"At 06:30 a.m., I woke up to the sound of rockets being fired and immediately turned on the news to understand the situation. Jabaliya has always been one of Gaza's hottest spots. We decided to take everything we needed and go to my sister's, where it was safer at first glance," Hakim, 53, says of how his life changed on October 7.

He lived in Jabaliya and worked as a doctor in a hospital in Gaza. In early November, he, along with his wife (a Russian citizen), pregnant daughter and 15-year-old son, were evacuated by Russian rescuers.

"We were dying of fear"

53-year-old Hakim learned Russian in his youth, when he lived in Simferopol for nine years.

"In 1991, I entered the medical university here. During his studies, he met his wife. In 2000, I completed my residency, but my father was against me living in Russia, so after graduation, my wife and I moved to Palestine, to my hometown. I got a job as an ENT technician in a hospital in Gaza. That's how we lived," says Hakim.

He has four children: three sons and a daughter. The eldest (28-year-old) son studied for a master's degree in engineering in St. Petersburg and lives in Russia. The daughter followed in her father's footsteps – she graduated from medical university, became a dentist, and got married. The middle son is a fifth-year medical student in Egypt, and the youngest (15-year-old) son lived with his parents in the Gaza Strip.

In the 23 years he has lived in Jabaliya, Hakim says, there has never been such a protracted and ruthless conflict.

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"Usually, when Israel started bombing us, we would take our documents, leave the house to visit our relatives, and then come back," he recalls. "We are also used to the lack of electricity in peacetime. There was a schedule: some days they would give electricity for four hours, some for eight, and some for 12. In the hospitals, of course, generators worked."

According to the refugee, for the first four days after the start of the conflict in October, they stayed with relatives and from them he and his wife went to work in the hospital.

"Rockets were falling near the hospital. Israel said that there was Hamas in the tunnels. But I haven't seen any tunnels in my 23 years in the hospital. I felt that the situation was only getting worse and we were still in danger. At the consulate, we were advised to move to the south, where we went," says Hakim. "But it was even worse there: the bombing became more frequent, we lived in a school where there were another 50,<> people. There was no food, no water, no electricity. During the day it was very hot, and at night we were freezing, we even had to buy winter clothes. So we lived for a month and died of fear."

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A month and a half after the start of the military operation, Hakim's wife was informed that she and her family could be evacuated to Egypt through the Rafah crossing. After crossing the border, the evacuated families were picked up by employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation, helped to draw up documents and sent by plane to Russia.

On November 14, Hakim and his family arrived in Volokolamsk near Moscow.

"Thank you very much to everyone who took us out of this horror. Thank you Vladimir Vladimirovich, thank you to the consulate, which was in touch with us at any time of the day or night. Thank you to the Ministry of Emergency Situations for welcoming us here in a royal way," Hakim thanks. "We are very worried about our daughter now. She is pregnant and due to give birth in two weeks, but her husband could not be taken out - he remained in Gaza. In Russia, she was hospitalized, and she cries every day. We don't know how to solve this problem."

According to the refugee, all his relatives who have no connection with Russia and who cannot leave the Gaza Strip are trapped.

"So many people have died now – women, children, the elderly. It's as if Israel is punishing us by thinking that we all support Hamas. But that's not the case. We just lived. And I don't know where my loved ones who are still in Gaza should go now. My sister is 70, my brother is 76. They can barely walk. Several times they tried to leave, but the shelling began, and we had to return to the house again. I'm very worried about them," Hakim sighs.

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He believes that the number of victims could increase significantly.

"Hospitals have run out of medicines. We did amputations without anesthesia. Can you imagine that?! How many people have been injured! And if they don't get treatment, they may die. My brother called me the other day. He had a moderate wound to his arm, but had not been able to get medication for five days. He said that he could lose his arm," Hakim said.

According to him, they are likely to remain in Russia. "I had a perfect life. A wonderful job with my wife in one place, I rebuilt a house, a large summer house, and all my children received higher education. And now we will have to start from scratch," says the refugee. "At my age, it's very difficult. But I'm used to the fact that my family has everything, so I can't sit idly by and live on humanitarian aid. I want to get citizenship and get a job as soon as possible. It is important to me that my family does not lack for anything."

"From Volgograd to Gaza"

Lydia Saakh was born in Volgograd, where in the 1990s she met her husband, who came to study from Palestine to Russia.

"We got married in 1994 and had a son. In 1997, we decided to move to the Gaza Strip. His parents welcomed me very warmly and always treated me like a daughter. For me, it was especially pleasant, because I lost my mother at the age of 20," Lydia tells RT.

Her husband worked as a dentist, and she worked as a hairdresser and cosmetologist in a beauty salon near her home. In Gaza, Lydia gave birth to two more daughters.

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According to her, life in Gaza suited them quite well and if it were not for the war, they would not have left.

"It all started on October 7. There were so many missiles that we knew there would be a response. And then they started calling us from Israel and saying, "Get out of your home." Before the bombing, they always called and warned, so there used to be few casualties – they all have everything for everyone. And we no longer lived in that house, my daughter ran to warn people. That's why our old house was the first to be bombed," Saah recalls.

On October 13, the woman received a call from the consulate, saying that she would be evacuated on October 16 and needed to move south.

"I looked at my house and realized that I would never go back there. Everything in this house is dear to me, and I didn't even know what to take with me. Some things I brought back in 1997 from Russia, some of them were acquired there. I thought that we would be evacuated immediately on the 16th, so we didn't even take a lot of food - we only took our documents and money. I looked at the house and cried," Saakh told RT.

The family lived in the south of the Gaza Strip for almost a month. The woman says that before they left, there were interruptions in the supply of food in the Gaza Strip. "At first, there was macaroni and cheese in the stores, and then everything was gone. I had to stand in line for two days for a sack of flour, from which my husband's relatives made cakes on coals," she recalls.

Lydia says the war has broken every person in the Gaza Strip.

"They invaded our lives, every family. Entire families were killed. Everything was in ruins. I don't understand why people are not allowed to live in peace. My husband's family are refugees from 1948. They lived in Israel, fled to Gaza, and now they are being kicked out again. Poor people, where are they going? To the desert?" asks Lydia indignantly.

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According to Lydia, they are likely to stay in Russia and start building their lives here anew.

"So far, we are morally broken. But we have to start living again. The son lives in Volgograd with his wife and child. He offered to go to them, said that at first he would help me rent an apartment. And I don't want to stress them either: he needs to take care of his family. Therefore, now we will come to our senses and think about how to live further."