There is tough times for Gaza families and residence with current situations of war between Israel and Palestine. Among them is Asia Mathkour, a Canadian-Palestinian national who has been waiting impatiently for word of Egypt opening its borders at the Rafah border crossing. Mathkour and her two small children have been waiting for an opportunity to flee the Israeli military’s constant bombardment for weeks. Her story is not unique; it represents the hopeless situation that innumerable others in the area are facing.
A ray of hope appeared for Mathkour two weeks ago when Canadian officials made vague mentions of a potential reopening of the border. Her hope, like that of many others, was short-lived, though, as families felt abandoned and alone in the face of danger as long as the crossing remained closed. No nation has been able to remove its citizens or dual citizens from the beleaguered enclave, leaving them stranded in the middle of the violence, despite international discussions.
Yes, Israel closed its borders with Gaza in response to attacks by Hamas militants, leading to a continuous deterioration of the situation in the region. The Israeli military’s relentless airstrikes and artillery attacks, as reported by Gaza health authorities under Hamas control, have caused extensive destruction and claimed numerous lives.
As the conflict intensified, families who had previously resided in Gaza City’s more secure neighborhoods were forced to leave their homes. Tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes and seek safety in the southern city of Rafah due to evacuation orders issued by the Israeli military. They don’t find any relief from the violence even there, though. Mathkour’s account of constant bombing and terrifying experiences serves as a sobering reminder of the perilous situation that civilians are always in.
For individuals who possess two citizenships, the possibility of being evacuated remains uncertain. Those with dual citizenship and their close relatives are given priority on evacuation lists, leaving many others without this vital support. Mathkour wonders why no one is paying attention to those who don’t have this option, split as she is between relief for her family’s possible escape and sorrow for her friends and neighbors who are left behind. The glaring disparity in safety access underscores the pressing need for international intervention.
Palestinians like chef Izzeldin Bukhari, who lives in the occupied east Jerusalem’s Old City, wait impatiently for news from their relatives in Gaza. Bukhari’s family has endured unspeakable hardships despite living in Gaza City’s affluent Rimal neighborhood. Tragically, his aunt was killed in the intense airstrikes while trying to flee. Because the buildings and power lines are broken, talking to each other has become harder for families in Gaza.
To keep the people safe in Gaza during the growing conflict, the world must act fast. Families like Mathkour’s and Bukhari’s are desperate, and this emphasizes how urgently coordinated efforts are needed to help vulnerable people—regardless of their citizenship status—evacuate. To break the cycle of violence that has afflicted the region for far too long, the world must band together to prioritize peace talks, provide humanitarian aid, and seek a long-term solution.
Even in the face of extensive destruction and profound sadness, the people of Gaza maintain their hope. They believe that, despite the current turmoil, there is still a possibility for a peaceful resolution and a better future ahead.
Megan Davies is a reporter for White Pine Tribune. After graduating from the University of Toronto, Megan got an internship at the CBC News and worked as a reporter and editor. Megan has also worked as a reporter for Global Toronto. Megan covers economy and community events for White Pine Tribune.