MESSAGES FROM GAZA NOW – December 2023-January 2024 – Terror and Torture

Terror and torture

After two days in Rafah I relax, I’m more involved in work and I don’t worry about my mother for the 5 hours I leave her at Abu Khaled’s home. This wonderful family who had never met me yet received me and my mother, treating us as part of their family, caring for my mother when I am out and even when I am in. 

Communication has been cut for one and half days. Could not reach my wife and her family. Strikes and bombing are concentrated against the middle area; mainly Bureij, Maghazi and Nuseirat where I left my wife. Words do not help to explain how I feel. Trying to reach her family by mobile, trying thousands of times every day. It doesn’t work.

My brother and sister with their families and other relatives, around 25 people, remain in Gaza City. They did not want to leave home. 5 families gathered in 2 apartments in the middle of Saftawi Street, north of Gaza City, where for more than a month communication has been cut. I know nothing about them; they know nothing about me.

Today my brother’s son called me from Al Aqsa Hospital where he and his brother, his father – my eldest brother – and his mother took refuge in a plastic tent in the courtyard of the hospital. HIs voice was not normal:

  • I’ve been trying to call you since this morning. (It was 16.50)
  • What’s up? How is your mother? Your father, your brother?
  • Uncle Sofian, Aunt Taghrid…
  • What about them? What happened?
  • (Crying) I don’t know.
  • What do you mean? Please tell me
  • I met a neighbour from where uncle lives, he said the tall building behind their home was bombed and fell onto the house. The house collapsed and was completely damaged.
  • What about your uncle, your aunt, their families? Were they inside? Did they leave before?(begins crying)
  • Please answer me.
  • I don’t know.
  • What do you mean? Ask the man.
  • He doesn’t know – 

The call ended. I tried calling his mobile again and again, his brother’s and his father’s mobiles.

It is 10.25pm and I am still trying to reach anyone to know anything.