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Women's Voices: Faten A. - Gaza women

 Name:  Faten A.
 Date of incident:  20 March 2015
 Nature of incident:
 Life in Gaza
On 20 March 2015, a woman in Gaza describes the hardships of life in Gaza and her family’s decision to leave.
I live in Gaza with my husband. I have three married children; one son lives in Gaza and two daughters live in the US.
We have now been living under the Israeli siege for many years. The lack of movement and oppression makes living in Gaza like being in prison. We have often thought of leaving and living somewhere more stable and safer. We don’t want to leave but after the last war we just don’t feel safe.
The power cuts in Gaza are getting worse and sometimes we are without electricity for 18 hours. We don’t have an electrical generator so we use lamps when there is a power cut but we are without a refrigerator. 
I remember two days before the war started in Gaza my daughter-in-law gave a birth to a baby boy. My son, his wife and baby remained with us during the war. I took care of the baby and his mother but it was very hard to give them proper care without having electricity in the house. Our water supply was also polluted because the water pipes and tanks were bombed.
I haven’t left Gaza for two years because of the humiliation I felt the last time I passed through the Erez checkpoint. After I went through the metal detector the Israeli soldiers took me to a room and made me take off all my clothes. I don’t want to go through that again and would prefer to speak to my relatives over the phone than to be humiliated at Erez.
We have now sold our house which is sad because we have a lot of happy memories raising our children there. However, we can no longer live like this and are planning on moving to Ramallah, in the West Bank. We don’t want to live under a siege and to drink polluted water.
In the meantime, my son Shukri is still trying to sell his house and follow us and look for a new job. However, my daughter-in-law may not get a permit from the Israelis to leave Gaza which will complicate things. Under the current regulations people aged between 16 and 35 are prevented from leaving Gaza except in rare circumstances.

keyword: Gaza Women