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Women's Voices: H.H. - Gaza women

 Khan Younis, Gaza
 Date of incident:  24 January 2015
 Nature of incident:  Life in Gaza

On 24 January 2015, a woman describes life in Gaza following last summer’s war and the challenges she faces in obtaining medical treatment for her cancer. 

H. lives with her husband and children in Khan Younis, Gaza. “We still live under very restricted living conditions in Gaza due to the Israeli blockade,” says H. Young people have very limited opportunities to continue their higher education and graduates cannot find jobs. Very few people in Gaza can leave unless they get a special permit from the Israeli authorities. We have limited access to water, electricity, fuel, food and medical treatment. As most of the borders are controlled by Israel, they control what comes in and out.”
“For three years now I have suffered from cancer of the appendix. I had to go to Jordan for much of my treatment and have to go back and forth at considerable expense. Recently I was given a permit to receive treatment in Jerusalem. According to the doctors in Jerusalem the chemotherapy treatment I received in Gaza was not suitable and I should not have been given it. I don’t know what to believe but most of the time I don’t have any choice.”
“During the last war in Gaza we had to leave our house because it is located near the border where there was a lot of bombardment. We went and stayed with a relative in Gaza City. Thankfully when we returned to our house after the war it was still in good condition and we could move back in. However, my children are still traumatized from the war. My daughter, who is 11-years-old, is still afraid to be alone. Whenever she hears the sound of an airplane she runs home.”
“In January 2015, we had snow in Gaza. We didn’t have electricity and we couldn’t afford to buy fuel for the generators. We used charcoal to warm up the house although we knew how dangerous it can be but we had no other choice. I also tried to give my children hot drinks to keep them from getting sick. Some of my children had final school exams and had to revise using torches.”
“Thankfully my family has so far remained safe. I know of one family that lost five children from the cold and lack of medication. They were living in a tent after their house was destroyed during last summer’s war.”

keyword: Gaza Women