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I'm a Neighbor of the Gaza Family Israel Killed Accidentally. I Don't Know How to Tell My Kids They'll Never Be Safe

13 82 0
19.11.2019

At 5:45 A.M. last Tuesday the phone rang; it was the man who drives my children to school. Good morning, he said. Today there is no school. Why? I asked. They assassinated Baha Abu al-Ata, and the Education Ministry announced that school was canceled today.

The phone woke my son Karim, a third grader, who asked who had called. It’s Yihye, the driver, I said. He told me there’s no school today. He smiled as if he’d won a prize, and didn’t even bother to ask why school had been canceled. As we were talking I glanced at some news websites and understood that we were facing a new escalation, which might or might not be similar to the previous one.

When we began to hear explosions near the city, Karim’s spontaneous smile was replaced by a look of worry and fear. “Is it war, Dad?” he asked. I told him it wasn’t war and there was no reason to worry, everything would be OK. I wasn’t certain about my answer, but I didn’t know how to explain the essence of life in the Gaza Strip to my son. After all, in Gaza our fate is not in our hands. And every time we hear an explosion our thoughts start to race — where did the bombs fall this time? Who was killed? Who was wounded?

The kids were looking at me with worried faces that were begging me to protect them from fear and death. But how can we protect them? Where can we take them? There are no bomb shelters in Gaza, no safe place.

That is the terrible feeling that consumes me with every escalation, the........

© Haaretz