Hamza is dead. I called him after the first day of attacks, relieved to reach him after many tries. I called him some days later, when the ground invasion had begun and the air attacks had continued. The lines had been consistently bad, but I did finally reach him. I thought he had passed the worst of it, but just now have learned he was killed days before Israel stopped dropping bombs all over Gaza. He was a police officer, he looked after the international guests who came on Free Gaza boats. He towered above me, and to accompany his uniform tried to wear a straight and sombre face. But it frequently wore wry grins, and his constant offers to help any of us however he could were true indicators of his friendly nature, security man or not.
His death is the loss of a father, loss of a potential friend, loss of a young man who acted respectfully and with integrity.