Usim lecturer prays for ceasefire and safety of his surviving relatives in Gaza

SEREMBAN: Palestinian Dr Wesam Almahallawi (pic) is praying that a ceasefire is called soon, having lost 19 family members recently following the Israeli bombardment of Gaza,

The Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia lecturer said the people of Gaza, including his remaining relatives, have been living in misery since Israel began its assault.

"I am praying that a ceasefire is called in Gaza soonest. Every day has been a struggle and the people there have been suffering since the attacks started," he said.

Wesam, who is with the university's Leadership and Management faculty, said he constantly worries for his parents and siblings.

His younger brother, aunt and first cousins were among those killed when Israeli forces attacked the city on Oct 25.

The youngest victim was only two.

He said the deceased lived in the same building occupied by some 200 others.

"My parents, a younger brother and two younger sisters survived the attack. It has been extremely difficult to contact them since," he said.

Wesam said it took them days to reply to his text messages, claiming that Israeli authorities have blocked telephone and internet connectivity in Gaza.

He said it has been four days since he last heard from one sister who lives in the northern part of Gaza.

"My 68-year-old father and 65-year-old mother are forced to be constantly on the move. They have to seek shelter in buildings which are still standing," he said.

Wesam said they lived in constant fear as the bombardment could be carried out at any time of the day.

"The people of Gaza have also been facing difficulties getting food and water on a daily basis. I even asked my family if they needed money but they told me it was pointless as the city has been destroyed and there is nothing they can buy," he added.

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