Page last updated at 19:19 GMT, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Woman mourns 15 relatives in Gaza

Manal Timraz
Manal Timraz said she could not sit at home feeling sorry for herself

A restaurateur from Warwickshire is trying to come to terms with the fact that more than a dozen relatives have been killed in the Gaza conflict.

British Palestinian Manal Timraz, from Kenilworth, said her cousins and their children were hiding at home in Gaza when Israeli rockets passed overhead.

An airstrike on Friday destroyed the buildings they were in and 15 relations were killed, 11 of them children.

She said she had also lost telephone contact with her eldest brother Ahmad.

The former UN aid worker, 39, who owns the Habibi restaurant in Far Gosford Street, Coventry, has started a collection of blankets, candles and first aid equipment to send to Gaza.

Daily ceasefire

She said: "For me to lose 15 at the same minute is a big disaster.

"I felt I can't just be sitting in and feeling sorry for myself or my people."

She said she would write to her MP to ask the British Government to oppose the attacks.

Israel said the aim of its military operation in the Gaza Strip is to prevent the Palestinian militant group Hamas from firing rockets into Israel.

A spokesman for Hamas' military wing said on 5 January it would expand the range of its missiles and planned to take another Israeli soldier captive.

Israel said it had agreed to a three-hour daily ceasefire to allow residents to "resupply and get aid".

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Manal Timraz hopes to collect blankets and medication



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