Jawad Harb is a Palestinian living in Rafah, Gaza, with his wife and six children. Harb has worked with CARE since 2002, managing a program supporting women’s centres in Gaza.
It is three months since the first bombs began to fall on Gaza, and I see that this war left much more damaged than just houses. For the past two months, I have been meeting with communities, hearing their experiences, their fears. I realized that it left very deep injuries for these women and families. It changed their life styles, the way they think and live together, where they sleep, how they cope. Everything is changed.
At the meetings, the women started to tell stories. You would be amazed by what the women say how their children behave after the war, their attitudes and behaviour change at home and school. Most women say their children refuse to move alone. They refuse to sleep alone in their own rooms. Children do not go to play outside like they used to do, play football or traditional games, because somebody told them that other children were killed out in an airstrike. So now the children are afraid.
For many Zionists in the US, however, Palestinian suffering doesn’t exist.