Through four wars, retribution rose to the Gaza Strip

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip – AP

In the bones of one house, children play video games on a concrete floor. In one, the father stared at the side of the litter bed.

Until the area was disrupted by the fourth 13-year war between Israel and Hamas, the Nassirs often sat near their window, watching the children play. Now they watch the demolition workers return to the rubble so that they and their neighbors can rebuild – again.

“We have no peace in our lives and we hope that war can happen at any time,” said Zaki Nassir.

The story of the Nassirs, the neighbors and the devastation of the four wars is the story of Gaza.

Since 2008, more than 4,000 Palestinians have been killed in conflict, more than half of them civilians. The death toll in Israel has risen to 106.

Islamist militants, who deny Israeli existence, have thrown thousands of rockets at the border. Israel, which thinks Hamas is a terrorist group, has been hitting the Strip with more and more forces that, despite being very sophisticated, continue to kill civilians.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett likens Israel’s permanent atrocities to cutting grass. But wars have caused more than $ 5 billion in damage to Gaza’s homes and buildings. About 250,000 homes have been damaged.

The Gaza crisis stems from what happened before Hamas came to power in 2007. More than half of its people are from Palestinian families who fled or were now expelled by Israel during the 1948 war. But repeated fighting and barricades in recent years have made life in Gaza even worse.

“It’s not (you’re just saying) that you’re ruining the house. You’re losing hope that things will get better,” says Omar Shaban, who oversees a think tank in Gaza. Forty percent of those born were surrounded. ”

The Nassirs are best known for the story of the frustration. But they refuse, even after the fourth world war.

“This is what we have,” says Zaki Nassir. “We have to live.”


Fifty years ago, Zaki Nassir’s father moved his family to a farm. Today, the houses built by the tractor are filled with Nassirs.

Life in Beit Hanoun was devastated when Israel withdrew civilians and soldiers in 2005.

After winning Palestinian elections in 2006, Hamas clashed with the anti-Fatah party the following year and seized Gaza. In 2008, Israel launched a major offensive after being set on fire by soldiers.

About two weeks after the war, Israeli forces announced that they had stopped fighting so that people could gather. Khaldiya Nassir was preparing family vegetables when her husband, Adham – Zaki Nassir’s brother – announced he was going to get some flour.

On her way home, a woman texted her, asking for help from her injured daughter. When 38-year-old Adham picked up the girl from their home, he was stabbed in the neck and back with a shotgun.

After being transferred to a hospital in Egypt, Adham died three weeks later. His wife is suing Israel’s special forces.

Later, Khaldiya Nassir dedicated a lot of support to orphans whose family received them to build houses full of their own experiences. After the recent war, much of it needs to be destroyed, UN investigators say.

“It’s all over,” he says. “We can no longer be scared.”


The Nassirs were rescued mainly on the next river, in 2012. But the nearest road ended when the war returned, less than two years later.

In 2014, three Israeli teenagers were arrested in the West Bank and found dead a few weeks later. Hamas members eventually claimed responsibility and Israel arrested several of its leaders in the West Bank.

The military responded by firing rockets into southern Israel, triggering a seven-week-long civil war. In Beit Hanoun, people were told to flee to the camps.

Three doors from Nassirs, neighbors Fauzi and Neama Abu Amsha told their children to stay, insisting that at 63 and 62, the Israeli military would not see them as a threat. Jawaher Nassir, seven months pregnant, worries that he may not be strong enough to escape on foot.

“When we got to school we found that there wasn’t enough space.” he recalls. We had to sit on the steps. ”

When he returned home 51 days later and found his house full of bracelets, cracks in the roof.

When his friend Akram Abu Amsha returned, his parents were not in a hiding place on the steps. He and his family were then hunted down on a narrow, clear road to the drones.

“We found them in pieces,” he says.


The May protests began in anticipation of the expulsion of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem and the Israeli ban on rallies. Fighting against Israeli forces at the Al-Aqsa mosque ended the recent war.

Three nights of battle, the Nassirs and their neighbors hid, the sound of gunfire passing through the darkness.

After 12:30 a.m. on May 14, outdoor shouts warned of an eastern warfire. His friend Itzhak Fayyad, 46, rushed to the shore to reassure the family when Israel’s first weapon exploded in the square. The boy pulled her out of the fourth window, and broke her right leg.

All over the court, the waves adorned the Jamal Nassirs grocery store. Inside, bricks cracked into the wall fell on Jalal Nassir, leaving his back bent with pain.

“No one, Jews or Arabs, will ever be present on such a night,” Itzhak’s brother Khalil Fayyad said.

The Israeli military told The Associated Press that it was guarding the site because it was located above the underground canal of Palestinian soldiers. The Armed Forces used “real weapons” to tear down the canal, avoiding military casualties, it said.

When the weapons did not hit any buildings directly, the force smashed the walls and openings and left the craters. Superintendents say many facing the stadium should be demolished and rebuilt or need major repairs.

Until then, Nassir and his neighbors return every morning despite warnings from management. Even after four wars in 13 years, I hope the war will resume, they remain silent.

“We remember here,” said Jawaher Nassir.


Associated Press reporters Helen Wieffering in Washington, Wafaa Shurafa and Felipe Dana in Gaza and Josef Federman and Joseph Krauss in Jerusalem contributed to the story.

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