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

Obama Reaffirms Commitment to Ukraine

Following White House meeting with President Poroshenko, US leader offers additional security assistance to Kyiv, stresses support for diplomatic solution in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20B in India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high-profile visit More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid