The Bombs Came Today – There Is Nowhere to Go


GAZA (January 13, 2009, 6:15 p.m) - The leaflets came yesterday, telling us our neighbourhood would be attacked. The whole population of the area is terrified. We have nowhere to go. My neighbour checked at the UNRWA shelter, but it was full. Overflowing. There is nowhere to go. We waited to be bombed.

The bombs came today. It was terrifying. We have nowhere to run. There was an air strike every five minutes. Thick black smoke 100m-150m away from us. People were scared, ran outside of their houses and gathered together in the street. 300-350 people in the street. The street was the safest place. If our house is bombed, we'll get trapped and die like the people we saw on television.

My children have seen the dead bodies of children on television. They cry, they are crying now, they are terrified. When will this end? There was screaming. It is dark and cold, but most of us are still outside. My family is outside next to the house. We are terrified to go inside.

It is quiet for 20 minutes now but we don't know if it will start again. What if it is just a short break? We can't take the risk. My children are shivering. It is getting so cold. Some neighbours went back inside, but they are staying on the first floor, next to the door, so they can run outside. We don't know what will come next. This is the closest it has come to our house. The neighbourhood next to ours was bombed. What do we do? We don't know. We have nowhere to go. Nowhere to go.

Jawad Harb is a Palestinian living in Rafah, Gaza, with his wife and six children. Harb has worked with CARE since 2002, managing a program supporting women's centers in Gaza. Since the conflict began Dec. 27, Harb's program has stopped operating because of the constant bombing.

CARE has unique access to first-hand information from Gaza and the West Bank, where our work includes programs in health, economic development, water and sanitation. We began providing aid in Israel and the Palestinian territories in 1949, concluding our programming in Israel in 1984 as the Israeli government improved its own capacity to address poverty.