A desperate text message from an Adelaide family stuck in Gaza reveals how they repeatedly “narrowly escaped death” and became physically ill from the stress of life in a war zone.
The parents and their two children, aged seven and ten, traveled to Gaza two weeks ago to visit their Palestinian family for the first time in 12 years.
But the trip took a nightmarish turn when Hamas terrorists attacked towns in southern Israel on Saturday, killing 1,300 civilians, the darkest day for the Jewish state since the Holocaust.
In response, Israel launched a series of missile strikes on the Gaza Strip that reportedly killed around 1,100 Palestinians.
The father, who remained anonymous for his safety, said the house next to his in-laws’ was destroyed moments before they fled.
They now live with his parents, in the south, near the Egyptian border.
An Adelaide family (above) has been trapped in Gaza by relentless bombing following Hamas’ attack on Israel.
The parents and their two young children were visiting family in the city for the first time in 12 years when the airstrikes began (photo, bomb damage to the family home).
“A few hours after we arrived, the neighborhood received a warning that a football field was going to be bombed, so everyone was evacuated,” he told the newspaper. Today’s telegraph.
“The IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) bombed not only the soccer field but also my in-laws’ building next door, we just survived. »
He said the family honestly believed she was going to die in several bombings, some of which fell as close as 100 meters away.
The stress of the situation left his seven-year-old daughter and his wife physically ill.
“My daughter especially has panic attacks and becomes physically ill, she vomits constantly,” he said.
“(My wife) is very stressed, she is vomiting, has diarrhea and also a high temperature.” We can’t see a doctor and we can’t leave the house.
The family repeatedly called the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) emergency line to arrange a safe return, but were faced with several problems.
A key issue is Israel’s bombing of the main evacuation route for refugees – the Rafah border crossing into Egypt.
The family sent several messages to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (above) and received a response on Tuesday.
Plumes of smoke rise Thursday during Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City
Large-scale bombings in Gaza completely destroyed parts of the city (photo, airstrike damage)
On Sunday, the family attempted to cross the border but were sent back to Gaza and told not to attempt to cross the border again.
DFAT has confirmed it is working to help an Australian family escape the war zone.
Gaza’s health ministry says 1,100 people were killed and 5,339 injured.
The situation is set to worsen as Israel controls electricity, water, fuel and part of its food supply.
Palestinian authorities have warned that Gaza’s only power plant, which provides electricity to some 2.3 million people, is running out of fuel.
Fuel supplies for hospital generators are expected to run out by Thursday local time.
The Australian government has organized three evacuation flights for 10,000 Australians stuck in Israel. The first will leave on Friday.
However, DFAT has been unable to arrange help for Gaza’s family, who are the only Australians in the city to contact the government for help.
So far, the family says the only advice they have received has been to carry out their own risk assessment on Tuesday and consider fleeing to Egypt, despite the crossing being bombed.
In a desperate letter to the federal government, the father pleaded for Australia to try to arrange safe passage for his family with help from Israel and Egypt.
A young Palestinian woman holds two children in her arms on Thursday in a street in Gaza City.
Rescuers recover bodies from house targeted by Israeli airstrike
People stand near the bodies of victims of Israeli airstrikes outside the al-Shifa hospital morgue in Gaza City on Thursday.
Israel controls electricity, water, fuel and part of its food supply in Gaza (photo, women in Gaza)
One person was transported Tuesday from the scene of an Israeli rocket attack in the Shati refugee camp in the western Gaza Strip.
“Our beloved children live in a constant state of fear, and with each passing day, the availability of food and clean water further diminishes,” he said. 7News reports.
“On Monday, we survived death thanks to a miracle. We evacuated the house we were staying in, just minutes before the neighboring building was bombed.
“Today the power plant has been shut down due to a severe fuel shortage and internet access is no longer available.
“This may be my last message to anyone.
“Please can the government negotiate an exit strategy via Egypt? »
Foreign Minister Penny Wong said earlier that “the Australian government is evaluating all options for Australians wishing to leave.”
“We understand the challenges of limited business options. If you wish to leave and have a viable option, we encourage you to pursue this path. she tweeted.