No innocence in Gaza: She knows no English but she knows the word for bombing


The view from the Qeeq family home is rubble.

Next door is where the Hadidis once lived – a family now without a mother and four of her sons.

The Qeeqs somehow survived. Three generations are holding together, just.

Susu says she felt 'scared' during the airstrikes
Susu says she felt ‘scared’ during the airstrikes

Overhead, the dull buzz is the sound of the Israeli drones. They’re flying low throughout the day, hitting targets across the strip.

Mohammed Qeeq is just 25 but has the weight of a whole family’s struggle on him. He has spoken to our local team inside Gaza.

“The electricity comes for an hour and cuts off. The wires are cut. We don’t have electricity, or internet, or water or anything. What should we do?” he asks.

He points to his elderly father who is sitting in a chair next to a broken window.

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“This man is 81 years old. This wall and window hit him. I was sleeping next to him. The windows fell on us. The fridge fell on us, when I woke up and woke him up,” he says.

“Can this man fire rockets? This is an old civilian. What can he do? You are hitting the civilians.”

Mohammed Qeeq, 25, is looking after his family
Mohammed Qeeq, 25, is looking after his family
Mohammed's elderly father was hit by a window and fridge
Mohammed’s elderly father was hit by a window and fridge

Then there is the other generation, his daughters. How do you explain to them why their neighbours and their friends are dead?

Speaking in Arabic, five-year-old Susu says: “They didn’t do anything and they killed them and we were scared because there was bombing and we had no Eid.”

For the word “bombing” she uses English. She knows no English but she knows the word for bombing. There is no innocence in Gaza.

There is water in Gaza but it no longer comes out of the taps.

The bombing has damaged the mains pipes, and it’s taken out the electricity supply. It’s down to a maximum of two hours a day now. And there is little fuel for generators.

The UN-run schools are a focal point. Classrooms are now bedrooms for the many hundreds of families whose houses are destroyed and the thousands more who are too frightened to be home.

This is the view outside the Qeeq family's home
This is the view outside the Qeeq family’s home

The families at the school tell us there has been an airstrike every five minutes.

For a population locked in and already 70% dependent on aid and food, this is devastating.

The daily release of Israeli Defence Force (IDF) footage is proof, they say, that their strikes are as precise as possible. The Israeli military claim they have killed 130 Palestinian militants and hit more than 800 targets.

One clip showed what they say is the targeting of a small Hamas submarine.

And another showed what is, for Israel, a prize. They claim they killed a top commander.

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Israeli video of airstrikes on Gaza City

For 15 years, Husam Abu Harbeed was a leader within the Palestinian Islamic Jihad which, behind Hamas, is one of the most powerful militant groups in Gaza.

The IDF says that Abu Harbeed was a key figure in the firing of rockets into Israel. More than 3,200 rockets have now been fired towards Israel, a figure that has surprised everyone.

“He was assassinated. He was taken out. He’s no longer amongst those operating against Israel,” a military spokesman said.

Yet there is no sign, a week on, that either side is prepared to stop, not even for aid to get in.

The Qeeqs managed to survive the airstrikes
The Qeeqs managed to survive the airstrikes

Israel calls this proportionate and says that civilian deaths are regrettable.

Hamas says it is the defender and protector of the occupied people of Palestine.

“We don’t know whether to count the dead or the rockets which come down,” Mohammed Qeeq says.

The cycle goes on.

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