Middle East

GUY RAZ, host:

Now for a look at what's going on inside Gaza, we turn to Muhammad Shariff. He is executive director of the Society for Deaf Children in Gaza City.

Mr. MUHAMMAD SHARIFF (Executive Director, Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children, Gaza City): We're definitely hearing and seeing air strikes and all the implications of it.

RAZ: You say that recently you've seen rockets launched from inside the cities in Gaza. Is that right?

Mr. SHARIFF: Sure. As you know, these missiles are very mobile. And yesterday, I personally witnessed one coming from inside Gaza City.

RAZ: So these missiles are actually mounted on mobile launchers. They can be moved around?

Mr. SHARIFF: Yes, these things can be moved around. And we've seen them being launched from different places. They used to launch it from the borderlines. And now it seems like they're sending them, launching them from inside the cities. So we're actually anxious to see what's going to happen right now.

RAZ: Has much of the damage in Gaza City been concentrated in specific areas, or is it all around the city?

Mr. SHARIFF: It's all around the city. It's amazing. One cannot describe. My apartment is in the center of many targets. So we've been living a really terrifying experience. It's nothing like what we witnessed before for the last, maybe, 20 years.

RAZ: This is the worst you've seen in 20 years?

Mr. SHARIFF: To tell you the truth, I've been here only for the last six years. So - but from what I know from my friends who lived all their lives here, they've never seen such heavy air strikes, such targeting, everything, everywhere, not taking in consideration human casualties. The scenes that we've been seeing on TV about the lives lost, it's really very tragedy.

RAZ: Now, during the day, are you able to move around the city at all? I mean, do you go outside? Are you able to talk to your neighbors about how they're feeling or what's going on? Or are you staying...

Mr. SHARIFF: Yeah, sure. We limit our movement. I mean, we go to the supermarket to get things. Of course, we try to do everything between 10 o'clock and 12 o'clock, noon. It seems like this is a part of the day that air strikes kind of slow down.

RAZ: What do you do in the middle of the air strikes? I mean, what do you actually do? Do you have a place you can...?

Mr. SHARIFF: We actually - behind us, my bedroom is overlooking a building for the police station which is 200 meters away. And we're expecting it to be bombed anytime, we don't know. So we have been sleeping in the living room for the last three days right now.

RAZ: Muhammad Shariff is the executive director of the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children. He spoke with us from Gaza City. Thanks for taking the time.

Mr. SHARIFF: Thank you.

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