Palestinian families along the border are fleeing the Gaza Strip as the Israeli bombing campaign entered its seventh day Monday and the death toll reached nearly 200. In northern Gaza, an entire residential area was ordered evacuated in the wake of deadly airstrikes, which left behind craters in the ground and eerily empty streets.
Ali Abu Leila, 27, his wife and two daughters, packed their donkey cart early Monday and set out to find shelter. The family said this is the third time they have had to leave their home because of wars with Israel. They fled in 2008 and 2012, respectively. This time, they took refuge at a United Nations school now used as a makeshift shelter. The family said they have no idea when it will be safe for them to return home.
Israel launched its offensive on July 8, in what it said was a response to heavy rocket fire launched by Hamas in Gaza. No Israelis have died in the attacks, although several have been wounded. Egypt proposed a cease-fire plan Monday, as the rising death toll brought international pressure on both sides to stop the attacks.
—Ayman Mohyeldin and Becky Bratu
First published July 14 2014, 4:39 PM