Feature: Homeless Gazans greet Ramadan with suffering

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-08 01:54:58|Editor: yan
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GAZA, May 7 (Xinhua) -- "The Israeli Defense Forces will attack your building. You have only five minutes to evacuate." These words were heard by Ibrahim Abu Habib, 19, from an Israeli soldier, who ordered him to leave his apartment.

After he ended the phone call, he described the moment as a "race with the death." He told Xinhua that he immediately ran toward the other apartments and knocked strongly on the doors, asking the residents to leave quickly, because the Israeli war jets will attack their building.

The women were crying and the children were scared, and no one knew what was going to happen. They wanted to leave the place and stay in a safe place before the Israeli aircraft strike the building, Abu Habib said.

"We stopped in a location not far from our building to see what will happen," he said.

An Israeli drone fired three missiles on the building, which were called warning missiles, he said, adding that then Israeli F-16 war jets attacked the building with three rockets, and destroyed the building completely.

His mother did not expect that the building will be destroyed totally, and she thought that the Israeli warplanes will target one apartment or two but not the whole building.

The building, called "Abu Qamar," is located in the middle of Gaza city with 23 apartments inside.

After a few hours, they looked at the ruins of the destroyed building, and found some of their personal belongings.

"We are civilians and we are not involved with any military activities. I do not know why we should be punished and hold the responsibility in every military escalation between Hamas and the Israeli army," the mother said while crying.

The mother and her seven family members lived in their own house in Al-Shejaeia neighborhood, but they lost their house in the latest Israeli war in 2014.

"We were displaced for the first time since that time. We are suffering and cannot live in a stable life," Nirmen Abu Habib, 21, said to Xinhua.

On Saturday, tensions in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Palestinian military factions had been flaring, causing 27 Palestinians killed, and 154 wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

A total of 130 residential apartments were completely destroyed and 700 others were partially destroyed in the Israeli strike in Gaza, said a statement of the Housing Ministry in Gaza.

The statement said that the ministry has begun to remove the rubble of the destroyed buildings and houses in the Gaza Strip to open roads and streets in residential neighborhoods targeted by Israeli attacks.

Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar brokered a new cease-fire agreement between Palestinian factions and Israel to end the round of tension.

The cease-fire agreement was reached on Monday between Israel and the Palestinian factions after three days of tensions.

The first day of the end of the escalation was the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which usually has a special ritual for Muslims.

"We were preparing for the holy month of Ramadan, and we bought the necessary supplies such as food and lanterns for the children. We decorated our house with colorful lights as we used to do in previous holy months of Ramadan for long time" Nirmen Abu Habib said.

She said "now we are homeless and we are being hosted in our relatives' house," which is located on the eastern line of Shejaeia and overlooks the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israeli territory.