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News > Palestine

Gazans Struggle To Rebuild Their Places After Military Tension

  • Relatives of Hassan Shamalakh, 69, stand over the rubbles of a house, in Gaza City, on Aug. 14, 2022.

    Relatives of Hassan Shamalakh, 69, stand over the rubbles of a house, in Gaza City, on Aug. 14, 2022. | Photo: Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua

Published 15 August 2022

It isn't easy to rebuild while hostile forces in Gaza encircle residents.

By Sanaa Kamal

As soon as the escalation in Gaza fades, Mohammed Abu Hasira rushed to rebuild his small restaurant in Gaza city, which was destroyed during the latest wave of military tension.

Earlier in the month, the coastal enclave witnessed a 3-day escalation between the Israeli army and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which killed at least 49 Palestinians and injured more than 350 others.

 Palestinian Youth is Killed in Cold Blood by Israeli Forces

Although Abu Hasira suffered heavy losses in the Israeli bombing, he cannot wait for the funds provided by local authorities to rebuild his restaurant as the waiting will incur more losses.

"Abu Ali" restaurant, which was specialized in seafood dishes with a spicy and distinctive taste and belongs to the Abu Hasira family, is considered one of the most important landmarks in the sector as well as a tourist destination receiving dozens of foreign customers every day.

"I cannot stop my work... or the workers may lose their jobs and their families might fall into poverty," Abu Hasira said.

Five workers are employed in the 200-square-meter restaurant, and each of them earns about 300 U.S. dollars a month.

"Gazans are able to face difficulties because we believe 'no despair with life and no life with despair'," Abu Hasira noted, saying that life in Gaza is exceptional, and dealing with its unexpected developments must be exceptional.

However, not everyone in Gaza could afford to rebuild their homes themselves.

Hassan Shamalakh, a 69-year-old father of seven, had to live in his relatives' place and wait for the reconstruction by the authorities.

"Without any prior alarm, my ten-member family and I became homeless as our house was heavily damaged when Israeli warplanes attacked a residential building near us," he said.

The elderly man said he still often came back to his destructed home and spent his time there.

"It was not only my house, but it was also my world that cost me long years of work to build it," Shamalakh explained with a breaking voice.

Earlier in August, the latest round of tension between the Israeli army and the PIJ claimed the lives of 49 Palestinians, including children and women, and more than 350 others were wounded, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza.

According to the Ministry of Public Works and Housing in Gaza, the recent escalation has caused the complete destruction of 22 housing units, 77 partially uninhabitable, and 1,908 partially uninhabitable.

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