Sachiko Kawase, a nurse at Osaka Red Cross Hospital, has returned to Japan from Gaza following her evacuation earlier this month, carrying with her the grave words of her former colleagues who continue to care for civilians caught in the crossfire of the Israel-Hamas war.

"The armed conflict started abruptly, changing the entire cityscape of Gaza," Kawase said. "It became a landscape that I didn’t recognize at all, completely different from the Gaza I knew. "

While Kawase evacuated to the south of Gaza not long after the Oct. 7 assault by Hamas militants in Israel, several of her Gazan colleagues stayed behind in the north, providing emergency aid and relaying information to her on the state of the hospital where they were based. Meanwhile, bombs were being dropped just tens of meters away from the facility.