Gaza: There was no calm before the storm


Hamouda Al Najjar

For the last two days Gaza has been under heavy attack by the Israeli military. The calm has been shattered. That is what the international press would have you believe. Perhaps they should meet Hamouda Al Najjar from Khuzzaa. He was shot in the leg on August 15th, 2011, during the time that most people think of as the time of calm in Gaza. Gaza is never really calm, it is just that the dead and the injured are ignored. If an Israeli settler had been shot in the leg while gathering food for his sheep every newspaper in America would carry a story, nobody reported the shooting of Hamouda Al Najjar.

Hamouda Al Najjar is 25 years old. Like most Gazans, he has no job, the siege makes sure that no exports leave Gaza and that a functioning economy is impossible. So Hamouda does what he can to try and help his family survive. At five thirty P.M. he left his house with his neighbor, Khaleel Al Najjar, to gather food for his family’s sheep. They hoped to be finished in time for Iftar. They were working on their land, 300 meters from the border when about seven IDF soldiers suddenly appeared from behind a hill. The soldiers began to fire at them, Hamouda and his neighbor immediately tried to leave the area, about 10 seconds after the first shot Hamouda was hit in the leg, right above the knee. Hamouda fell to the ground, his neighbor ran for help. The soldiers continued to fire at Hamouda. They fired about 10 bullets in total. The soldiers left, Hamouda remained. Friends and neighbors came to take him to the hospital. Now he sits in Europa Hospital recovering from his wounds and hoping that his leg will fully recover.

Sa’d Abdul Rahim Mahmoud al-Majdalwai, 17, from al-Nussairat refugee camp is not in a hospital, he will not recover. He was murdered by the IDF on August 16, 2011. Sa’d was mentally disabled. According to the Israeli army he was observed approaching the border and so he was shot. He was shot ten times, in the head and chest. He was 400 meters from the border when he was killed. His bloody body lay there for an hour and twenty minutes before the IDF allowed ambulance crews to retrieve it.

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