‘No Human Should Experience This’ – Diary of a Gaza Doctor

Bahzad Al-Akhras described his daily routine before the start of the war. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Things changed after October 7, when Israel launched a genocidal war on the Gaza Strip, following the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation by the Palestinian Resistance.

I work in mental health, but nothing could have prepared me for this feeling of mass hopelessness – frozen in place, seeing no way out,” Bahzad Al-Akhras, a Gaza doctor and psychiatrist wrote in the British newspaper The Guardian newspaper on Thursday.  

Al-Akras, who now lives in a tent in a Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza described his daily routine before the start of the war. 

“Before the war in Gaza, my days followed a reliable routine. I would go to work in the clinic, visit my friends and spend time with my family. I lived a normal life,” he wrote. 

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Things changed after October 7, when Israel launched a genocidal war on the Gaza Strip, following the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation by the Palestinian Resistance on the same day. 

“Now, my family and I are refugees in Rafah, after the Israeli army ordered us to leave our home in Khan Younis. We are living in the worst conditions imaginable. We spend our days waiting. We wait in queues for two or three gallons of drinkable water, or for food or plain flour to make bread over a fire, after months without electricity,” he wrote. 

“In the last few days, as we heard that Israel was preparing for a ground invasion in Rafah, we knew that there was nowhere else for us to go. Israel claims it will evacuate civilians, but how can we believe that when there seems to be no plan and we have repeatedly seen what they have done before? All we can do – all 1.4 million of us – is wait for the worst.”

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Al-Akhras said that he spent his career working in mental health and community trauma in Gaza, “but even that couldn’t prepare me for the profound sense of hopelessness that has spread through our community now, permeating everything.”

He added, 

“When a human being faces danger or a threat to their survival, they will respond in one of three ways: fight, flight, or freeze. We cannot fight and we cannot escape, so we are a people frozen, many of us for four months now.

“For us, this is not war. It is a never-ending bloodbath, yet as the world watches the unfolding genocide, no action is being taken that could prevent it. Nothing that is happening to us is justifiable and no human should experience this kind of suffering.” 

The Palestinian doctor concluded by calling for international intervention. “The international community must keep applying urgent pressure for a permanent ceasefire. It may be our only chance to survive this.”

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 28,775 Palestinians have been killed, and 68,552 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

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Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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1 Comment

  1. A Palestinian state will surely come into existence after this latest Israeli overreaction. But, how will Gaza be connected to the West Bank. Surely not by another”Polish Corridor.”

    If a corridor is the only answer, then only one state can exist. We see a corridor already with the zones, created by the Israelis in
    the West Bank.

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