Palestine: “They Don't Know If They Will Live”

The war on Gaza continues into its seventeenth night. I find myself longing for the day when I don't feel I have an obligation to tell this story anymore. Life seems to have been put on hold; at work, at home, as I eat, as I write, I feel like I am just waiting for this to end, so that maybe I can allow myself to go out again, or just to sleep. It's such a selfish thought to have when in Gaza, they're also waiting for this to end but only so that they can maybe go back to living without the fear of death arriving before the next breath.

Thus Mohammad, based in Ramallah but originally from Gaza, begins his post entitled “Death is more common than sleep.” For the past 17 days, since the first set of attacks on Gaza, Mohammad has been sharing his calls home to family on KABOBfest so that the world may hear their stories.

Reading each day's account is seeing life in Gaza go from bad to worse. In yesterday's post Mohammad reminded us that bad is worse than most of us realize:

Palestinian suffering comes into focus whenever Israel goes on a large-scale rampage. But as my cousin reminded me from Gaza last night, the suffering is always there, it has just become accepted by those who do not experience it on a continuous basis. Before this massacre, the people of Gaza were barely living due to the crippling siege that had closed off the land, sea and air, that had blocked the entry of raw materials and supplies, of food and medicines, and that had led 97% of businesses in Gaza to close.

And yet last night, Mohammad posted this from the relative safety of Ramallah, in the West Bank:

its just past 330 am here, i was woken up by a cold caller from libya. after he hung up i noticed a message from areej, my uncle mohammads wifes: the tanks have reached us, theres smoke in the house, please pray for us.

i called her. i could hear explosions just outside, and machine gun fire. just before 2 am, israeli tanks and special forces had entered an area just outside tal al-hawa, near the community college. they'd come up against surprisingly tough and violent resistance. tanks firing randomly into neighbrhoods. white phosphorous munitions used to cover an aparent retreat. the entire apartment is filled with white smoke, the kids are up, screaming. there seems to be a definite retreat, but they're expecting the worst. they say to please keep praying for their safety and for the resistance. they dont know if they will live.


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  • marc horowitz

    Boo-Hoo . . . tell your Hamas leadership to stop firing rockets at innocent people and instead focus on building a country as opposed to destroying another. Israel gave you the damned land and now you expect them to support you at the same time you try to exterminate them. Maybe you can tell me why Jews couldn’t live peaceably in Gaza, yet anyone who wants to can live freely in Israel? If Hamas and their followers can’t live and let live, and it gets down to a battle for survival . . . you lose. The fault lies with your leaders and their blind hatred.

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  • Mark

    This writer in Ramallah has got it right. He claims on the one hand that the resistance near tal al-hawa was fierce and that Israeli tanks and special forces troops had been forced to retreat and that the tanks were firing randomly into the neighborhoods. Are you sure those tanks were not firing at the resistance fighters? Hamas must be made up of cowards and ten year olds. If the Israelis are wasting their time just firing in circles and are not targeting the militants then the Hamas fighters have nothing tho fear. They should be able to walk right up to these tanks and disable them???

    Fire your rocket at me and I turn off your power and build a wall around you. And what do you do? Complain.

    Perhaps if your Allies the Egyptians were better soldiers they would be able to spot a TUNNEL along that short border with their country and stop the weapons from coming through. Either the Egyptian soldiers are incompetent bumbling baffoons or they are goose-stepping to the Hamas drums. But I realize these soldiers probably believe that only food is delivered through these tunnels. Hamas tells them: “thats not a rocket its a stuffed sausage” and well, you know, Hamas would not lie.

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