The malevolent light of Israel’s explosions

Rescue workers in a Gaza building following an Israeli airstrike. 

Yasser Qudih Xinhua via ZUMA Press

When Israel is under a major Israeli attack, the night is a time of huge fear and anxiety. The effect is suffocating.

Once the sun goes down, Gaza transforms into a place where danger has escalated. All our lives are threatened.

Every moment is filled with suffering and apprehension.

The night is supposed to cradle us with warmth and love, allowing us to rest after a busy day.

When we are under a major attack, everyone fears the night.

At nighttime, the faint glow of the melancholic moon barely pierces through the immense shroud of smoke and dust. The moon’s shadows are not comforting any longer.

The moon’s appearance is associated with the horrors of ruthless aggression.

We used to eagerly await the night.

We could indulge in conversations with our siblings. We could gather around with snacks and prepare to watch a movie.

When the night arrives now, mothers hold their children close and try to shield them with love.

Families gather together in one room so that if they are bombed, they can die together. Nobody will be left to feel sorrow.

As the minutes pass, the sky intermittently turns a terrifying red.

The explosions bring a malevolent light, which reflects onto our homes.

State of uncertainty

We do not know what is happening in places that are out of sight. The state of uncertainty haunts everyone every night.

Nobody knows if the target is a friend, someone close. Every unfamiliar sound is a potential harbinger of death.

Homes tremble as if in an earthquake.

Parents try to reassure their children. “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid.”

But how can kids not be afraid when they feel that they might be the target of the next explosion?

The sound of ambulances is alarming. It tells you that people have been martyred and others wounded.

Children have been turned into orphans. Wives have been turned into widows.

There are people missing. There are people trapped under the rubble, waiting to be rescued.

A person who is rescued might be the sole survivor in a family. As long as they live they will bear the scars of the genocide now being committed in Gaza.

When a building is bombed, everyone who is not immediately knocked down starts to run, not knowing where to go or where to hide.

In the inky blackness, rest is an unattainable dream.

Sometimes people fall asleep from fatigue, maybe in a hospital or a shelter, their eyes filled with tears and dust. And maybe blood.

And when dawn finally breaks, it reveals the stark truth of the massive destruction that occurred during the night. The destruction serves as an unrelenting reminder of Israel’s cruelty.

How many more nights of terror must people in Gaza endure?

How many innocent people must be killed before Israel feels the thrill of achieving its goals?

When will the genocide stop?

Ghada Hania is a researcher and translator based in Gaza.

This article was submitted shortly before Israel imposed a complete communications blackout on Gaza.