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22/7/2014 - Palestine - War in Gaza: letter from a volunteer

(ANS - Gaza)- "The War has 'frozen' my life and I had to give up work. My family and I have experienced the daily bombardment of Israeli warplanes. The daily routine has become: listening to the explosions, following the last-minute news, seeing pictures of the blood of the people who have been killed." So writes Said, a Palestinian working with the NGO VIS, (Volunteers for International Development), in a heartfelt letter to his friends in VIS.

On 16 July last, Said became one of the many internally displaced people in his country. "We stayed at home for ten days until such time as an Israeli soldier phoned us, telling us to evacuate the district because they were starting bombing at random. The call came at midnight and we had to evacuate by eight o’clock the following morning."

Fortunately, he and his family are safe, but the shock of having to leave everything behind, the fear of having to undergo again the scenes of 2008 - "when a missile fell on my neighbours’ house and we picked up the pieces of their bodies scattered around us" - and hearing his five year-old daughter talking about death, are things that could not but affect him.

"I feel like a foreigner in my own land. I am relatively safe thanks to my relatives who have given us accommodation, but I often think about those who have no place to live and are forced to take shelter in schools."

Commenting on this and other terrible stories that arrive daily from the Gaza Strip, Nico Lotta, President of VIS, had this to say: "We repeat the words of Pope Francis after the Angelus: violence is overcome with peace. We call for the end of this massacre. It will be difficult to heal the wounds of this new wave of hatred and pain, but as of now we affirm our willingness to continue our work in the Middle East to safeguard the right of all children and young people to a peaceful existence, to life and to a full growth."

The full text of Said’s letter is available on the VIS website.

Published 22/07/2014

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