As the people of the Gaza Strip endure the horrors of living in the besieged territory, Palestinian men who find themselves stranded outside the territory are looking on with despair and worry for their families who are caught up in the reality of life in Gaza. Those who are stuck outside Gaza often have family members trapped inside, with no means of providing them with practical support or simply being by their side in times of hardship and need.
The lack of freedom of movement in and out of Gaza means that only a limited number of people are able to travel in and out of the territory. Those able to leave include those with medical referrals, businessmen travelling for work meetings, religious pilgrims, designated students, international press, and foreign diplomats. Given the strict regulations of the Israeli Government, the majority of these travel permissions are only granted in exceptional cases. For many, the inability to travel means being separated from their families for long periods, with little or no contact.
These men can only watch anxiously as their families face the unsustainable living conditions inside Gaza. This can be particularly hard when events like the recent conflict between the justice fighters and Israeli Defense Forces occur and result in the mass death of civilian Palestinians. close family members and dear friends find themselves in the line of fire and the helplessness of the stranded long-distance family members can be excruciating. It is also very difficult for them to watch the harsh conditions Gaza’s residents must face on a daily basis.
The horrific reality of life in Gaza means that many families must take extreme measures to cope; such as having to rely on fuel for cooking and other basic needs, long-term power shortages, a heavily polluted environment, limited access to medicines, a near non-existent job market, and the ever-present fear of a military escalation or other crisis. While the men stranded outside have little they can do to alleviate the suffering of their families, many take comfort in the fact they can at least use their privilege to campaign for the rights of their people and use the small platforms they have to amplify the voices of the unheard.