RAFAH is the fourth place Fidaa Al-Araj has called home since she was first displaced in late October.

In the latest in our Diaries from Gaza series, the mother of five and Oxfam humanitarian worker tells The National about the horrifying situation in this small corner of Gaza where 1.4 million people live under Israeli bombardment.

Israel’s air and ground offensive, launched in response to Hamas’s October 7 attack, has killed more than 29,000 Palestinians, obliterated entire neighbourhoods and displaced more than 80% of the population of 2.3 million.

Rafah is where the majority have gone, and Fidaa (below) said the living conditions have deteriorated.

The National:

“There is no such thing as food security. We are on the brink of famine. And, of course, famine has started already in the north as people are dying from hunger,” she said.

“It's very difficult to get food, it's very difficult to get supplies, it's very difficult to get water.”

She told me that the word “trauma” would be an underestimate for how she and her family feel.

“It's taken a huge toll on our mental health. There is no ability to cope or to absorb what's going on. There is, of course, no time to pause to grieve ,to process the losses that we are experiencing,” she said.

“Whether it's our family members, our close friends and neighbors, or whether it's our houses. Whether it's being displaced, being homeless and having to relocate again and again looking for safety.”

READ MORE: Diaries from Gaza: ‘We ask ourselves every day: Are we next?’

Fidaa added that the solidarity she sees from cities across the world does help, and she hopes people will continue.

“What anyone can do to help from outside Gaza is to continue the solidarity acts,” she said.

“I believe people have power, that people can pressure their leaders into action.

Fidaa added: “Not on Israel's terms or their own timeline, but before it's too late.”