Israel’s counteroffensive in Gaza is triggering a “traumatic” scene of chaos, according to an employee of an international humanitarian organization there.
“All the people were running in the street, not knowing where to go or what to do,” she said in a voice note recorded Thursday. “I remember my son telling me that he was barely able to take his breath because of how frightened he was.”
She left her home in Gaza City with her children on Friday after Israel Defense Forces (IDF) told all civilians to evacuate Gaza City and started walking towards the city of Khan Younis, 30 kilometers south. She describes a “hell on earth:” airstrikes pummeling Gaza day and night, no electricity, scarce water supplies, an unreliable telecoms network connection. And most of all, a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness, for being unable to protect her son.
“[I] don’t know what to say more, but this has to end soon,” she said. “No human can tolerate what we are experiencing for that long.”
Israel’s order to move Palestinians living in the north of Gaza — the latest in a series of retaliatory measures since Hamas’ attack on Israel last Saturday — has been condemned. International authorities are warning Israel, which has imposed a total siege of the more than 2 million inhabitants of Gaza, to act within international law; and the United Nations and the World Health Organization both called for Israel to reverse course.
Listen to the full account, from the woman who agreed to publish her story from Gaza on condition of anonymity, here: