Nearly half of the 2 million inhabitants of the Strip are unemployed – 65 percent of the under-30s. About 70 percent of the population depend on humanitarian aid – similar to the refugees or descendants of refugees who were expelled from their homes after the founding of the State of Israel in 1948.

Almost no water is clean, raw sewage is pumped directly into the sea, and the growing shortage of electricity means that people in Gaza have only about four hours of electricity.

Amr's death means that his widow and two children, as well as his extended family, can no longer rely on about 150 shekels ($ 40) a week, which he earns as a contract farmer. Now the burden of supporting the ten-member family has all but vanished on Wahid, who has lowered his salary from the Hamas rival in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Authority, to around $ 300 a month. The salaries of 60,000 PA employees have been cut in recent months.

Perr's death was a lifeline for Wahid – a $ 3,000 payment from the organizers of the march.

Despite his personal loss, Wahid said he supported the ongoing protests at the border fence and called it "a good action."

"Israel has closed everything, the sea connections and the air connections," he said. "In your country you can drive from area to area – no one stops you, here we are in a cage."

Cages are available in different sizes. The cage in which Amr's widow Dunya Samour lives is smaller, but no less restrictive.

"I can not taste anything," she said, sitting in her unfinished one-bedroom apartment above her father-in-law's house. "I hate my life."

Dunya, the mother of a seven-month-old and a three-year-old, remembered Amr as a "good husband who wanted a simple life," but he left her deeply in debt after she had bought doors, windows, and a bed for the apartment Family.

"He promised he would improve the house," Dunya said, 23, when she was surrounded by her mother, two sisters and a phalanx of children. "He promised he would have a fridge with us."

Picture: Palestine
Women wave Palestinian flags and flash the victory gesture during a protest near the fence with Israel in the Gaza Strip on March 30.Mohammed Abed / AFP – Getty Images File

Despite the hardships and grief that plagued the household, guests were served a drink on a tray of orange juice covered in pink roses de rigueur in households here. Everyone sat on cushions on the sides of the room.

Dunya's future is uncertain. As a widow of a martyr or "Shahid" she is allegedly honored. But she has no source of income other than her father-in-law, and the "martyr's payment" did not come to her. While Dunya could theoretically remarry, this is difficult, as the widow of a Shahid as a bride is widely considered a disrespect for the martyr memory.

While Dunya spends a lot of time thinking about the bare basics-milk, diapers, rice, and meat once a week-her eyes flashed furiously as she talked about Israeli soldiers camped on the fence around Gaza.

"They never respect the law," she said. "They kill people who have no weapons."

An end to this violent impasse is far away, as Israel and much of the world have refused to negotiate with Hamas. Meanwhile, long-term talks on the creation of an independent Palestinian state, including Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which Israel conquered in 1967, have stalled.

Unlike his daughter-in-law, Wahid said he did not make the soldiers responsible for the death that afflicts his family.

"They are soldiers and boys – they do not understand," he said. "They do not know the history of the Palestinians, they tell them we're all terrorists."


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