In Gaza, life persists amid the rubble

  • Sobheya Hamid Abu Mutlag, 59, poses in front of her home in Khoza'a in Khan Yunis. Her house was destroyed by Israeli artillery. Despite the serious damage, she cannot leave as she has is no place to move.
  • Ayman Abu Reida, 44, and his wife Myrebert, 36, pose in front of their destroyed home in Khoza'a in Khan Yunis. Their house was damaged by Israeli airstrikes and bulldozers. Despite the dangerous condition, they are forced to remain there as they cannot afford to rent after the war.
  • Safia Mohamed Al-Najar, 47, and her son Fadi Al-Najar,  25, saw their home in Khoza'a in Khan Yunis destroyed by artillery and airstrikes. Despite the fact the house is in the dangerous condition, they are forced to stay since there is no place else for them to move. Virtually nobody has come to help them. Fadi was supposed to marry soon, but it was canceled under the circumstances.
  • Hasna El-Moghani (on the left) with Dina El-Moghani (on the right) and her son Anason at the entrance to their home in Alshjaia. The house was damaged by Israeli air strikes. Despite the fact that the house is very dangerous condition, there is no place to move, and virtually nobody has come to help yet.
  • Heba Fareed Abu Jama'a, 26, and her daughter Moha Hussein, 2,  pose in front of their destroyed home in Al-Zana'a in Khan Yunis. The house was damaged by Israeli rocket attacks. They have no place to move as it is too expensive so they are living at a tent next to their home with eight other people.
  • Assan Mohamed Najar, 30, and his wife, Tahreer Adnan Najar, 27, who is pregnant and blind, pose at the site of their destroyed home in Khoza’a in Khan Yunis. The house was damaged during Israeli artillery and airstrikes. Despite their difficult and dangerous situation, they have to stay where they are because it is too expensive to move and there is nowhere else for them to go.
  • Abed Raboo Mussa Abu Jama’a, 67, and his wife Mazuna Abu Jama’a, 65, saw their home in Khan Yunis destroyed by artillery and air strikes. They are living in a tent at the site of their damaged home. Despite the difficulty, they cannot leave, since there is no other place for them to move.
  • Soad Abd Rabo Al-Zaza, 65, despite her paralyzed leg, poses at her destroyed house in Alshjaia. Her house was damaged by Israeli air strikes. She still lives there with her husband and other family members even though the house is in a very dangerous condition and is shifting and recently sunk another 40cm. There is no place to move, and virtually nobody has come to help yet.
  • Foad Yousifi Al-Zaza, 70, poses in front of his destroyed home in Alshjaia. It was damaged by Israeli air strikes. He still lives in the house with his wife, who's leg is paralyzed, and other family members. Despite the fact the house is in very unstable condition, they have no place to go and virtually nobody has come to offer assistance.
  • Salman Saliman Abu Mutlag, 80, his wife Marym Hmdan, 67, their granddaughter Hchhtam, 24, and their grandgrand son Qosay, 1, pose in front of a shack. They have nowhere to live, their home in Khoza'a in Khan Yunis was totally destroyed by Israeli artilleries and bulldozers. They cannot leave because it is too expensive.
  • Mohamed Abu Jama'a, 56, poses inside his home in Kai-Zana'a in Khan Yunis. The house was destroyed by Israeli artillery. Despite the serious damage, he cannot leave because he has nowhere else to go, it is too expensive.
  • Mohamed Abu Jama'a, 55, a taxi driver, poses next to his destroyed Mercedes cab and his home in Al-Zana'a in Khan Yunis. His house and car were damaged by Israeli airstrikes and bulldozers. He has to remain where he is because he has nowhere else to go.
  • Eman Al-Najar, 23, saw her home in Khoza'a in Khan Yunis destroyed and her brother killed by Israel Defense Forces. She is living in a tent with family on the site of their damaged home. Despite the difficulty, she cannot leave, because there is no other place to move and it is too expensive. Virtually nobody has come to help.
  • Mohamed Abu Samhain, 26, and his son, Rain Mohammed Samhain, 2, pose in front their destroyed home in Al-Zana'a in Khan Yuni. The house was damaged by Israeli airstrike and bulldozers. They cannot leave and are still living at the site as it is too expensive to rent after the war.
  • Fadla Al-Najar, 63, her son Osama, 30, his daughter Habiba, 2, and his wife Taghreed, 26, saw their home in KhozaÕa in Khan Yunis destroyed by Israel Defense. They are staying in a tent on the site of the damaged home. Despite the difficulty, they cannot leave, since there is no other place to move, and it is too expensive.
  • Sabeeha Abu Rouk, 60, at the site of her destroyed home in Khoza'a in Khan Yuni. The house was destroyed by Israeli airstrike and bulldozers. She is staying on the property with some other family members and cannot leave since there is no place else for them to move and it is too expensive.
  • Wasfai Hamdan Al-Najar, 56, and his wife Fawzaya Ebrahem, 51, pose in front of their home in Khoza’a in Khan Yunis. The house was destroyed by artillery and airstrikes. They finally found a temporary space to sleep at night but they spend their days at their destroyed house with their children.
  • Raja'a El-Moghani, 53, poses at her destroyed house in Alshjaia. Her house was destroyed by Israeli artillery attack and air strikes. She still lives in the house despite the damage with nearly other 30 people. She has nowhere else to go.
  • Irsan Mussa Abu Jama'a, 57, and his son Rami Irsan, 14, pose in front of their destroyed home in Al-Zana'a in Khan Yunis. The house was damaged by Israeli attacks. The are forced to stay where they are as they have nowhere else to go.
  • Ameer Abu Jama’a, 20, poses on the rooftop of his destroyed home in Al-Zana’a in Khan Yunis. He lost his leg when he was hit by Israeli artillery.

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This past summer’s conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, which was sparked by the June deaths of three Israeli teens in the West Bank, claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Palestinians, wounded more than 100,000 and displaced an estimated 300,000 people in Gaza, according to NBC News.

On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers were killed and six civilians died, according to the Israeli Army.

The Gaza Strip, a Palestinian region on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea and adjacent to Egypt, is just 139 square miles and home to 1.8 million people, about half of them children under the age of 18. One of the poorest and most densely populated regions in the world, it is run by Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization that controls a majority of seats in the Palestinian Parliament.

Throughout the conflict, Israel and Hamas traded military strikes, and while the death toll was much higher on the Gaza side, Hamas was accused of firing at Israel from civilian areas. Throughout the summer, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserted Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas attacks.

In July, Hamas rockets reached as far as Tel Aviv, within a mile of its Ben Gurion International Airport, causing U.S. airlines to briefly suspend flights to the area.

Residents of Gaza have limited mobility in the region, and given that its official border crossings with Egypt and Israel are largely restricted, people are mostly unable to flee the grim conditions. Alaa Radwan, head of the Popular Committee for Monitoring the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, gave his projections for rebuilding the region in a recent interview with Haaretz: “Given the pace at which construction materials are currently entering Gaza, it will be at least 20 years,” he said.

The reconstruction effort in Gaza is expected to cost more than $4 billion dollars.

Japanese photographer Q. Sakamaki recently traveled to Khan Yunis, a city in southern Gaza, to document the aftermath of the conflict, which ended in a ceasefire on August 26. Sakamaki found many Gazans displaced by the Israeli shelling still living in the ruins of their homes without assistance. These people are often living in tents in their ruined homes and have little to no money to relocate.

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography 

 

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