- Title: In Gaza, residents live with death, fear and a bag always packed
- Date: 14th November 2019
- Summary: KHUZAA, GAZA (NOVEMBER 14, 2019) (REUTERS) PALESTINIAN MOTHER, FAYZA AL-NAJJAR, PACKING BAG IN FEAR OF RECURRENT ISRAELI AIR STRIKES NAJJAR PACKING MEDICINE NAJJAR AND FAMILY AT HOUSE NAJJAR AND HUSBAND, MOHAMMAD AL-NAJJAR (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN MOTHER FAYZA, AL-NAJJAR, SAYING: "This bag I keep it ready so I can run away when people around me do. None of our neighbours ran away yet but when they will run away we will run away too. What would we be doing here anyways?" KHUZAA, GAZA (NOVEMBER 13, 2019) (REUTERS) NAJJAR WITH HUSBAND AND FAMILY MEMBER SITTING OUTSIDE HOME KHUZAA, GAZA (NOVEMBER 14, 2019) (REUTERS) NAJJAR HUSBAND LISTENING TO NEWS ON RADIO KHUZAA, GAZA (NOVEMBER 13, 2019) (REUTERS) GIRLS SITTING AT ROAD SIDE BOYS RUNNING / BORDER AREA AND ISRAELI WATCHTOWER IN BACKGROUND GIRL LOOKING ON KHUZAA, GAZA (NOVEMBER 14, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN MOTHER, FAYZA AL-NAJJAR, SAYING: (SOUNDBITE ENDS WITH NAJJAR CRYING): "We live in horror, thanks for god, we were scared all night. Each time we hear a rocket fire, kids start screaming. What can we do? This is life, all Palestinians live like this. I hope our Arab brothers to stand with us and be united. They should stand with us because we are poor and God knows, they all live their lives and we are under fire here. Why they are doing this? All the Muslim world should be united." NAJJAR'S GRANDDAUGHTER (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN MOTHER, FAYZA AL-NAJJAR, SAYING: "We are keeping ourselves ready, our stuff is inside the bag, which I will not unpack because I don't trust things not to turn upside down again." NAJJAR'S HUSBAND (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HUSBAND OF FAYZA, MOHAMMAD AL-NAJJAR, SAYING: "The situation may flip again in two or three hours. Israel has no respect for agreements or to promises, they say one word and change it afterwards." VARIOUS OF NAJJAR PREPARING TO MAKE COFFEE VARIOUS OF NAJJAR MAKING COFFEE EXTERIOR OF NAJJAR'S HOME / STREET KHUZAA, GAZA (NOVEMBER 13, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF NAJJAR'S HUSBAND SITTING OUTSIDE HOME, SELLING SWEETS AND LISTENING TO RADIO NAJJAR'S FAMILY AND NEIGHBOURS SITTING AT ROAD SIDE
- Embargoed: 28th November 2019 15:24
- Keywords: Israelis Palestinians Gaza Islamic Jihad
- Location: KHUZZA, GAZA
- City: KHUZZA, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA001B5IE639
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A bag packed with emergency medicine, clothes and essential documents stands always ready inside the door of Fayza al-Najjar's home in Khuzaa village in southern Gaza.
The bag is a symbol of the fear and uncertainty that fill every day of the weary matriarch's life in a neighbourhood that is perilously close to the fortified Israeli border.
She has little faith in a ceasefire deal reached Thursday between Israel and Gaza's Islamic Jihad, and every faith that violence will start up again soon.
"We live in horror," Najjar, 60, said in the family home as she packed and repacked the bag, making sure they could all flee at a moment's notice.
"We are keeping ourselves ready, our stuff is inside the bag, which I will not unpack because I don't trust things not to turn upside down again," she said.
The latest round of violence was sparked by an Israeli air strike on Tuesday that killed senior Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu Al-Atta. In retaliation, Islamic Jihad fired hundreds of rockets across the border, paralysing much of southern Israel and sending thousands of Israelis into shelters. Dozens were hurt.
Over the same period, Gaza medical officials said 34 Palestinians were killed, nearly half of them civilians and including eight children and three women.
After two days of hostilities Egyptian mediation brought an end to the aerial exchange of fire across the Gaza-Israel border that killed 34 Palestinians, nearly half of them civilians. But a lasting ceasefire appeared tenuous as both sides differed about the terms on which it had been signed.
Sure enough, minutes after Najjar spoke to Reuters, witnesses said they saw five rockets being launched from Gaza, and sirens once again sounded in Israeli border towns. Israel's military said two rockets had been shot down by its Iron Dome air defence system, with no reports of casualties. No one knows if or when Israel will strike back.
Najjar and her husband say they can't walk long distances, as they suffer from knee pain, disc disorders, chronic diabetes and blood pressure.
Najjar's 68-year-old husband, Mohammad, who had spent two days anxiously listening to the radio for news shares his wives worries. "The situation may flip again in two or three hours," he said.
Nearby, as always, lays his radio. And inside, their bags are packed.
(Production: Roleen Tafakji, Nidal, Nidal Almughrabi, Stephen Farrell, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh, Nihad Khalil, Bassam Masoud)
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