Shareef Hamad, 34

"What inspires me is my faith that this situation is not eternal."

Due to the attacks on Gaza, there is a need for construction and raw material in Gaza but these materials are restricted and closely monitored. However, there is no attention to quality, and businessmen seek their own interests without regulation. There is no law to protect the weak.

This situation did not develop by chance. This is not a natural situation, and it didn’t develop randomly. This situation is the result of strategic policies by the Israeli government, assisted by the international community. This situation developed to control Palestinian in Gaza, to push them into accepting an unfair situation.

In 2012, we completed the construction of our family home. The raw material for construction were available to a certain degree, and the prices were relatively OK (only five times more expensive than before the siege). Later, prices increased even more.

Since the 2014 attack on Gaza, over 65k residents are displaced and have not been able to return home.

This was a success, but in 2014 during the Israeli attack on Gaza [our] three-story house was completely destroyed. All our effort was turned into rubble and memories. Thirty-five people from my extended family were made homeless and we reach our lowest point.

We were supposed to benefit from an international reconstruction mechanism, which is known as the Serry plan. This plan gives absolute control of reconstruction to the Israelis. It must approve the transfer of all construction material and reconstruction projects. This process is very slow and strengthened the black market.

Today, two years and five months since our home was destroyed, we have only rebuilt one apartment. Seven others are yet to be built.

I must challenge this situation. I don’t have any choice. This affects our daily lives and emotional well-being. We are under all this pressure.

What inspires me is my faith that this situation is not eternal. I can change it or change its consequences. I can at least limit its impact on me and on those I love. According to history, no oppression lasts a forever. This nation deserves better.

My children are my biggest motivation to keep on with my struggle to provide better conditions for them. I would like to provide them with a better education, better health care, better job opportunities. Without them, I would not have survived.

 

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