Living in the Aftermath of Israel’s Assault on Gaza

October 03, 2014 Hamza Moghari
Living in the Aftermath of Israel’s Assault on Gaza
Children sit in formation to spell out "Gaza" in Arabic in the yard of a UN shelter. (PHOTO: Hamza Moghari) 


Many of the Israeli attacks launched on Gaza this summer targeted innocent civilians inhabitants who lost their basic rights, homes, and in thousands of cases, their lives or the lives of their family members. The assault included countless human rights violations, many of which are considered war crimes according to international law. Gaza is now in ruins once again, its people still suffering heavily even though the bombs have stopped.

Ordinary health services such as diagnostic and therapeutic interventions are rarely available. Many people who were displaced to UNRWA’s shelters often can’t get access to hospitals. Meanwhile, hospitals can barely function due to the extreme deficiency of medical equipment. The lack of important medications and essential resources puts patients with chronic diseases, children, and pregnant women who are living in UNRWA’s shelters in extra danger. 

As a result of the large number of people inside of shelters, epidemic diseases such as scabies and meningitis have increased massively. Also, the inability to meet personal hygiene needs is a major contributor to these health problems. The lack of clean water due to pollution and insufficient sanitation is another major factor that has accelerated health and social problems. 

Electricity is currently a critical problem too. It is worse than before the attacks and people are forced to go without it for most of every day.

Another outcome of the recent assault on Gaza is the harm to the education system. Schools totally shut down during the bombardment and many were used for shelters. A lot of Gaza's schools were damaged and therefore, the numbers of students inside classrooms now is larger than usual. 

A large fraction of the population continues to live in UNRWA’s shelters since their homes were destroyed. It seems the situation will continue to deteriorate as many of the causes of the hardship have not been addressed and in some cases will only get worse with time.

Hamza Moghari is a 20-year-old student studying nursing at the Palestine College of Nursing and works with the United Nations Population Fund's Youth Peer Education Network and other NGOs in Gaza.