Palestinians and Israelis in Houston fear for safety as tension continues

Mycah Hatfield Image
Saturday, May 22, 2021
Palestinians and Israelis fear for safety as tension continues
Protestors supporting Palestinians shut down the Southwest Freeway feeder road as they marched to the Israeli Consulate calling for peace.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As tensions remain high in the Middle East, fears of safety linger for both Palestinians and Israelis.

"My uncle, his apartment building was bombed," Houstonian Mohamad Fattouh said of his family living in Gaza. "Thankfully, he was able to flee only 15 minutes before, but obviously, he had to pack up anything he could in that moment and quickly leave and escape."

Fattouh said other members of his family in Gaza have had their windows blown out by the force of a nearby bomb.

Over the last 10 days, Israel has launched hundreds of air strikes into Gaza that they say are targeting Hamas' infrastructure. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds more have been injured.

ABC News talks to a 7-year-old girl forced to flee her home in Gaza amid renewed Israeli-Hamas conflict.

Hamas and other militant groups have fired about 4,000 rockets into Israel, which have taken the life of 12 people and injured others.

Michel Shriki lives in Ashdod, Israel. He said on Tuesday night, the sirens sounded at least four times, forcing him and his family into their bomb shelter.

"The sound of the siren is like passing through all your blood," Shriki said. "It makes you jump."

He also found large metal pieces of rockets broken up by the "Iron Dome" near his home.

"I am sure that most of the people from Gaza are like me," Shriki said. "We are not different. I don't see anybody who likes to live in fear. We are the same. They have family. They have grandchildren. They love their grandchildren. We love the grandchildren. We like to go in the morning to work, but the leaders are the problem. I know so many Palestinians. All of them want peace."

READ ALSO: Video shows man who lost wife, 4 children to Israeli airstrike reunite with surviving infant son

Mohammed Hadidi reunites with his five-month-old son Omar at a Gaza City hospital the rest of his children and wife were killed by Israeli airstrikes Saturday (via MSDR News Network).

On Tuesday, protestors supporting Palestinians shut down the Southwest Freeway feeder road as they marched to the Israeli Consulate calling for peace.

Mai Abushaaban attended the protest. Her mother's family lives in Gaza. She said they try to remain in contact with them, but the electricity there has not been consistent.

When they have been able to speak with family, she said they are getting very little sleep.

WATCH: Israel strike in Gaza destroys building with AP, other media

An Israeli airstrike destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza City that housed offices of The Associated Press and other media outlets on Saturday.

"Everyone is sleeping in the same room, because they are worried if they get hit, 'We all want to go out together.' We don't want to leave anybody behind and have them deal with living without any of us,'" Abushaaban said.

Another "Houston Stands with Palestine" protest will be held Saturday at noon at the corner of Westheimer and Post Oak.

"It's really scary knowing that we can't do anything over here," Abushaaban said. "We can spread awareness. We can raise money, but at the end of the day they are in God's hands."

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