Early Sunday morning, a text came through from someone in Gaza! It had been 36 hours since we had heard from any of our staff or partners in Gaza. Israeli bombs had caused a complete blackout. We had no way of reaching our friends and co-workers. Then, slowly, we started to get responses by text message:
“They were horrific nights.”
“Thank God we are well. But we have 15 martyrs in our area.”
“Good morning. We’re packing up 2,000 parcels now for the middle area. The situation is so difficult.”
“We are ok, thank God.”
“We are still alive. Thank you so much for thinking of me.”
“My family is ok. But my friend that I’m staying with, her father died yesterday, and we just found out.”
Communication with Gaza is still patchy but we were so relieved to hear the news that our staff and partners are still alive and join them in mourning the many relatives, friends and neighbors that were killed by Israeli attacks during those horrific 36 hours—and the days and years before as decades of brutal Israeli occupation have killed so many of their loved ones.
No one could call for help. Neighbors carried injured people to hospitals walking or in carts pulled by donkeys and then told the emergency workers where more injured people were. In one devastating attack on a populated area in Nuseirat camp, a truck carried dozens of injured people who had been pulled from the rubble to the nearest hospital. They had to pile them in a truck!
No one slept during those two nights when all communication was cut off. They listened to the bombings and the mortar shells and had no idea where they landed or if their loved ones in other places survived.
On Sunday, as soon as they saw they had signals on their phones, our staff and partners got back to work. They got food and hygiene supplies; organized volunteers to pack them up and distributed these emergency supplies to displaced people.
We are in awe of their dedication to help their communities amidst the horror and heartbreak.
We will be in touch with our staff and partners in Gaza as often as we can and provide you updates. We can’t send you photos because no one has an internet connection. But even though you can’t see it, your donations are providing essential food, soap, diapers and more to thousands of people in Gaza each day and sending a message to the families that they are not alone.