Human Echoes From Deadly Gaza 

The Gaza Holocaust is turning out to be one of the worst genocides in the history of mankind. Thousands of innocent civilians are being chased, killed, maimed and starved in an area less than 365 square kilometers while the world looks on.

The life of the internal refugees in Gaza has become a harsh one, displaced from there homes they now face expulsion as dictated by Israelis guns.

Many say they are staying put even in tents or on the ruins of their wrecked homes and houses despite the heartbreaking scenes.   

A little girl is holding her baby sister sucking on a bottle outside one of the tents in destroyed Gaza. “We are out of milk, so we put herbal tea to keep the little one quiet.” She says this as a voluntary worker comes along distributing milk powder in a tin. He is seen as a savior but the problem for the internally displaced people is that clean water is hard to come by.

There are 1.3 million of refugees in Rafah alone. While Israel warplanes tried to push many of the people – estimated at 2.2 million – into this southern city, there are still 700,000 people in the north of the strip who refused to leave their homes.

Mosques have a central place in the lives of Gazans as part of the Muslim culture.

This Israeli war on the Strip has destroyed more than 1000 mosques. Some of them totally. Others partially. Some of these mosques like the Omari Mosque go back to medieval times and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage protected site not that it makes any difference now. Another one, the Othman bin Qashqar Mosque was built in 1220 in Gaza’s old town.

Today it is estimated there are only 200 mosques left.

Despite their destruction, men still manage to pray collectively, turning (in this case one of the destroyed buildings) to pray as one body despite the ruins.

In this war people – men, women, children have increased their faith. While women and girls pray at home, most men pray in mosques.

It is estimated $500 million are needed to rebuild the destroyed mosques where over 100 Imams were killed.

One girl retells of how her two brothers, Nahed and Ramez were killed. In a hysterical tone she said “I saw their blood seeping on the floor” adding the older Ramerz saw his brother fall after a direct hit. He came to him and covered the boy with his jacket but immediately fell over him as he was also struck and both died instantly.

It was dramatic in the way of how both were killed. This Israeli slaughter has been particularly hard on children where over 12,660 and 8570 women have been killed so far as part of the over 28000 people murdered by big Israeli guns since 7 October according to the Gaza Government Media office.

Unable to contain himself a little boy starts to eat from the dish of stew as he slowly takes it to the tent for his family. The walk appears to be too far so he starts slurping from the dish bowel. He doesn’t want to rush himself in case he spills the precious food but he couldn’t stop himself from attacking it at the same time.

He is sorrounded by other boys which is not surprising because this is a compound of internal refugees. Among the tents there is a kitchen distribution center for displaced people who came here with only the clothes on their back. 

Palestinians in Gaza are being starved by the Israeli authorities who control the entry of food trucks. People only have a meal every two and three days if they are lucky and many are eating fodder, grass and shrubs just to survive.

“We used to live in Rimal, an upscale neighborhood in Gaza where we had everything. Then this come and our lives were turned upside down,” a woman blows up in the camera.

“My husband was killed and me and my kids were left on our own running from one place to the next. This is the 4th or 5th move I make with the kids, after moving to Al Shifaa Hospital, then the Nuseirat Camp, Al Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis and now live a tent in Rafah and I don’t know where we are going to go next.

This has become our life and I don’t know what will become of us.”

An old man in hospital. He is 70 years-old and has been rescued from under the rubble. Unaware of his surroundings he is calling for members of his family who may have been killed. He is the embodiment of the new Palestinian tragedy for 1000s remain under the rubble days, week and months after of Israeli bombings of their homes and apartment flats. At least 7,000 people, 70% of them women and children, are still under the rubble or missing in Gaza. 

Dr Marwan Asmar is a journalist based in Amman, Jordan.

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