On the road – MESSAGES FROM GAZA NOW – October 2023 – February 2024

On the road

Going from Junaina area, east of Rafah where I live now, crossing the main road of Rafah, to Tel Al Sultan, west of Rafah, is about eleven kilometres, from the border of Israel towards the sea. The road crosses the main market. Stores are open on both sides, on the pavement on parts of the road and on the central island of the road, are thousands of street sellers.  No regular cars or taxis anymore.  Trucks, big vehicles usually designated for goods or animals, become the normal transportation. Each vehicle is full of at least 50 or 60 people, some sitting on the edge of the truck and many standing in the empty space in the middle. Like other people I use this type of transportation, taking my place I look around at the sellers in the street, the faces of the passengers on the truck, listening to people talk.

The majority of the talk is about when this war will end.  Will there be a truce soon? We’ve had enough. We’ve lost enough. A man gets frustrated.

A: Why don’t they kill us all at once? Why 200 per day?  Why 300 per day?  Why don’t they kill us all and finish our misery?

B: Believe me, they would like to do so. They dream of the day that no Palestinians remain in Gaza or any other place in Palestine.

C: It is all the fault of Hamas. Since they controlled Gaza we never saw a peaceful day.

D: Yes. What they did is not resistance.  The resistance that is the cause of this killing, damage and destruction is not resistance.

E:  Agree, but the Israelis are much more terrorists than Hamas.

B:  No doubt. The Israeli crimes against us have not stopped since 1948 and even before.

F:   Does anyone know where I can get or register for a food parcel?

G:  Many NGOs distribute them.

H:  You should know someone.  They’re all corrupt.  They steal all the aid and sell it to us.  Don’t you see these street sellers.  All that they sell is aid items.

I:  You are right.

J: Is there a distribution of bread flour by UNWRA? 

K: Yes, they are distributing for families of seven now.  

J: My family has five members.

K: You should wait then.  They might start addressing families of five members within the coming two weeks. 

J: How can we live?  What do we eat in these two weeks.


A man sitting in the middle of the truck looks familiar.  I said:

‘Hi! Aren’t you the uncle of my cousins?’

Uncle: ’Yes, Hossam.  You forgot me’.

‘No, I did not but you’ve changed’

Uncle: ’The war changed us all.’

‘You are right’

Uncle: ’Where do you live now?’

‘I rented an apartment in Junaina.  You?’

Uncle: ’I’m in a tent in Tel Al Sultan. Did you know that Waleed, the eldest son of your cousin was killed?’


‘My god. I didn’t.’

Uncle: ‘How come?  He was killed more than a month ago now.’

‘Where? How?’

Uncle: ’In Gaza. He was out looking for bread flour, when he was targeted by a drone.  He was shot dead.’

‘I’m so sorry.  I lost contact with my brothers, sisters and cousins in Gaza months ago. May he rest in peace.’

Uncle: ’Take care of yourself and your family’

Then he asked the truck driver to stop.

Uncle: ’I’ve arrived at my destination.  Good to see you and hope to see you again.’

He left and left me sad and angry.  I have no words.  Yesterday I learned that the brother of my sister’s husband and his son were also killed, in Jabaliya. How many more people will be killed?

When will it be enough for the Israelis?  If they’re vampires they should have got enough of our blood.  Maybe it will never be enough for them until they see us all dead.