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Palestinians suffer as Israeli-Hamas fallout escalates

Ordinary Palestinians are suffering from the fallout between Israel and Hamas, as residents spend restless hours inside their homes, listening to the bombardment by Israeli warplanes and praying the next target is not them.

GAZA CITY: For the past few days, Israeli warplanes have pounded Gaza with air strikes, killing more than 80 Palestinians and injuring hundreds more.

The attack comes in response to a barrage of rockets that Hamas has fired at Israel. Both sides have declared a major confrontation, with no clear end in sight.

Israeli warplanes have become an all-too familiar sound in Gaza City. At night, residents spend restless hours in their homes, listening to the bombardment outside their doors and praying that the next target is not them.

Mohammed Saleh, a Gaza resident, was one of the unlucky ones.

Two days ago he was a successful businessman, with a large factory that supported his sons, daughters and grandchildren -- before tragedy struck.

Mohamed said: "My whole home was completely destroyed, my cars, money and factory were destroyed, and my children are now injured. We were a safe family, not militants. We don't have any weapons. Where is the humanity?"

Mohammed's company took more than 30 years to build up, but less than 30 seconds to destroy when an Israeli air strike targeted his building.

The air strike is part of Israel's Operation Protective Edge, targeting Hamas leaders and other militants who are responsible for the almost 200 rockets fired into Israel in the past week.

But it is ordinary Palestinians who are suffering from the fallout.

Another Gaza resident, Om Salah Hamad, said: "The Israeli drone came, launched two rockets, and as you can see, six members of the same family were killed. Here remains two injured babies, and this child, whose mother and father were killed. Now he will return home an orphan."

Gaza's hospitals are filling up fast with the wounded.

And the list of the dead looks set to grow longer, as Israel will not end the air strikes until Hamas stops firing rockets.

Both sides are paying the price.

Political analyst Hani Al Basous, said: "This ongoing attack on the Gaza Strip has cost the Gaza Strip so much. It has cost people's lives, their homes, and affected every aspect of their lives in Gaza. The total cost for both sides will be huge, especially the Gaza Strip."

With no sign of a ceasefire, a new round of devastation begins.

Wars are nothing new in this part of the world, but the grim realities of bombs and suffering don't get any easier.

As hostilities between Hamas and Israel continue to escalate, the hope of peace and stability looks less likely than ever. 

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