Gazans in frantic hunt for safety as Israeli forces prepare to invade

Saturday, November 17, 2012
By Paul Martin

In the Gaza Strip, the hail of missiles continues as Israel attempts to destroy Hamas’s military infrastructure. Ahead of a feared ground attack, there is a search for any kind of refuge

Harriet Sherwood
GuardianUK
Saturday 17 November 2012

On an eerily deserted street in the al-Karama district of Gaza City, the Abu Sinan family was waiting – in vain – for a taxi. Clutching two blue plastic bags full of clothing and a black backpack, 19-year-old Tariq alternated between scanning the road for a vehicle and casting his eyes to the sky, from where the buzz of Israeli drones could be heard.

Their intended destination was just a few miles across town. “We think it’s a safer area,” he said. “Here, there is a lot of empty ground. We see the resistance firing rockets every day, so there are a lot of air strikes.” He had no idea how long the family would be away from their home: “Until it’s over.”

A growing number of desperate Gazans appeared to be on the move. One man said that he had taken his wife and baby to Khan Younis, a city in the southern half of the Gaza Strip, in the hope that it was safer.

A woman who took her family to spend the night in a community centre said she had found no respite from the bombing: “We discovered everywhere is equal on the safety scale.”

People are beginning to feel like rats in a cage as Israel pummels the tiny territory with missiles and steps up preparations for a possible ground invasion.

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