SRINAGAR: A Kashmiri academic is caught in Gaza with her kids and husband and has appealed to the authorities in New Delhi for a rescue, reports appearing in the media said.
Identified as Lubna Nazir Shaboo, the Srinagar resident has said the bombardment has prevented any kind of movement and even if they do so, there are no exits. Gaza is accessible from all sides by Israel and has a corridor with Egypt near Rafah which has been shut ever since Tel Aviv announced a war against Gaza in retaliation against the Hamas raids.
“was quoted saying in the news reports. “We are not able to go anywhere because there is no safe place for us anywhere and the Gaza Strip is too small and it is closed from every side. There are no exit points over here.”
“At least 1,100 people, including at least 326 children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip by Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes, the Gaza Ministry of Health said Wednesday,” The Times of Israel reported. “The ministry said that at least 5,339 more people in the blockaded Palestinian territory were wounded.” The report said 1200 people were killed in Israel including 22 Americans.
“Since this past Saturday, we tragically lost 11 UNRWA staff and personnel. Moreover, 30 UNRWA students have met the same unfortunate fate, while an additional eight students have sustained injuries,” Stephane Dujarric, speaking on behalf of the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has said. Seven journalists have also been killed in the aerial strikes.
The Mallinson read Srinagar girl, Lubna did her masters in biochemistry at the Aligarh Muslim University and later settled with Palestinian civil engineer Nedal Toman. They have three kids, of whom two are studying in Cairo while the minor one is with them in Gaza. Earlier she worked with the Palestinian Authority’s scientific committee and then took a long leave to raise her children. She was an Arabic-to-English translator at Quds University.
“Her internet is getting off and on and that means they have erratic access to the internet,” one of her friends who lives in the US said. “I spoke to her; she is desperate and is seeking help.”
Reports appearing in the media suggest the only power station in Gaza has been shut as it lacks fuel. This, reports added could impact the hospital operations as well. Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest, has fuel for its backup generators for four more days at most, its director, Dr Muhammad Abu Salima, has told media.
The possibility of supplying human relief to the narrow coastal strip appears bleak as Egyptian security sources told Reuters that they oppose the establishment of secure passages for refugees seeking to escape the enclave. Foreign Minister EAM S Jaishankar has said the government is launching Operation Ajay to facilitate the return from Israel of Indians who wish to come back.
Meanwhile, Israel has formed an emergency government with Netanyahu including two opposition lawmakers — both former army chiefs — to his cabinet. “Analysts said the infusion of military expertise would give the government greater legitimacy to make tough wartime decisions, including whether to invade Gaza, or even south Lebanon,” The New York Times reported, adding that it has 150 citizens taken as hostages by the Hamas. “There was heightening fear that the conflict could widen: Fire has been exchanged along Israel’s northern border with both Lebanon and Syria in recent days, and Israeli forces said they launched retaliatory strikes inside Lebanon on Wednesday, hitting targets belonging to Hezbollah, an armed Iran-backed Lebanese group allied with Hamas.”