Filmmaker: Ibrahim al-Otla

"I saw a red light, then the house was bombed. I fainted. Then I woke up and found myself under the rubble."

Bisan Daher will never forget the day when Israel attacked Gaza's Shujayea neighbourhood in 2014. The eight-year-old girl was rescued from the rubble of her home after an attack that killed six members of her family.

Israeli "Operation Protective Edge" began on July 7, 2014, and was purportedly aimed at stopping alleged rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.

On the 13th day of the assault on GazaIsrael declared the district of Shujayea a closed military zone. Israeli artillery, backed by the air force, intensified its attacks, forcing thousands of residents to flee.

They pulled out those who were still alive first. Me, Shaimaa and my brother, Mohamed.

Bisan Daher, survivor

At least 72 Palestinians were killed and another 288 injured during the attack, according to Palestinian health ministry sources.

As Israeli planes still flew overhead, a Palestinian ambulance team heard someone crying for help from deep under the remains of a home on Nazzar Street.

"The civil defence workers hesitated … the paramedics were strongly against it because their colleague was killed that morning", says cameraman Yaser Murtaja. "They were worried they'd be bombed if they entered the area."

After much debate, the civil defence team along with Red Crescent paramedic Alaa Abu Sheir decided to risk their lives to rescue Bisan Daher and her pregnant sister-in-law, Shaimaa. Shaimaa's husband, Mohamed, was pulled out of the rubble first, but later succumbed to his injuries and died at Shifah Hospital.

Under the constant threat of the building collapsing and further Israeli shelling, the team's rescue efforts grew more complicated, according to Abu Sheir.

"We thought we'd reach them. But we found it was still very difficult. It was dark and dangerous. It became even harder when I got inside. When more bombs fell nearby, I thought the ceiling would collapse. The fear increased, for myself and those under the debris," he says.

Describing Shaimaa's rescue, Abu Sheir says, "Shaimaa was in a very difficult situation. Concrete blocks, a metal window and lots of rocks were on her. And a dead body, too. I asked her who that was. She said, 'Adham is on my legs and I can't move.' I asked her if he was alive. She said she didn't know, but he was very cold. I checked his pulse. He was dead."

Recalling that horrific day, "I was in a dark place, like a grave," says Shaimaa. "There was only a very small opening. When I felt I was suffocating, I'd raise myself to get air."

Bisan and Shaimaa both survived and two months after she was rescued, Shaimaa gave birth to a baby boy, naming him Mohamed after her dead husband.

Bisan is physically and psychologically scarred, but returned to school. She now lives with her two brothers who were out of the house when the Israeli missile struck.

Gaza: Surviving Shujayea is a visceral, compelling story of mental and physical survival against the odds - and of the close bond that formed between Bisan and her rescuers.

Source: Al Jazeera