Watch CBSN Live

Palestinians in Gaza sift through damage ahead of Blinken visit to the region

Inside Gaza’s destruction after conflict with Israel
Inside Gaza’s destruction after conflict wi... 01:52

Gaza — Hayem Abu Amsha's house has been destroyed twice. First, she had to rebuild after the war between Gaza and Israel in 2014, and now an Israeli airstrike, dropped on a nearby building during the recent 11-day conflict, has toppled it again. 

"Imagine if my children or grandchildren had been killed. Thank God we're still alive," she told CBS News, gesturing at the ruins of her former living room.

Israel says it only pursued militant targets with its airstrikes on the impoverished Gaza Strip, but the collateral damage has shattered livelihoods and destroyed homes. Hundreds of thousands of people have been left without clean running water.

After her house collapsed, Abu Amsha thought all her children had died. She soon realized, however, that everyone had made it through.

"God wants to keep us alive because we're kind," she said.

More than 4,000 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israeli towns and cities during the conflict, killing 12.

After a cease-fire was declared last week, Hamas, the group that governs the Gaza Strip and which is classed by the United States as a terrorist organization, celebrated with a victory parade.

But Dr. Basem Naim, Hamas's head of foreign relations, told CBS News that if Israel doesn't change its treatment of the Palestinians, the fragile cease-fire will collapse. "Maybe one month, two months, two years, five years. But it will erupt again and we will have another round of escalation."

Palestinians return to destroyed houses after the cease-fire in Gaza City on May 21, 2021. Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Today in east Jerusalem, the city that sparked the recent conflict, a Palestinian man stabbed two people, including an Israeli soldier, before being shot dead.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will arrive in the Middle East on Tuesday, with the stated priorities of ensuring the cease-fire holds, addressing the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and working with both Israelis and Palestinians so that everyone can have security and peace.

And that's exactly what Abu Amsha hopes for.

"Praise be to God, who wants us to live in this world. We want to live in this world without martyrdom," she said, with her children and grandchildren around her.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.