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Palestine: “How many deaths in Gaza is enough?”

As the Israeli attacks on Gaza continue, in this roundup of Gaza's blogs we hear about food shortages, the frustration of being stuck at home, the humour of medical workers – and a question from a young boy: “Mama – why don't the Israeli soldiers think before they shoot people?”

Palestinian photojournalist Sameh Habeeb blogs at Gaza Strip, The Untold Story:

I have got three calls from anonymous persons stop blogging or I would be killed. Yet, I would keep on this track.

Laila El-Haddad blogs at Raising Yousuf and Noor, and she speaks to her parents in Gaza every day:

For the first time in weeks, they have a few hours of precious electricity today. And things felt “normal” for a while, as they basked in bulb-light and their fridge hummed to life. They took the opportunity to chat with me on Skype. They wanted to talk to me hour after hour, all morning my time, about nothing in particular, before they were immersed in the dark and terror once again. After speaking to his grandfather, Yousuf looked at me and asked in the inquisitive, matter-of-fact way that he usually inquires about all things small and big in this world, “Mama – why don't the Israeli soldiers think before they shoot people?”

Mohammed Ali, who works for the NGO Oxfam, writes on the Oxfam blog from his home in Gaza City:

Today, I left my neighbourhood for the first time since this waking nightmare started. As my wife and I said goodbye, I knew that we were both thinking the same thing, that this could be the last time we ever see one another. As I closed the door behind me, I heard my child sobbing uncontrollably. Just as I headed out, I heard that the Israeli government had announced a three-hour lull in fighting. I wondered what they thought we could do in three hours; banks are closed and the Israeli government is restricting money coming into Gaza, shops are shut or their shelves empty, people now have to queue for up to six hours just for a loaf of bread…or nothing… markets have very little, people cannot afford increased prices, water systems are not working, people are scared to leave their homes, roads are blocked…what real difference to people’s lives will these three hours make? […] What can we do in three hours? Bury dead bodies? No one will ever be able to bring back the lives lost during this conflict but there is still time to give those who are still living a chance for a decent life.

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

In Gaza, last night was so horrible with more than 60 air raids, added to non-stop tanks and artillery shelling to different places everywhere! No place is safe at any moment in Gaza! Words stand short from describing the horrors we have been through those days.

Canadian activist Eva Bartlett blogs at In Gaza:

After finishing a shift with the PRCS [Palestine Red Crescent Society] yesterday morning, we went to the Fakoura school, to see and to listen to the voices. Prayers were happening in the street in front of the school. I’d seen prayers in open, outdoor places in Palestine, in Egypt. But these days, when I see a mass of people praying, in front of Shifa hospital, in the streets of Jabliya, I think of the mosques that have been bombed, the loss of lives and sanctuaries. And yesterday I thought of the loss of a safe-haven. The grief was very evident, as was the indignation: “Where are we supposed to stay,” one man demanded. “How many deaths is enough? How many?” It’s the question that has resounded in my mind since the attacks on December 27th. […] Nidal, a PRCS medic, told how he was at the Fakoura school when it was shelled. His aunt and uncle living nearby, he’d been visiting friends at the school. “I was there, talking with friends, only a little away from where 2 of the missiles hit. The people standing between me and the missiles were like a shield. They were shredded. About twenty of them,” he said.

Natalie Abou Shakra, a Lebanese activist, blogs at Moments of Gaza:

Dr. As’ad just came in saying there is no bread. We officially have no bread.
Sitt [Mrs] Wafaa told me she put nail polish on. She said she was shy about it, and did it just to feel better. I tell her not to worry, and that from now on, both of us will look our best each day. I told her I shall put on my kohl in solidarity with the nail polish. […] I am fed up of this! We are in a holocaust, mass killing, devastation and destruction of human kind, death and massacring… I am running out of words in the dictionary of death and terror that the Israelis arranged for us: Lebanese and Palestinians!
They sent us bread today… it was rotten. Dr. As'ad told me that Dr. Haidar is eating rotten bread. “He said that mold is used for making penicillin. So, it must be okay.” He joked. So, we are going to heat the bread on the stove and eat, so that the moldy taste is diminished.

In another post, Natalie writes:

As Dr. As'ad comes in the house after leaving to bring in some groceries. He tells us that there are no vegetables and no cheese, no milk and no bread near us… so, we decide to write down a schedule of the quantity and quality of food to be eaten per day… […] I went out to the veranda. It was the first time since the massacring began that I had gone out on the veranda. […] The sky was clear with no clouds and the sun shined, to me, like never before… the sun became so precious, and realized I never appreciated it as much as I do now… it made my cold body warm. Abdel Aziz hugged his mother as she laid her shoulder on the wall. We looked at the sun shining on all the destruction. I wished at that moment that the whole world was with us, looking. We stayed outside for around thirty minutes, after which they bombed close in Hay [neighbourhood of] el Zaytoun (tanks are shooting extensively as I am typing). We saw the Apache as it came closer after it bombed. (Where is my bazooka?). I was wearing my pink pajamas, and was afraid that the Israelis might mistake me for Hamas. (Remember? Israelis targeting children in pajamas on the donkeys… I am staying away from donkeys, as there are many now in Gaza since there is no petrol… and the donkey proves its efficiency again in history! The donkeys in Gaza are so courageous. Now, donkeys are martyrs in Gaza). My pajamas are pink. Are there any pink Qassam rockets? Please assure me so that I stop wearing pink pajamas. I cannot jeopardize my “family's” (surrogate family?) safety.

Australian activist Sharyn Lock writes at Tales to Tell, and has been helping out at at Al Quds hospital:

There is a collective strength to these people that dumbfounds me. Medical folks are quite a comic crew; one of them last night was carefully explaining to me that he didn’t have to worry about dying of lung disease, because he was careful not to buy the brand of cigarettes that had the man dying of lung disease on the front. Later on one of the ambulance crew had thrown us all out of the operations centre and was washing the floor. It was chilly outside, so we were all lurking at the door wanting to come back in, but he was shouting the Arabic equivalent of “Keep your filthy shoes off my nice clean floor!” Finally he installed the widest paramedic to function as a guard; who took up his position outside the door with folded arms, doing an excellent imitation of a nightclub bouncer. I suggested that when the Israelis got here (the tanks are shelling from 2 km away now) we give him the task of keeping them out of the operations room. He assured us he was up to the job. These people have lost friends and family in the last days, and face the risk of death each day. But Palestinians have a sort of collective unspoken agreement – everyone has to keep going for everyone else. I don’t know what it does to their mental health; but then again I don’t know what choice they have.

Abu el Sharif writes at Shajar El Ba6a6a:

إيش ممكن أحكي…جد ؟
الحمدلله على كل إشي، أسبوعين الواحد قاعد بالبيت…علقليل أهل الكهف كانو نايمين..بس إحنا صاحيين و شايفين مع إنو تعمى قمارنا
What can I say, seriously?
Thank God for everything, two weeks sitting at home…At least the People of the Cave were sleeping…But we're awake and watching, even if the world's become dark around us.

Louisa Waugh writes at New Internationalist's Gaza Blog:

It took me ages to get through to Adham at his home in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. The phone lines are down most of the time, and even when they are working, they're usually jammed by Palestinians desperately trying to contact family and friends inside Gaza. After two days I finally manage to get hold of Adham on his landline at home, and ask him if he and his family are OK.
‘We are still alive,’ he says. ‘But you would not believe what we are going through. I have never seen or heard anything like this.’
[…] When, after eight days of bombing the entire Gaza Strip, the Israeli military invaded northern Gaza on 4 January, they drove tanks and snipers into Jabaliya, and began shelling, and shooting to kill. Adham and his family remain trapped inside their home in the middle of the camp. ‘We’ve been locked inside our house for 12 days now,’ he says. ‘We can’t leave – it's too dangerous.’ He tells me he has been no further than 100 metres down his street since 27 December. […] Adham just hopes he will live to see the end of this hell.
‘In my worst moments, I wonder if I care whether I die,’ he says. ‘Because at least then I will not have to face whatever is going to happen to us next.’

26 comments

  • kevin

    What is going on with the world today? These people have been fighting for…. well befor history was written. No body will be happy untill we kill everybody off. That is what is going to happen geniside. Not for one race but all humans. I have been in war, killed for my country. And why? Nothing has gotten better.People wonder why god ( what ever god you believe in)By the way is all the same god does any thing to prevent this? Its because we don’t diserve it it. we just keep killing each other off and for what? land reliogon skin color.Stupid

  • […] Palestine: “How many deaths in Gaza is enough?” Global Voices Online As the Israeli attacks on Gaza continue, in this roundup of Gaza’s blogs we hear about food shortages, the frustration of being stuck at home, the humour of medical workers – and a question from a young boy: “Mama – why don’t the Israeli soldiers think before they shoot people?” […]

  • […] Seattle’s Israel Solidarity Rally MSF: Temporary halt to Gaza bombing a paltry response How Many Deaths in Gaza is Enough? Malaysia: Campaign to Boycott US […]

  • A good question.

    According the to father of the Zionist state, ALL Palestinians were simply going to have to vanish.

    With over 250 children already massacred in Gaza during the last two weeks, Ben Gurion would have been proud!

    The Palestine Review
    http://palestinereview.com

  • Al

    Can anyone please answer the following questions?

    Where in the world do Muslims live at peace alongside people of other religions (India, China, Russia, the west)? I find it strange that everywhere the Religion of Peace thrives so does terrorism, death, and turmoil – why is this?

    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? The same group that is committed to the destruction to Israel and a group that the Gaza people had to know would never be recognized as legitimate by the international community – what did everyone think Hamas would do for them?

    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 other acts of terrorism as a part of their culture (and have accepted and committed these acts in the name of Allah). 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? If they had done this they would have already had their own country as opposed to being a launching platform to murder and terrorize Israel (the Arabs and Palestinians cannot destroy Israel so they need to learn to get along with them)

  • Javier Gonzalez

    I’m here simply to comment on the issue from an unaffected, unbiased view of what I interpret from the last few weeks. It appears Hamas has taken hostage the many innocent and God loving people of Palestine. The radical ideology of this group is wrongly associated with the lot of Palestinian whose hope of stability and some degree of economic progress is halted by the coercive tactics of Hamas. The American government is no position to broker peace deals, and the Palestinians must compete for survival by peaceful means. Hamas is causing the Israeli reaction and therefore must be persuaded to discontinue their pathetic show of military aggression/resistance. I don’t believe the Palestinians need nor want any foreign country to devise an end to this conflict, it must come from within to be respected and understood. Consequently, the Israeli government should acknowledge a different voice from that being heard by Hamas.

    A concerned world citizen from Puerto Rico,
    Javier

  • mike the plumber

    GO Israel!!!! Wipe Hamas off the face of the earth. That is what Hamas deserves. Iran’s governement should be next. War is the answer when dealing with people who live and die by the sword. I can not understand why anyone is mad at Israel for defending itself. I say to those people, go take a trip to gaza and hang out with Hamas members. Hopefully Israel will be able to destroy them all. I do not feel bad for the civilians in Gaza. They put Hamas in power. Just look at the USA, we were able to remove George Bush from office and replace him with our savior Obama. We even did this in a country with a military a bit more powerfull than Hamas. Imagine that… Next stop Iran, Somalia, North Korea…..

    • I’ll answer your question.

      After the holocoast in WWII, the biggest human rights violation ever, the Jews who survived the terrible concentration camps of Hitler were send to their “promised Land” Palestine with the support of the UK, US and many other countries. The Palestine people, as nice as they were, accepted the Jews, as long they dint make any problems. As “thank you” to the Palestines, for their nice welcome to them, the Jews started to take over pieces of Land to make their country bigger. The Palestines refused this and started to defend their selves, but Israel had many support of other countries. Most of its army is even paid by the US. Trouighout the years, after many wars and too many people’s lifes, Israel took over 78 % of the land of the Palestines. This the the reason why Palestines, and many other muslims, hate the Israel. And even after peace is declared between Isreal and Palestine, many Palestines still dont accept the fact that their country is took over, and some of them joined a group, called Hamas. The Hamas still fight for their freedom and to get their country back, even after Israel wants peace. Some people think they are terroris, but in fact they are freedom fighters and in my opinion the Israeli who fight the Palestines, zionists, are the terrorists.

      Go once to http://www.ifamericansknew.com ,
      and read there, they are a good source of info and they prove it. take a look once. or if de the link doesnt work, typ in google: “if americans knew”. there is everything, from the reason of the war, till the deaths it caused it and how much the US spends a day in Israel, 7 MILLION A DAY!!!

  • peace

    We should use peace as the way to live our lives Israel is wrong to use missles on the gaze strip israel is wrong to think that israel belongs to them it belongs to God it is Holy Land it belongs to all the people of the world because it is holly its like i throw a rock so u use a grenade in return killing innocent children. there is no wrong in self defense but calling killing indiscrimmately innocent children and people with modern weapons is not what you call self defense. Where is the USA why do we sit and allow such actions to occur if we are a country that stands for freedom we should force both countries to come to a peace agreement and stop providing weapons to israel

  • Nora, London

    I am only a 14 year old girl and yet I know what is happening around the world more than most adults do. For example my tutor was talking to us the other day and everything she was saying was wrong, when I got home I asked my parents about what she said and they confirmed that it was wrong.
    Everything thats happening is because Israeli people are shameless, they are greedy selfish people that God will never forgive in a life time.
    God bless those who died in the Gaza war and God punish all those Israelis and Americans who wronged.

  • Janet

    I cant wait for this massacre to end.
    What is happening in Palestine makes me so angry; i just dont understand what its going to take for Isreal to leave Palestine alone, let them have their land back. And give them their freedom.
    Stop the occupatipon; stop these random wars.
    Palestine deserves their freedom, this is wack.

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