The counting paused for 72 hours during the ceasefire. The counting paused.
The news channels began posting the statistics of “what happened so far”: the number of people in Gaza killed (how many women, children, elderly, paramedics, doctors, nurses), the houses bombed, the people that have fled, the hospitals and schools bombed, the facilities destroyed, the mosques and churches damaged, the of Israeli soldiers killed…all printed out on our television screens as full numbers, never to decrease but surely would increase.
Other numbers were showing up: the costs of the “war” so far, the damage boycotting caused to Israel, the money needed to rebuild Gaza, the estimated needs of food and water in Gaza and more.
The one number that continued to increase was the number of people killed. People were being dug out of the rubble so the number shot up from 1883 to 1894 by the end of the ceasefire.
It was as if the “bittersweet” taste of what the “end of war” would look like was given to the people that followed up so closely with it. No more rockets, no more “fresh blood”, no more shots in the air…just a little moment for everything to seem “normal”…
Nothing is normal about any of this. The counting may have paused, and other numbers may have been brought up in those 72 hours, but the pain caused still hurts. Will it ever heal? As a character in the movie “Deadline” put it – and this is a rough quote – “Lord, we pray not for those that have past for they are with you, but for those who remain.”