Palestinians in Gaza fear loss of calm amid increasing border tensions with Israel
Speaking to The New Arab, residents remarked how they still haven't overcome the trauma caused by Israel's wars on the territory, while others argued that they were "ready for any new military escalation" despite the cost.
Over the past two weeks, the eastern borders between Gaza and Israel have witnessed increasingly violent tensions as hundreds of Palestinian demonstrat every day against the Israeli soldiers stationed there, who often respond to the protests with live fire, rubber bullets and tear gas. In response, young Palestinians often toss incendiary devices at Israeli soldiers and try to cut the military fence along the borders.
Moreover, Israeli authorities have said that due to the protests, they have decided to seal off the Erez crossing and not allow workers in Gaza into the 1948 terriorities as a way to pressure Hamas to stop the demonstrations.
Israeli military drones have also attacked monitoring sites belonging to Hamas for the third day in a row and has threatened to escalate further if the protests continue.
Since the beginning of the protests along the borders between Gaza and Israel, at least seven young men have been killed; six while they were trying to throw an explosive device, and the seventh was killed by the Israeli army two days ago.
"Such an unstable situation puts us under uncertain conditions," Mohammed al-Kharaz, a Palestinian man based in Gaza, said to TNA. "All the time, I feel that neither my family nor I can deal with any new wars."
The 49-year-old father of six argued that the Palestinians in Gaza need to live in security conditions and peace. "They really need to breathe their air freely without any worries," he stressed. "Israel is our enemy, but we are the big losers from any escalation."
Sally Abu Awad, a 39-year-old resident from al-Nuseirat, expressed her fears of a brutal war once if the current unstable situation in Gaza continues.
"During ordinary days, I am struggling to obtain food for my four kids through international institutions," the young woman said. "If Israel decides to launch a new large-scale war against us, it means that my family will die of poverty and hunger."
Both Abu Awad and al-Karaz called on the local armed factions in Gaza, mainly Hamas, to find a peaceful solution with the Israeli army and allow Qatari and Egyptian mediators to cement a ceasefire in Gaza as soon as possible.
The Gaza Strip, home to more than 2.3 million people, has been subjected to five large-scale Israeli military wars since 2007 after the Islamic Hamas movement seized the territory.
Because of Israel's wars, thousands of Palestinian have been killed, and tens of thousands wounded. Additionally, thousands of residential and government facilities as well as the civilian infrastructure, have been repeatedly destroyed.