One house in the densely populated neighborhood of Khan Younis in Gaza is home to ninety people

When Israeli air attacks began on the territory of Gaza, Ibrahim AlAgha and his wife, Hamida, were in the midst of an extended vacation in Gaza enjoying the city.

The parents, both of whom are citizens of Ireland, expressed a desire for their three children, all of whom were born in Dublin, to meet their Palestinian relatives and become familiar with the language and culture of Palestine.

However, rather than the calm family get-togethers that were planned, the family had to deal with unexpected events such as strikes and explosions.

“It was… constant bombing, bombing, bombing and the house [was] shaking” , according to him.

Israel carried out retaliatory strikes on Gaza in response to an attack that was carried out by Hamas gunmen and resulted in the deaths of at least 1,400 persons. Additionally, 3,300 individuals in Gaza had been killed as of this point.

After receiving orders from Israel to evacuate 1.1 million Palestinians southward in advance of an anticipated ground attack, Ibrahim’s family quickly packed up their possessions and fled their residence in Gaza City. They took refuge in the home of Ibrahim’s parents in the city of Khan Younis, which is located in the south.

They were joined by family and friends who were also attempting to evacuate, and the house is now home to a total of ninety individuals at this time.

A city in Gaza brought to its knees by the need to provide food for one million people

Ibrahim claims, “I would never turn down anyone for anything.”

When you’re 90 years old, living in a house with four bedrooms might be challenging. The members of the group take turns sleeping on the mattresses, with two people sharing each bed. In preparation for the possibility of a drone assault, the windows were boarded up by Ibrahim, an engineer, to eliminate the risk of anyone being hurt by flying glass. In Gaza, however, residents are unable to truly unwind since access to essential resources like food, water, and electricity is restricted.

“From the time we wake up to the time we sleep, we’re just trying to survive,” according to him.

A portion of the group makes it a point to check the status of the canned food distribution at least once per day. In spite of the fact that they can use the wheat and water they have left to make bread in the wood-burning oven of a neighbor, there is not enough for them to have more than one meal every day.

The circumstance is especially trying for the thirty children, ten of whom are younger than five years old.

They continually request food and drink, and we are working hard to provide them with as much of both as we can… It is a really challenging task.

“Elderly people, we can bear it a bit, we can stay hungry, but when children are asking for food we can’t say no to them.”

Ibrahim is concerned about the health of the group, which includes a diabetic elderly man and a pregnant woman. According to Ibrahim, the diabetic elderly man would soon be out of medicine. If someone in the group becomes gravely ill, they will not be able to transport them to the hospital in time.

“I am very concerned about my son.”

And Ibrahim’s very own children have been shaken to the core by what has transpired. Omar and Eileen, who are just three and four years old, become anxious whenever they hear a strike or an explosion, so Ibrahim and his wife try to divert their attention by playing games with them.

They may scream themselves awake in the middle of the night because the noise kept them awake. But Ibrahim claims that his son Sami, who is eight years old, is the one who is most distressed by the situation. Sami is afraid that drones would hit him.

“He understands what’s going on… he can hear and feel the frustration we are going through and he is really worried.”

While the situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate, Ibrahim and his family have been doing all in their power to return to Dublin. They embarked on what can only be described as a “very risky” trek on Saturday, traveling from Khan Younis to the Rafah crossing, which is one of the two land routes out of the Gaza Strip.

But when they arrived, Ibrahim claims that they found a note waiting for them from the Irish Embassy instructing them to walk in the opposite direction. Now, he is concerned that he might not have sufficient fuel to be able to reach the border again in the event that the crossing, which is presently closed, opens up again. Even if he has fuel, there is still a chance that he won’t be able to communicate with the embassy if the phone networks fail.

He says, “I’m starting to lose hope in this whole thing.”

The family must suffer through an excruciating wait in the meanwhile. It is believed that hundreds of people were murdered after an explosion hit the Al-Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday. According to Ibrahim, no one in his family’s cramped home in Khan Younis was able to sleep after the blast.

“We are truly terrified for our lives… there are no boundaries… there’s no escape…” Anyone, at any location, could be the target.

“Things are getting worse every day.”

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