Ramy* (name changed to protect identity) is a Palestinian human rights advocate who is currently seeking asylum in the UK. He volunteers for the Refugee Council, providing guidance and support to others in the asylum system. He shares his thoughts about the current situation in Gaza.
The situation in Gaza right now is truly horrific. As a Palestinian living in the UK, I find it so painful to watch this humanitarian crisis unfold from a distance. As humans, we never want to witness such suffering and loss of life, regardless of who it affects.
The events are extremely challenging for me on a mental and psychological level. I find it horrific. I wake up from sleep to watch videos and read the latest news updates, and each day seems to bring even worse news with no solution. The fact that major nations and the international community have not been able to find a solution and secure a ceasefire to stop the atrocities in Gaza makes me hopeless.
This comparison to a football match is concerning. This is not a game.
The UK Government should be doing its best to work towards establishing peace and a ceasefire. Instead, we are hearing statements from the Government suggesting a certain side will “win.” This comparison to a football match is concerning. This is not a game. Too many people are losing their lives on both sides, and it’s simply not acceptable. The Israeli and Palestinian sides both deserve to live in peace and safety. We see that the victims are innocent people, they are children and civilians.
We see that the victims are innocent people, they are children and civilians.
I’m in touch with the Palestinian community here. Sadly, most of them cannot communicate with their families inside Gaza, which is completely isolated from the world, with no internet, no electricity, and no phone service. I recently met a friend who hasn’t been able to contact his family for 12 days. He has no information about them except for the last news he received, which was that their house was demolished, and his brother lost his leg. He hasn’t heard anything since, and he’s struggling with psychological distress. The Palestinian community here is not that big, but we are trying to create an environment of solidarity during this time of hardship, and to find coping mechanisms.
Beyond the Palestinian community, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many great people in the UK from different backgrounds. These are the people we see advocating for peace, making their voices heard, and standing against this humanitarian crisis. We saw them everywhere in London, hundreds of thousands of them. I want to thank them for their sense of humanity – thank you so much to the British people.
…surgeries are being performed with mobile phone torches and doctors are sanitising using vinegar.
Some organisations, including the Refugee Council and Safe Passage, have suggested creating a scheme to receive or resettle refugees from Gaza, similar to the Ukrainian scheme for families. It’s a much-needed initiative. We expect that there will be a big need for resettlement, especially for people requiring urgent medical care. Even before this crisis, Gaza’s healthcare system was overburdened. It’s now completely collapsed, and those in need of medical attention won’t find it within Gaza or in the neighbouring countries. These people have serious health issues and require urgent medical care, especially in a context where surgeries are being performed with mobile phone torches and doctors are sanitising using vinegar. These circumstances are inhumane and require immediate attention. The UK and other countries should be following these organisations’ recommendations to welcome the refugees who need it for resettlement, with the first priority being those with medical needs.
My biggest hope is for peace to be established in our suffering land, peace for both Palestinians and Israelis.
Safe passage for people impacted by the violence in Israel and Palestine
Along with other organisations, the Refugee Council has urged the government to be ready to put in place emergency pathways for those seeking refuge from the conflict.Read more