The bomb exploded a few hundred feet from where I was sitting with my wife, Safa, and my three children, Ali, Karam and Adam. Ali, 13, screamed; Karam, 10, buried his face in my chest; and Adam, 5, burst into tears.
We were in the outdoor area at the Rafah crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt on Tuesday morning. I had been lucky enough to obtain permits for my wife and kids to cross into Egypt so they could wait out the terrifying violence raining down on Gaza in safety. But before their names were called, Israel bombed the crossing, at that point the only way in or out of the strip.
We quickly ushered the kids into the crossing’s hall, but a policeman started shouting for everyone to evacuate immediately; the crossing was being closed.
Thronged by dozens of others, we jumped in my car and sped back to my family home in the Khan Yunis refugee camp, where Ali and Adam continued to cry while Karam sat silently shaking.
We were just one family, experiencing one terrifying close call. More than two million Palestinians are trapped inside Gaza, about half under the age of 18, as Israel pounds us in retaliation for Hamas’s surprise attack on Saturday, with the United States promising “surging” military support. [Continue reading…]