Gazans are hostages of fear

Gazans are hostages of fear
Palestinians are paying the economic and psychological cost of Israel's bombardment of the strip.
2 min read
26 November, 2014
The Israeli attacks on Gaza in July devastated the beseiged strip [Anadolu]
We cannot think about Gaza without imagining anxiety, aggression, arrest, losing one's house, losing one's land.

Living in Gaza means living with constant anxiety, which has transformed itself into resistance.

Experts say Gaza residents have suffered from psychological disorders for a long time due to Israel's ongoing siege and aggression against them. This has created a culture of fear, which has spread across this small strip of land.

The situation in Gaza has changed after three wars which the international community has failed to condemn and punish Israel for. People are now convinced death surrounds them, and they watch their every move. The siege has contributed to this culture of fear by turning the strip into a large prison.
     This has created a culture of fear, which has spread across this small strip of land.

State of anxiety

No one wants to start a business out of fear it will be destroyed by Israel's bombs. This has hurt Gazans' ability to improve their economic and social situation, making them hostages to foreign aid. Workers are also unproductive due to the pervading fear and oppression, which has weakened the local economy.

Palestinians are in a poor psychological condition as they live in fear with painful memories of war. Gazans have been especially affected, waiting for the next war to break out at any moment. Sales of anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants has increased significantly over the past three years.

Gazans have paid a high toll for the wars.
No monetary value can be placed on much of the damage, such as the death of a family member, the destruction of a home, injury or disability, not to mention the psychological and emotional damage, and the impact on an entire generation of children and young people.

At the moment, Gazans fear political instability and a return to conflict. They are also concerned Israel will fail to end the siege and allow Gaza to be rebuilt, as agreed in the Cairo truce deal.

Instead of spending money on steel reinforcements for their homes, security cameras or private security companies, Gazans are spending on stores of food in preparation for the next war. As for Gazan businesses, they have incurred additional expenses - having to buy fire extinguishing equipment, and building escape exits before Israel strikes again.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the original author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.