In the midst of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, a Welsh doctor has found himself trapped in the war-torn region, living through a nightmare of constant bombings, fear, and desperation. The doctor, who has chosen to remain anonymous due to concerns for his safety, revealed the harrowing experience of his family, including the tragic loss of his cousin and her entire family, including five children.
The doctor spoke to BBC Wales via phone, the backdrop filled with the ominous sounds of warplanes and explosions, giving the world a glimpse into the terrifying reality faced by the people of Gaza. “Literally every hour we hear a family has been killed,” he said, his voice a poignant reminder of the human cost of the conflict.
The doctor’s ordeal began when he arrived in Gaza just three days before the attacks started. The border crossing was promptly closed, leaving him stranded in a place where safety has become a distant memory. With bombs falling incessantly, the doctor has been forced to move five times, their temporary refuges destroyed each time by the devastating airstrikes.
“We don’t have anything. We lost all of our possessions. We were just moving from one place to another to find a safe place,” the doctor lamented. Basic necessities such as food, water, fuel, and medicines have become scarce for Gaza’s 2.2 million residents, as few aid trucks are allowed entry. The doctors’s desperation escalated as he struggled to find even the most basic supplies, wearing the same clothes for weeks.
In a recent attempt to escape, the doctor waited for three days at the Rafah crossing, hoping to flee the horrors surrounding them. However, the crossing remained closed, and their fears of being killed before they could escape intensified. The doctor, expressing his fear, stated, “I don’t believe our government did anything to save us. We now receive regular updates via emails and WhatsApp, but all of them are generic quoting media sources that Rafah crossing is still closed.”
The situation in Gaza has deteriorated rapidly since the conflict escalated. Israel’s retaliatory bombing has resulted in severe shortages of electricity, water, and essential goods, plunging the region into a humanitarian crisis. The doctor highlighted the indiscriminate targeting of residential buildings, schools, and entire neighbourhoods, painting a grim picture of the devastation faced by the local population.
Despite the dire circumstances, the doctor remains hopeful, with their local MP, Geraint Davies, advocating for their safe passage. MP Davies has raised the family’s plight in briefings with Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and has penned a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, urging for a ceasefire to facilitate humanitarian aid.
The Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) has stated that the safety of British nationals is their top priority and assured that officials are in “close contact” with British citizens in Gaza. According to an FCDO spokesperson, they are working closely with Egypt and Israel to facilitate the swift exit of those who wish to leave Gaza via the Rafah crossing or other available routes.
As the conflict rages on, the doctor and his family, along with countless others in Gaza, continue to endure unimaginable hardships, praying for an end to the violence and the opportunity to rebuild their shattered lives. The world watches, haunted by the stark realities faced by innocent civilians caught in the crossfire of geopolitical tensions, hoping for a resolution that will bring peace and stability to the region.