Gaza aid worker: we have stopped feeling anything – in pictures

Palestinians run away from debris after a bomb from an Israeli airstrike hit a house in Gaza City on August 23, 2014.

Azzam al-Saqqa is working for Christian Aid in Gaza. Using just the camera on his phone and WhatsApp, he has captured images of both devastation and joy to send to friends and colleagues around the world, from battered buildings and empty beaches, to children playing in a UN shelter. Some of his words and pictures are recorded here
UN refugee camp set up in New Gaza prep boy school
A UN refugee camp set up in the New Gaza prep boy school. Photograph: Azzam al-Saqqa/Christian Aid

In Gaza, people do everything too quickly. We go to the toilet too quickly, fearing it will be targeted while we are inside. We do the work too quickly, fearing the offices will be targeted at any time. We distribute food and water quickly, fearing distribution points will be hit. We even pray too quickly, fearing we’ll be killed while praying.

Aid worker in Gaza photographic witness
Al-Aqsa Martyrs mosque lies damaged after an air strike.

Photograph: Azzam al-Saqqa/Christian Aid

I’m working in the office of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, a Christian Aid partner. The office is receiving calls for help, writing reports and contacting suppliers. Teams on the ground are delivering the services – it’s like a beehive. Everyone is busy doing something. I’m so proud of all they are doing.

On Saturday [9 August], there was a terrifying explosion outside the office.

Aid worker photographic diary in Gaza
A missile hits a building in Gaza. Photograph: Azzam al-Saqqa/Christian Aid

When the first missile hit, it was extremely loud and terrifying, and the building was shaking. I thought it was our building that was hit, and I wanted to evacuate. Then I looked from the window and saw a column of flames and smoke. Then, suddenly, another missile hit.

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