‘Domicide’ – How and Why Israel Destroyed the Al-Sahli Towers in Gaza’s Nuseirat Refugee Camp

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

The Palestine Chronicle spoke with three Palestinians who used to live in the Al-Sahli Tower, and whose houses were destroyed by Israel in the ongoing assault.

The massive destruction of residential buildings, vital services and infrastructure in Gaza has been described as a form of ‘domicide’ – the “systematic or widespread violation of the right to adequate housing”.

According to a statement issued by UN experts six months into Israel’s genocidal war on the Strip, “more housing and civilian infrastructure has now been destroyed in Gaza as a percentage, compared to any conflict in memory”.

“Homes are gone, and with that, the memories, hopes and aspirations of Palestinians and their ability to realize other rights,” the statement continued.

In recent weeks, Israel has constantly targeted the central region of Gaza. Israeli occupation forces bombed seven towers in the northern area of Nuseirat, including six towers belonging to Al-Salhi Company. 

Each tower contained 35 residential apartments, which were fully destroyed by the occupation, leaving 210 families homeless.

The Palestine Chronicle spoke with three Palestinians who used to live in the Al-Sahli Tower, and whose houses were destroyed by Israel in the ongoing assault.

We Lost Everything

“When my house was bombed by the occupation, my wife and my nephew were martyred, and our home was completely destroyed,” Haitham al-Salhi told The Palestine Chronicle.

“I used to live in that house with my father, my wife, and my younger brother. We all suffered injuries and we are still receiving treatment to this day,” he continued.

When al-Salhi’s house was bombed, he moved with other members of his family to an apartment owned by his father, located in the Al-Salhi Towers, north of the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

“We spent more than four months there, but when the occupation forces invaded Nuseirat, a few days ago, we were forced to leave the tower and flee to the south,” al-Sahli explained.

‘Afraid of Everything’ – Palestine Chronicle Special Report 200 Days after the War on Gaza

“After our departure, the occupation bombed the tower. We have now lost my home and my father’s home, then we lost my father’s apartment and my older brother’s apartment,” al-Sahli said. 

“My wife and my nephew were martyred, and now we are homeless. We have lost everything, and there is nowhere for us to live except in tents.”

Happiness Disrupted

“After many years of working, I managed to take out a mortgage and buy an apartment for my family in the Al-Salhi Towers north of Nuseirat,” Hossam Sharawi told The Palestine Chronicle. 

“I was very happy, feeling that I was able to provide a permanent home for my family.”

Sharawi’s happiness, however, was disrupted by Israel’s bombing of Nuseirat.

Checking on the House – Israel’s Surprise Attack on Nuseirat and the Onslaught that Followed

“The occupation bombed the majority of the residential towers belonging to Al-Salhi Contracting Company, including the tower where my apartment was located,” he said, with a broken voice.

“The tower was completely destroyed, along with my home. The building hosted doctors, teachers, engineers, and workers. There is no excuse for the occupation to destroy the towers. They deprived us of our homes and the sense of security they gave us.”

We Will Never Leave

Mohammad al-Hawajri also lived in the Al-Sahli Tower. He was very happy when he managed to buy an apartment for his family. But all their happy memories were erased when Israel decided to raze the building to the ground. 

“Every morning, I had a ritual. I sipped my coffee while looking at the sea from my window,” al-Hawajri told me. 

“We have lived in that house for 12 years, and now I need to look for shelter for my family and to find a new home where we can continue our lives”.

Al-Hawajri explained to us how the residential towers had become the most prominent feature of the north of the camp.

“The occupation has destroyed the towers, the mosques,  the schools, the streets. It has changed all the landmarks of the northern area of the Nuseirat camp and redrawn the map entirely,” he said.

According to al-Hawajri, the bombing of civilian infrastructure was deliberate. 

‘Stay Strong’, He Said, so Israel Killed Him – Israel Targets Beloved Gaza Preacher

“The occupation aims at intentionally causing pain to the largest number of Palestinian families, because they want to displace us and force us out of Gaza,” he explained.

Al-Hawajri, however, has a message of strength and resilience to convey:

“We will set up tents over our destroyed homes, and the occupation will not succeed in displacing us even if we are forced to sleep on the streets.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Abdallah Aljamal is a Gaza-based journalist. He is a correspondent for The Palestine Chronicle in the Gaza Strip.

The post ‘Domicide’ – How and Why Israel Destroyed the Al-Sahli Towers in Gaza’s Nuseirat Refugee Camp appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.