May 30, 2024

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In Rafah, residents go from happy to disappointed in a matter of hours

In Rafah, residents go from happy to disappointed in a matter of hours

Arrival of aircraft, joy, explosions and tanks. Rafa’s people spent Monday May 6 between pain, hope and resignation. On Monday evening, Inas Lafi described the anxious relief of the Gazans around him as Hamas announced its acceptance of the cease-fire proposal. “Hopefully we won’t be disappointed again” the 20-year-old Palestinian woman wrote in one message the world The situation is really difficult. »

Thousands of Gazans later gathered in the streets of West Rafah to celebrate the declaration by Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas political bureau, a prelude to what they thought was the end of the bombings. Concerts of horns, shouts of joy, spectacles in the air, the atmosphere had the foreboding of a truce. The end of the seven-month experiment seemed within reach. “Our children’s faces suddenly light up and everyone is happy”Journalist Rami Abu Jammus said on WhatsApp.

But at the same time, in the east of the city, other Palestinians were fleeing artillery fire. In the morning, the Israeli Air Force dropped leaflets ordering 100,000 residents to evacuate their neighborhoods. “We fear that the area will be invaded without warning, Inez, who lives in the Shaboura camp in the center of Rafah, told Lafi. I’m not going to lie, if the soldiers show up, we don’t know where we’ll go. Since war began, we have struggled with the unknown and been haunted by fear. »

“Where should we go?” »

During the night from Monday to Tuesday, the bombings intensified and around twenty people died. The military said it had struck about 100 targets in and around the city. Finally, on Tuesday morning, its armored vehicles stormed the Rafah crossing point, a border post that separates the Palestinian Authority from neighboring Egypt. For Gazans hoping to escape Israeli action, the only exit door appears to be closed. On Monday, the prices of “passage permits” used by Egyptian businessmen and brokers linked to Cairo security services had already started to rise.

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“They charge up to $10,000 per person, I can’t afford it” Jenin al-Azhar explained that he tried to leave the Gaza Strip with his two brothers and his parents. Until now, prices can be negotiated from 5,000 dollars (4,700 euros) for an adult and 7,500 dollars for a child. Their house, like the surrounding area, was severely damaged by the blasts. “I can’t stop crying, where should we go?” “, A young woman writes.

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