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A mother ;re giving birth in difficult conditions in Gaza

Jack Guez Agence France-Presse Even if she wanted to, Isra McDad could not be evacuated from the Gaza Strip since she is part Palestinians who do not have a foreign passport.

The help they give us is nothing! » In Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, Isra Mcdad has still not been able to wash four days after giving birth to her second child. Despite the harsh conditions in which Gazans live who cannot be evacuated, Isra prefers to stay, to resist the “occupation.”

“I don’t expect anything. I don’t know if I will still live tomorrow,” she confides to Devoir. The 33-year-old Palestinian is staying with her grandparents in Rafah. Around sixty people, mainly women and children — who can be heard loudly on the other end of the line — live under the same roof, and share what little water and food they have.

< p>On October 18, Israel allowed the entry of humanitarian aid from Egypt. But “the help they give us is nothing,” laments Ms. McDonald, saying she receives a few cans of food, half-full bags of bread, and only one bottle of water for all the residents of the area. home.

“[Israel] is destroying our lives. They stole our land, settled on it, and now they want to kick us out, kill us, and eliminate us. […] They have not been ethical, neither in peace nor in war. »

Isra says she received no help for the birth of her child. “It wasn’t a good experience. Not at all,” she confides, interrupted every two minutes by a cut in the telephone line.

She, who feared not having access to a hospital, was finally able to go there on Monday, in Rafah. But “there were no towels, some [medical] equipment was missing,” and above all, there was a “water cut.” In short, “I went, gave birth, waited four hours to be checked on, and then came home,” she says.

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I went there [to the hospital], gave birth, waited four hours to be checked on, then came home

—Isra McDad

Four days later, Maria's birth has not yet been declared. “Everyone told us that we had to wait until the attack was over,” explains Isra, who worries about not being able to vaccinate her little daughter in time.

Today, everything she and her husband had “built” for their children is destroyed. “After each attack, if we are lucky enough to survive, we start all over again. »

No question of leaving


Since Wednesday, Israel has authorized the evacuation of certain wounded and foreigners from Gaza to Egypt via Rafah. On the first day, 76 injured Palestinians and 361 foreign and dual nationals were able to leave the territory. An evacuation of which Palestinians who do not have a foreign passport, like Israel, are deprived.

For her, leaving “is not an option”. Even if she had the possibility, she says she would prefer to stay with her family. “It wouldn’t be fair to leave while my family members are here suffering. I would consider this a betrayal. »

It must be said that Isra could not have found itself in this situation. The young woman has been back in her native region for only 10 months, after studying a master's degree in Scotland and two years spent in Turkey. A decision that she does not “regret”.

After following the 2021 crisis from a distance, she refuses to be far from her loved ones again. “This is our land, and we want to be together. […] If you are at home and someone comes to attack you, you don’t leave, you defend yourself. »

Multiple evacuations


Although she has no plans to leave, Isra has already had to change accommodation five times since October 7. She was in the north of the Strip, in Gaza, when the conflict began. “I was cooking with my daughter” Sofia, who is three. A call from a neighbor that a building was targeted “ended everything. We turned off the oven […], we took the things I had prepared in case something happened, and we left.”

The same threat will push her again, with her husband and her daughter, to leave her parents' house where they had taken refuge, her own again, then that of her brother. And the group grows with each trip.

“We are lucky to have several houses. » These multiple trips were not without risk, she acknowledges, arguing that several Palestinians were killed in their car as they attempted to take refuge in the south.

This This report is supported by the Local Journalism Initiative, funded by the Government of Canada.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116