Gaza and Israel Conflict: Fire and Forget

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Earlier this month, the Israeli occupying forces withdrew from Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, leaving behind a trail of broken dreams for those who returned. Among them were my cousin Ikram and her husband, Awad, who embarked on a journey to check on Awad’s brother Mohammad and his family in al-Qarara, only to discover their brutal deaths in an Israeli air strike.

This was not the first time that tragedy struck our family. In October, we had to bury the children of another brother, Ibrahim, and their mother after they were killed in a bombardment. The pain proved too much for Ikram, who upon returning home, lost her vision suddenly, leaving us all bewildered.

Meanwhile, my husband’s family in the west of Khan Younis also ventured to the ruins of their homes, only to find devastation and despair. In the midst of their grief, Nima, my sister-in-law, succumbed to a stroke brought on by the overwhelming anguish.

As they mourned Nima’s passing, Israeli bombs continued to fall on residential areas, causing more casualties and heartbreak. The risks of travelling to inform Nima’s daughter in Rafah were too high, and so she was buried without her.

Nima’s death was just one of the many tragedies that have befallen Palestinian women in this war. Her loss extinguished not only her dreams but also the warmth and generosity that defined her essence. The void she leaves behind is filled only with heartache and loss.

The question remains – what awaits us upon our return to Gaza? The threat of Israeli drones looms large, capable of destroying lives in seconds with no warning. The world seems to have turned a blind eye to the suffering of Palestinians, while Israel continues to portray itself as the victim.

But amidst the despair, there is hope for justice. Good people are working tirelessly to ensure that those responsible for these crimes will face trial and be held accountable. The cries for justice may be quiet, but they will not be forgotten.

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