| 3 December 2023, Sunday |

Gaza residents lose entire families, fear more destruction

Palestinians who have lost loved ones in air attacks were preparing for more devastation as Israel prepared on Sunday for a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by Hamas.

Fulla Al-Laham, Um Mohammad Al-Laham’s 4-year-old granddaughter, was in a Gaza hospital. She claimed that an Israeli airstrike on the family house resulted in the deaths of 14 individuals, including Fulla’s parents, siblings, and other relatives.

“All of a sudden and without warning, they bombed the house on top of the residents inside. No-one survived except my grandchild Fulla,” said the grandmother, who has witnessed many wars between Hamas and the Israeli army over the years.

She says this is the toughest.

“Fourteen people martyred, no-one was left except Fulla,” she said. “She doesn’t talk, nothing, just lays in her bed and they give medicine.”

One other four-year-old child in the family had also been left with almost no relatives, the grandmother said.

Israel has unleashed the heaviest air strikes ever on Gaza.

It has vowed to annihilate the Palestinian militant group Hamas in retaliation for a rampage by its fighters in Israeli towns eight days ago in which its militants shot men, women and children and seized hostages in the worst attack on civilians in the country’s history.

Some 1,300 people were killed in the surprise onslaught, with graphic mobile phone video footage and reports from medical and emergency services of atrocities in the overrun towns and kibbutzes.

Israel has put Gaza, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, under siege and told people to leave their homes in the north of the enclave and move south.

Hamas has urged people not to leave, saying roads out are unsafe.

The United Nations says so many people cannot be safely moved within Gaza without causing a humanitarian disaster.

  • Reuters