Salah Abu Fayyad, 28

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Movement Shelter

If I could describe the last 10 year of my life, I would depict them as blackness without light. That is what life is for those like me who reside near the border.

Many people envy me for where I live. They think outside the city we have peace and quiet. They think of clean air and birds chirping in the early morning. They do not know the degree of suffering that we experience when we hear gunfire or when tanks enter the buffer zone. During these times, we must remain at home, turn off our light, and not move.

Most of the residents in the Gaza Strip have lived through at least three wars. My family and I have lived through much more. Each time there is tension or conflict we live through temporary incursions that reach our house, which is considered a part of the buffer zone. We stay besieged in our house for days at a time until the military campaign ends. If we move or leave our home we might be attacked.

"They do not know the degree of suffering that we experience when we hear gunfire or when tanks enter the buffer zone."

Our suffering increases due to the Palestinian side who consider our house as being in a security zone. Because of this, it is forbidden to walk in our area after 5 p.m., and any stranger who enters the area to visit me is viewed with suspicion. I get asked questions about my relationships with people, and I have become socially isolated. I do not wish to be visited, and no one wants to visit me.

Municipal services and telecommunications don’t exist here. No one picks up the garbage from our house, and I am obliged to take the trash to the nearest container 300 meters away. When I submitted an application for a landline from the telecommunications company, they apologize, stating that they can’t provide services in this area. 

I have tried to live with my family in the city center, but the rent and purchase of an apartment was too expensive, and we are unable to pay high rent. We have tried unceasingly to sell our land and home, but nobody will buy in this area.

We are still here and are hopeful that one day our suffering will end and the siege will be lifted, but for now I remain desperate.

 

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