'They destroy, we rebuild' - People of Gaza

25 Nov 2023 11:29am
Palestinian ambulances carrying injured victims from the north of the Gaza Strip to the south of the Gaza Strip. - EPA photo
Palestinian ambulances carrying injured victims from the north of the Gaza Strip to the south of the Gaza Strip. - EPA photo
GAZA - "They They destroy, we rebuild. This is the fourth time they destroyed my house but I'm still here.”

That's what an elderly Gazan said, while sitting on the concrete of the ruins of his home, in a video recorded by a Gazan freelance photographer, Mariam Riyad Abu Dagga, and uploaded to the Instagram account @mariam_abu_dagga on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian News Agency (WAFA) reported that thousands of citizens of northern Gaza who were previously forced to leave their homes by the Israeli Zionist forces decided to return to their hometowns, in conjunction with the enforcement of a humanitarian pause for four days between the Israeli forces and Hamas in all regions of the Gaza Strip.

Although the initiative, which was reached after 48 days of conflict, did not mention any agreement for Gazans to return to their land, people still took risks to return home.

They walk while carrying children and belongings, ride lorries, motorbikes, pedal bicycles, and even donkey carts and 'tuk-tuks', only to find that their houses may be left in ruins or completely destroyed.

"The situation is really difficult. We have been living in fear for these few days. But now we are a little relieved," said Husin Aby Elyan (47), who previously took refuge with his wife and a daughter in a school building west of Khan Yunis, southern Gaza.

"I am now heading to my place of residence to inspect the condition of the house due to the bombing. Alhamdulillah we are still alive and well," he said when met by WAFA on his way to northern Gaza.

Another resident of Gaza, Abu Ali Abu Dan, who was met by WAFA said, "I know my house has been destroyed but I still came home after more than 40 days."

"There (southern Gaza) we have no life support. No food, no water. There is no gas or fire either. Even sleeping on the ground.

"At least with this break, we are a little happy. But where do I and my family want to go after the house is destroyed. It's still difficult," said the father of nine.

"But that doesn't stop us from coming back. If there is no wall, we build it again. Cardboard, wood... with anything,” he added.

The case is different with Musa Al-Bahabsa (50), from eastern Gaza. He decided to stay in the South because he was worried about his family's safety.

"I was really hoping to be able to return home, but I couldn't because the Israeli tanks were shooting at the people who were moving and trying to go back to the north," he said.

In relation to this matter, the Qatar News Agency (QNA) also reported that a total of seven Gazans were wounded by Israeli soldiers on their way back to the north on Friday.

This father of eight said his house was hit by Israeli gunfire after they moved to Khan Yunis. They are now taking refuge in Al-Najjar school.

"My two children are disabled and need special attention in terms of nutrition and medicine. But now I am no longer able to provide the most basic needs for them," he added.

Agreeing with him, Abu Maher also decided to stay sheltered in southern Gaza considering the condition of his youngest son and his father who is suffering from cancer.

An estimated 1.7 million Gazans who were forced to move to the south of the country lost their homes when their homes were destroyed due to continuous Israeli bombardment since Oct. 7.

The humanitarian pause that came into effect on Friday, gave way to the channeling of humanitarian aid through the Rafah crossing with Egyptian coordination.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar Dr. Majed bin Mohammed Al Ansari in a press conference on Thursday stated that a full ceasefire would be implemented during the humanitarian pause and hoped that both sides would comply.- BERNAMA-WAFA