JABALIYA, Gaza Strip — Stepping over his daughter’s mangled teddy bear and pink bedroom curtains, math teacher Hossam Dadah salvaged what he could from the wreckage of his home and said he’s had enough.
Two of his children were hospitalized after Israeli airstrikes destroyed the three-story house next door, which was owned by a Hamas official.
“This has to end," said Dadah, his black hair covered with concrete dust from the explosion. Hamas should quit while it’s ahead, he said.
Not far away in Gaza City, policeman Mohamed Abu Islam peered into the massive crater left by an Israeli strike on the city’s sports stadium and insisted that Gazans should press forward with the conflict.
“We can’t stop now," he said. “If Israel wants a long-term truce, this time there must be conditions that improve our lives, such as lifting the blockade on the borders and the sea."
The conflicting views of ordinary Palestinians summed up the calculation now facing Hamas, the Islamist group that has been struggling for five years to find a balance between its roots as a resistance army and its responsibility for governing the Gaza Strip.
One Israeli strike injured Ibrahim Salah, an Interior Ministry official, who suffered a fractured skull. He and his wife were hurt when a missile destroyed their Jabaliya home, family members said.
“There were five children in the house," said Salah’s daughter, Fatma, 20, who was on the top floor of the building with her children when it collapsed on her parents. “We received no warning. We’ve never been targeted before. It’s a miracle no one was killed."
Her still-frightened 2-year-old daughter, Lina, lay in a hospital bed next to her with bandages around her head. Her 3-year-old son, Mohamed, seemed oblivious of the cuts on his face and more interested in the crush of well-wishers and journalists.