Ghada Aqeel, a third-generation Palestinian refugee and currently a visiting professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta in Canada, comments on what she described as the impossible choice for her family, after their evacuation from the refugee camp in Khan Yunis, south of Gaza stripHer family's home was severely damaged, and 36 of her relatives were martyred as a result of an Israeli bombing on October 26, 2023.
In her article in the British newspaper The Guardian, Ghada says that the rest of the survivors clung to the small piece of safety that they felt was there, and continued to live in the house anyway. Then, on Christmas Day, horrific news fell from the sky written in leaflets about evacuation orders.
According to the writer, the eternal question of the Palestinians comes to her mind: “Where can we go?” Her brothers and their families did not have time to think. For them, moments like these are not just a clear choice between life and death. Rather, it is worse than that, which is the choice between death in one place, or in another place. They wonder among themselves: Will we stay in our homes and face inevitable death together? Or leave and die in a strange place, perhaps separated?
Ghada indicated that many people testified Genocide It unfolded before their eyes, and they preferred to stay in their homes and die with their families. In this way they may be helped or saved. Or their bodies may be identified. Or they are buried – at least – and not left for stray cats and dogs to devour their bodies.
She was alerted to the condition of her brothers and their families with instructions to evacuate, as they collected the basics of blankets, mattresses, pillows, clothes, kitchen supplies, food, water, important documents, and valuables, but the adults made decisions about what to take and what to leave, which conflicted with what the children wanted to take with them, Being valuable things to them.
Pawns in a regional conflict
Her nieces and nephews were moved to tears when their parents rejected most of their choices. Amal, 16 years old, who dreams of becoming a doctor one day, asked, “Will this be our last day at home? Will we ever return? Will I take my books and my school bag?” But there was no time, or way, to explain.
Ghada’s family moved to the town of Al-Mawasi, on the Mediterranean coast, which was declared a safe zone. However, the danger of Israeli drones was above their heads all the way, ready to target anything that moved. What seemed like an easy journey that usually took 20 minutes on foot became a harrowing journey.
After Al-Mawasi was one of the most beautiful beach areas in Gaza known for families; Today it has become a scene of despair, not entertainment. When the family arrived there, they did not find a shelter to protect them from the extreme cold. They had to build a shelter out of the blankets they had with them and whatever small amount of scattered plastic they could collect.
Ghada continues, however, it was impossible to sleep at night due to the extreme cold and darkness, the disturbing bombing, the sound of the wind, and the shouting of adults at the children in the nearby tents, which created an environment of constant distress.
Ghada elaborated on her family's suffering until recently, and stated that what she went through was just the tip of the iceberg of atrocities that the two million and 300,000 people of Gaza experience every day. “We have become pawns in a regional power struggle,” she said.
At the conclusion of her article, she referred to an allegation Britain AndUnited State By their commitment to international law in attacking the Houthis in YemenBut they are not doing enough to uphold international law in Gaza. Her greatest fear, she fears, is that the next time she hears news about her family in Gaza, it will be another heartbreaking episode of loss within her family.