'The struggle now is to come to terms with what physically happened here.'
By Ewa Jasiewicz - Jabaliya, Gaza
The Palestine Chronicle
Yesterday saw the first canvas tents go up in the Gaza strip to house internally displaced people. The UN estimates 50,000 people have been made homeless due to the bombing and bulldozing of homes and properties by Israeli occupation forces in Israel's 21 day offensive in the Gaza Strip. The displacement is just meters in the case of many families who don't want to move far from their ancestral land, and have opted to move into tents on the site of their destroyed houses.
People have lost more than their homes here. Entire families, living on family land, handed down throughout generations, have had their protection, life's investment, and community networks literally crushed. The Al Eer family, living on land close to the border in 'Izbat 'Abed Rabbu had eleven homes reduced to rubble, and had five members dragged out from under one home. According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, medical crews found Ibrahim Mohammed al-'Err, 11; Rakan Mohammed al-'Err, 4; Fidaa' Mohammed al-'Err, 17; Iman Nember al-'Err, 27; and Mohammed Mousa al-'Err, 48 in the early hours of Sunday 18th January. Ibrahim al-Err, standing in the ruins of his home told me his family left their home on January 7th, after being told by Israeli Occupation Forces to get out. The family was told to leave immediately by loudhailers perched on tanks. 'We saw 10s of tanks, they were everywhere, we didn’t even have five minutes, we didn’t have time to take our belongings'. Nasser al-Err, 40, living close by explained, 'My sons left without their shoes, I had 5-6000 Dinars at home – I don’t know where it is or how to reach it. My son is disabled, where will he go?'
The Ajrawi family lost five houses, the Jned family at least four. Naima Ajrami's vulnerable asbestos roofed three bedroom home housed nine people. 'We now live with our family in Falluja.' She gestures to the crushed brick, furniture and pieces of her life behind her and under her feet. 'We built this house ourselves. This is not the first time it's been destroyed; half of it was bulldozed in the invasion of 2005.' She lets her hands fall down, 'I don’t know how we will rebuild it, my husband has no work, I don’t know, we wont be able to rebuild'. Read On