Taking it all in
Palestinians sit and reflect near the bodies of 14-year-old Ahmed Al-swasi (R), 8-year-old Raed Ahmad al-Batsh (C) and his 15-year-old brother Mahmoud Ahmed al-Batsh (L), who were victims of an Israeli airstrike on Monday. Three Palestinian children and two members of the Islamic Jihad movement were killed and another eight bystanders, most of them children, were also wounded. Shaul Mofaz defended the strikes and said no one in the newly democratically elected Palestinian parliament was immune. Courtesy Ismael Mohamad (UPI)
I’m tired. And mad, at how unproductive being tired can make me, among other things. But mainly, I’m just tired. Sometimes, it can get exhausting being here.
It’s not so much one single event, but rather the sum total of a series of every day seemingly insignificant incidents that make up the occupation in all its ugliness and brutality and take their insidious toll on you, that creep up on you while you may think yourself not susceptible somehow, sometimes. A border closure here. A milk or diaper shortage there. A travel ban. An aerial assault. Anger and depression and despondence. All of this, combined with the daily realization that your life is not yours to live. The air is not yours to breathe. It’s suffocating and psychologically tasking.
And working in the news, covering the news that’s all around you, makes it even harder. It can be all too easy to lose perspective. It also makes you realize how easy it is to become the news yourself.
I slept most of the afternoon. And was dizzy most of the morning. And when I woke up I learned that the explosion I heard was an attack by an unmanned Israeli drone in the teeming, poverty-stricken Shijaeeya neighborhood not far from my house. It killed the intended “targets”- two members of Islamic Jihad. But it also killed three others.
Including two children-brothers, 8-year-old Raed Al-Batch and his 15-year-old brother Ala. They were with their mother at the time. She lived, only to learn that she lost two boys. At once.
I’m just so tired.
A relative crying in disbelief in the hospital morgue(AP)