Tasting Gaza’s agony

Mourning in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. 

Ali Hamad APA images

It is heartbreaking to hear stories of Israeli cruelty every day.

My cousin Nour is 29 years old. She has three children – Omar, Rayan and Emad.

In the early stages of the current genocidal war, she and her family left the northern half of Gaza and moved south. Doing so, they hoped, would keep them alive.

Israel had claimed it was setting up a safe “humanitarian corridor” so that people could evacuate without being harmed. There was nothing safe about the route Nour and her family took.

In Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, a missile struck the car in which Nour was traveling. The window was broken and Nour was injured in the left eye.

Her child Rayan was wounded too.

They needed urgent treatment. Doctors referred them to a hospital in Egypt.

I hope they make a swift recovery.

My own immediate family had to evacuate our home without our belongings.

We had been working very hard to make an honest living. Everything has been lost.

Hassan, my eldest brother, went back to our land, even though he knew it had been invaded by Israeli forces.

He needed money. So he collected wood to sell it.

In this war, one of the few ways to make an income is by chopping wood.

One day, Hassan was accompanied by his friend Yasir, 36. Yasir had been unemployed before the war began.

When they were leaving the farmland, Israel fired a missile toward them. Yasir was cut in two.

My brother had to carry out the dreadful task of gathering what remained of his friend.

Yasir was martyred as he tried to protect his family from hunger.

He had told his wife that if he died, she should strive to provide their children with “a better life than the one I was given.”

My friend Rama had a lovely family.

Like me, she studied English and graduated from college in the recent past.

During this war, her home was destroyed. Her family was massacred.

Only Rama and her sister are still alive. But they have major injuries.

They survived after being in a coma.

While their medical treatment was successful in keeping them alive, the psychological wounds of this genocide will remain.

We are all tasting agony in Gaza.

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