Gaza: “I am very hopeful that this genocide will end”

Gaza: “I am very hopeful that this genocide will end”

Story and photo by Fawzya Alshami


Fawzya Alshami is a journalist based in northern Gaza. Here, she shares her experience of living under Israel’s military attack since October 2023.


Gaza endures continuous bombardment from all directions: air, sea, and land. The most common form of bombardment is artillery shelling by Israeli tanks. This artillery strikes blindly: it is random and intense – no one is safe. It is especially intense during morning, noon, and evening hours.

The smallest missile fired at us here weighed one and a half tons. My house is riddled with bullets and shell fragments, and all our windows are shattered from the heavy bombing.

Although most of the buildings in my neighbourhood have been destroyed, we were here then and we’re still here now.

Until mid-March, we were unable to access humanitarian aid. Although trucks passed in front of our house, the aid was either bombed or seized by unknown gunmen so no one could get to it. And those who managed to obtain assistance were shot at.

For a long time, we had no access to food. We ate hibiscus that we picked and cooked. We would also eat carrot and potato soup. For the last five months, we have been cooking on firewood because of the lack of fuel. In March, before Ramadan, I would go early in the morning along with women in the neighbourhood, to reach one of the large families receiving humanitarian aid under bombardment from warplanes and tanks. We would wait for long hours as one of the men distributed a kilo of flour to each person. This continued for nearly a month. Despite the danger and uncertainty, we joined the long lines every day, often leaving empty-handed because the flour had run out.

gaza, palestine, starvation, famine

The Israeli occupation in northern Gaza now allows food to reach us, but the majority of the food is sold in markets, and most of us can’t afford it as we don’t have the financial means to buy it. We got some flour from emergency committees spread across the region, and two weeks ago, for the first time in six months, we were able to get bread from the bakery. As for water, we have been filling water containers from a place far from our home.

Currently, we receive healthcare from emergency committees, the dispensaries, the Baptist Hospital and the Jordanian Field Hospital. As for Al-Shifa Hospital, it is out of service because it has been stormed multiple times by Israeli occupation forces.

Dispensaries are limited to emergency treatment, and women do not receive any healthcare for their menstrual cycle. Pregnant women give birth at home due to fear of bombing, and later go to hospitals for post-partum care. These visits involve basic tests for the mother and newborn, as hospitals lack equipment and medicine. As for infant formula, a box is distributed to each baby, but only when humanitarian aid is available.

Feminist organisations operate in the southern Gaza Strip, and provide humanitarian aid to women through dignity bags, as well as emergency services to women survivors of violence, newborns, divorcees, and families of missing persons. However, due to the separation between the north and the south of the Strip, these services are not available in northern Gaza.

I don’t think that the international community can help to end this genocide: they have held many conferences and international sessions, and issued many decisions – but to no avail. The protests taking place around the world are just for the media – they distract the attention from what is happening here. The more these protests escalate, the more the genocide intensifies. Western journalists must provide psychological first aid to the journalists who stayed in northern Gaza to help them resume their work, as it’s impossible at the moment because of the genocide. The majority of journalists here are freelancers, and they haven’t had any income since the war began. Despite the danger, some journalists are still in the field because their work is very important to convey the truth to the world – but they are very few.

I am very hopeful that this genocide, which has claimed the lives of many women, children and men, will end. It has also destroyed our homes, and our entire way of life. We want nothing more than to stop the Israeli military machine that is killing civilians in Gaza. Stopping the genocide and achieving peace is what we need – now.


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