A British man making an attempt to go away Gaza has instructed Sky Information that his household got here below hearth as they tried to achieve the Rafah crossing to security in Egypt.
Dr Ibrahim Assalia, who was together with his spouse, their 4 daughters and two different kids – a boy, seven, and an 11-year-old woman – mentioned they tried to make use of what they thought could be a protected hall on the Salah al Din street, the principle freeway in Gaza which spans the complete size of the territory.
The household, from north London, mentioned they have been instructed by the UK International Workplace that protected passage could be obtainable from 1pm till 4pm native time on Saturday 4 November, following a briefing by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).
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However after travelling solely 5km (three miles) away from Gaza Metropolis in vehicles with white flags, Dr Assalia mentioned his and three different households have been stopped abruptly by what he mentioned have been Israeli tanks blockading the Salah al Din street.
The Assalia household had initially travelled to Gaza earlier than the lethal Hamas assaults on 7 October, to assist Dr Assalia’s father entry medical take care of most cancers in neighbouring Egypt or Jordan, earlier than his demise on 22 October.
A Fb assertion by IDF Lieutenant Colonel Avichay Adraee confirmed that site visitors was allowed on the Salah al Din street on 4 November to ensure that Gaza residents to maneuver safely to the south of the territory.
Later the identical day, Mr Adraee, who’s the IDF spokesperson for the Arab media, claimed that “Hamas exploited the humanitarian alternative and attacked Israeli troops that arrived on the axis and tried to open it, with mortar shells and anti-shield shells”.
Recalling their ordeal, Dr Assalia instructed Sky Information: “We drove, we tried our greatest to cross, however after 5km away from Gaza Metropolis, they shelled us.”
In a panic, the convoy tried to show again, however Dr Assalia’s automobile had stopped working, and with rounds now being shot on the household, they needed to go away the automobile together with all their belongings to take shelter in an deserted tyre store.
“I left my automobile and escaped and hid in a small store that was open, a tyre store. Me and my household began calling the International Workplace, however they mentioned they cannot ship anybody to us, to avoid wasting us, as a result of it’s too harmful for any automobile to maneuver there,” Dr Assalia mentioned.
“We referred to as the Worldwide Crimson Crescent… we referred to as the Palestinian Crimson Crescent… everybody on Earth we referred to as, nobody got here.
“On the time when our automobile stopped and the shelling began, and the bullets… we hid within the tyre store. We noticed demise. We mentioned, ‘Okay, we’re going to die’.”
‘We have been strolling below hearth’
Having been instructed to go away the tyre store that they have been taking shelter in, Dr Assalia mentioned his household got a lifeline when a relative agreed to take them to the border.
However the relative required them to make the “inconceivable” 5km journey again into Gaza Metropolis.
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Deciding to threat their lives as soon as once more, Dr Assalia mentioned: “We have been strolling below hearth, heavy taking pictures, artillery. We walked in a shower of blood.
“We really walked on corpses. We took photos of our garments and our footwear, they usually have been stuffed with blood.
“Angels have been defending us. Nobody can imagine that we made it, even us.”
‘I can not imagine that we’re alive’
The household has tried to cross safely into Egypt from Gaza twice earlier than.
Talking to Sky News previously, Dr Assalia mentioned he tried to move to the Rafah crossing earlier than Israel’s floor incursion, however was instructed to show again by Egyptian officers.
Throughout a second try, the household discovered the border was closed.
After their most up-to-date ordeal, Dr Assalia mentioned his household are all bodily protected, and they’ll look into making the journey to the Rafah crossing once more tomorrow.
“All of us are shocked and confused and to be trustworthy with you I can not describe it,” he mentioned.
“Till now, I can not imagine it. I can not imagine that we made it, that we’re alive.
“The scenario was horrible, greater than horrible. It was like a horror film. We noticed demise, and we mentioned goodbye to one another.”
A spokesperson for the UK International Workplace mentioned: “We’re working spherical to the clock to make sure all British nationals in Gaza who wish to go away are capable of, however this continues to be a posh and difficult scenario.
“We stay in common contact with British nationals in Gaza to supply them with the most recent data, and UK groups are ahead deployed to the border to obtain anybody leaving.”
The IDF mentioned in a press release: “As a part of the IDF’s mission to dismantle the Hamas terrorist organisation, the IDF has been concentrating on navy targets throughout the Gaza Strip.
“Strikes on navy targets are topic to related provisions of worldwide legislation, together with the taking of possible precautions to mitigate civilian casualties.”
The Worldwide Crimson Crescent and Palestinian Crimson Crescent have additionally been contacted by Sky Information for remark.