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Palestine: The people of Gaza “trapped, traumatized, terrorized”

Israeli ground troops have moved further into the Gaza Strip, and naval, air and land bombardment has continued. These are some of the blog posts that have come out of Gaza in the last 24 hours.

Prof. Said Abdelwahed, who teaches English at Al-Azhar University, writes at Moments in Gaza:

Husain al-Aiedy is a Palestinian (58 years of age) lives to the east of Gaza city. He has been living in the same place for more than 25 years. His house is located in the middle of green fields. He is an UNRWA employee. He is now in one room with 20 others of his family, and families of two of his brothers. They are packed in one small room without electricity, water, food or telephone! just nothing around him except a battlefield. Last night at 10:30p.m. Mr Al-Aiedy was caught in the middle of the fight and a shell landed in his house to injure five of his family! He has been appealing to have an ambulance to evacuate the injured but in vain. All appeals to send him an ambulance to evacuate the injured and if possible, the rest of the family, have failed so far! At a circle of more than one and half kilometers the Israeli army is in total control, thus no one can reach Mr Al-Aiedy except the Israelis! This situation needs an urgent humanitarian action by human rights organizations from anywhere! There is no electricity, water and a little food in Gaza. I am still taking the advantage of a generator that I operate by diesel to contact the world. Bombs fall like shower on us. Unfortunately, Mr Al-Aiedy is in the heart of the battle!

Dr. Mona El-Farra, currently out of Gaza, posts a message from Mohammed Fares El Majdalawi in Jabaliya, north of Gaza City:

I want to write about suffering of my people and my family in these days. In my house we can't get basic needs such as, No foods, No bread, and Natural gas. Yesterday, my father went to bakery from 5 AM he waited 5 hours even to get one bundle of bread. This bread not can't enough for my family because consist of 11 members. But today I go to all bakeries. I can't find any loaf of bread due to be closed. We and my family cannot communicate with our relatives and friends because of the lack of the connecting network also every hour we have a martyr or even more because of the raining missiles on our homes, mosques and even hospitals. There is no safe place we can go to.

Canadian activist, Eva Bartlett, blogs at In Gaza:

From the news office in central Gaza, I cannot believe the sounds of bombing, though they are targeting the area from which I’ve just come, as they did throughout the night. From here it sounds like…like a massive sledgehammer smashing this land, smashing to pieces. And from what I saw last night, and the wreckage today, it could’ve been. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. The louder thuds rattle this building, as if being hit by a battering ram, though it is just the impact of the shockwaves from some kilometers away. Try to imagine how it is to actually be hundreds of metres from those blasts. […] What strikes me more now, more than the dismembered and burned corpses I saw two nights ago, more than the intensity of the missiles hitting all around us last night and the feeling that at any moment, Israeli special forces soldiers could enter shooting… was the panic on residents faces. Panic fleeing, panic trying to flag an ambulance for the wounded, the dead, panic even in the ambulance drivers and teams. They’ve seen a lot, many have done this work for a decade or more, but this is far, far worse than any have seen, or imagined, they tell me. In the morning light, as our ambulance tries to reach another wounded, I see new streams of women, children and men, carrying some few possessions. Two 8 or 9 year old children in one family clutch bags of bread. […] Osama, an EMT, calls to see where I am. We worked together two nights ago. I’d thought I wouldn’t be there last night, was going to write instead. But the urgency prevailed and we went out. Osama asks where I am and I tell him, I’m writing, I have to tell people, they need to hear this, see this. If only you could hear this, smell this, feel the vibrations, taste the terror.

In another post she reports:

I got a call 30 minutes ago, on a poor phone line, saying that Arafat is dead, killed while working by Israeli fire. He was one of the emergency medics I met two nights ago, compassionate, emotionally strong, and with an unabashedly wacky sense of humour. I’m more saddened by his death than I can express.

Sameh Habeeb, blogging at Gaza Strip, The Untold Story, reports:

Medicine students are being called to the local hospitals to deal with the number of victims which is dramatically going up. In opposition of Israeli key target of thing hamas militants, most of victims are civilians and this is so obvious in Gaza hospitals. Around 10 militants [were] killed today and all the rest are normal people who have nothing to do with firing rockets and militants.

You can follow Sameh Habeeb on Twitter: twitter.com/Sameh_Habeeb

Laila El-Haddad, who is currently in the United States, and blogs at Raising Yousuf and Noor, writes a post entitled “Trapped, Traumatized, Terrorized“:

My father and I made simultaneous back to back appearances on CNN domestic and CNN international last night. My father spoke calmly, eloquently, in the pitch dark of besieged Gaza, with only the fire of Israeli bombs illuminating his world. His hands were trembling he confessed, as they lay on the floor of their home, where they moved their mattress far away from the windows, thunderous explosions ripping through the black sky all around them, lighting it up in enormous clouds of fire. […] My father last night tried to communicate a single message: We keep hearing that Israel is after Hamas; but WE are the targets here; Civilians are the targets here, not Hamas.
An entire refugee family in one fell swoop was killed this morning as they took cover in their home from Israeli fire. Their deaths do not make Israeli more secure. Their deaths will not stop rocket fire. 3 paramedics were also killed as they tried to rescue wounded Palestinians in northern Gaza. And now, AP reports that the Gaza phone network is on the brink of collapse. I do not know how much longer I will be able to communicate with my parents.

Egyptian-German Philip Rizk, who blogs at Tabula Gaza, has posted a text message he has received from his friend S. in Gaza:

“I have decided not leave our house even if I die. All the people have decided this, we won't resettle again.”

Vittorio Arrigoni is an Italian activist blogging at Guerrilla Radio:

Livni dichiara al mondo che non esiste un’emergenza umanitaria a Gaza: evidentemente il negazionismo non va di moda solo dalle parti di Ahmadinejad. I palestinesi su una cosa sono d’accordo con la Livni, ex serial killer al soldo del Mossad, (come mi dice Joseph, autista di ambulanze): più beni alimentari stanno davvero filtrando all’interno della striscia, semplicemente perché a dicembre non è passato pressoché nulla, oltre la cortina di filo spinato teso da Israele. Ma che senso realmente ha servire pane appena sfornato all’interno di un cimitero? L’emergenza è fermare subito le bombe, prima ancora dei rifornimenti di viveri. I cadaveri non mangiano, vanno solo a concimare la terra, che qui a Gaza non è mai stata così fertile di decomposizione. I corpi smembrati dei bimbi negli obitori invece dovrebbero nutrire i sensi di colpa, negli indifferenti, verso chi avrebbe potuto fare qualche cosa. Le immagini di un Obama sorridente che gioca a golf sono passate su tutte le televisioni satellitari arabe, ma da queste parti nessuno si illude che basti il pigmento della pelle a marcare radicalmente la politica estera statunitense.

Livni declares to the world that there is no humanitarian emergency in Gaza; obviously denial is in fashion not only in Ahmadinejad's country. On one thing the Palestinians are in agreement with Livni, the ex-serial killer in the pay of the Mossad (as Joseph, an ambulance driver, tells me): more food goods are really coming into the Strip, simply because in December almost nothing got in, beyond the curtain of barbed wire stretched by Israel. But realistically, what is the sense of serving freshly baked bread in a graveyard? The urgent need is to immediately stop the bombs, even before restocking with food. Corpses do not eat, they just fertilise the land, which here in Gaza has never been so fertile with decomposition. The dismembered bodies of children in morgues should instead nourish a sense of guilt in those who are indifferent, in those who could have done something. The images of a smiling Obama playing golf have been shown on all the Arab satellite stations, but here no one has the illusion that only skin colour will be able to radically affect U.S. foreign policy.

16 comments

  • Freddy Lejeune

    Hamas is at war with Israel and Hamas has vowed to destroy Israel. Therefore, it is of course obvious and logical that Israel has the right to defend itself against the belligerent Hamas by inflicting serious consequence on it. It is alleged that Hamas is composed of 20,000 militants. Therefore, Israel has ar least 29 0,000 ennemy combattants that it has the right to put out of their misery . Israel os npt targetting people who are not those 20,000 ennemies. But it can if necessary kill or wound the 20,000. Sp, expect that the numkber of Palestinians killed could become as high at leadt 20.000 not counting unfortunate collateral damage on regretable Palestinians who allow Hamas to use their homes to store rockets. The cries and yells of the Palestinianas in Gaza is simply pro[paganda by Hamas. Only theelimination of Hamas will bring peace to the Gaza Palestinians I am afraid. The cries and yells of the alleged Palestinian victims is just that ,, lots of noise.They should be ignored because Palestinians are hurt because of the n belligerent atrtitude of Hamas which is a cancer on Gaza, And the cancer needs to be eliminated for Palestinians to live in peace with Israel and not at war with it.

    • IRISH GIRL

      MURDERERS! MURDERERS! MURDERERS! BACKED ALL THE WAY BY AMERICAN MURDERERS! I AM BY NO MEANS CONDONING ROCKET ATTACKS BUT KILLING 1000 PALISTINIANS TO EVERY 1 ISREALI IS NOT SOLVING THIS PROBLEM IT IS ONLY GENERATING MORE HATRED ISREAL SHAME ON YOU!!!!!

      • Jane

        Yup !
        It is sooo unfair oh my God!

  • […] in Gaza! Israeli terrorizing civilians with propaganda Letter to the Leaders of Our Congregation The people of Gaza “trapped, traumatized, terrorized” 10,000 Demonstrate Against Gaza War in Tel Aviv Iraq/Israel/Palestine: Equal Attention for Innocent […]

  • @Freddy Lejeune:
    The civilized world condemns collective punishment. What does that say about Israel? And what does it say about bystanders?

  • Imran

    Blogs on and from Palestine for latest news and information.
    http://palestineblogs.net/aggregator

    Blogs that seem to be very active.
    http://sabbah.biz/mt/
    http://talestotell.wordpress.com/
    http://1158munich.blogspot.com/2009/01/no-comment.html

    They have a Twitter update which is very good
    http://www.freegaza.org/

    Up-to-date information being posted on this
    http://www.gazatalk.com/

    Al Jazeera’s Twitter is really informative
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2008/12/2008122916531937971.html

    Palestine Red Cresent Society
    http://www.palestinercs.org/

    Fundraising-
    http://www.interpal.info/

  • Imran

    odd…the Gaurdian blog has reverted back to 8:09am…..all of todays blogs are missing?!?

  • max

    I am 16 years old and i live in Glasgow, there is a stall which supports the PLO in the central city, personally I belive that this particular view in supporting the palistinians is just a sympathy vote, the israeli’s have been living Israel for sevral years and the fact that this is now a jewish state, illustates to us after the holocaust, after the trauma the jewish people faced, they looked to god and headed toward the promise land, this may not be right in the view of the palistinians, however the right thing to do is respect religion is it not?
    Secondly, the jewish settlers have patently lead to a destortion within israel, however the extremist group FATTAH were determined to control the west bank after the war which therefore lead to the separation of Israel and Palestine, the best solution to this problem is that since Israel are in the controlling position, it is essential for them to make peace, however this idea is obsolete, as the other extremist movement HAMAS, believe that they could provoke the israelis better than FATTAH and have now began influencing youngsters to die in order to kill Israelis, this movement, is made to destroy israel, these pugnacious views could therefore be from the oppression that the palistinians suffer. In order for this violence to end, these extremist groups have to come as one, in order for Israel to open out the han in peace, all nations should come together and congeal as one nation.

  • @Freddy Lejeune
    1. To say that Hamas broke the ceasefire is simply an outright lie and a flagrant distortion of the truth. Many months ago there was a debate about the Israeli blockade of Gaza on “Global Voices” and our friends from Israel were nowhere to be seen.
    Israel is a nuclear power and the military super-power in the region. Also, Israel is the 6th undeclared permanent member of the United Nations. The Israeli use of sophisticated weapons against occupied civilian highly populated urban concentrations is nothing but a war crime. After the strangulation of the Palestinian population for many years, and starving them, these glorified fireworks were a scream for help. The cynical Israeli response was to open the crosses for 2 days then unleash these coward barbaric attacks on people that cannot respond with anything but these very inaccurate primitive home-made fire-crackers. Whereas western media reports these events as a response to Palestinian rocket attacks, they fail to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people and represent the sequence of events leading to these desperate rocket attacks. Also, the use of words like “missiles” is not only misleading but seems to me a misrepresentation of the inexistent treat they truly represent. This is propaganda at its best. The situation is created by Israel not just responding to it and if the Israelis wanted peace as they claim the solution is very simple. The destruction of Gaza has nothing to do with Hamas. Israel will accept no authority in the Palestinian territories that it does not ultimately control. Any individual, leader, faction or movement that fails to accede to Israel’s demands or that seeks genuine sovereignty and the equality of all nations in the region; any government or popular movement that demands the applicability of international humanitarian law and of the universal declaration of human rights for its own people will be unacceptable for the Jewish State. It is that simple. This Israeli ethnocratic theocracy with Universal Suffrage will stop at nothing to realise their biblical aspirations of full land judaisation dreams and the total inhalation of any real Palestinian authority. The question that remains is what will Israel deem necessary to eradicate a militarily inexistent treat?!!

  • […] Internet access has been significantly diminished. Although there is a small number of bloggers writing directly from Gaza, many Gaza residents are instead sending text messages and making phone calls abroad in the hopes […]

  • […] huko huko Gaza, uwezo wa kutumia intaneti umepungua sana. Japokuwa kuna idadi ndogo ya wanablogu wanaoandika moja kwa moja kutokea Gaza, wakazi wengine wengi wanatumia ujumbe wa maandishi wa simu za mkononi pamoja na simu nje ya nchi […]

  • Al

    Can anyone please answer the following questions?

    Where in the world do Muslims live at peace with people of other religions (India, China, Russia, the west)?

    Who elected the terrorist group Hamas to lead the people of Gaza and after the last few years how has their leadership helped their people?

    Why is it acceptable for Hamas (the elected government of the people of Gaza) to shoot rockets into Israeli cities and why is it wrong for Israel to respond with force??

    As an outsider spending a few years working in the Middle East I have always found it funny that most Muslims complain about people not respecting their religion and way of life but are the least respecting of others. I have witnessed many Muslims who actively and passively accept suicide bombings, beheadings, honor killings and acts of terrorism as a part of their culture. Maybe the people of Gaza should renounce terrorism and stop blaming Israel and the West and start accepting some responsibility for the turmoil, poverty, and lack of progress which plagues them? I also find it funny that most of these blogs don’t really originate from the Middle East but from western countries who support the ideals of freedom of speech, equality, and democracy – seems like a strange coincidence???

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