“The amount of death and destruction is inconceivable” Safa Joudeh writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, December 27 & 28 2008
It was just before noon when I heard the first explosion. I rushed to my window and barely did I get there and look out when I was pushed back by the force and air pressure of another explosion. For a few moments I didn’t understand but then I realized that Israeli promises of a wide-scale offensive against the Gaza Strip had materialized. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzpi Livni’s statements following a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak the day before yesterday had not been empty threats after all.
What followed seems pretty much surreal at this point. Never had we imagined anything like this. It all happened so fast but the amount of death and destruction is inconceivable, even to me and I’m in the middle of it and only a few hours have passed already.
Six locations were hit during the air raid on Gaza City. The images are probably not broadcasted on US news channels. There were piles and piles of bodies in the locations that were hit. As you looked at them you could see that a few of the young men were still alive, someone lifts a hand, and another raises his head.
They probably died within moments because their bodies were burned, most had lost limbs, some of their guts were hanging out and they were all lying in pools of blood. Outside my home which is close to the two largest universities in Gaza, a missile fell on a large group of young men, university students.
They’d been warned not to stand in groups as it makes them an easy target, but they were waiting for buses to take them home. Seven were killed, four students and three of our neighbors’ kids, young men who were from the Rayes family and were best friends. As I’m writing this I can hear a funeral procession go by outside; I looked out the window a moment ago and it was the three Rayes boys.
They spent all their time together when they were alive, they died together and now they are sharing the same funeral together. Nothing could stop my 14-year-old brother from rushing out to see the bodies of his friends laying in the street after they were killed. He hasn’t spoken a word since.
What did Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert mean when he stated that we the people of Gaza weren’t the enemy, that it was Hamas and Islamic Jihad which were being targeted? Was that statement made to infuriate us out of out our state of shock, to pacify any feelings of rage and revenge? To mock us? Were the scores of children on their way home from school and who are now among the dead and the injured, Hamas militants? A little further down my street about half an hour after the first strike, three schoolgirls happened to be passing by one of the locations when a missile struck the Preventative Security Headquarters building. The girls’ bodies were torn into pieces and covered the street from one side to the other.
In all the locations, people are going through the dead, terrified of recognizing a family member among them. The streets are strewn with their bodies, their arms, legs, feet, some with shoes and some without. The city is in a state of alarm, panic and confusion, cell phones aren’t working, hospitals and morgues are backed up and some of the dead are still lying in the streets with their families gathered around them, kissing their faces, holding on to them. Outside the destroyed buildings old men are kneeling on the ground, weeping. Their slim hopes of finding their sons still alive vanish after taking one look at what had become of their office buildings.
And even after the dead are identified, doctors are having a hard time gathering the right body parts in order to hand them over to their families. The hospital hallways look like a slaughterhouse. It’s truly worse than any horror movie you could ever imagine. The floor is filled with blood, the injured are propped up against the walls or laid down on the floor, side by side with the dead.
Doctors are working frantically and people with injuries that aren’t life-threatening are sent home. A relative of mine was injured by a flying piece of glass from her living room window and she had deep cut right down the middle of her face. She was sent home; too many others needed more urgent medical attention. Her husband, a dentist, took her to his clinic and sewed up her face using local anesthesia.
More than 200 people dead in today’s air raids. That means more than 200 funeral processions, a few today, most of them tomorrow, probably. To think that yesterday these families were worried about food and heat and electricity. At this point I think they — actually all of us — would gladly have had Hamas forever sign off every last basic right we’ve been calling for the last few months if it could have stopped this from ever having happened.
The bombing was very close to my home. Most of my extended family live in the area. My family is OK, but two of my uncles’ homes were damaged,
We can rest easy, Gazans can mourn tonight. Israel is said to have promised not to wage any more air raids for now. People suspect that the next step will be targeted killings, which will inevitably means scores more of innocent bystanders whose fates have already been sealed.
The longest night of my life
Here’s an update on what’s happening here from where I am, the second night of Israeli air (and sea) raids on Gaza.
It’s 1:30am but it feels like the sun should be up already. For the past few hours there’s been simultaneous, heavy aerial bombardment of Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip. It feels like the longest night of my life. In my area it started with the bombing of workshops (usually located in the ground floor of private/family residential buildings), garages and warehouses in one of the most highly condensed areas in Gaza City, “Askoola.”
About an hour ago they bombed the Islamic University, destroying the laboratory building. As I mentioned in an earlier account, my home is close to the university. We heard the first explosion, the windows shook, the walls shook and my heart felt like it would literally jump out of my mouth. My parents, siblings and cousins, who have been staying with us since their home was damaged the first day of the air raids, had been trying to get some sleep.
We all rushed to the side of the house that was farthest from the bombing. Hala, my 11-year-old sister stood motionless and had to be dragged to the other room. I still have marks on my shoulder from when Aya, my 13-year-old cousin held on to me during the next four explosions, each one as violent and heart-stopping as the next. Looking out of the window moments later the night sky had turned to a dirty navy-gray from the smoke.
Israeli warships rocketed Gaza’s only sea port only moments ago; 15 missiles exploded, destroying boats and parts of the ports. These are just initial reports over the radio. We don’t know what the extent of the damage is. We do know that the fishing industry that thousands of families depend on either directly or indirectly didn’t pose a threat on Israeli security. The radio reporter started counting the explosions; I think he lost count after six.
At this moment we heard three more blasts. “I’m mostly scared of the whoosh,” I told my sister, referring to the sound a missile makes before it hits. Those moments of wondering where it’s going to fall are agonizing. Once the whooshes and hits were over the radio reporter announced that the fish market (vacant, of course) had been bombed.
We just heard that four sisters from the Balousha family were killed in an attack that targeted the mosque by their home in the northern Gaza Strip.
You know what bothers me more than the bangs and the blasts, the smoke, the ambulance sirens and the whooshes? The constant, ominous, maddening droning sound of the Apache helicopters overhead that has been buzzing in my head day and night. It’s like I’m hearing things, which I’m not, but I am.
Safa Joudeh is an master’s candidate in public policy at Stony Brook University in the US. She returned to Gaza in September 2007 where she currently works as a freelance journalist.
Article Source: ElectronicIntifada.net
I wanted to share this very moving song with the readers. It is a beautiful song by the songwriter and singer Michael Heart. It may be hard for some European Americans to understand it, but the Palestinians are being suppressed and murdered by the very same ‘Holucaust victimes’ the power of international Zio-Nazi extremist. The Zionist state has not only committed terrorism against Palestine has committed bloody terrorism against many other Mideast people.
In the Lavon Affair Zionist made terrorist firebomb attacks against American installations in Egypt trying to get us into a deadly and costly, unjust war against that country. The Zionist State attacked the U.S.S. Liberty and murdered 34 Americans on our navy ship, burning and maiming another 173 loyal American sailors! American Secretary of State has steadfastly said that the Zionist regime knowingly and deliberately attacked our ship.
Zionists have controlled American politics and so much of the media that they have been able to get America to support their terrorism against Palestine with billions of American tax dollars. This Zionist subversion against America led directly to the 9-11 attacks and that enormous loss of American life.
Zionist extremists such as Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz along with the NY Times and the rest of the Zionist-dominated media lied to America and led us into the catastrophe of the Iraq War and more than 4,000 dead and about 50,000 maimed good and loyal Americans. The Iraq War was a War For Zionism, a war meant to smite Zionist’s enemy, Saddam Hussein.
Now, their ebony puppet, Barack Obama is leading America deeper into the quagmire of Afghanistan. I am running this video as a salute to the Palestinian men, women and children who have suffered from Zionist terrorism and who fight courageously against their enemy.
The enemy of the Palestinian people is truly the enemy of all of us. Zionist extremists are the enemy of peace.
Palestinians have held a mass demonstration against the pro-Zionist Egyptian regime for the construction of an underground wall with a depth of 30 meters and 10 kilometers long along the Rafah border with the Gaza Strip which claimed its first victim on Friday.
According to Palestinian security sources, a Palestinian man was killed after a tunnel collapsed over him due to the Egyptian excavation.
During the demonstration, Hamas spokesperson Hammad Ar-Ruqab urged Cairo to open the Rafah border crossing and facilitate the entry of food and construction materials needed to rebuild Gaza which is in ruins due to Zio-Nazi war which left thousands of homes destroyed last year.
“We in the Hamas movement announce our deep shock at the construction of the wall which bypasses every diplomatic rule. Egypt is building the wall between Gaza and Egypt in a sensitive period of time,” Ma’an news agency quoted Ar-Ruqab as saying.
The barrier has reportedly destroyed many tunnels along the border that have served as a crucial lifeline since Zionist and it Pro-Zionist regime in Egypt sealed off the Gaza Strip from almost all vital aid after Hamas took over Gaza in June 2007.
Zionist which accuses the Palestinians of smuggling arms through the tunnels, bombed scores of them during its December-January offensive on the Gaza Strip.
Palestinians however began the reconstruction of the tunnels which they say are used to bring basic goods from Egypt.
This short article shows the cruel reality of Zio-Nazi terrorism. It brings the horrifying numbers of 1300 Palestinians dead, more than 5000 wounded and 40,000 homeless to the reality seen in just these few children who are victims. These horrendous numbers mean that the 1.5 million people of Gaza faced terror that was proportionately a 100 times greater for them than what America suffered from 9-11. The numbers represent real people, real women and children, real victims of Zionist murder.
This article also shows incredible courage. The young boy pictured here was helping the wounded when both of his eyes were ripped out from their sockets by Zio-Nazi bombs. He survives, but never will see again. While lying in the hospital, knowing that he will be in darkness forever, he does not wallow in his own suffering and pain, but remains defiant.
His words are: “I am content. I fear no one, only my Lord. If they were to do this again, I would still be content. I tell the people in Gaza to remain strong. We will remain steadfast against the Israeli enemy.”
If just 5 percent of Europeans and Americans had a fraction of the courage and resolve of that blinded child, the Zionists would not today control the media, politics and policy of the Western World, and they would not have been able to destroy our people, our values, morality, faith.
They would not have been able to change Palestine through the 20th century massive immigration of an army of Zionist supremacists into Gaza and West Bank in the last century, in a similar way that they destroyed Palestine through massive Zionist immigration there.