When will this nightmare end?

Hospitals are overcrowded and running out of supplies. 

Omar Ashtawy APA images

For two and a half weeks, Israel has been waging a genocidal war against Gaza, a small area with a high population density.

The air is not clean due to the smoke from massive bombs. Those fortunate enough to still be in their homes are forced to keep their windows closed.

Mothers share meager portions of bread with their children. There is very little water.

No one knows when this nightmare will end.

During previous Israeli attacks parents have tried to comfort their children by pretending that the sound of bombs are really from fireworks. This time, it is impossible to pretend.

The truth is laid bare before their children.

Many parents are not in a good condition. They are exhausted, fearful for their children and other loved ones.

The scent of death is everywhere. Not metaphorically. Literally.

Many innocent people are under the rubble.

Civil defense personnel are overworked and have themselves been targeted by the Israeli occupation.

As a bare minimum, everyone deserves a dignified burial so that survivors can pray for their souls at their graves. Israel is exacerbating the suffering of survivors by preventing them from burying people whose bodies remain under rubble.

Buildings are bombed throughout the day – usually without warning.

Big dreams and beautiful stories

There are people with big dreams and beautiful stories who have been killed and not yet been identified.

They had to be buried because the number of casualties from missile strikes is so large. Their names can’t be written on their graves.

Most likely, their families were either killed or in intensive care.

Huge numbers of people have had to leave their homes. They left everything behind.

Now, they live in tents, schools, hospitals or churches. The number of bathrooms in those areas is inadequate. Water is scarce and food is barely enough to curb hunger.

Electricity only comes once every three days and then only for an hour, during which time people can charge their phones and check on those family members who are still alive.

They lack clean clothes and don’t have enough pillows or blankets for sleeping – if they can sleep.

Families are scattered all over Gaza. They can’t share news or visit one another.

They can’t reassure each other or hug for what may be the last time.

There is an internet blackout. Palestinians living outside Gaza suffer from not being able to communicate with their families and loved ones inside Gaza.

Grief postponed

There are many funerals. No time to mourn the loss of a relative or a friend.

All emotions have to be trapped inside. Shock can be seen on everyone’s faces.

Grief is postponed. Nobody knows when they will be able to weep in safety.

Patients are being operated on without proper anesthetics because the healthcare situation is catastrophic. There is a severe shortage of medicines and equipment.

Hospitals are overcrowded with the wounded. Survival requires a miracle.

Some patients in hospitals were receiving treatment before Israel declared its genocidal war.

People with cancer and heart disease, patients needing kidney transplants and many others have to wait for care. They suffer greatly. There’s not much hope left in their eyes.

There are many pregnant women in Gaza, many about to give birth. Some of them need medicine and medical supplies that are no longer available.

Many women have given birth in these difficult conditions and need to breastfeed their babies. Mother’s milk is filled with sorrow and fear.

Some pregnant women have been killed. Others have had miscarriages.

Many women are experiencing pain when they menstruate.

They do not have medicine to relieve their pain. Supplies of sanitary products have run out from the grocery stores. The lack of water makes the situation even worse.


There are many young children in need of diapers and continuous access to water for bathing, as well as special food. Everything is difficult to obtain now.

Everyone living in Gaza is at risk. The world’s powerful do not seem to care about the innocent.

Is there any humanity left in this unfair world?

Before Israel’s genocidal war, we took pleasure from simple things.

A bride marrying the love of her life.

A mother giving birth after years of longing for children.

A teenager passing their high school exams, nurturing dreams of studying a subject they were passionate about.

A child playing in a kindergarten.

Neighbors speaking to each other.

A grandmother telling stories to her grandchildren.

Families overflowing with love and warmth.

The Israeli occupation has extinguished our dreams, erased our memories and taken away our joy.

Ghada Hania is a researcher and translator based in Gaza.