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‘Food running out and medics shot at’ as Israel bombs Gaza in revenge on Hamas

Israeli bombing of the Gaza strip has been “relentless” in the aftermath of the Hamas operation, said a father of two living in Gaza City.

“They are bombing us from the air and the sea,” Jason Shawa told i. “Everyone is afraid.”

Mr Shawa, a translator, lives with his wife and two daughters.

“The young one is dealing with it better because she does not really understand what is happening,” he said. “The other is really scared. We try to distract them with activities.”

Mr Shawa said several buildings nearby to him had been destroyed, in some cases with the occupants still inside them. He denied claims by Israel’s military that warnings are issued to give residents of targeted homes enough time to evacuate.

“We try to be as honest with the children as possible,” he said. “We say that we are not targets and neither are our neighbours. But deep down we know that mistakes happen so we just hope for the best and take it day by day.”

Jason Shawa with his wife and two daughters (Photo: Supplied)

The Gazan, 55, said that food is scarce and power intermittent following Israel’s announcement of plans to cut the strip off from its power grid.

Palestinian Red Crescent spokesperson Nebal Farsakh said: “Food is [also] running out. At the start of the escalation, people ran out to supermarkets and bakeries to buy supplies and now the supermarkets are running out.”

She added: “There is a risk that the hospitals and medical centres could run out of power at any moment. Hospitals are just using what they have now, but if the violence continues we can’t guarantee that the available medical supplies will last.”

As borders have been closed and travel is extremely dangerous, Ms Farsakh said that critically-injured patients who need urgent medical care are unable to leave Gaza for treatment.

“There are some types of surgeries and specialisms which are not provided in Gaza, but patients aren’t able to leave. It’s a very dangerous situation for people who need surgery outside of Gaza,” she said. “We’re calling for a humanitarian corridor to allow medical aid and supplies to enter, and for those who need urgent care outside of Gaza to be able to leave.”

Ms Farsakh alleged that one Red Crescent ambulance in Gaza was shot at using live ammunition by Israeli troops despite clear signage proving its humanitarian work. It damaged the left side of the vehicle but no staff members were injured, the organisation said.

She said medical staff had been denied access and even detained while trying help injured civilians on three different occasions in Palestine, including one incident in the West Bank where live rounds were fired at them to prevent them from passing.

In a separate incident, a paramedic and volunteer were injured when an airstrike hit their ambulance in Rafah (a city in the Gaza Strip), leaving the latter in a critical condition. Two of their buildings have been damaged by Israeli airstrikes, Ms Farsakh said.

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