CHICAGO — A Burbank woman spoke out on concerns for her family in Gaza amid constant bombardment. Her father who was also taken hostage by Israeli soldiers on Oct. 7, was released from captivity just Friday morning.
Ghada Shuraab, born and raised in Southern Gaza, came to Chicago to pursue her education in 2018, but has lived her days in worry for her loved ones in Khan Younis, Gaza — especially after the initial attacks early October.
“My mom had asked my sister to take a different route to the store because the main street had been bombed. Right after she left, that street had been bombed. Luckily, she took a different route,” Shuraab said.
Over 10,000 Palestinians have been killed, 32,000 wounded, and 2.3 million people have been displaced from their homes due to Israeli bombings since Oct.7.
More than 3,700 Palestinian children have also been killed in 25 days of bombardment.
Though the Israeli government ordered Gazans to leave the north, where Gaza City is located, and move south, Shuraab says no place is safe in Gaza because Israel also bombarded so-called “safe zones.”
Five hostages have been freed by Hamas since the initial attack, with more than 200 still held in captivity. Shuraab shared that many Palestinians were also taken hostage by Israeli soldiers since Oct. 7 and even before — including her father.
“He was tortured, not given food or water, he was even told false information that his entire family was killed,” she said. She said his money, phone and ID were all stolen.
She says her father was taken captive by Israeli soldiers on Oct. 7 and was released almost a month later, Friday morning.
“I got the call three hours ago this morning,” Shuraab said.
Shuraab preferred to not share photos of her family due to activists and journalists being targeted in Gaza. 34 journalists have been reported killed in the past three weeks.
Reporters Without Borders filed a complaint regarding eight Palestinian journalists it said were killed in Israel’s bombardment of civilian areas in the Gaza Strip.
“No one deserves to sleep and get up not knowing if his family is alive.”