Since October 7 and the escalation of violence between Israel and Hamas, at least 18,787 Palestinians have been killed and about 50,5897 injured in Gaza by continuous bombing by Israeli forces. This devastating toll comes after a massive attack launched by Hamas on October 7, killing 1,200 Israelis and taking hostage 240 Israelis and foreign nationals.
Tahany, a 53-year-old mother of five, shares her testimony from Jenin refugee camp, where she works as a coordinator in a local NGO:
Bombing on Jenine
After the October 7th escalation between Hamas and Israel, raids from the Israeli army continue in the Jenin Refugee Camp almost every night.
We live in an apartment in a small building in the camp. On October 30th, we were asleep in the house, now protected only by an iron door replacing the one destroyed in previous incursions. We were woken up by the sound of bombs and the smoke that was seeping into our home.
We woke up and went out. We heard loud screams and saw a crowd of people in the area. An airstrike had struck a gathering of people in the camp, causing also damage to our house.
Forced to flee
We were forced to flee to seek safety elsewhere. The electricity in the house was cut off, and with my family, we used the light from our mobile phones to see the damage to our house.
When I turned to my daughter, I saw her bleeding fingers, while my husband, who was standing next to our daughter, had blood on his hand. Their injuries were not severe, so I checked myself, only to find that shrapnel had hit my shoulder and chest.
Shrapnel in the shoulder and chest
I went to the hospital, but the doctors couldn't remove the shrapnel. The doctors explained that such shrapnel cannot be surgically removed, as it may further damage the affected tissue. I will need to receive intravenous anti-inflammatory and pain relief treatment for 6-7 months to keep my body temperature at bay, so it can maintain its strength and reduce possibilities of infection while it works to reject the shrapnel pieces.
The danger of contamination
What happened to me keeps recurring in the camp. As explosive weapons are being used more often, people also need to be aware of unexploded ordnance and should not approach or touch suspicious objects, as the consequences could be disastrous.
It's crucial to teach people about first aid so that they can help when needed and know how to act correctly in emergency situations.
More than 11,115 children and adults participated in HI risk education and preparedness for conflict sessions. 900 leaflets were distributed, and an SMS was sent to 500,000 people just a few days after the beginning of the violence reminding the best practice to protect oneself in context of armed conflict. These sessions are crucial as they provide information about the dangers caused by the presence of explosive remnants following a bombing campaign and instruct the public on how to protect themselves. They also offer tips on the best ways to protect oneself during an attack.
Nightmares and anxiety
Following the incident, I have nightmares and am terrified. I am still terrified as invasions of the camp are ongoing. My mental health was also severely affected, especially thinking of my family’s safety.