The humanitarian situation, already catastrophic in Gaza, has worsened further since the explosion Tuesday evening in a hospital in the city center. A report on Wednesday evening showed several dozen or even hundreds of deaths depending on the sources, without responsibility for the tragedy being clearly established. One more human tragedy for the Palestinian territory, subjected to intense Israeli bombardments for more than a week. Offensive which follows the Hamas attack on the territory of the Jewish state on October 7.
More than 2 million people live in the Gaza Strip, which has suffered more than 3,000 deaths since the start of the Israeli response. Among these residents, Ziad Medoukh, a 57-year-old Gazan, professor of French at Al-Aqsa University. He tells us about the situation there.
How is the situation in Gaza after the bombing of a hospital on Tuesday evening?
The population is in shock. We are experiencing absolute horror with the strikes on civilians, homes and hospitals*. For a week, Israel has been exercising an inhumane blockade: we have no more water, no more electricity, which makes living conditions more and more difficult. [Israël a annoncé mercredi autoriser l’entrée d’aide humanitaire dans la bande de Gaza depuis l’Egypte]. I have experienced four Israeli offensives on Gaza, in 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2021. But the current one is by far the most violent, the most deadly, the most horrible.
This hospital is a new breakthrough in the horror and unbearability of the situation. Disadvantaged citizens, including those who lost their homes, took refuge in this hospital. There were thousands of people * who did not have the means to flee and who were housed there, in already very difficult humanitarian conditions. People slept on the floor, there were no mattresses or beds. Now it’s even worse.
Were the sick and injured able to be transferred to other hospitals?
Three other hospitals have been bombed * since the start of the conflict. People are now treated on the ground in the street, when they are treated.
When Israel bombs Gaza, they are not only murdering women and children, they are also murdering peace
The situation is aggravated by the blockade put in place by Israel…
We had six hours of electricity a day, then four hours, and now zero. The power plant has been bombed*, there is no fuel oil to operate the alternative electronic systems. And the water tanks in the houses run on electric current. So we have no water, no food. The Gazans are suffering the horror of the bombings, but also the horror of a humanitarian catastrophe for 2.4 million people. The goal is clear: to put pressure on the civilian population to make us flee the area and take it over.
Have you ever thought about running away yourself?
750,000 people fled * because their homes and neighborhoods were destroyed. But there are hundreds of thousands of us who stay * risking our lives. We are left to our fate by the international community.
I remain out of a spirit of resistance, thanks to the education and values that were transmitted to me and through attachment to my land. If tomorrow I leave my house, the day after tomorrow I will leave Gaza City. And the day after tomorrow, I will leave Palestine. Is that the plan? I would be humiliated from within to do that, I don’t want to participate in the abandonment of Gaza or my country. It’s difficult to be separated from your family, to live in fear of death or to see your loved ones leave, but it is a choice. We are a model for young people, we must set an example and stand.
Gaza has become a field of ruins, condemned to death. But Gaza lives and will live”
How long do you think you can last in these conditions?
How long will I last? Ask the international community how long they are going to leave us doing nothing. For the moment, anyway, I’m holding on. There is a strong adaptation and an incredible feeling of solidarity. We eat one meal a day rather than three, we wash with mineral water that we buy, we store some remaining reserves and canned goods in stores. Gaza has become a field of ruins, condemned to death. But Gaza lives and will live.
Israel says it is targeting Hamas. What do you think ?
Israel is not crushing Hamas, but crushing the population. Each time, Israel justified its conflicts with Gaza by citing the destruction of Hamas, and each time, Hamas was found to be more powerful behind it. It is good that the Israeli method does not work, or that it is not Hamas that it is really targeting. The goal is to bring the population to the ground.
How do you keep your faith in these moments?
There is a feeling of helplessness, anger, fear, but also hope. What is happening now is so serious that it will inevitably end up raising awareness around the world. I can already see some things moving. More and more media are interested in our fate, the associative world is waking up. I’m optimistic, that’s why I stay. No one has any interest in war and disorder. However, when Israel bombs Gaza, they not only murder women and children, they also murder peace.
*This information could not be confirmed independently of this interview