“Israel-Hamas war – What’s it like being in it?”

On October 7th 2023, the world woke up to another nightmare. The sound of sirens was everywhere as a sign of danger. The war in Israel had begun.

 

HAMAS- Haracat al Muqawama al Islamiya- is the biggest militant group in Palestine, as well as one of the territories’ two main political parties. The group was founded in 1987 and since then, their mission is to follow the “ jihad” policy, also known as a war to spread Islam.

As Palestine is recognised as a country by 139 member states of the United Nations and Israel is recognised by 193, Palestine is considered part of Israel. The HAMAS intend to clarify which land belongs to whom, as well as how it can be controlled. October 7th, was the day HAMAS invaded Israel, choosing to solve the problem with violence. Israel responded to the attack, and those belligerent actions between Israel and Hamas have led to terrible consequences for both sides.

More than 5.300 children have died during the last seven weeks in Gaza Strip, according to the UN. Thousands of Palestinian civilians are in danger. Over 1 million Palestinian civilians have been internally displaced.

On the other side of the spectrum, Israeli citizens live in fear, worrying about their country, their families and their future while thousands of their compatriots are in the army, fighting for all the above.

 

I met Yaara and Andrey at a model United Nations conference in Athens, in 2023. They both live in Israel, and they shared their thoughts and feelings about the conflict.

 

“There hasn’t been much day-to-day life, like my younger brothers just now are going back to school.

Everything is more tense since we worry about rockets.” , says Yaara.

“There are still many people who are missing but more and more are turning up dead so there’s not much hope for them. I’m mostly angry We aren’t dying at the same rates as Palestinians, not because they are showing mercy but because we are fighting over every single person to stay alive.

I’m also scared for my friends that are going to or already are in the army.

It’s not that I feel unsafe, I’m in a safe place, but after the 7/10 it’s like we were violated, full towns were massacred.

We are putting a lot of effort into protection because we know what’s coming and we’re attacking because it is necessary…”, she explains.

 

“I l, like all Israelis, woke up at 6:30 AM on the 7th of October from the sound of sirens. I kept reading about the attacks from HAMAS and was shocked when there was information about terrorists breaking out into Israeli territory.”,says Andrey, a teenage Russian citizen  who left his country when the Russian-Ukrainian war broke out, and went to Israel to find a safe space.

 

HAMAS, unfortunately, is using the Palestinian people as hostages to get media support – they don’t care about them.But there is another side. As a Russian citizen I should say that this war is beneficial not only for HAMAS, it also gets  the attention away from the war in Ukraine to the war in Israel.

And here I just want to clarify – Israel has been brutally attacked in the same way as Ukraine was attacked by Russia. The attacker is always the one to blame because sovereignty and democracy stand on peace, not aggression. International aid right now should be given to Ukraine and to Israel, as they are fighting a war over slavery and terrorism. -And this won’t stop if we don’t unite over it-” says Adrey.

 

The dreadful sufferings of the people during this war are countless. Human rights are being violated every day. Therefore it is of utmost importance that world leaders unite and take action urgently.

 

We truely wish this war to be ended as soon as possible and both parts to find a sustainable solution in order to live peacefully.

 

Emmanouela Fragkaki

Sketch by Tatiana Vardaki