The widow of Bahgat Al Zalan and their children said she found her husband covering their six-month-old baby in the rubble of their house that collapsed following an Israeli airstrike. Image Credit: Nasser Najjar/Gulf News

Gaza: There has been an escalation of violence between Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Israel as the latter has bombed areas considered "military compounds" in recent weeks.

No one, however, has spoken about the "collateral damage" caused by this so-called "targeting." Medical reports show that civilians bore the brunt of such attacks. "Israel doesn't take into consideration the densely populated areas around the compounds that they strike," Khalil Abu Shamalah, head of Al Damer for Human Rights, said. "As a result there is a great deal of panic and confusion in the aftermath of these strikes," he added.

The home of Ahmad Dahlan, 30, was heavily damaged after an Israeli strike hit 300 metres away.

Constant fear

"We cannot leave our house because we cannot afford to buy a new one. We are living in constant fear," he told Gulf News. "This is the second time since 2008 that I've had to repair my house after an Israeli strike. Fortunately, none of my children were killed or injured in the attack, but I'm worried about their mental health [as they] live in constant fear," he said.

Dahlan is considered one of the lucky ones. Just across the street, the Al Zalan family lost two family members after their house collapsed over them following an Israeli strike nearby. Bahgat Al Zalan, 38, along with his eldest son Ramadan, 10, died. Five other family members were injured and are currently in intensive care.

Al Zalan's wife became a widow at the young age of 30, and has to take care of her four children. She spoke to Gulf News, in an emotional account of what happened. "We were asleep when we heard loud explosions. The house shook and fell on top of our heads. My back was badly injured. I was panicking to find my family members but couldn't see anything due to the huge cloud of dust," she explained. "One by one my family members were pulled out from underneath the rubble. It was then when I found out my husband had been killed. His body was covering our six-month-old baby," she said.