Ukraine, Tatiana Tapalova’s home country, has been at war with Russia for almost two years. But as a longtime resident of Gaza with her husband and five children, Tapalova found herself faced with a heartbreaking choice: stay in the territory to keep her family together, or flee to an entirely new place to fend for herself. of his children. parent of two.
Tapalova and her children, including a 9-month-old baby, receivedthrough the Rafah border post. But this was not the case for her husband.
“This is my husband, we have been married for 23 years. We have five children. How come he is not on the list?” she told Reuters. “It’s a family. Why do they want to separate our family?…I have a baby, I can’t do it alone in a new country.”
She and her family reside in Beit Lahiya. Less than a week after Hamas militants attacked Israel, residents of the northern Gaza town said.dropped flyers telling them to – when bombs had already started falling in the region.
“Anyone who is near Hamas terrorists will put their life in danger,” the leaflets said. “Following IDF (Israel Defense Forces) instructions will prevent you from being exposed to danger.”
When Tapalova spoke to Reuters, she said there was no internet in the city, “no communication, no water, no electricity.”
“There is nothing in Beit Lahiya. They hit and destroyed it,” she said. “All that’s left is rubble. Out of 1,000 houses, maybe only 50 are left standing.”
Tapalova said around 35 members of her family had been killed sinceexploded. Overall, it is estimated that thousands of people have been since October 7.
With thousands dead in the Hamas-ruled territory where she resides, and thousands more killed in her home country,Tapalova made one thing clear when considering what to do next: “I don’t want to go from one war to another.”
She hopes that she and her family will be able to go to Moldova or Romania.
“I will not return home,” she said, “neither to Gaza nor to Ukraine.”