• Rafah

  • Wednesday, November 22, 2023 at 8:15 AM
    Last Update : Friday, November 24, 2023 at 8:03 AM

Palestinians Urge Permanent Ceasefire as Truce Awaited in Gaza

(AWP) - Palestinians anticipate what is rumoured about the expected truce in the Gaza Strip, which looks closer than ever on Tuesday, by demanding a permanent ceasefire that would enable them to return to normal life as much as possible.

Outside the Kuwaiti Specialized Hospital in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, a displaced elderly man said a truce of a few days is “not enough.”

Ahmed Abu Awdeh said, “A truce of five or ten days is not enough for us. We will not overcome this for months to come. We pray to God Almighty to protect us from all evil and hardship. Hopefully, we will adapt to what is happening as much as we can. Perhaps those five days will help the people who have homes or businesses to check on them. But they are certainly not enough.”

He said, “We are a devasted people. I arrived from Gaza nearly four days ago. What happened there was mass killing and total destruction with the most powerful weapons known to the world. This is so difficult.”

Another Palestinian, Firas Abu Sharekh, spoke of the psychological trauma his children have suffered from the war in the strip which has been ongoing for 46 days, stating that what is needed is a complete cessation of the war.

He said, “We hope for a ceasefire and not just a truce. We need a permanent ceasefire because our psyche is exhausted. Our children are destroyed by fear. The entire population is hungry. We wish for a final ceasefire, not just a truce for five or three days. We keep hearing about this but there is nothing on the ground. We want this to end… we are tired.”

Alam al-Din Abdul-Wahid, another Palestinian, said, “Our wish is that there will be a cessation of the current stage and that there will be a ceasefire so the people can arrange their affairs and living conditions and we can provide food, drinking water and clothes for our children and women and meet the needs of our homes and families.”

Mohamed Sobhy Abu Libda questioned the practicality of a few days’ truce if shelling were to resume afterwards as if nothing happened.

He said, “If they agree to a three or five-day truce, how should the people of Gaza who live here in Rafah return to their areas? Should they go and come back? We want a permanent ceasefire and for life to return to normal and for prices to revert to what they used to be.”