Gaza’s Civil Defense Personnel Sacrifice Their Lives Dutifully for Palestinians to Survive – Report

Doha: They move toward their destinies without fear or hesitation, walking through directions different from those of other people. While everyone else flees and stays away from danger, you find those people answering the call of duty with extraordinary speed. They do not fear death, as their job often places them in the heart of hell, working around the clock day and night to save lives and aid the distressed. Those people are the Palestinian civil defense personnel in the embattled Gaza Strip, the enclave that has been exposed to unprecedented and brutal Israeli aggression since October 7, 2023.

For nine months, the embattled civil defense personnel have been operating in an environment that does not resemble other intervention personnel elsewhere in the world, and they are obviously unfamiliar to Gazans. It’s an environment surrounded by rockets, non-guided bombs from air, sea, and land what locals now call the policy of scorched earth, destroying entire residential blocks with ruthless bombings known as
fire belts, sparing no mercy for civilians women, children, elderly, sick, wounded, and disabled alike. They are pursued day and night, even in areas claimed safe by the occupying forces, and repeatedly urging residents to evacuate.

Due to equipment shortages, lack of supplies, fuel scarcity, and frequent Israeli targeting, communication and internet disruptions, civil defense personnel sometimes manage only urgent cases, leaving thousands of martyrs under rubble. They often operate amidst ongoing explosions and flames from relentless shelling, with communication becoming increasingly difficult and rare, or even almost impossible.

In their noble mission, civil defense personnel in Gaza have lost most of their equipment and gear and are being intentionally targeted and executed by the Israeli army forces. They have lost 69 martyrs and over 250 injured multiple times.

In mid-May 2023, Gaza’s Civil Defense reported that it had conducted 37,500 humanitarian missions equivalent to 24 years of pre-war operation,
albeit the stringent limitations or lack of resources due to the siege imposed by the Israeli army from land, air, and sea. They boldly and bravely proceed with their humanitarian efforts amidst immense difficulties, striving to change and rescue whatever can be saved before it’s too late.

The Israeli offensive has dramatically altered Gaza due to widespread devastation everywhere, resembling a catastrophic earthquake that demolished entire areas, streets, and landmarks, turning densely populated residential areas into ruins by bombs, rockets, tanks, and bulldozers.

This persistent aggression has left more than 123,000 martyrs and wounded, mostly children and women, with nearly 10,000 missing amid major devastation and famine that took the lives of many children and elderly. Also, over two million Palestinians were displaced multiple times, now living in dire humanitarian conditions with severe shortages of fuel, medicine, and necessities. According to UNICEF, 17,000 children in Gaza live without one or bot
h parents, and 60,000 pregnant women are at risk due to inadequate healthcare.

Additionally, the persistent offensive has caused major decimation in infrastructure, agricultural lands, grain stores, markets, water wells, fuel stations, and shelters such as UNRWA schools, hospitals, and mosques in the densely populated coastal enclave of 2.4 million people, stripping away their basic life necessities.

Notwithstanding the catastrophic consequences, Israel persists in its offensive in Gaza, giving no qualms about all calls and appeals for a ceasefire, including a UN resolution demanding the immediate cessation of war and orders from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to prevent genocide and improve humanitarian conditions. Also, Israel ignores the action taken by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Galant.

Source: Qatar News Agency