Conflicts & War

Barber returns to work amid rubble of destroyed Gazan neighborhood

Gaza, May 25 (EFE).- Four days after a ceasefire was announced to end a sudden and bloody escalation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that governs the Gaza Strip, survivors in the enclave are beginning to resume their lives as best they can.

The determination to persevere despite the destruction and death was poignantly illustrated by Hashim Al-Jarousha, a hair stylist whose barber shop was razed to the ground along with dozens of other buildings in Gaza that were pummeled by Israeli air strikes for 11 days from May 9 until May 21, when the ceasefire was brokered.

Against the backdrop of piles of rubble and mangled concrete, al-Jarousha has started styling the hair of his regular customers, young and old, exposed to the early summer elements.

Equipped with a set of scissors, a chair and table and a full length mirror, the barber is helping his fellow Gazans return to something resembling their daily lives with a fresh trim.

But the trauma of those 11 deadly days will take far more than a simple haircut to overcome.

Lynn Hastings, the UN humanitarian coordinator in the region, said Sunday: “People in Gaza are traumatized more than ever; girls, boys, women and men.

“The intensity of the strikes were without pause; too many homes lost and loved ones gone. Many people told me they feel helpless – and no longer have hope. Parents say they cannot reassure their children that this won’t happen again. How can they after so many wars?”

Israeli fighter jets destroyed high-rise buildings, civilian houses as well as infrastructure including roads and main streets in Gaza.

The UN’s humanitarian office (OCHA) said that more than 1,000 residential and commercial units, 56 centers of learning and six hospitals were hit by Israeli strikes and that 800,000 people in the Strip had problems accessing clean water.

Israeli bombardments killed 248 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women, according to the Gaza health ministry.

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