A queue for bread in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip. A queue for bread in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip. Photo: Counterfire

To mark a month of continuous Israeli bombardment, we share some thoughts from Bilal in the Gaza Strip

Day 19

Last night was the worst so far. The weapons used since last night are something new. F*ck the US, UK, and French governments. We aren’t just here to test your weapons on.

Day 20

My little cousin keeps asking her mum if they’re alive. I’ve been taking showers with wet nappies.

Day 21

If you’ve normalised what you see on the news, know that we haven’t. It only gets harder and darker for us – people suffer more with every passing minute. “Israel defending itself”? And we don’t want more aid trucks; we want a ceasefire and we want our freedom.

Day 26

It isn’t the first time we lost our house during an attack on Gaza. My sisters are sad about the swing that they saved their pocket money to buy. My mum about the flowers she took so much care of. The vines were a home for the brightest birds, but now it’s all flat and Israel has stationed its troops where the birds used to be.  

Day 28

Israel isn’t the only one responsible for these crimes. Think of the colonialism of the European states: the British, the French. A hundred years from now we might get an apology for all this, but only when they think it’s history. We don’t want an apology in the future – we want freedom now. Palestinians will not rest until Palestine is free, until the hopes and dreams of those who died for this land are achieved.

Day 29

I started reading Khaled Hosseini’s ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ a week ago as a distraction from the bombing. Today I finished the book but the suffering didn’t end; not in Afghanistan, not in Palestine, not in Syria, not in Yemen, not in Lebanon, not in Kashmir, not in Sudan, not in Ukraine, not in Libya, not in Iraq. The suffering continues. Even though the Americans ran away from Afghanistan, they left a people hopeless and destroyed. But they still fund destruction everywhere. When the war ends in Gaza, Israeli soldiers will go back to the UK, Spain, the USA, Canada, but our suffering will continue daily.

Day 30

If it sounds like your upstairs neighbour is jumping, that’s about 10-12km. If it sounds like someone slammed a door in the next-door apartment, that’s probably 6-9km. If your windows and doors shiver, that’s around 5km. If you feel the pressure in your ears and see the water in the bottle lose its balance, that’s maybe 3km. If you see a flash and your curtains balloon, that’s in your neighbourhood. If it gets dark and becomes hard to breathe, it’s your neighbour’s house.

Day 31

You can hear warplanes all day now – they feel like thoughts, and you know every time you think them our children die.

Day 32

There’s no ‘me’ in wars. In Arabic, we have a saying: “heaven without people is not heaven.”

National March for Palestine – Ceasefire Now – November 11

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