The Ugly Reality on the Ground
This was one of those visits where you brace yourself for the worst, given that the Gaza Strip went through a brutal war for a period of 51 days, during which the PMP was in close contact, with our friends and partners there and intensely watched the news coming out of Gaza and thus nothing we were about to see should have been a great shock. I guess we were proven wrong! The moment we arrived, the damage became apparent; from the newly built and now demolished crossing terminal on the Palestinian side, stretching kilometers of badly damaged neighborhoods until we arrived at our first meeting at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital. I do not believe we drove through any street that did not have a demolished building; whether residential buildings and towers, offices, shops, factories, warehouses, mosques, schools, hospitals and clinics, and government ministries. All of this one can handle, but the human stories were the most touching of all – people losing loved ones, their property, clothes, and all personal items leaving their past and memories behind.