In Gaza’s darkness

As well as bombarding Gaza, Israel has forced it into darkness. 

Mohammed Saber ZUMA Press

Yoav Gallant, Israel’s defense minister, has talked about “fighting human animals” in Gaza.

Sometimes I wish we were animals.

Then, we would get used to being let down by the so-called “international community.” Losing our homes and our kids would hurt so much less.

Sometimes, I wish we could face death without understanding the horrors that invade our lives.

My mother works in a hospital. Every day, she comes home with painful stories of her patients and co-workers.

Stories about people who have lost members of their families.

Stories about people who were about to get married but have now lost their homes.

My sister has a classmate from college who is now among the vast numbers of people in Gaza living in schools – with nowhere else to go.

I can’t help but wonder if we are next in line.

My father is a paramedic. We do not see him for days at a time.

When he finally makes it home, his uniform is soaked in blood and caked with dirt.

He cannot describe with words the gruesome scenes he has witnessed or the gruesome tasks he has to carry out: collecting the body parts of women, children and the elderly from beneath the rubble.

He closes the door on himself and weeps like a child. At least 10 paramedics have already been killed since Israel began its latest bombardment of Gaza.


I’ve grown weary, hearing news of death every single moment for days on end.

I wish I could get my heart to stop pounding every time I hear an airstrike.

My daughter is almost 2 years old.

I fear for my child.

I fear that she could be trapped beneath rubble and that she will starve.

Every night, when I go to bed, I fear that I will not wake up.

Every time that I hug and kiss my children, I think that this could be the last time I will be able to do so.

Every breath I take feels like a breath closer to death. Everyone I know has written a goodbye letter.

This war has struck close to our home.

Israel has killed Nour, a dear friend of mine. And her father.

I am struggling to grasp why and how they – civilians – were killed. Nour never had the chance to marry or have children.

We try to live normal lives in Gaza.

We try to continue our daily routines – even when we’re under attack – because we must make a living.

We have been attacked many times now. We have rebuilt what was destroyed, only to see it torn down again.

We continue to bring children into this world, even though there is a strong possibility that they will be killed.

Our homes, children, places of work are all considered fair game for destruction by Israel.

Even in death, there is no guarantee of a body bag, to provide the dignity we deserve.

Israel is trying to reduce us to something less than human beings. Our dreams and aspirations are deemed less significant than those of others.

Huge numbers of us have died. Yet Israel keeps killing us.

The world consistently sides with the strong, leaving the weak with little support.

I do not know if I will still be alive by the time you read this article. I do not know what impact my words might have on those who read them.

Electricity and water have been cut off by Israel. There is an internet blackout.

I am sharing my story in the darkness, hoping that it will find a way to your heart.

Sahar Qeshta is a parent in Gaza.