Israel Forces Gaza Back, Millions remain Stuck in the West Bank: a Palestinian Observer’s Journey Through the Trauma of War
Zrain says that his son told him that if he were to be killed, he would write his name on his arm. His son wants people to know who he is when he dies.
Some 50,000 people are looking for a place to hide in Gaza, according to the United Nations, and some of them are staying in a hospital. Even after the news is bad, he still likes to send and receive texts and calls.
Zrain said that he had been separated from his family in northern Gaza for a month when he took shelter in the West Bank. He may be in the West Bank physically, he says, but “My heart, my mind are not here.”
He scrolls through his phone and looks at pictures of his daughters. He says seeing smiling faces before the war helps him forget the bad things that have happened.
Alfarany has nearly two dozen nieces and nephews and says he gets overwhelmed thinking about all the children going through the trauma of war right now.
Source: As [Israel forces workers from Gaza back, thousands more remain stuck in the West Bank](https://lostobject.org/2023/11/04/thousands-remain-stuck-in-the-west-bank-as-israel-forces-workers-from-gaza-back/)
The Home of Ibrahim Alfarany, One of the Fewest Workers in the Gaza Strip, Lives in a Refugee’s House
He deleted the video because it disturbed him too much. “I watched it four or five times, and then said, ‘I’m gonna delete it,’ and I did.”
His wife and kids survived an Israeli airstrike several weeks ago while seeking cover at a playground. He says that his house is one of the few structures left in his neighborhood that is on the northern outskirts of Gaza City.
Alfarany is very relieved that his brother is alive, though the life he and other family are living in Gaza is hard to watch from afar.
On October 7 Alfarany was able to take a bus to the West Bank after his brother was arrested by the Israeli military. After losing contact for more than 20 days, Alfarany finally talked to his brother on Friday, as his brother was walking into Gaza along with thousands of other workers.
One of the Palestinian workers, Ibrahim Alfarany, has been staying at Al-Istiqlal University for more than three weeks. He usually works and lives near a store just south of Tel Aviv, where he stocks vegetables for a few weeks at a time, and travels back to Gaza.
There is a makeshift shelter in the city that houses more than 400 workers from Gaza. Thousands more laborers are taking shelter throughout the West Bank, including in the city of Ramallah.
Laundry is hung from the windows at the Al-Istiqlal University campus. There are dorm rooms stacked with bunk beds, and in larger halls, men lounge on mattresses pushed up against the walls, scrolling on their cellphones for news from Gaza. Whatever belongings they have fill plastic bags that dot the floor. There are communal sinks and an impromptu barber shop where you can get a shave and a trim if you join the wait list.
Some of the men who had returned to Gaza told NPR they were rounded up by Israel’s security forces.
According to the Palestinian health officials, more than 9000 people have been killed in Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip. The homes have been destroyed.
To return to Gaza, they would have to go through Israel — but they are not allowed to enter. There is no way of knowing where they’d end up in Gaza.
On Friday, they heard about thousands of other laborers who were forced to return to Gaza on foot from Israel — dropped off several miles from the Israeli border with Gaza, wearing numbered tags on their ankles.
RAFAH, Gaza Strip, and JERICHO, West Bank — News from Gaza comes in conversations in the hallway, over the communal sinks, between bunk beds, and texts and calls with relatives. For thousands of workers from Gaza who are stuck in makeshift shelters and camps in the West Bank, much of their world — including their families — is still 60 miles away.
The Israeli military said it will “avoid hitting” this main road heading south, but emphasized that this move is in no way a cease fire. The United Nations estimates that there could be as many 300,000 internally displaced people still stuck in northern Gaza, including Gaza City — an area Israeli forces have surrounded as part of their ground operation.
It’s been about a week since Israeli troops pushed into Gaza through a ground offensive and remained in the Strip. This military effort has mostly been concentrated in the north, cutting the strip in half, preventing aid from getting in or civilians from leaving.
The only crossing from Gaza into Egypt was closed on Saturday. They said patients from the hospitals in Gaza City would not be allowed to get to the crossing, which is for foreign passport holders.
Palestinians with foreign nationalities have been able to cross the crossing over the past three days. The list of people approved to leave Gaza today had more Americans on it.