Rubble from destroyed building and homes in Gaza

Gaza resident: 'We all have the feeling we won't make it until tomorrow'

Longtime Gaza resident and journalist Hind Khoudary is in Gaza City. She describes to The World’s Marco Werman a city of flattened neighborhoods, where doctors are treating patients on the floor.

The World

A stream of rockets fired from Gaza on Tuesday targeted the Israeli city of Tel Aviv and nearby Ben-Gurion International Airport.

Meanwhile, inside Gaza, civilians are scrambling to find shelter from near nonstop bombardments originating from Israel.

Louis Baudoin Laarman, communications director for Doctors Without Borders, is inside Gaza. He said that doctors there are working around the clock, and many of those providing medical care have lost relatives, friends and their own homes.

"Nobody is safe in Gaza right now," Baudoin-Laarman said, adding that a key hospital in the north of Gaza was forced to close on Tuesday.

"Several airstrikes all around it made it impossible for staff to access to access the hospital," he said. "Explosions from the blasts made some considerable damage on the hospital so they decided to shut it down."

Hind Khoudary, a Palestinian journalist in Gaza City, also finds herself amid the devastation.

"I have been hearing nonstop explosions in different areas very close to my house. Nowhere to escape, no safe space," Khoudary said. "And at the same time, I see hundreds of homes and residential buildings being bombed and flattened. My whole neighborhood is literally flattened, and this breaks my heart."

She joined The World's Marco Werman to discuss what she and others are experiencing inside Gaza.


Marco Werman: So, there are a couple of things I want to ask you about there. But first, let me ask you about your own family and friends. Are they safe? What news do you have from them?
Hind Khoudary: Well, my mom and brothers are not safe. Yesterday, my family was surrounded by dozens of explosions. And today, I visited the house. It's a disaster. Shrapnaels are everywhere. It's dust. All they saw was glass. They don't even have the mental ability to clean [up] what happened. And I didn't even have the ability to enter the street by car. So, I had to walk the whole way because, after the airstrikes, there were a lot of holes in the street. And this is not only my [family’s experience]. Thousands of families in Gaza are not connected to the outer world. The amount of places that have been bombed and the amount of buildings that have been flattened is massive in the north and the south, and whole neighborhoods have been flattened. We feel so helpless. We are not even able to help ourselves. We're not even able to help other people. It's crazy what's going on.
Now, the home you were describing a moment ago, the one that was flattened, was that your own home where you lived and where you slept?
My house was not flattened, but my grandmother's and my grandfather's house was flattened. My mother's aunt's house was flattened. My friend's house was flattened. My other friend's house was partially damaged. I saw one of my friends who was with me in school, and he was crying in the middle of the street. And he's like, "Can you imagine the amount of destruction?" I also went to al-Shifa Hospital today, and I saw how the paramedics and the doctors do not have any capabilities to treat all of the injuries.
Did you witness doctors and nurses trying to figure out whom to help first?
Of course. My cousin is one of the female doctors in the Gaza Strip, and she did not go home for 48 hours on the first two days because they didn't even have the space for all these injuries; they didn't even have, like a place to put them. She was like, "We don't have any space. We started treating those people on the floor without anything. We barely have medicine. We barely have medical equipment. We're talking at least 4000 Palestinians have been injured in four days only." This is insane.
Given these life-threatening limitations, what is the mood and thinking as a major Israeli siege on Gaza is thought to be prepared?
Yesterday, we saw this post by an Israeli spokesperson, or something like that, asking people in Al-Remal to evacuate. All of these people evacuate, don't know where to go. They don't have any place to go, and they don't have any food. They don't have any. All I saw is people holding their pillows, holding their sleeping mats and with their pillows and covers. And that's it. Most of the people who I met today told me we had only a couple of seconds just to leave. And people are like, ‘OK, they want to impose a blockade. We already have a blockade." Like it's not something new. We have been witnessing a blockade for more than 17 years. This is not something new. Like. Do you get my point?
Well, yeah. I mean, Israel has told Palestinians to evacuate, and there's nowhere to evacuate to.
Yeah, but, like, we're an open-air prison, and we have zero places to go. Zero, I swear. Like, for me, I evacuated in a hotel with international news agencies, and right now, I have a boat burning in front of my eyes because the Israeli airstrikes targeted the Palestinian seaport in the Gaza Strip. This is like the safest place in Gaza. What I saw in these four days is something I never imagined I would ever witness. This is like, we're all going to die. This is the end.
Given all of that, I'm wondering if you could share any more stories that you're hearing from your friends and family. I mean, I just can't imagine how they're getting by every minute of the day at this point.
One of my colleagues yesterday was reporting and then suddenly, he was reporting on a house that was bombed, and then he realized that it was his house. He came crying, and he was like, "Thank God. I evacuated my wife and my children." Everything is very scary right now. I don't know if I have any hope for this, but all we are doing is praying. It's terrifying. This is not the first time I witnessed such an attack. I have been there in 2008, 2014 and 2012. I have been there all of my life. I was born and raised in Gaza. But something like that, I don't know. I never witnessed. We all have this feeling that we won't make it until tomorrow and the fear is so big that we can't do anything about it.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity and length.

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