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‘The Two Longest Hours of the Gaza War’

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We left Dr. Reem when she and her husband were staying in an apartment that served as a refuge, along with other family members, some distance south of their home on Lababidi Street in the Al-Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City (“Gazans Ran for Their Lives – and From the Israeli Army’s Sinister Phone Calls”).

They arrived at this apartment last Monday evening, after the Israeli army announced that it intended to bomb a target in their neighborhood, warning that the bomb would cause “collateral damage.” In other words, it would endanger the lives of anyone living in the neighborhood, in addition to the destruction if would wreak.

Reem and her family were among some 2,500 people who immediately evacuated their homes, only to discover, on Thursday night, two hours before the cease-fire took effect, that the place of refuge they had found had also become a potential target of collateral damage.

Reem is a heaven-sent gift for a journalist who depends on descriptions of events conveyed by phone. Even when the bombs could be heard nearby, and with an exhausting and frightening day of work behind her, she responded, described and added details and insight even without being asked. Her descriptions were so detailed and fluent that I felt almost as though I was there next to her. Aside from the fact that it’s impossible to really feel such paralyzing fear, minute by minute.

On Friday........

© Haaretz

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