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We are the lucky ones

On Tuesday we had artillery tank fire in the area. It was one of our worst days. You can’t describe the noise, the fear inside of you. And the children are screaming.

You don’t know what to do. Do you stay? Do you try to leave and find somewhere safe? Is there any safe place? Can you protect everyone? Anyone? Everyone has a different idea about what to do — some grabbing belongings and preparing to run, others yelling that we have to remain.

Your mind stops working. But in the end, we are paralyzed.

The whole situation in the house is deteriorating. We cannot sleep at night — bombs shake the building. The children are upset all day long, and their mothers are doing what they can to comfort them. When there is an explosion, they say, “Don’t worry. It’s just a birthday bomb. People are celebrating.”

We have run out of drinking water but are fairly certain that we can get more from aid organizations that deliver water to local shelters whenever possible.

Under normal circumstances, water trucks move through the streets and sell water to local residents. Nearly 80% of all tap water isn’t safe — according to World Health Organization (WHO) standards. And right now, one third of the Gaza population has no access to water and is reliant on humanitarian aid deliveries.

We are in a very lucky home. In other places, the story is darker, much darker. Others are sitting in the dark, frightened, with nothing to eat or drink, and in harm’s way with no one to help. At least we still have food. Our family is safe. When one of the children became ill, we were able to find a doctor and get medicine. And my wife and I both work for international organizations that are doing what they can to take care of us.

We are the lucky ones.

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