Monday, February 05, 2007

Update from Gaza

No, I'm still in Durham, but keeping up to date with much concern with the latest happenings in Gaza via my parents and their vantage point in Gaza City. They passed through a terrifying few days last week-street battles swirled all around them, and my mother got stuck on her way back from Khan Yunis in southern Gaza where she was visiting my grandmother.

She heard gunshots and then people began to talk about another "clash", so she stopped at my Aunt's house for a while. But then, for fear my father might be foolish enough to drive out to get her, as he's done before (and subsequently found himself in the middle of a gunbattle) she decided to take it by foot! Of course she doesn't tell us of her (reckless?) heroics until later.

Halfway there when it became too dangerous ("I heard gunshots and saw masked gunmen and just said "salaam" to them but I couldn't really see where the gunshots were coming from") she called my father who came to pick her up from near the Islamic UNiversity, which was up in flames after Fateh forces had attacked it. "It was the saddest the thing I've ever seen-a university burning." emblematic, perhaps, of the entire situation in Gaza.

To make matters worse,the electricity had cut off for a straight 40 hours, leaving them amidst the incessant richochet of bullets in the dark.

My father says things are once again "calm" now as ceasefire #??? goes into effect. No one knows what tommorow will hold. They struggle to pass each day and live as normal lives as they know how.

Before I left Gaza, I conducted a series of interviews with fighters from FAteh and Hamas-the result can be seen in "An Eye for an Eye in Gaza" here.


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