The outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas has had a devastating effect on the region, and those closer to home in Massachusetts with local ties to the affected areas. Some have family and friends who have been killed, injured, or kidnapped during the conflict.
The death toll continues to climb and has already claimed more than 1,200 lives in Israel – including at least 22 Americans – and at least 830 people in Gaza, according to authorities there. Thousands more have been wounded and hostages remain.
Among the dead are the daughter and son-in-law of Ilan Troen, a retired professor at Brandeis University in Waltham.
“Deborah and Shlomi Martias were not murdered in a mere ‘attack.’” Troen said. “It was a pogrom.”
Troen said he was on the phone with his daughter as she was killed, shielding her 16-year-old son from gunfire.
“We were on the phone the entire day with our grandson, Rotem, as he lay first under her body and then found a place to escape under a blanket in a laundry,” Troen told CNN.
Families with loved ones held hostage by Hamas, such as Jason Greenberg of Needham, whose five relatives were kidnapped on Saturday, are desperately hoping the militant group will not follow through on their threat to execute a captive every time Israel bombs a Palestinian home without warning.
“They don’t need to barter with the lives of innocent people who have done nothing to them,” Greenberg told the Boston Globe in a phone interview.
Since the surprise attack by Hamas on Saturday, Israel has pummeled the Gaza Strip with airstrikes and has ordered a “complete siege” on the territory, including halting supplies of electricity, food, water, and fuel.
Humanitarian aid organizations have pleaded for the creation of humanitarian corridors to get supplies into Gaza, as the number of injured Gazans climbs to the thousands, according to CNN.
“Hospitals are becoming overwhelmed and experiencing shortages of drugs, medical supplies, and fuel for generators,” Avril Benoît, Executive Director of MSF-USA (Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders) said in a statement. “We are calling for all parties to the conflict to ensure the safety of civilians and medical facilities.”
Boston.com put together a list of charities and organizations working to help the victims of the conflict. Now, we would like to hear from our readers about how the conflict has impacted them and their families. Do you have family in Israel or Gaza? What has it been like to hear the devastating news coming out of the region?
Tell us by filling out the survey below or emailing us at [email protected] and we may feature your response in a future Boston.com article.
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