Messages from Gaza Now – November/December – Gaza between the sea and the fence

Gaza between the sea and the fence

The sea to the west and the fence to the east, and the north and the south.

I walk towards the east, not the west.

The sea is not mine.  I have no horizon.  The road is long and exhausting.  A long section of this dusty road, old-tarmacked road. A part is full of holes and a part is alright. We pass onto a street with a shrine on the wall of the central cemetery of the camp.  Piles of rubbish stretch along the length of the cemetery wall. The road is painful.  The sewage runs in the streets because the foundations of buildings in many areas have been destroyed. There are piles of garbage on both sides of the road.  The foul smells fill your nose and infect the land.

We travel on a broken journey.  We come across holes dug in the road, sewage and garbage. You try to avoid it.  We don’t always succeed.  Sewage sometimes mixes with clean water when the road widens, and sometimes overwhelms it completely. There is no escape from your heels sinking into the shit.  You feel nauseated, sad, angry, but you carry on.

There’s no alternative.  Bombed houses, demolished on both sides of the road.  From them, the smell of gunfire mixed with the smell of concrete, rubble or the smell of a water tank filling with sewage.

The houses were bombed day after day, till bit by bit there was no more room for the cars on the road.  The road was reduced to one lane.

 If it rains, once or twice, the hole left by the demolished house fills and overflows until it divides the road completely.  There has been no replacement, no alternative to what exists.