As the world reels from the violence between Israel and Hamas, Palestinians in Cyprus have become desperate for news of their loved ones at home.

With Israel launching the worst ever offensive against Gaza after Hamas launched a savage attack on Israel killing more than 1,300 Israelis, it has also cut off food, water, electricity and medicine, making communication close to impossible, as the Palestinian death toll, now in the thousands, jumps every day.

“There is often no internet (in Gaza) and they have no way to contact their family,” head of Palestinian women’s community in Cyprus, Hiba Wishah said.

“For the past three days, many have not been able to reach their loved ones.”

Wishah explained there are around 50 women who came to Cyprus in the past few years on their own, hoping that their husbands and children would soon follow.

Instead, they now watch the unfolding situation in horror, as people are trapped in Gaza with no way out amid the airstrikes.

The feelings of many in the Palestinian community are often fraught with worry, as many of these women feel guilty that they are safe in Cyprus while the fate of their closest loved ones is unknown.

“It’s not just one side that’s suffering. We are against the killing of any person from either side. A person is a person. We have families, they have families, we want peace.”

She said the reality of the Palestinians in Cyprus was horrifyingly painful. “Imagine a mother here who cannot bring her children and only waits to hear or see something to give her hope for her family. Can you imagine how stressful this is?”

At the same time, Wishah sought to distance the community from any Palestinians who celebrated Hamas’ actions.

“They do not represent us. We do not think like this. We see everyone as humans and we want an end to the suffering.

“You can imagine, no electricity, no water. They don’t have the basics every human should have. There’s no here safe to go. No safe home,” Wishah says.

The UN humanitarian office said early on Friday that more than 400,000 people had fled their homes in the Gaza Strip. Israel gave a 24-hour warning for the more than one million Gazans who live in northern Gaza to flee south.

The UN added Gaza is home to 50,000 pregnant women, who are currently unable to access essential health services. Some 5,500 of these women are due to give birth in the coming month.

While the Israeli community has raised the alarm for security purposes on the island wanting protection, Wishah said the Palestinian community is experiencing a lot of racism and hatred after Hamas’ attacks, with many on social media “calling us worthless in this country”.

“This makes us feel terrible because the violence has to do with humans. It’s not about who is strong or weak or where someone is from.

“We don’t want any of this violence. We want an end to all of the suffering for everyone.”