Living in Gaza: How can we live with it?

Abu Hani, 54, lives with his wife Umm Hani, 54, and three sons in Johr al-Dik, eastern Gaza, in the rubble of their demolished home, destroyed in the 2008- 2009 Israeli war on Gaza.

“When we returned after the war, everything was destroyed. We have five dunams of land (one dunam is 1,000 square metres), on which we had olive and fruit trees, chickens, sheep and some pigeons,” recalls Abu Hani.

“My children and grandchildren all lived together in our two-storey house. When the Israelis destroyed it, they left nothing standing. Everything was torn up. There was nothing to distinguish our house and land from our neighbours’ land.”

In the last war on Gaza, more than 6,400 homes were destroyed or severely damaged by the Israeli army. In Johr al-Dik alone roughly 140 houses were demolished. Using bits of rubble and broken asbestos, the family created a small room from the rubble.

But the problems extend beyond targeted demolitions a year and a half ago.

“We live just a few hundred metres from the Green Line border between Gaza and Israel. Israeli military vehicles are always at the border, as well as the remotely controlled machine gun tower. The Israelis randomly open fire on us.”


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