While New Year’s celebrations are celebrated around the world in grand style, the opposite is true in Gaza. There is no celebration due to the war. Displaced Palestinians live a dehumanized life in makeshift refugee camps in crowded areas of the Valley to escape Israeli attacks. However, they hope that the war in Gaza will end in the new year and that they will return to their homes.
There is no joy in the Gaza Strip even on the first day of the year. The new year began amid a continuing deterioration of the security situation and living standards there due to the war.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have fled their homes and sought refuge in a desolate area near the Egyptian border town of Rafah, after the Israeli offensive intensified in southern Gaza. At least one lakh people have taken refuge there in the last week. Staying in a temporary camp.
However, these refugees are passing the day in severe hardship due to lack of food, water and other essential items. Humanitarian relief aid is also not arriving due to Israel’s continued bombardment. Still, displaced Palestinians hope the fighting in Gaza will end in the new year and they will be able to return to their homes.
A displaced Palestinian says, ‘Everybody in the world is celebrating New Year, watching fireworks. But we are seeing missile attacks. I see the death of children in bomb blasts and rocket attacks. So in the new year, we hope that the war in Gaza will stop, that we can go back home, that we can live like normal people.’
According to one Palestinian in the refugee camp, ‘Gaza has been completely destroyed. Here people can’t celebrate new year. Hopefully the war will end soon and we want to live until then. May I return home in the new year, go to school and lead a respectable life.’
According to UN data, Rafah has now become the most densely populated area in Gaza. About 12,000 Palestinians live there per square kilometer.