Gaza diary: Where is the humanity?

One Gazan's diary of life under Israeli bombardment.

    Two Gazans listen to the news on a radio during a temporary halt in Israeli fire [GALLO/GETTY]

    As the death toll from Israel's war on Gaza continues to climb, Mohammed Ali, an advocacy and media researcher for Oxfam who lives in Gaza City, will be keeping a diary of his feelings and experiences.

    'Goodnight my love, see you in heaven'

    Today, I met with people outside the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. I could not believe the stories I was hearing.

    An old man told me he was going blind. His diabetic condition was deteriorating and he needed to be treated quickly so as not to lose his sight. He was turned away; he was not in a severe enough state compared to the people filling the hospital corridors and there were not enough doctors to see to him.

    Medical teams cannot cope; doctors are working 24 hour shifts, there are not enough beds, equipment or medicine to deal with this humanitarian crisis.

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    I am hearing more and more stories of people trapped under rubble - ambulance teams unable to reach them, so they wait to die.

    While I was out, one man approached me and asked if I would help him to clear up dead bodies.

    Another asked if I worked for a humanitarian organisation but before I could answer he looked up at the sky and shouted: "Where is humanity?"

    The situation has now reached such a critical point that doctors frequently confront dilemmas such as whether to treat the child who is bleeding to death or the baby who has severe head injuries.

    While doctors ask themselves these tough questions, some politicians continue to debate whether or not we are facing a humanitarian crisis.

    Since the Israeli military attacks started on Gaza, no salaries have been received and hardly any one has been able to work. Many people here depend on agricultural farming to make a living, and the Gazan population relies on these farmers to be able to eat vegetables; the blockade is allowing hardly anything in.

    No farmer will go to their farmland these days. Like all of us, they fear being killed if they move out of their homes or even if they stay put.

    Prices of goods are increasing by the day as they become more and more scarce.

    Candles are no longer available; a much-needed item these days given the prolonged power cuts we have to endure. We started to use our torches but the batteries soon ran out and there are no batteries to be found here any more.

    Same planet, different worlds

    Every hour, fleeting images from around the world are brought to our TV screens. When I have electricity, I watch these scenes of people enjoying themselves and ask myself, what is the difference between them and me? Why are our lives worlds apart in spite of living on the same planet?

    I wonder, are these people asking themselves the same question when they watch the horror unfold in Gaza?

    The occupation has put Gaza on a drip feed; we have had just enough to keep us alive but not enough to make us feel as though we are really living - and now this.

    If I make it to the end of this conflict, I want to leave the minute I am able to. I do not want my children to grow up in this environment, strangled by the occupation, familiar with the sounds of F-16 fighter jets, unable to leave the country if they need life-saving treatment.

    This is not a natural disaster like the Tsunami; this is a man-made disaster that deepens while the world watches.

    As the death toll continues to rise, my wife and I spend our waking hours waiting for our turn to come.

    Now, at night before trying to sleep I say to her: "Goodnight my love, see you in heaven."

    Click here to read the last installment of Mohammed's diary: Are we not human?

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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