Testimony: Nowhere is safe from Israel’s bombing

A building in Shabora refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, damaged during an Israeli missile strike, 1 January 2009. (Rafah Kid)

Osama Musa Suliman al-Nabahin, 37, married with two children, is a treasurer in the Palestinian Authority and a resident of Johr al-Dik, in Deir al-Balah district. His testimony was given to B’Tselem’s Musa Abu Hashhash by telephone on 4 January 2009:

I live with my wife and our two daughters, who are one-and-a-half and three years old, in the Johr al-Dik section of Gaza, about a kilometer and a half from the Green Line. My wife is seven months’ pregnant.

Generally, when Israel invades the area, first a bulldozer enters and clears everything in the area. My house was damaged a few times, but we didn’t leave. This is the only house we have, and it cost me a lot to build it.

Since the beginning of Israel’s military attack on the Gaza Strip, there have been lots of bombing and shelling in our area. For a week, we stayed with my sister, who lives between al-Bureij and al-Mahgazi, but then they started bombing there too. The house shook after every bomb. My wife began to feel sharp pain in her stomach, a result of tension and fear.

Yesterday [3 January], we went to my wife’s family’s house, in Deir al-Balah. My sister and her family came with us. We thought it would be safer there because the house is located next to Yafa Hospital and Yafa Mosque. After Israel bombed Ibrahim al-Maqadmeh Mosque, in Beit Lahiya, we were afraid to stay there as well. Along with my wife’s family and my sister’s family, we went to my wife’s aunt’s house, in the center of Deir al-Balah. There were twenty people in the house, and it was very crowded.

This morning, we decided to return to my wife’s family’s house. We hope that the nearby mosque won’t be bombed.

We are very concerned and afraid. Nobody knows what is going to happen, and whether it is better to stay here or go somewhere else. Also, we lack things, like food, heating and cooking gas, like all families in Gaza.

What is important is that we don’t get injured. We can handle the other things.

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