Because of the latest Israeli strikes, Palestinians in Gaza incurred heavy financial losses
While the limited Israeli airstrikes against Gaza had not caused casualties among Palestinians, they did cause major damage to the civilian buildings and infrastructure near the targetted sites, causing heavy financial losses to owners heavy losses, residents in the besieged coastal enclave said.
For the third time in a few months, Mohammed Nassar, a Gaza-based photographer was forced to completely evacuate his workplace because of the Israeli strikes that attacked a Hamas military site nearby.
Speaking to The New Arab, the photographer said, "I did not know that I would be a target to the Israeli warplanes when I established my own business of photography studio two years ago, just because it is close to what they called a 'military site'."
Fears of war follow Israeli air strikes on 'Hamas sites' in Gazahttps://t.co/2RlMTyZj6e— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) February 13, 2023
With each Israeli attack, he noted, "I have lost between $US 15,000 to $US 20,000 (…) I still do not know why the Israeli army insist on attacking the site despite it being empty. In addition, why they deliberately affect my workplace."
"It is my only source of income and I cannot work in any other field amid the lack of job opportunities in Gaza," he added, noting that he is forced to rebuild his studio at his own expense as he cannot wait for compensation that would be provided by the Hamas-run Ministry of Works and Housing.
According to Nassar, he has not been compensated in the past two times. In turn, he is obliged with his customers, mostly prides, to carry out their photo sessions on time.
On Monday morning, the Israeli warplanes attacked several sites which they claimed were 'military sites' belonging to Hamas. Eight missiles struck the strip, allegedly in a response to a homemade rocket that was fired from the coastal enclave into an Israeli city.
Officially, none of the Palestinian armed groups claimed responsibility for the rocket fire. However, according to the spokesperson of the Israeli army Avichai Adrea, Hamas "must pay the price" for attacking the Israeli as it controls the Gaza Strip.
"We are paying the price," Mohammed Shamalakh, a Gaza-based resident, who owns a wedding hell close to Nassar's studio, remarked to TNA, while he was inspecting his destroyed facility.
"I work all year to pay the price of an endless conflict with an enemy who does not have mercy towards us," he said. "Now, I must use all my profits to rebuild my facility."
Even though he seeks to rebuild the wedding hell soon, Shamalakh, a father of eight, will struggle to provide for his family as he must pay his debts first, as he noted.
Both Nassar and Shamalakh called on the international community to pressure Israel to spare civilians from being targeted in any military activities in Gaza, stressing that "the Israeli army knows how to do so."
Gaza organises blood donation campaign for Turkey-Syria earthquake victimshttps://t.co/x77HQRFf93— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) February 13, 2023
For his part, Naji Sarhan, the undersecretary of the Hamas-run Ministry of Works and Housing, said to The New Arab that "facilities of Nassar and Shamalakh are among dozens of civilian facilities that were partially or completely destroyed by the Israeli army over the past six months."
Until now, he stressed, "there are homes destroyed by the Israeli army during the wars of 2021 and 2022 and have yet to be rebuilt. We don't have any money left as most donors had not fulfilled their pledges."
Since 2007, Gazans have been facing severe consequences from the Israeli blockade, which was collectively imposed on the people of the strip after the Islamic Hamas movement took control of the area.
The Israeli army also launched five large-scale military operations, killing thousands of Gazans and wounding tens of thousands.
Naji has called on the international community to pressure Israel to stop its repeated violations against the coastal enclave, home to more than 2.3 million people.