Gaza violence hits home for Raleigh man

As world powers gather to try to end the violence in Gaza, a Raleigh man with ties to the area says he worries every day whether his family is still alive.
As world powers gather to try to end the violence in Gaza, a Raleigh man with ties to the area says he worries every day whether his family is still alive.

"You can hear the bombing on the phone," said Jihad Shawwa.

That's what Shawwa says a phone conversation is like when would talk to his brother or cousin on the phone, but it's been a while since he's heard those sounds. He says his family has been on the move trying to escape the violence, leaving him waiting and wondering.

"I don't know if some of them are dead, some of them are under rubble of one of the buildings, I don't know," said Shawwa.

The only communication they have is the occasional Facebook message sent to them by his nephew. It's the same nephew who four years ago, when he was just 14, was hurt in the crossfire in the conflict then.

Now with the cycle of violence picking up once again that fear of being hurt or killed has become a way of life.

"The way I'm looking at it, it's my lifetime. It's 66 years. The conflict is older than me, older than all of us," said Shawwa.

Even with all of this he says he's still hopeful for peace.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to work toward an eventual end to the violence.

As those talks continue, the Gaza Health Ministry reports the death toll among Palestinians sits at 695. The United Nations estimates more than 70 percent were civilians.

At last check, Israel has not offered a count, but a military spokesperson estimates more than 200 militants have been killed since the ground operation began.

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