It is December in Gaza.
Dreams have been turned into nightmares.
Winds of despair sweep through towns and cities.
We had seven days of a “truce.”
The word was misleading.
The seven days were not a true respite. They just gave us a little time to breathe.
Grieving families continued their agonizing search for lost loved ones. The desperate quest for basic necessities like food and shelter persisted.
The return of Israel’s bombs soon shattered any semblance of tranquility. Civilians once again found themselves targeted in their own homes.
Children – the most vulnerable – once again become victims of merciless attacks.
Israel’s propaganda cannot conceal the harsh reality. It is a reality of shattered homes, bombed mosques and broken bodies.
Having already caused mass displacement from the northern part of Gaza, Israel is now focused on eradicating the vibrant communities in the south.
In a grim spectacle, Israel’s warplanes dropped numerous leaflets on the homes of people in Khan Younis, a city in southern Gaza. They were urged to leave for Rafah, even further south.
An ominous question looms large: What awaits people forced to move?
Israel is pursuing a strategy of depopulating Gaza. Its true agenda is sinister: ethnic cleansing.
Israel wants to expel us from our ancestral land, leaving us with no place to call home.
With each bomb, more of our neighbors get killed. Fear has become an unbearable weight on Gaza’s soul.
We appreciate the humanitarian aid we have received but it is insufficient to alleviate the immense suffering in Gaza.
The people of Gaza are demanding the right to live peacefully.
Our aspirations are humble: being able to live in our own land, to have shelter from the bitter cold, to move freely, to learn, to celebrate on occasions that should be joyful.
We want to be able to revel in the beauty of Gaza, without the perpetual shadow of violence.
A darkness has engulfed Gaza. We demand that the world takes action to end the horrors.
Eman Alhaj Ali is a journalist and translator based in Gaza.