Another day under war – Messages from Gaza Now – October 2023 – January 2024

Another day under war

My nephew called me yesterday, his mother who is receiving dialysis treatment got a chest infection.  She is at the hospital.  She is in need of medicine that is not available at the hospital.  He can’t find it.  I spent half a day moving from pharmacy to pharmacy, from UNWRA clinic to a government clinic and did not find it either.

Today my nephew called me again.  His younger brother got an infection, hepatitis A, like thousands of other people due to lack of clean water and hygiene.  Medication is not available. Doctors asked him to give his brother honey and sweet things that don’t include oil.  I don’t know if this is an alternative cure or what.  They can’t afford it.  I will buy it tomorrow.  There is a kind of low-quality honey in the market that arrived with some humanitarian aid and is sold at double the price or more.

Diseases of all kinds spread among people: hepatitis, skin diseases, chicken pox, skin inflammation, fleas, bugs and many other diseases I don’t know the English for.  The spokesman of the Ministry of Health is talking about more than 20 diseases spread among displaced people in shelters, schools, tents, overcrowded homes, with very limited quantities of unsafe water. Gaza used to suffer from scarcity and poor quality of water before 7th October.  Today when most of the people are pushed into a very small place, no electricity to operate desalinisation units, people  are obliged to use whatever water is available and only for life-saving needs such as drinking, cooking and cleaning if possible.

Today I received news of the killing of a father of a colleague in Khan Younis. Today I received news about a bombing of a very respected person, a professional psychiatrist who was on the roof of Al Aqsa University in Khan Younis trying to bring some water to the water tanks on the roof when a drone targeted him.  Today I learned that a theatre colleague in Gaza was killed with his family when Israeli air force struck his home.  Today a man was going back to Bani Suhaila in east Khan Younis to check on his father who remained there and he found him shot dead and wrapped in a carpet inside his home.  He tried to dig a grave at his home but the drones were in the sky.  He was afraid. He left his father’s body inside the house and came back to Rafah.  Today I went back with my wife, Abeer, to Sawarha near Nuseirat to bring her family some food and hygiene materials and what I saw on the road from Rafah was heart-breaking.  I passed by Tel Al Sultan in Rafah, then Mawasi near Khan Younis, then Deir Al Balah, then Sawarha.  Thousands and thousands of tents of all kinds, many were broken and torn by the wind.  These are windy and rainy days.  People looked so sad, desperate, children with very light clothes, many without shoes on their feet, sorrow, sadness and helplessness.

Death and agony, this is Gaza and nothing else.