Palestinians in Europe Anxiously Wait for News from Gaza

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Thousands of Palestinians living in Europe are desperate for updates from their loved ones in Gaza as the conflict continues. Ahmad Salama, a 23-year-old Palestinian studying in Germany, relies on weekly Whatsapp messages from his father’s aunt in Gaza to learn about the well-being of their relatives. Concerned about bombings and safety, Ahmad and his family keep their TV on all the time to monitor the situation.

Uncertainty and Fear Among Palestinians in Europe

The last message Ahmad received from his family in Gaza was last Saturday, after the ceasefire ended. Since then, they have heard nothing, leaving them in a state of anxiety. His relatives, including his father’s aunt, Zahr, are currently in Khan Younis—a city that has seen an influx of displaced people from northern Gaza. With increasing bombardments and deteriorating conditions, the UN describes the situation as a “human catastrophe.”

Desperate Voices from Gaza

When Ahmad plays the voice messages sent by his family, he is confronted with their fear and anguish. Zahr, his father’s aunt, describes her nights filled with terror, sleeplessness, and darkness due to power outages. Having fled their home in northern Gaza after multiple shelling incidents, Zahr’s family now lives in overcrowded conditions without basic necessities like food, electricity, internet, or warm clothing. The little humanitarian aid available disappears quickly, leaving them in dire circumstances.

Heart-wrenching Reality and Uncertainty

Ahmad shares the constant fear and uncertainty he experiences, knowing that his family’s safety hangs in the balance. Seeing familiar surnames among the list of casualties online intensifies his worries, as he realizes that his own relatives could be among the victims. The war in Khan Younis shows no signs of abating, with at least 1.9 million people internally displaced and bombings escalating since the end of the ceasefire.

Helplessness and Hope for Palestinians in Europe

With limited access to information and communication channels in Gaza, families in Europe fear that each message they receive may be the last. Aid distribution in Khan Younis is scarce, and access to other areas has been cut off. Palestinians in Europe, like Ahmad, feel a combination of anger, sadness, and helplessness as they long to support their loved ones but are unsure how to do so. Despite the dire circumstances, Zahr holds onto hope for the war to end and dreams of returning to her home in northern Gaza one day.

SOURCE: Ref Image from NPR

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