadan used to visit each other and go to buy things that are only sold during Ramadan. But now because of the atmosphere of war, people are afraid to go out and there are no salaries for anyone."

As she spoke, she searched in vain for open shops on Omar Mukhtar, one of the city's main thoroughfares, where she had hoped to buy special foods for the holiday.

"The economy is very bad and as you can see the shops are all closed and the people are all in their homes," she said.

In nearby Jabalya, 77-year-old Ibrahim Mahmoud Daoud looked on grimly as several young men from the neighborhood helped him sift through the rubble of his two-story home, leveled early Friday by a bomb dropped from an Israeli warplane.

'We don’t need houses'

 A father to eight — seven married daughters and an unmarried son — Daoud sounded defiant as he considered the latest violent round in the long-running struggle between Israel and Hamas.

It was not clear why the home was targeted. Israel says it targets buildings used by Hamas for military purposes.

"We don't need houses," Daoud said. "What we need is a country. I wish I were a young man, so I could wear a suicide belt and go blow myself up in Tel Aviv."

Some quietly criticise Hamas. Abu Ali, a driver for his family business who identified himself only by his first names to avoid Hamas retribution, insisted that at least in his immediate neighbourhood, the movement was widely reviled.

"Everybody here hates Hamas," he said. "But they're too afraid to say so publicly. Our food comes from Israel but what we give them in return is rockets — rockets that don't even make little holes in the ground."
- AP
Read more on:    hamas  |  palestine  |  israel  |  middle east peace  |  gaza
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to combine imagination, information and creativity together. Try not to over rationalise things and rather...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.