A father has made a heartbreaking decision in the midst of the worst violence in years between Israel and Palestine.
The man, a resident of the Gaza Strip in Palestine, had an agreement with his brother, according to a tweet from Palestinian blogger Khaled Safi.
To protect their family lineage, the brothers decided to swap children.
“I did the strangest thing today - I exchanged my children with my brother’s,” the man said.
“I took two of his children, and gave him two of mine. So in case I get bombed, one of mine will survive & if he gets bombed, one of his will live on.”
It’s not clear who exactly the man is, but his story is just one of many involving heartbreak and death in Palestine after it was bombed by Israel. Israel has fired missiles during an ongoing feud with Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Another man tweeted he is doing the same thing with his family and disturbingly described the move to separate people as “tradition” in Gaza.
“My family is spread out over three houses in three different locations as if they're trying to avert a massacre,” he tweeted.
On Twitter, people called the stories of the families being separated as “shocking and beyond comprehension”.
“I had to read it twice to understand the arrangement,” one man tweeted.
“This should not be happening.”
One woman called it “very heartbreaking”.
“What you did is the hardest thing I say... as a father I can’t even picture this,” another man tweeted.
“May god keep you all safe till this whole awful thing ends.”
Last week, Israel’s military bombed the Al-Shati Refugee Camp in Gaza. A baby boy managed to be pulled from the wreckage as the sole survivor.
Seven other members of his family died.
Israel and Hamas agree to ceasefire
Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire on Friday after 11 days.
Israeli aerial bombardment of the densely populated enclave killed 232 Palestinians which included 65 children, damaged thousands of homes and disabled critical infrastructure. Gaza rocket attacks killed 12 people in Israel and wounded hundreds.
Palestinians who had spent 11 days huddled in fear of Israeli shelling poured into Gaza's streets, embracing one another in celebration in front of bombed out buildings and along streets covered in wreckage.
Each side said it stood ready to retaliate for any truce violations by the other. Egypt said it would send two delegations to monitor the ceasefire.
“Life will return, because this is not the first war, and it will not be the last war,” shop owner Ashraf Abu Mohammad said.
“The heart is in pain, there have been disasters, families wiped from the civil registry, and this saddens us. But this is our fate in this land, to remain patient.”
The mood was more somber in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced angry accusations from his right-wing base that he had halted the war too soon.
Like the three previous wars between the bitter enemies, the latest round of fighting ended inconclusively.
Israel claimed to have inflicted heavy damage on Hamas with hundreds of bruising airstrikes but once again was unable to halt the rockets.
Hamas also claimed victory, despite the horrifying toll the war took on countless Palestinian families who lost loved ones, homes and businesses. It now faces the daunting challenge of rebuilding in a territory already suffering from high unemployment and a coronavirus outbreak.
with Reuters and The Associated Press
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