Gaza- After he was preparing for his wedding scheduled for November 14, getting an extra day of survival became the biggest concern for the young man, Muhammad Ali Ziara.
He and 15 members of his family – including women and children – are staying in the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the city of Deir Al-Balah (central Gaza strip) Since the beginning of the aggression launched by Israel against the Gaza Strip about a month ago.
He explains – to Al Jazeera Net – that he and his family members feel a state of “horror and panic” with the news about the brutal Israeli massacres against Palestinian families in the Gaza Strip, and confirms that “the state of terror is great, and there is no immunity for anyone.”
During his and his family’s displacement trip from the Al-Shuja’iya neighborhood (east of Gaza City) after the destruction of their home, the occupation forces opened fire on them while they were crossing the Gaza Valley, which led to the injury of two of his brothers, one of whom had his foot amputated, and the other suffered fractures in both his hands.
Ziara’s family was forced to stay in the hospital to care for their two wounded sons, due to the lack of a place to stay, after the shelter centers set up in UNRWA schools were full (UNRWA).
Even though he is in a hospital, the young man does not feel safe at all. Ziara says, “We do not sleep all night because of the bombing, tension, anxiety, psychological state, and Israeli threats to hospitals.” Pointing out that life conditions in the hospital are “extremely harsh,” as they sleep on the sidewalks and lack the most basic necessities of life.
He points out that the state of terror that afflicted some of the mothers in his family led them to stop breastfeeding their children, due to the lack of food and the difficult psychological state. In addition to his extreme fear of dying with his family as a result of the brutal Israeli raids, Ziarat faces the problem of not having money to spend on them.
For this purpose, Ziara borrowed a small amount of money, not exceeding $60, and set up a “stand” to sell some food and cleaning materials inside one of the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. He says, “I work with my brother Firas, and I earn 10 to 20 shekels daily (2.5 to 5 dollars) with which we buy bread, diapers, and milk for the children.”
His tragedy was not limited to this point, as Israel destroyed his family’s three-story home, which included his apartment in which he was preparing to get married. “The furniture for my apartment for my wedding alone cost me about 20,000 shekels, and it was all destroyed along with the apartment,” Ziara adds.
He explains that his fiancée lives in the city of Rafah, in the far south of the Strip, and he has not seen her for 5 weeks, due to the lack of transportation due to running out of fuel. He points to a mattress next to one of the walls of the hospital, and says, “I sleep on this mattress.” Then he points to a blanket on which a woman and five children are sitting, and continues, “This is my blanket.”
Another story, referring to the tragedy that the residents of Gaza are experiencing in search of safety, is narrated by Abdo Fayez, a resident of the city of Rafah, in the far south of the Strip.
Search for safety
Fayez told Al Jazeera Net that at the beginning of the aggression, he took refuge in the Nuseirat camp (in the middle of the Gaza Strip) to live with some of his relatives, in search of safety for him and his children. However, an Israeli raid targeted the house in which he lived, leading to the death of two of his children, Saadia (12 years old) and Hisham, who was two years old. He says, “They killed my children. Everyone in the house is civilian children and women. We tell the occupation that you are targeting children, and yet we are steadfast.”
In a similar story, Abu Muhammad (who preferred not to mention his name) took refuge from the town of Jabalia to the city of Deir al-Balah, in search of safety. But the Israeli raids pursued the family in their new exile, and caused him to lose a number of his relatives.
He told Al Jazeera Net, “I lost two of my children, two of my grandchildren (a boy and a girl), my daughter-in-law, my brother, and my sister-in-law.” Currently, Abu Muhammad resides permanently in Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital to care for his grandson who suffered from burns.
He continued, “I sleep here on a mattress on the sidewalk, and the family members, numbering 25 people, sleep in the homes of some relatives in Deir al-Balah.” He explains that he is unable to sleep at night due to anxiety and terror, and he waits for the morning to come “hotter than embers.” He continues, “Everyone is afraid. Anyone who says they are not afraid is lying. I trust in God. I believe that this place is safer. The house where my family members were staying was bombed, and I manage my affairs here with great difficulty.”
A complex psychological condition
Regarding the complex psychological state that the people of Gaza are experiencing these days, writer and political analyst Wissam Afifa says, “Certainly the state of panic and horror is very great, and people feel happy just because the sun rises while they are still alive. Although people have lived through at least 4 wars, this is not a war.” “Certainly, the extent of Israeli crime this time is unprecedented.”
He continues, “There are two types of people here. The first was directly exposed to a massacre and survived and is in a state of shock. The second is waiting for his turn to go through this bitter experience.” He confirms that the difficult psychological state experienced by the people of Gaza is reflected in all aspects of their lives, their hours of sleep, and their food.
Afifa says that they are living in a state of constant alert. “Women sleep in modest clothing and there is a state of readiness for death, and the question that everyone whispers is: How can death separate us? Who will die? Who will remain? And who will bury us?”
He pointed out the phenomenon of parents dispersing their children between several places, “so that the entire family is not removed from the civil registry and its lineage is cut off, in the face of these massacres that lead to the disappearance of entire families.” He pointed out that the most difficult thing parents face is how to deal with children in such difficult circumstances, asking, “How do we reduce their panic and convince them that this missile is not targeting us?”
The writer explained that there is another phenomenon, which is that many citizens ask those who have experience surviving bombing, “Is it cruel?” To prepare themselves for it.
He pointed out that the reactions of some families who are grieving over their loved ones are strange and ambiguous: “There is no time, space, or space to cry and grieve, but they are waiting for another time, allowing themselves to cry and lament for a long time, because they did not have this opportunity. A large part of the Palestinian people has a state of depression. He waits for the moment he gives himself to express his feelings of sadness and crying.”