A report on the American news website Mondoweiss stated that War of extermination The massacre launched by Israel Gaza strip To displace its Palestinian population is unprecedented for this generation, nor the generation of parents, nor even the generation that survived The NakbaThat they had seen something like it in their lives.
Monduweiss correspondent in Gaza, Tariq Hajjaj, said – in his report – that the “New Nakba” generation begins its life in the new year, and the conditions of the Strip have changed as a result of the war.
He recounted how his generation used to start the new year with a high spirit, celebrations, visiting relatives, and spending time with family. “Any occasion that makes us feel alive, and helps us forget the daily reality of life under a merciless siege, is a welcome occasion.”
Hajjaj went on to mention the details of how the Palestinians of Gaza welcomed the New Year, as families had their own traditions to celebrate it according to their social and economic backgrounds.
The tragedies of war
Hajjaj pointed out that the Abu Al-Wafa family, for example, used to gather in their home in the Tawam area, north of Gaza, and gather around the white and yellow jasmine bushes and dozens of cactus pots planted by his wife, and hold banquets.
But nothing like this happened this year, not because Abu Al-Wafa left for France, where he lives, nor because his house was destroyed and razed to the ground, but because the war displaced all people.
Hajjaj says that the only New Year’s wish this time for anyone in Gaza is for the war to end. He added, “It is a war that no one in Gaza or Palestine has seen the likes of before,” whether they belong to this generation or the older generation, or even the next generation. The Nakba.
Zaki Salama (82 years old) tells the author of the report that he was seven years old when the 1948 Nakba occurred, and he was forced to flee from his village (Yabna) outside Jaffa, and settled in a refugee camp named after his village in the middle of the city of Rafah in Gaza.
Salama says that he still remembers the Nakba, “which is far from the destruction, killing and terror caused by the barbaric Israeli campaign in Gaza today.”
It is as if the Palestinians were doomed to live their lives in constant flight from death and loss, to be born under the rubble or in a refugee camp, and to remain without a homeland forever, according to Hajjaj’s expression.
The worst is yet to come
The report also addresses the life of the family of Muhammad Owais (56 years old), who believe that the worst is yet to come.
Owais left his home in the Shujaiya area, north of Gaza, and was forced to move several times until he finally settled in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. Throughout the war, he witnessed one tragedy after another, lived with death, and every time life was destined for him.
In the brief pauses in displacement, when people take refuge in UN shelters and schoolyards where they talk about their plight, the prevailing feeling is that Gaza will be completely wiped off the map, and that they will be expelled into Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
Rafah has now become the focus of the new Gaza “nakba,” hosting more than 1.5 million people from all over the Strip. Despite the extreme poverty in which most Palestinians have lived throughout their lives, they had homes to return to at the end of the day, but now they have lost even those homes.
The only thing on the minds of most Palestinians – and speaking to Hajjaj – is where will they go? To another place in Gaza or to exile?
In a tone not devoid of regret, Hajjaj said that the only future offered to the Palestinians is to repeat the cycle of displacement and ethnic cleansing that has not ended since the Nakba of 1948.