The people in Gaza He screams and flees while Mohammed Abu Rahma loses Ayman, his young son. “I heard an explosion. Everything collapsed. Ayman always holds his mother’s hand, but he got scared and let her go. He ran inside our building, under the bombs.” Mohammed’s heart stops as he tells it on the phone: “I chased him, pushing through the maddened crowd, and I found him in the elevator, he was screaming. I managed to catch him in my arms and flee just before the building collapsed.”
Mohammed worked in Gaza as an Al-Haq activist, dedicated to human rights. ‘We have lost everything. We are sleeping at relatives’ houses. Ayman is in shock. What happened to us will happen to all of Gaza. May God help us,” he says.
If there is a hell, this is it. Nothing and no one comes out of the Gaza Strip, except the stories that are told. Like that of Hamdi Shaqura, that he left his wife, brother, daughter and brother-in-law under the rubble. Or that of Iman Radnan, who was left without a father, mother, husband and son in a moment. Or that of Ala Al-Kafarneh, who managed to escape two bombings, but in the third attempt they managed to kill eight people: “I don’t know why they always attacked us,” he cries, “we are normal people, we have nothing to do with with Hamas,” he adds.
The Palestinian media is already calling it ‘The Catastrophe’, referring to the mother of all misfortunes, the Nakba, the great exodus that in 1948 forced an entire people into exile, hanging a key (“we will return one day”) at the door of every abandoned house. But this time it is worse: no one can leave and many houses no longer exist. The New Catastrophe does not make distinctions between humble people or people with power. Husam Zomlot, ambassador in London of the Palestinian Authority, has lost six family members and must mourn them from afar, without being able to return; Humza Yousaf, First Minister of Scotland – whose wife is Palestinian – has his in-laws trapped and must worry from there, unable to repatriate them. Six journalists, 12 UN officials and also two doctors have died. “There are 22 large families in Gaza that no longer exist and we are talking about hundreds of people,” emphasizes Xavier Abu Aid, a Palestinian official in Ramallah.
The time for revenge arrived at two in the afternoon. When the light went out, so did hope. The Gaza’s only power plant, which operated for about four hours a day, no longer has power and is disconnected. Everyone is left in the dark. Hospitals depend on electrical generators, until they run out. The rest manages as best they can: It is the true beginning of the Great Siege. Two million Palestinians who for 16 years depended 80% on foreign aid now do not even have that. No water, no food, no phones, no fuel and no electricity. AND An air attack comes from the sky every half hour.