News / Middle East

Palestinians Weary of War as Conflict with Israel Goes On

Gaza Grows Weary of War as Cease-fire Deal Falls Throughi
X
July 15, 2014 10:31 PM
Israel resumed airstrikes on Gaza Tuesday after a proposed cease-fire deal fell through, while Hamas militants continued to launch a barrage of rockets into southern Israel. As VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from Gaza, the people there are growing weary with war.

Related video: "Gaza Grows Weary of War as Cease-fire Deal Falls Through"

Gabe Joselow

The week-long Israeli military operation in Gaza has displaced tens of thousands of people and destroyed hundreds of homes. As Palestinians grow increasingly weary of life during wartime, a cease-fire deal remains a distant hope.
 
Anwar Mohammed trudges through the wreckage of his home in Gaza City.  He lived up on the third floor with six members of his family.
 
Now, there is a gaping hole in the ceiling, broken glass strewn across a child's playroom, and a tiny bird, one of the family's pets, flapping helplessly with a broken wing in a pile of shattered plates and glasses on the kitchen floor.

Anwar Mohammed holds part of a rocket that destroyed his family's home in Gaza during Israel's Operation Protective Edge targeting Palestinian militants. (VOA / Gabe Joselow)Anwar Mohammed holds part of a rocket that destroyed his family's home in Gaza during Israel's Operation Protective Edge targeting Palestinian militants. (VOA / Gabe Joselow)
x
Anwar Mohammed holds part of a rocket that destroyed his family's home in Gaza during Israel's Operation Protective Edge targeting Palestinian militants. (VOA / Gabe Joselow)
Anwar Mohammed holds part of a rocket that destroyed his family's home in Gaza during Israel's Operation Protective Edge targeting Palestinian militants. (VOA / Gabe Joselow)

They were at home on a Friday, watching the evening news, when they got the warning: first a phone call and then the infamous "knock on the roof" -  a rocket fired at the home as a warning that the next round is going to be devastating.
 
"When we got the call to evacuate the building we thought it was a joke," Mohammed said. "Then the warning shot hit, we all ran out and just made it to the next street before they bombarded the building."
 
Mohammed counted three or four minutes between the warning shot and the final blow.
 
The strikes are part of the Israeli military operation Protective Edge, launched last week in response to rocket attacks aimed at southern Israel from Gaza.
 
Israeli forces say they are targeting positions used by the militant wing of Hamas - the ruling political authority in Gaza.  According to the United Nations, most of those killed in the strikes have been civilians.
 
Mohammed says no one in his building was part of any militant group.
 
"Being a Palestinian means you are a target for the Israeli airstrikes," he said.  "We are just normal people, they do not just hit militants, no one in this house is a member of a resistance movement."
 
Thousands of Palestinians have fled their homes in Gaza, some 16,000 have sought shelter at U.N.-run schools, like this three-story boys' prep academy in Gaza City.
 
Families huddle together in classrooms, staking out space on the floor.
 
Many received warnings in leaflets or text messages sent by Israel to leave their homes in the north end of Gaza to avoid being caught up in a major military operation.
 
Seham Abu Khosa holds her four-day-old grandson.  She says since arriving at the school, they have received no assistance other than water.
 
She blames the people in power for her plight: the Israelis, Hamas and the Arab states for not getting involved.
 
"We want good people in positions of power, not the bad people who are responsible for our suffering," she said. "The good ones should help us because no one else in the world is experiencing what my family is going through right now."
 
A week into the conflict, there has been little public progress on a cease-fire agreement.  The Israeli air force continues to strike Gaza and rockets continue to fly into southern Israel setting off alarms and sending residents running for bomb shelters.
 
This is the third extended conflict between Israel and Hamas militants since the deadly war in 2008-2009 that left more than 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum says in a VOA interview that there must be assurances that any cease-fire deal is adhered to.

"How can we believe now that the third time of cease-fire the situation will be respected?  We want to stop this war first of the occupation.  After that we want a guarantee to [end] all of the injustice and all the conditions we are suffering from," he said.
 
Barhoum said any potential agreement should enforce the terms of the last deal that ended a conflict in 2012 and lift the blockade on Gaza.
 
Israeli officials have been quiet about any deals, while the military is calling up more than 30,000 reservists in preparation for a possible escalation.   

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid