90-year-old war witness returns to her home after ceasefire
JAWHAR al-Adar has experienced the harshness of fortune in Gaza during her 90-year life. "I was here for the British occupation, the Egyptian occupation, then the Israelis," she said. "The only one I missed was when the Ottomans were here."
She has fled her home in the face of violence in the past and has had to do so again as war came to her village of al-Tatra in the Gaza Strip once more, forcing her to travel three hours on the back of a donkey to the refuge of a school. Thirteen family members journeyed with her, including three-year-old granddaughter Reem.
Earlier this week, the Israeli military dropped leaflets, advising them to move. "For your safety we demand you evacuate your houses immediately and move towards the centre of Gaza City," the leaflets said.
Yesterday, on the first morning of peace, Mrs Adar sat in the sunshine on a plastic chair in front of the family farmhouse, now dotted with bullet holes. "We thank Allah and we thank everyone who helped to end the fighting. We don't want this suffering to continue," she said. "Will the peace last? We shall all pray that it does."
Throughout the morning, families in the villages along Gaza's northern border returned to their lives. (© Daily Telegraph, London)