Why Do People in Gaza Write Their Names on Their Hands?

Palestinians in Gaza write their names on their arms to be identified once killed in Israeli military strikes. (Photo: Aljazeera Arabic)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

It is now common that when bodies of dead and wounded Palestinian civilians arrive at hospitals anywhere in Gaza, names of victims would be written on their wrists. But why? 

The phenomenon started as early as the war itself but grew rapidly when hundreds of bodies could not be identified due to their horrific condition.

Hundreds of bodies were mutilated or decapitated, including the nearly 500 Palestinians killed in Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital on Tuesday, October 17.

Inside the Shifa Hospital, a group of children belonging to the Abu Sab’h family are busy writing their names on various parts of their body, so that they may receive proper burials. 

So far, hundreds of Palestinian victims have been buried in mass graves, with their identity only distinguished through their gender.

Ahmed Abu Sab’h is the father of those children in Shifa. He told Aljazeera Net, “We write our names and the names of our children on our wrists, so that our corpses may be identified if we are hit by Israeli warplanes.” 

Following the attack on Al-Ahli Hospital, hundreds of children in Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical center, ensured that their names were recorded on their bodies. 

Israel has threatened to bomb Al-Shifa as well, and many other medical centers in Gaza if the hospital administration does not evacuate anyone inside. 

Palestinian hospitals refuse to evacuate, simply because there is nowhere else to go, but also because hundreds of patients would die if they are unhooked from life-saving machines.

“Life is the exception, death is the norm,” a displaced Palestinian in Gaza told The Palestine Chronicle.

“Our faith is strong in God, and no matter what will happen, we shall remain strong.”

Since October 7, Israel has killed over 3,800 Palestinians, injuring over 13,000 more. 

United Nations reports say that at least 70% of all dead and wounded are women and children.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
Our Vision For Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out