In this roundup of blogs from Gaza, we hear in detail about the attacks on Al Quds hospital in the Tel al-Hawa neighbourhood of Gaza City from an Australian activist who was in it at the time, and an Italian activist describes a man lying injured in hospital, unaware that his daughter has been brought there too – in pieces.
Australian activist Sharyn Lock writes at Tales to Tell:
Hello, I have 14 minutes of power on my laptop as have been separated from the charger…
thanks to my Manchester colleague for attempting to turn incoherent phone calls into notes for the blog – all the info is a bit confused and I hope I have a chance to write it all down for you properly soon (when?!)
Wed night: increasingly several attacks in Tel al-Hawa area where [Al Quds] hospital is. Knew it was our night for something to happen. Evacuated half the ambulances and crew out to Al Shifa [hospital], kept two but became impossible to leave building so did something amazing – went to sleep
Thurs morning: woke to confirm had several hits on building during night but no major damage. (To explain: Al Quds hospital is a complex really: the hospital wards/admin building, joined to the social centre which also has obstetrics and emergency underneath it at basement level, joined to the Red Crescent Ops building. All but the main hospital building and basement have been dysfunctional since initial December 27 attacks.) Shortly after I woke, I was standing at window when a shell fell beside me outside and started fire. We began to put out fire, another strike in same place. A third strike started the fire really near the pediatric ward outside another window. Put out with pots and pans from sink.
Thursday midday-ish: two major strikes – rocket came in through hospital wall into pharmacy. Then one came through the roof of the social centre and caused major damage and fire. Medics managed to put it out. But the time I came on the scene (having been filling water buckets) they were clearing debris, and one medic was sitting on the floor crying.
While there, heard shouting, went up stairs to see medic S covered in blood, he had just carried a little girl in from the street who snipers had shot in face and abdomen. We saw her father fall on the hospital stairs, having been shot in the leg. Mother was panicking, shouting there was another girl left behind. S, I and other medics went out to get her, found her not far away, S took her on his shoulders into the hospital. The other medics and I realised they were just the beginning of a stream of desperate people fleeing their buildings, many of which were on fire. Later I also round out that the army had gone into lots of buildings and taken all the men, I still have no news of what happened to them. People were coming to the hospital because they thought it might be safer so for fear of sniper fire we went out to escort them in our RC [Red Crescent] vests […] anyway about 600 people into hospital, tanks visible during collecting them, some hours later did “walking evacuation” out of hospital as no facilities for so many, we and other staff headed back to hospital as patients still there and more families arrived to shelter, but then another missile hit the middle building and caught on fire badly, spread really quickly, medics fighting fire till ambulances came, evacuated everyone, even in beds, into street in the dark with further shooting and explosions occurring…
Canadian activist, Eva Bartlett, blogs at In Gaza:
Israeli warplanes just bombed a funeral ceremony in a school in Eastern Shuja'iyya, east of Gaza city. Minutes ago, as the mourners of another recently killed by Israel tried in vain to grieve their dead. At least ten more are now dead. Everything is in vain here: breathing (inhale chemical fumes), running and seeking sanctuary (no sanctuary possible), condemning Israel’s war crimes (which even the carefully diplomatic, very articulate, John Ging [UNRWA Director of Operations in Gaza] has done, in effect, condemning the bombing first of the UN school and then the chemical bombing – white phosphorus, Ging said – of the UN headquarters, with its supply of food for the refugees of Gaza), hoping, grieving, being admitted to hospitals (Wafa hospital was attacked, evacuated and attacked; al Quds hospital was repeatedly bombed yesterday, burning late into the night, necessitating the transfer – under danger from the Israeli tanks lurking and snipers targeting), and – of course – staying home and hoping the missiles will not strike.
Vittorio Arrigoni is an Italian activist blogging at Guerrilla Radio, and describes meeting a man in hospital:
Due bombe sull'abitazione di Ahmed Jaber hanno messo in fuga la sua famiglia, ma troppo tardi. Una terza esplosione ha sepolto sotto le macerie 7 suoi familiari, e anche due bambini di 8 e 9 anni suoi vicini di casa. Dice “ci hanno fatto fare un salto all'indietro nel 1948. Questo è il supplizio per il nostro attaccamento alla patria. Possono staccarmi le braccia e la gambe dal tronco, ma non mi lasceranno mai abbandonare la mia terra”. Un dottore mi prende in disparte e mi confida che la figlia di 7 anni di Ahmed è arrivata in pezzi, stava contenuta in una minuscola scatola di cartone. Non hanno avuto il coraggio di riferirglielo per non deteriorare le sue già precarie condizioni di salute.
On January 15 we heard from Nader Houella, who manages the group blog Moments of Gaza, that he had temporarily lost contact with Lebanese activist Natalie Abou Shakra in Gaza City. Since then she has managed to write some posts, which you can find here and here. However the following is from a post just published, but written on January 10:
Someone calls me to tell me they want to publish my article… they say they shall give me money… money from the tragedy of the people? That is why when I came here, I came and said I have nothing to do with journalists and journalism… please send your money to the right places, into civil society organizations that support boycotting of Israeli products… send your money to the PCHR: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights… I do not want to tell you where to send your money… you do not even need to do that… what is more important is your activism… your voice, break silence, demonstrate… vote! And please do not make it about color, race, gender… please make it about morality and justice… and of course, foreign policy…
We end with a blogger far from Gaza City. Mutasharrid (‘homeless person’ or ‘vagrant’) is in Khuza'a, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. It is an area that has been subject to many Israeli attacks in recent days, which have forced Mutasharrid to evacuate his home, becoming truly homeless:
We became displaced people