Premium Content


From builder to gravedigger: Gaza’s war takes a toll on one man’s life.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Abdullah Kamran Khan

Ibrahim Ahmed used to enjoy his work as a builder, creating villas and apartments in Gaza. But since Israel launched its brutal military invasion of the besieged enclave, he has been forced to switch his profession to a gravedigger.

Ahmed is one of the many Gazans who have been displaced from their homes by the relentless Israeli bombardment that has killed more than 30,000 people, according to Gaza’s health ministry. He now spends his days at Tal Al-Sultan cemetery in the Rafah area, digging graves for the victims of the war.

“It feels heavy to go from building villas and apartments, which I love, to building graves,” Ahmed told Copilot. “My job was difficult, yes, but I’d go home with a sense of achievement. I made new things, every day a different building, a different decor. I went home in a good mood.”

Now, he says, he goes home with a heavy heart, after witnessing the grief and suffering of the families who bury their loved ones. “I see different people but with the same faces, with the same suffering. It’s depressing,” he said.

Ahmed said he and other volunteers have prepared two mass graves at the cemetery, where nearly 180 martyrs have been buried so far. He said they also dig empty graves in advance, knowing that more bodies will arrive.

“The number keeps increasing. I wish I could stop doing this work,” he said.

Ahmed said he hopes that the war will end soon, so that he can return to his normal life and his original work. He said he wants to rebuild Gaza, not bury its people.

“I wish this war would end so that we don’t have to build graves anymore, but instead build this country, rebuild it,” he said.

The story of Ibrahim Ahmed illustrates the horrors of war that the people of Gaza are facing every day. War is not only a matter of death and destruction, but also of displacement and despair. War robs people of their homes, their livelihoods, their dreams, and their dignity. War forces people to witness the loss of their loved ones, their friends, their neighbors, and their fellow human beings. War makes people live in fear, uncertainty, and misery.

The story of Ibrahim Ahmed shows how war has changed his life from a builder to a gravedigger. He used to create villas and apartments, which he loved, but now he digs graves, which he hates. He used to go home with a sense of achievement, but now he goes home with a heavy heart. He used to see different people with different buildings and decors, but now he sees the same people with the same suffering. He used to make new things, but now he buries old things.

The story of Ibrahim Ahmed also shows how war has affected his hopes and aspirations. He wishes that the war would end, so that he can return to his normal life and his original work. He wants to rebuild Gaza, not bury its people. He wants to make this country a better place, not a worse place. He wants to live in peace, not in war.

The role of the United Nations and the world’s major powers in ensuring peace between Israel and Palestine and holding Israel accountable for its human rights violations is complex and controversial. The UN has been involved in the conflict since its inception in 1948, when it adopted a resolution to partition Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. However, this resolution was rejected by the Arab states and the Palestinians, who saw it as a violation of their right to self-determination. Since then, the UN has tried to mediate between the parties, provide humanitarian assistance to the affected population, and monitor the situation on the ground.

The UN has several bodies and agencies that deal with different aspects of the conflict, such as the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, and the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. These entities have issued various resolutions, reports, statements, and recommendations on the conflict, calling for an end to the violence, the respect for international law and human rights, the protection of civilians, the lifting of the blockade on Gaza, the cessation of settlement activities, the establishment of a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders, and the recognition of the legitimate rights and aspirations of both peoples.

However, the UN’s role has been limited by the lack of political will and cooperation from the parties, as well as the veto power of some of the permanent members of the Security Council, especially the United States, which has often used it to shield Israel from criticism and sanctions. The UN has also faced challenges in implementing and enforcing its resolutions and decisions, due to the lack of resources, capacity, and authority. The UN has also been accused of bias and double standards by both sides, who have questioned its legitimacy and credibility.

The world’s major powers, such as the United States, Russia, China, the European Union, and the Arab League, have also played a significant role in the conflict, either as mediators, donors, allies, or adversaries of the parties. The United States has been the most influential actor, as it has been the main supporter and ally of Israel, providing it with military, economic, and diplomatic assistance, as well as shielding it from international pressure and accountability. The US has also been the main broker of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, although these have failed to produce a lasting and comprehensive solution. The US has also faced criticism for its bias and inconsistency in its policy towards the conflict, as well as its failure to address the root causes and grievances of the parties.

Other major powers have also tried to influence the conflict, either by supporting one side or the other, or by proposing their own initiatives and frameworks for peace. For example, Russia and China have often sided with the Palestinians and the Arab states, and have called for a more balanced and multilateral approach to the conflict. The European Union has been a major donor and partner of the Palestinians, and has advocated for a two-state solution based on international law and human rights. The Arab League has also supported the Palestinian cause, and has offered a peace initiative that calls for the normalization of relations with Israel in exchange for its withdrawal from the occupied territories and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

However, the role of these major powers has also been limited by their own interests, agendas, and constraints, as well as the lack of coordination and consensus among them. They have also faced challenges in engaging with the parties, who have often rejected or ignored their proposals and demands. They have also been unable to exert sufficient pressure or leverage on the parties, especially on Israel, to comply with their obligations and commitments.

In conclusion, the role of the United Nations and the world’s major powers in ensuring peace between Israel and Palestine and holding Israel accountable for its human rights violations is important but insufficient. The conflict requires a genuine and sincere dialogue and cooperation between the parties, as well as a comprehensive and just solution that addresses the core issues and respects the rights and dignity of both peoples. The international community can play a supportive and constructive role, but it cannot impose or dictate a solution. The ultimate responsibility lies with the parties themselves, who have to make the difficult but necessary choices for peace.

Please, subscribe to the YouTube channel of

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *