VOICEOVER: Jabal al Rayas, a farming community in Gaza close to the Israeli border, now acres of rubble. Qassam missiles are fired from the fields here across the border. So when the Israelis came, everything was earmarked for destruction: houses, factories, mosques, even the cattle and the chickens killed. With the reopening of the schools, where much of its population shelters, there was no option for many but to return to ruined homes, some with Israeli land mines left inside. Now whole families live among the ruins, including the extended [“SEH-lum”] family.
MAN (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): Where am I supposed to go?
MAN (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): There used to be one, two, three, four homes here. Each one of these houses was home to fifteen people. This family don’t have any relatives here in Gaza. All their relatives are in Siani, in al-Arish. When the tanks entered this area, they fired a barrage of munitions at them. They all managed to escape and fled to a school in al-Zeitoun. They spent 10 days in al-Zeitoun. Today they were informed that school will be commencing tomorrow at 7 a.m. They were told to find themselves somewhere else to stay for the night, either rent something or to return to their demolished homes. This family were not given any tents or any bedding. Where are they supposed to go and sleep tonight? Today it’s raining and it’s windy, as you can see.
VOICEOVER: A woman crawls out of a cave in the rubble to hang out her washing. Dogs scavenge here at night on the carcasses of the dead animals. They scare children who cannot go to school, lacking books and clothes and shoes, all lost in the assault. Everything must be done here: washing; eating; praying, even. Help is coming now, but slowly—painfully slowly. The [“HA-dur”] family has built a shack with [inaudible] walls on the roof of what once was their house. Close by them, bulldozers are flattening an area for tents. But the [“HA-dur”]s, like many, would rather stay on in the ruins, clinging to their vanished homes.
MAN (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): You were here last night. The weather was very bad. It was freezing. We were all helping each other out. Some of us would sleep, while others would tend to the fire so that we and the children could keep warm. We had to send some of the children to stay with the neighbors because we don’t have enough bedding here. We have two makeshift mattresses. There’s simply not enough space. At seven this morning we sent the children to school without their uniforms or clean clothes. They had nothing. The children have nothing. All our belongings are under this rubble. This is what the Israelis have created for us. They’ve left us with nothing.
VOICEOVER: The question that these families, like so many here, would like to know is this: who will help them to rebuild what is their future?
Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.