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They killed Akram and now they’re destroying the few belongings he left behind
independent minds
faresakram
The sound of explosions and clashes boomed all night and into the early hours and we guessed that Israeli foot soldiers were trying to press on deeper into the city from the south. Whenever the firing salvoes paused for few seconds, we could hear the tank engines. The Gaza Strip was already pretty small before this conflict began, but it has got even smaller after being divided into three isolated sections by the Israeli army.
 
 
In the past 17 days of the onslaught, there hasn’t been a night without heavy strikes on Gaza, but last night, the shelling never stopped for more than a few seconds and aircraft, artillery cannons and gunboats fired their missiles into Gaza all at the same time.
 
It’s OK, it’s still a long way from us, I said to Alaa, who is 9 months pregnant and due in hospital in the morning (Wednesday) when the doctors are planning to induce the birth of our first baby. We’ve been taking refuge at my in laws’ place in the middle of Gaza City
 
But to the north, where our evacuated apartment building is located, missiles had also been landing.
 
Alaa fretted and it was difficult to comfort her since there were reports that the al-Andalous tower, a 14-story residential complex that is only 30 from our home had been struck.
 
When the darkness lifted, I hurried to check on the family home.
 
Turning right into our street, I saw scores of people gathering under what remained of the al-Andalous tower. The road was filled with stones, dust and smashed glass . One look at our own building from the outside was enough to let us imagine how things would be on the inside. There were no windows left.
 
Residents of the tower were bringing down what they could save of their damaged pieces of furniture and belongings. The staircase was gone, so they dropped down everything from mattresses and bedcovers to televisions using a rope.
 
In our building, the doors of the lift had been blown away due to the strong air concussion, the timber doors of my uncles' apartments were blown open and everything was covered in dust and broken glass.
 
I found my mother at her apartment which is next door to my own; she was showing the local media the destruction and the window frames  that had crashed down on my father's bed. "They killed Akram and now they’re destroying the few belongings he left behind” she was saying. It’s just 10 days since my Dad, Akram, was killed by an Israeli airstrike on the day the ground offensive began.
 
Inside, I retrieved all the baby clothes that we’ve bought for my daughter. It seems we’re going to be away from our home for longer than we imagined.
 
Later Alaa looked sadly through the photos I took of the destruction at the apartment where we’ve lived for less than a year. She never expected, she told me, that our baby would spend the first days of her life outside of our home moving from shelter to a shelter.


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Very glad to see you and you family are OK ... thanks to others from here for letting me know.

All our best wishes for you and your wife and baby.

We are all praying for you.

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