Palestinian NGO worker in Gaza speaks of 'genocide' in powerful message

Palestinian NGO worker in Gaza speaks of 'genocide' in powerful message
Shadia al-Ghoul, Palestinian pro-democracy group Miftah's officer in Gaza, said she was sending a message but did not know 'if I will live after it or not'.
3 min read
26 October, 2023
Israel is carrying out a deadly bombing campaign in the besieged Gaza Strip [Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty]

Palestinian NGO worker has delivered a powerful message from besieged Gaza saying she faced almost certain death amid Israel's ongoing bombardment of Gaza.

Shadia Al-Ghoul, pro-democracy group Miftah's officer in Gaza, spoke of a "genocide" on the 18th day of the war, where Israeli strikes have so far killed around 7,000 people.

"Dear colleagues, I am sending you this message, and I don't know if I will live after it or not," she said in a recording Miftah published online.

"It is imperative that I record this to convey the tragic image that Palestinian families in the Gaza Strip are experiencing."

Al-Ghoul said she had moved to the Zawaida area in central Gaza at the request of the Israeli military, adding that the army "lied when they said it was a safe area". The military has ordered residents of the north of the strip to evacuate southwards.

"I see a house in front of me with flames coming out of it. For two days now, bodies of children and women have been retrieved," Al-Ghoul said.

"It's estimated that 30 individuals who sought shelter on the first floor of this house, hoping to find safety there, were found. However, there is no safety.

"There are flames everywhere. For two-and-a-half days, there has been no drinking water and no water to extinguish the fires. The smell of death is everywhere in this area."

Al-Ghoul is now living in a 120 square metre apartment with five other families, mostly women and children, with no electricity and internet.

Al-Ghoul said it took her hours to get access to the internet to send her message, which she fears could be her last.

"We live in uncertainty, not knowing if we'll survive the next hours," she added.

"If my voice reaches you, know that this area and these people have faced genocide. This genocide is not an exaggeration - it's a reality. Death is always near us. And every now and then, it walks among us."

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"We live only hoping that there will be a global response to stop this Zionist attack from the Israeli occupation," she added.

"You might hear the bombing sounds that are happening around me.

"Since morning, death looms before me. I see it and it sees me, and I know I am heading towards it. But I chose to send this message, hoping that my voice will reach the world."

Israel has occupied Palestinian territory, including the Gaza Strip, since 1967 with rounds of intense Israeli bombing of the enclave since the Hamas 2007 takeover.

The current war on Gaza came after Hamas and other Palestinian militants launched a surprise attack inside Israeli territory on 7 October, reportedly killing over 1,400 people, according to Israel.