As the foreign press continues to fight for access to the fighting in Gaza, personal blogs offers a glimpse into the dire conditions on the ground. Here’s a collection of excerpts from recently updated blogs from the region. None present a full and complete picture of the situation, but they do reveal scenes of every day life inside a war zone.

bint battuta in bahrain

The author is based in Bahrain, but she’s publishing dispatches from “Hasan in Rafah,” received by text message, possibly.

January 5: 9.45 pm: “I am carrying my son. five minutes at home and five minutes in the alley outside my home. The red cross warned the people that a house of a Hamas man is a target. Its only 3 metres from my home. The neighbour are carrying some blankets mattresses etc and running with their children in different direction. the kids are shouting. Today they struck 4 houses in Rafah. Apache came first then F16 struck. Apache came and shoot 3 missiles. we are waiting F16”

10.45 pm: “We are ok. But still all of us are in one room but our doors and windows are open. we are still waiting hope nothing is going to happen. I heard that complete families are killed in Gaza [City]. Do you watch aljazeera. We still have no electricity”

Tales to Tell from Gaza 2008

Tales to Tell is written by a human-rights worker in Gaza and has pictures and video, with regular updates.

January 9:I covered another ambulance shift Wednesday night, working with two guys who might turn out to be my favourites. S is a sweet EMT driver with good English, very helpful for me, with the ambition to have a baby born in his ambulance since so far he only knows the theory of the process. EB is a dad of three, with a wife who he insists doesn’t mind the idea of him having a second wife at some point. S is scathing about the concept of multiple wives.

EB is happy for me to work as his assistant so that’s pretty cool. I can actually be useful especially when a medic is outnumbered; last night at one point we took on four injured people after a rocket blast near Palestine square, all from the same family home. A little boy with a head wound, two adult men, one with a head wound and the other with a leg wound. A young woman who hadn’t any visible bleeding waited uncomplainingly til last, at which point we found that under her shirt, glass or shrapnel had entered deep beside her spine, so she got sent off for an x-ray on arrival to Al Shifa.

I’d heard word that Hassan was here in Al Quds, but by the time I got here he’d been sent home, which was encouraging in terms of his wound, and certainly good for his family who hadn’t seen him since the strikes began I think. I’ve since glimpsed the footage A took of his shooting, presented on AlJazeerah, so at least it’s got that far, and I had reports of it being on New York TV.

Dr Halid’s house in Khan Younis was destroyed yesterday. So was EB’s. So was Dr Basher’s, and his next door neighbour’s. He showed me the usual photos of rubble, his personal rubble. Three more homeless families taken in by relatives, whose houses also may be under threat. Is anyone’s home going to be left standing?

Fares Akram

Katia Bachko is on staff at The New Yorker.