How a Palestinian in Gaza deals with life under siege

During my visit to Gaza last July I spent time with journalist Fares Akram, a calm and determined man.

One year after the war, he writes about coping with life in the Strip and why he continues:

A year ago it wasn’t just our grief that we had to contend with, but a collective fear and anxiety which became almost intolerable. The Israelis dropped leaflets warning us to evacuate our districts, but there was nowhere safe to run to.

The cruelty was that the Israelis were telling us to move but had closed off all our exits. We eventually took what belongings we could and moved in with relatives in the west of Gaza City. This was fortunate because our apartment took an indirect hit one night. “They killed Akrem [her husband] and now they’re destroying the few belongings he left behind,” my distraught mother had wept as she stood in the house the next morning. Twelve months on we’ve replaced the furniture and got hold of new glass for the windows, but what can you do with glass and no frames? Israel won’t allow the import of aluminium so I’ve had to fix up temporary frames which could collapse any time.