Gaza migrant in Turkey saves family after receiving SMS from Israeli army
ESKİŞEHİR – Anadolu Agency
Kamel Shbair is currently studying engineering at Anadolu University, in Eskşehir.A Gazan who moved to the western town of Eskişehir to study engineering has saved his family after receiving a message from the Israeli Army that his home in the Palestinian enclave would be bombed.
Kamel Shbair, who has been living in the student town for two and a half years with his wife and two children, received a message two weeks ago saying “leave your house, we will bomb it.”
“[After receiving that message] I called my father and mother. At first, they didn’t believe it could happen. ‘They did not warn us,’ they said. But our neighbors were also hit by a bomb that killed six people. So, then my father said they would leave the house [because they feared for their safety],” Shbair explained.
The house was eventually targeted by Israeli airstrikes three days after he warned his parents, who took shelter at a nearby U.N. school.
“It made me so angry that I cried. My children were asking me what happened, but I couldn’t tell them anything because they are too young. I still haven’t managed to reach my family, but a friend of the family sent me a message saying they are alive at the [U.N.] school,” Shbair said.
Sending messages via cell phones is a new practice that has been adopted by the Israeli government as a means of reducing the number of civilian casualties. However, the practice often seems in vain considering the intensity of the strikes and the high number of civilian casualties.
According to the U.N., some 1,939 Palestinians have died in Israel’s latest assault, almost three quarters of them were civilians. The bombing of markets and U.N. schools have caused a negative reaction from global heads of state who have condemned the attacks.
Shbair said he now realizes his family could have died if he did not see the message on his cellphone. “My cell phone was stolen two days after I received the message. I reported it to the police. It’s very important for me because it’s the only way that I can communicate with my family,” he added.