• Tunis

  • Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 1:06 PM
    Last Update : Friday, October 27, 2023 at 5:43 AM

Palestinians in Tunisia Anxiously Eager to Hear Their Relatives’ News

(AWP) - After more than two weeks of the continuous Israeli bombing of Gaza, Palestinians living in Tunisia say that they "die inside a thousand times" while they anxiously and terrifyingly follow news of their families and relatives stuck back home in the Strip.

With the rising number of deaths and injuries and the continuation of air strikes that affected the entire Gaza Strip, Palestinians in the diaspora are eagerly following any news about their families trapped amid the bombing.

Bad internet due to electricity cut outs in Gaza increases their feeling of anxiety and fear for their loved ones, whom they would call just to firstly ask "if they were alive" or not.

The Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip and clashes from both sides continue in retaliation since the surprising attack by Hamas movement and other Palestinian factions on Israeli towns and settlements adjacent to the Israeli borders with Gaza on October 7th.

Scores of Palestinians are daily killed and wounded as a result of the Israeli military operation, as Palestinian militant factions respond by launching missiles towards Israeli territories.

Earlier today, Israel’s i24News television channel reported warning syrens after the launch of a wave of missiles towards central Israel. Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas movement, said that it launched the missiles towards Tel Aviv in response to the Israeli "massacres".

According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, 5791 people were killed, including 2360 children, since the beginning of Israel’s bombing of Gaza.

Salah al-Din Mahmoud is a Palestinian residing in Libya, who travelled for medical treatment in Tunisia, says that he only "communicates with our relatives via internet. We don’t ask them how are they… we rather ask: Are you still alive?" "The situation is miserable, the situation is difficult, the situation is deadly, the situation is deadly. We are outside Gaza and die [inside] a thousand times. They die once and we die a thousand times," he added. "My sisters in law are besieged. She can call me anytime saying that they were martyred [killed]," he continued.

His comments are echoed by Mohammed al-Shafei, a Palestinian student at the Journalism Institute in Tunis, who says that losing contact with the Gaza Strip raises expatriates' fear and great concern for their families. "At the beginning of the events, we contacted our families and checked on them and that they had left the places where they were living, which were close to the occupation and represented a danger. But after a few days, the occupation bombed telecommunications companies, jammed communications in the Gaza Strip, and cut off electricity and water," he said. "This, for us as expatriates, causes us anxiety and fear," he added.

Tunisian President Kais Saied denounced what he described as massacres and displacement attempts carried out by Israel, which he said is seeking to completely change the map of the Middle East.

In a meeting with Tunisian Foreign Minister, Nabil Ammar, on Friday, Saied added that "the fleets heading to the eastern Mediterranean and the unprecedented military mobilisation indicate that the matter is not related to stolen Palestine alone, but rather a new partition or a second part of a new Balfour [declaration]."

The president called for intensifying diplomatic work "with all national forces at home and with all free people in the world to stop these massacres and to confront all displacement attempts so that Palestine and the entire nation do not experience a new Nakba [catastrophe]".

Tunisia witnessed several pro-Palestine marches including a massive protest organised by the General Labour Union with the participation of political parties, civil society organizations and citizens on Saturday.

The march travelled through the main routes of the capital before reaching Habib Bourguiba Avenue. The demonstrators raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans affirming their support for the Palestinian people and held banners demanding a halt to "genocide in Palestine".