As Gaza Residents Suffer, Guilt and Fear Stalk Their Families Abroad

Like many people around the world with families in Gaza who are anxious for news of their loved ones, wondering if they are still alive, whether they are hungry or hurt, Reem Alfranji is also consumed with guilt.

Even drinking a glass of water — a simple act at her home in Jordan, but a luxury for those trapped in the besieged enclave, like her mother — makes her feel guilty, Ms. Alfranji said. “Every time I drink this water, I feel I wish I could pass one cup for my mom,” she said.

The people of the Gaza Strip have been living for weeks under constant bombardment, cut off from supplies of food, water and medicine. Communications are also frequently disrupted, so those living outside the territory can find out about their families there only through sporadic text messages with WhatsApp or phone calls. They are desperate for any signs their loved ones are alive. Some say they barely sleep. Others barely eat.

Many grew up in Gaza and know what it is like to run from an airstrike, or how shattered glass turns into shrapnel. And while they know they can’t stop the bombardments, some said they wished they were there with their families, knowing how much they are suffering.

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