Love in the times of war: stories from the Israel – Gaza Strip conflict

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

–          Mahatma Gandhi

The Gaza-Israel conflict has entered its third week, with much of Gaza city damaged by the heavy bombarding by the Israel Defense forces (IDF). The conflict broke out on July 8, when Israel launched “Operation Protective Edge” in response to Hamas launching over 1820 rockets towards Israel since July 8 this year. The devastation wreaked in this war has been humongous – about 1423 Gaza natives have died and 8265 have been seriously injured while 59 Israelis have also lost their lives. The actual number may be more and eventually increase by the time this war comes to an end. Ceasefires and America-sponsored peace talks have broken down.

israel gaza conflict

Sending off a loved one to Israel

It is not the country but the people who pay the price of war – by losing their own or their loved ones’ lives. Further, the whole economy is damaged for years, affecting the lives of millions and bringing them untold misery. The Gaza Strip, a 360-square kilometer area bounded by the sea, Egypt and Israel, is highly overpopulated. It is being governed by the Hamas for many years now, and has been under occupation by different countries in the past century. The latest bloody conflict triggered off after kidnappings and murders on each side.

During these hard times, societies in general go through a spectrum of emotions – #love, #anxiety, #grief, #anger, #revenge, #unity, #integrity and #patriotism. I am a peace-loving person who does not support war in any form nor do I support any nation. The only thing which I care for, is the sanctity of human life, which gets destroyed in any battle.

We thought the following images from the lives of Israelis reflected a ray of hope even in these dark times.

Yulia, the girlfriend of Staff Sgt. Adi Briga hugged her boyfriend before he was leaving for Gaza-Israel border without knowing that this might be her last hug to her boyfriend. Staff Sgt. Adi Briga, age-23, died in a mortar attack on Monday on the Gaza-Israel border. Not just Staff Sgt. Adi Briga, but 53 other Israeli soldiers lost their lives leaving behind their family and loved ones grief struck.

Gaza conflict soldiers

Yulia hugging Staff Sgt. Adi Briga

An IDF reserve soldier proposed to his girlfriend also serving in the reserves. Ilana and Itai who got engaged while both were serving their country on reserve duty! She said yes!, without knowing whether they have a future together or not. Their lives are so uncertain and at risk as both are engaged and exposed to the war. May these soldiers survive and live life as a married couple happily after.

IDF Reserve Israel

Ilana proposing to Itai

Ilana Barta, is set to be married in a month to Akiva, who is an officer in the IDF paratroopers, who is fighting in the Gaza Strip. Ilana has just landed from New Jersey and is adjusting to life in Israel.

israel conflict gaza

Ilana Barta awaiting her fiance Akiva

Breaking the worst news to loved ones. An officer of IDF says “The moment – the moment before you knock – when you hear from the other side talk, laughter, television, the crying of children, the tumult of life, that moment is the scariest moment I’ve experienced in my life.”

israel conflict

Breaking the worst news

May the Hamas terrorists come to their senses and may the Gaza civilians return to a semblance of normalcy and rebuild their lives.

Photo courtesy: StandWithUs.com Facebook page

About Harshit Gupta

Harshit Gupta
Harshit Gupta is a hustler at HatkeShaadi, hailing from Kanpur and an MBA from KIAMS.
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