In Gaza, not even the injured being ferried by ambulance are safe from the shelling.
The medic warns me that the bloodstain on the ambulance stretcher will dirty my coat. What does it matter?
The stain doesn't revolt me as it would have, did, one week ago. Death fills the air, the streets in Gaza, and I cannot stress enough that this is no exaggeration.
There is too much to tell, too much incoming news, and it's too hard to reach people, even those just a kilometre away.
Before dropping me off, the medics had gone to different gas stations, searching for gas for the ambulances. Two stations, no luck. There's enough at a final source to fill their tanks. The absence of gas is critical. So is the absence of bread, which goes on, the lines longer than ever.
A text tells me (at this point I have to rely on news from phone and text messages, when reception is available) that the UN says 13,000 have been displaced since the attacks, that 20 per cent of the dead are women and children, and 70 per cent are without drinking water. There are many more facts to sober one drunk on apathy.
The Israeli army occupied areas in the north, shelled houses, demolishing them: many injuries, dead, many off-limits to the ambulances.
The Israeli army occupies Beit Hanoun, controlling the entry points to the northern region, cutting it off.
One small, subpar hospital without an ICU is staggering under the influx of injured. Two ambulances serve this region. I don't have any information on their condition or the amount of petrol they have.
Entering via an ambulance to take an emergency case to Gaza's Shifa hospital, I see the Beit Hanoun hospital crammed, frenzied families - those who have been able to get to the hospital - desperate to get care for their injured.
Mohammed Sultan, 19, stands dazed, with a gunshot graze to the back of his head. From Salateen, northwestern Gaza, he had to walk 1 kilometre before a car could reach him and bring him here.
The man we transfer to Shifa has been shot in the face. A civilian, he was in or near his house. His face has exploded, and we move as fast as possible over torn-up roads, ambulance jarring as the medics try to administer delicate care. It's on everyone's mind that the army is present here.
Eva Bartlett is a peace activist and freelance reporter living in Gaza. This story is excerpted from her January 5 post at ingaza.wordpress.com.