People in Gaza hate nights’: Living amid rubble, Palestinians face long road to recovery

Alaa Abu Hatab had gone out to buy bread for dinner and sweets and toys for the Eid holiday when his house in a Gaza refugee camp was struck by the Israel Defense Forces on May 15, killing almost his entire family, including his wife and four sons.

“I lost all my family, but my daughter, Maria, survived,” said 34-year-old Abu Hatab, whose house was located in Shati, or Beach Camp, just north of Gaza City. His sister and her four children were also killed in the airstrike.

“She is unable to talk anymore,” he said of Maria. “She is in shock.”

For 11 days, the Gaza Strip, one of the most densely populated places on earth, was repeatedly struck by the Israel Defense Forces, which says it was targeting military and intelligence infrastructure belonging to Hamas in retaliation for rockets that the militant group launched against Israel.

During Israel’s offensive, 254 people were killed in the Gaza Strip, including 66 children, and more than 1,900 were wounded, according to the ministry of health there. Israel says 12 of its civilians, including two children, and one soldier were killed.

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