Gaza woman bravely films as Israel attack turns her life upside down

Gaza woman bravely films as Israel attack turns her life upside down
Woman in Gaza explains situation as bombs fall around her
Plestia Alaqad

A young woman has shed a stark and shattering light on daily life in Gaza as innocent civilians bear the brunt of Hamas’s bloody assault on Israel.

Plestia Alaqad, a Palestinian journalist who lives in the war-torn enclave, filmed herself at home as bombs tore past her window and, eventually, sent her fleeing for her life.

In a video posted to Instagram on Monday, Plestia addressed the camera directly as she walked through a next-door flat, describing the scene.

Just as she was explaining that her neighbours had gathered in a section of their apartment “far away from the window”, the booming sound of shell fire cut her off.

Pausing, with a look of exhausted appreciation for the irony of the situation, she said: “I was trying to explain things, but I think you can hear them now.”

The video then cut to her standing inside her own flat, rubbing her eyes as she told viewers, through chokes: “We're inside the house right now, and literally we can't breathe.”

She then turned the camera to show the “view” from the window – but all that was visible was a murky grey fog.

She then showed the “view” from the balcony and, again, all that could be seen was an eerie blanket of dust cloaking the surrounding buildings.

In an update shared eight hours later, she said that she had “no electricity and no internet” and a bomb had missed her home by a whisker.

Pointing the camera to the scene outside her window, she showed that the building directly opposite had been struck.

“People in the street are calling for [an] ambulance, but there is no ambulance,” she said, as the sound of a voice, shouting, echoed down the empty road.

Plestia recorded the devastation all around her@byplestia/Instagram

Fast-forward to 7pm that evening, Plestia showed that she and her family had gathered at their neighbours’ house where they huddled together, shrouded in darkness.

“We literally don't know what's happening in the world. We're just listening to bombs. No one knows anything,” she said.

Next, she filmed chaos outside as she and other groups walked through the night surrounded by flames and scorched concrete.

Then, pointing to a fire up in the distance, she said: “Our house is basically burning behind my back.”

She ended the video with a message, reading: “The Palestinian Civil Defense came to rescue us, and they took us to the hospital.

“My family, neighbours, and I are at the hospital right now.”

Plestia pointed to a burning building in the background which she said was her apartment block@byplestia/Instagram

In subsequent follow-ups, shared to her Instagram stories, Plestia confirmed that she and her loved ones were OK and that, after spending a night in the hospital, they would be going to a friend’s house.

“If you’re wondering if it’s safe, of course it’s not safe – no place is literally safe in Gaza,” she added.

At 12pm on Tuesday (local time) she posted a new update from her friend’s house saying that she and her parents would be staying there until the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) “tell us to evacuate and the cycle will go on.”

Houses and buildings destroyed by Israeli strikes in Gaza CityReuters

Plestia’s experience is just one snapshot of the devastation that has been sweeping Gaza and Israel since Saturday’s devastating incursion by Islamist terrorists.

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has warned that the retaliation for the surprise attack had “only just begun”, vowing that Hamas will “endure terrible things” over the coming days, weeks and months.

The war has already claimed at least 3,100 lives – including 1,500 Hamas fighters, 900 Israelis and 704 Palestinians, since it began on the weekend.

The chaos and bloodshed are only expected to get worse, with Hamas threatening to murder a hostage for every unannounced Israeli strike on Gaza, and the prospects of a ground invasion by the IDF growing ever more probable.

“We have only just started striking Hamas,” Netanyahu said in a televised address late on Monday.

“What we will do to our enemies in the coming days will reverberate with them for generations.”

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