Pregnant and fearful

A scene of devastation in Khan Younis, southern Gaza. 

Omar Ashtawy APA images

I am due to give birth in the near future.

I really hope that I can do so in a safe place, that our life improves a little before then.

For more than six months, Israel has been waging a genocidal war against us.

It has resulted in hunger, depression, displacement, air pollution and the scarcity of clean water.

The physical and psychological impact has been profound.

To survive we have had to eat canned food: corned beef, peas, tuna and similar items.

Relying on canned food and lacking fresh fruit and vegetables are inherently unhealthy.

As we are forced to drink polluted water, it is not surprising that illnesses are widespread.

We have to sleep in makeshift tents. We have few bathrooms.

This is humiliation.

Every day and every night, we hear the noise of warplanes in the sky.

There is no respect for our basic rights. Our rights to sleep, eat, wash, visit our families.

Wherever we go, there is a lot of garbage on the streets. How can we live like this?

I have lost patience.

We are all so tired.

Israeli troops have invaded my family’s land.

We have been forced to leave behind our clothes and our money. Everything.

My father has said that his whole life has been destroyed.

Israel is wrecking our economy.

It is killing kids.

Why? So that they will never be able to grow up and join the resistance?

Israel is turning women into widows and children into orphans. It is demolishing everything we love.

Can life return to what it was before this genocide?

As I am pregnant and due to give birth soon, I need new clothes – both for myself and for my future baby.

There are hardly any clothes available for either of us.

As we don’t have any fresh food, we are asking charities to give us aid.

What we have seen over the past six months defies the imagination.

I am haunted by the images of homes in which women, children, men and older people have been massacred.

We were in the city of Khan Younis. But Israel’s violence was so intense there that we left for al-Mawasi, another area in southern Gaza.

I hope al-Mawasi will be the last place to which we are displaced.

We are frustrated and fearful.

We cannot bear the enduring nightmare.

When will all this misery end?

Batoul Mohamed Abou Ali graduated recently from the Islamic University of Gaza.