Will 2024 bring an end to war?

The bloodshed and destruction have been relentless in recent months. 

Ali Hamad APA images

What can Gaza expect in 2024?

For the past few months, its 2.3 million inhabitants have been under constant Israeli bombardment.

The official death toll is nearing 22,000. Thousands of bodies are still under the rubble.

Injuries are widespread and most people have been displaced.

Reem al-Louh, 45. is taking shelter at a school in al-Fukhari near the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.

Like so many others, she was forced to leave her home in Gaza City and head southwards. She and her five children have stayed in a number of different schools since the current war was declared.

Previously, her family has gone to a restaurant on New Year’s Eve or sat on the seashore with hot drinks.

“But this year has been very bad for Gaza,” she said. “It has been a year of bloodshed and destruction. We have lost everything beautiful.”

“When my daughters look at pictures from the past year, they start to cry,” she added. “The pain of our loss is very strong. We are very tired. The fear doesn’t stop for one moment. We hope that this war will end.”

“I miss my friends”

Lamia Salem, 25, has been uprooted from northern Gaza and is now staying in Khan Younis. Before the war, she had planned to spend New Year’s Eve with friends.

“I miss my friends,” she said. “I don’t know where they are? Are they okay or not? We have all been displaced to different areas, searching for safety. But there is no safety in Gaza.”

“I cannot believe that in the year 2023, we are living through such a great tragedy: genocide, mass displacement, bombing children in their homes, arrests. Is the world happy with what it sees on television? Is everyone else thinking about how they will celebrate the New Year when an entire people is dying from bombing, hunger and thirst?”

Khaled Abu Jamei, 34, would normally be thinking about providing treats for his children Adam and Tala on New Year’s Eve.

They would have dinner at their favorite restaurant in Gaza City. Later, they would enjoy some knafeh – a delicious pastry.

That is not possible this year: he and his family have been displaced.

“My wish is for the war to end and the suffering of Gaza’s people to end. We are tired of searching for safety, food and water. Our bodies are tired from sleeping on the floor, without a bed.”

“I am asking the world to stop the war on Gaza, to save us,” he said. “Do not celebrate without caring about us, our sadness and suffering.”

Ruwaida Amer is a journalist based in Gaza.