The nightmare for a family buried under rubble in Gaza

Aseel Mousa in Gaza,
Occupied Palestine

Waheed Mousa and his family recount the trauma of being trapped under debris following an Israeli air strike

In the blink of an eye, the early morning light that had filled the rooms of Waheed Mousa's home was smothered by a mountain of rubble, burying him, his wife and his son.

💬 "I woke up terrified. I found more than two-thirds of my body buried under the rubble. I thought it was our house that had been targeted. For a moment, I thought I was in a grave," Waheed, 55, told Middle East Eye.

An air strike had hit the house next door, but the powerful aftershock of the bombing caused major destruction to the residential building in al-Maghazi refugee camp, housing 36 residents, including Waheed's family, in addition to 35 displaced people.

Waheed, a laboratory manager, had hoped that his home - in an area in the central Gaza Strip classified as "safe" by the Israeli military - would be spared the brutal bombing campaign that has flattened whole neighbourhoods and killed over 11,200 people.

💬 "The first thing I thought about was my wife and children. I was terrified of losing them, until I heard the voice of my wife Reem calling me in a painful voice: 'Waheed'. At this moment, I felt hopeful that she was still alive," he said.

Reem can't find the words to describe how she felt while she was buried under the rubble.

💬 "I was very terrified, until I heard the voice of my youngest son, Ahmed, who is 13 years old, screaming and saying: 'Mama, I am suffocating,'" she said.

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