Saturday, January 03, 2009

LAND OFFENSIVE BEGINS IN GAZA

We just came back from a protest in Durham...before we left my father called to let me know a land invasion was imminent, and that a bomb had been destroyed a mosque near them-killing 11 civilians.

He just now informed me that a land invasion HAS BEGUN. Everyone is bracing themselves.

hHe said Israel destroyed 3 JAWAL centers (the mobile provider) so many mobile phhones, including his own, are down, but his landline is functional..

He tells me that a building behind my cousin's house in Gaza City was destroyed, and is now burning down in a voracious fire. It had an orphanage in it.

My mother says she won't lie..they are terrified.

Flares and firebombs are being shot to light up the sky. Propaganda fliers telling the people of Gaza that "they chose Hamas and and Hamas has abandoned them"; that "Hamas will lead them to catastrophe"' superimposed on an image of a bombed-out building; and calling on them to "take charge of their destiny" adn to call a given phone number or email with tips and then a warning to call "in secrecy" (thanks for the tip). Israel is also broadcasting on al-Aqsa TV station there.

My father tells me Gaza's streets are as "dark as Kohl".

for more updates, my Twitter page: www.twitter.com/Gazamom

Also see Sameh Habeeb's photos at: http://www.digitaljournal.com/, and http://picasaweb.google.com/sameh.habeeb/GazaWar3# (including photos of leaflets being dropped on the city)

44 Comments:

Blogger david santos said...

"Israel's war in Gaza , 450 killed and 2200 injured ... What's next ?"
FREE PALESTINE!!!

9:33 PM  
Blogger washi said...

My heart and soul is crying (and so scared) for my sisters and brothers in Palestine right now...you are in all our duahs

9:39 PM  
Blogger Therapist Mumbles said...

Perhaps the actual invasion will be enough to make the killing stop.The conditions in Gaza will only get worse. Hamas was atagonistic, the Palistinian people did not make them negotiatie. The Israels have always ben too harsh, trying to humiliate the Palistinians. The balance of power is unfair. The struggles goes on for sixty years. The world must put pressure on everyone to make significant changes. I hope that your and yours are all safe.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Carimah said...

A'oethubillah. May Allah protect all the God-fearing.

9:45 PM  
Blogger Anne Vis said...

Thanks so much for sharing all this, Laila! Amazing too that the birds start singing the sound of bombs! I think here they play cell phone tunes ...
We had a huge demonstration today in Amsterdam ... and keep praying for you!

9:51 PM  
Anonymous lennybruce said...

My thoughts and prayers are with your family and all the residents of Gaza. I had your blog already in my newsreader and it was very cool to just see your blog being mentioned on CNN. Keep up the good work with getting this inside view to the outside world.

God bless and pray for peace,

Lennybruce - American Israeli Jew living in Amsterdam

1:44 AM  
Anonymous Amila Jasarevic said...

My heart goes out to those who have no way of defending themselves and their children, no way of feeding them, no way of keeping them warm and safe. May their peril end very, very soon.

2:00 AM  
Blogger jarvenpa said...

Laila, I am so grateful for your continued updates, and hold your family and the people of Gaza in my thoughts.
Your link to the photos of Sameh Habeeb takes me to a page that says "this page does not exist".

2:47 AM  
Blogger Don Thieme said...

A horrible but apparently inevitable outcome given the lack of leadership from world powers and Israel's leading ally. The people of the United States also have the blood of Palestinian people on our hands.

4:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laila, please help me if you can, I want to know if a friend Dr. Fadel Abu Hein (child psichologist from Gaza) is ok.
Send your family, the Gazans and Dr Fadel (if it's possible) all our support from CHILE.
Our heart is with Palestine.

5:11 AM  
Anonymous Nadia Hammad said...

Thank god your parents are safe. We have you guys in our prayers. We are so frustrated, we go to rallys we blog but we feel so helpless. We call our cousins and they sound so scared it frustrates us.

5:33 AM  
Blogger Modern Pharaoh said...

Rabina Ma3ako koloko! we are all praying with you! Rabina yikhalasko min HAMAS we min ISRAEL! Israel is an inhumane terrorist State..but THEY HAVE GOOD P.R and propaganda, sadly the American people have no idea of the Truth! While i DO NOT SUPPORT HAMAS and consider them TERRORISTS JUST LIKE ISRAELS GOVERMENT AND ALSO LAY SOME BLAME ON THEM i cannot believe Israels responce, it will only STRENGTHEN HAMAS and in the end the poor pillaged Palestinian people will suffer!

5:59 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I want you to know that I am an American, and I fully support the right of the Palestinian people to their freedom. It is disgraceful that so much of the world support the Israeli terrorists again and again. I hope for the best for you and your family, and this comes to a quick end.

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope your family stays safe. I saw you on CNN and listened to your fathers interview. Very touching and informative.

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just watched the CNN news interview with you and your dad. I can't belive how your dad mashallah controled himself while under attack and you didn't lose it either listening to him .May allah be with him and all Palestinian .All I could say is hasbee yallah wa naeema'elwakeel.

6:11 AM  
Blogger Soughtout said...

Laila, thank you for keeping us abreast of the assault on Gaza by Israel. My heart and prayers are with the Palestinian people. Here in the USA there are many thousands of people who have broken through the propaganda stronghold and grasped the reality of the military occupation, dehumanization, politicide and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.
We will continue to stand with our Palestinian brothers and sisters just as we did for the people of South Africa years ago.

6:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I am upset to see so much violence going on the world today, and would rather not see Israel invade Gaza, at the same time, I don't understand why you are blaming everything on Israel. Israel does have a right to defend itself from the constant missile attacks that Hamas has sent into Israel over the past week. Also, how is Israel suppose to fight an enemy that hides behind civilians that they use as human shields?

6:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been crying and cursing at the television all week...why are we condoning this?
Why are we silent?
I am a Canadian...non arab, non muslim...but a human being and a mother.
I cry for the palestinians just as I did for the people in Lebanon and the Iraqis...

What is wrong with the governments of Israel and the USA?
-Can we even call them human beings?

I went out to the emergency demonstration held in my city (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada).-There were about 50 people there.
---Why not more?

And FORGET Barack Obama.I was so hopeful he was different...this is a "dealbreaker".
My hopes for America --and the world--were misplaced.

How can we all just sit idly by?!
Our Canadian government needs to stand up!
What is with this cultish adoration of Israel? How can they get away with all they do?
The smug attitude and false sympathy exhibited by Israeli officials and American politicians makes me sick.
It is PURE EVIL.

I am so angry and sad...and feel so powerless to help.

All I can do is stand in solidarity with you and your family and friends and send my deepest sympathies.
Those children under attack are my children, so too are the fathers, mothers,grandparents...

My heart goes out to you.

Hugs and prayers for you and yours,

Shannon from Canada

6:30 AM  
Blogger TruthOnly said...

LAILA EL-HADDAD, I pray that you and your entire family lives through this ordeal in Gaza. It is Crimminal to me and the WORLD what the HAMAS Leaders are doing to your people.

What don't the HAMAS STOP the missles!! They are the reason your people is dying!

6:36 AM  
Blogger Sajid said...

I'm so angry that I can't help these Palestinian children. I'm so angry that my Muslim "brothers" are watching all these. How much longer we are going to watch those children being killed. Are those children terrorists as well? I guess they are, because of their names and religion. I'm from Bosnia and I was a war child.Today Srebrenica is happening ones again. May Allah protect all Muslims and may Allah give strength to Palestian.You are our Heroes.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous carole said...

Laila,
Just watched you on cnn and listened to what your father had to say to the world from gaza i am praying for you and your family also to let you know the most of the world is behind this except the UN and we all know who that is.
Here in london 10 thousand people marched to day and we have been every day for the last 8 days and we will continue.. peace be with you

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish to understand the conflict,so i read as much as i can with the desire to make my own opinion. The opinion i have so far is that the lives of too many innocent human beings are destroyed. so i want to know now, do the residents of everyday Israel understand what is really going on. honestly i just cant figure out any of it. so i try to imagine what my fears would be if here in Canada we had these same conflicts. I just wish i could understand it all better. I wish you and your Family safety and peace which is also what i wish for all innocent.

7:06 AM  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

I have been looking and looking for a site where arabs are organized, talking about the situation, and organizing demonstrations. Can you recommend one?

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Ramu said...

I hope that you and your family are safe.

I saw you on TV, and saw your passion when innocent Palestinians are killed. Unfortunately, I dont see the same passion when innocent Israelis or from anyother country are killed by terrorists from your religion. In fact the Arabs seem to rejoice. Dont know how the world will feel compassion for the Arabs at this time.

However, my heartfelt prayer to you.

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Robert Morein said...

Can anyone imagine Mexicans firing missiles on San Diego and the USA doing nothing? Can anyone imagine China firing missiles on Japan, and Japan doing nothing?

Israel has been more than patient. Are there any moderate Palestinians anywhere anymore? Or are you all just terrorists?

Israel has the absolute right to defend themselves from the Palestinian criminals.

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4 dead Israelis - 400+ dead Palestines - and counting .
1941 in German occupation/operation on Balkan for every dead German soldier or citizen, SS executed hundred of endogenous people and for every wounded they executed 50 of locals. Good example is Kragujevac (Serbia) where Germans executed a around 7000 of which 300 of secondary school students for 70 of their soldiers killed and 26 wounded in combat !

from Dubrovnik

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not Jewish or Muslim, but
I pray for an end to this horrible
conflict. Nothing ever good ever
comes from violence. As a Mother,
I can't imagine the fear your
family feels. There are good and
decent people in both countries.
I wish both sides peace.
l

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello. I have been watching the crisis on CNN. I saw you and your father. The crisis is far terrible and sickening to see Gaza and its civilian attacked. The bombing and the unjustice killing of innocent people...the helpless women and children. Hearing they are now of now food and electricity but just hopes that the nightmare end soon...justice surface and save them. May your family and love ones be safe. Allah will show justice to those who does good and no evil. -Best Regards, Sammi of Orange County, California

8:34 AM  
Blogger Edna said...

Dear Laila,

I watched you on CNN tonight. Thank you for having the courage to speak the truth!

I am an American who was married to a Palestinian refugee. I have 8 Palestinian children. I lived in Jordan among and with the Palestinian refugees. I have become aware of their struggle and for more than 14 years have written about their trials and tribulations. There are no people on earth who have suffered as much as the Palestinian people.

The current invasion and bombing of civilian targets by the IDF is appalling. This is genocide and there is no excuse for it. Gaza has been underseige from the Israelis for a long time now. The Palestinian people have been pushed into a corner. Their water, electricity, food supplies and very survival have been shut off even before this latest outrage against the Palestinian people.

I so admire you and your brave father and mother. My heart goes out for all those poor Palestinians who are at the mercy of a people without mercy!

May Palestine be free of this ruthless and inhuman Israeli occupation. May the human rights of all Palestinians be restored and may the Palestinians at last know peace and happiness!

Edna

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello. It seems like the Israelis have a short memory when they cried "holocaust" to the world. It's ambiguous of what their intentions are...seems like they are not learning from the past. They are reliving the holocaust through the massacre and genocide of the Palestinian territory by killing civilians who are mostly defenseless, innocent women and children. Enough is enough! Over 50 years of occupation to only bring bloodshed and violence. In order to achieve long lasting peace, end the occupation, end the siege, and stop the massacre of innocent women and children. Israel will find itself paralyzed and isolated after the whole world begins to wake up to their false pretense, tactics and methods which resemble those of the Nazis. How many times will the boy get away with “crying wolf”.
-Sam of Orange County, California

9:21 AM  
Blogger Nour Merza said...

Dear Laila,

Thanks for sharing information on what's going on in Gaza - from the inside.

All our love and prayers are with your family and the rest of those in Gaza.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so ridiculous. There is fault on both sides. Innocent people are dying on both sides. People need to stop complaining and whining and start working towards a solution.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think israel deserves the right to protect its people! Hamas cannot be negotiated with as they recently said, " gaza will be israels cemetary" if innocent die in gaza they should have no one to blame but Hamas!
israel is not doing this for power or land or anything else just to protect its people! if Hamas refuses to accept the israeli people israel will have to make them! also i fell no remorse for the gaza civilians/citizens who voted for hamas and who support them, they choose to have them they choose to die. i fully support US opposition to cease fire because all this will do is stop israeli bombs and troops it will not stop the rockets killing israelis! gaza is not a member of the UN therefore it does not have to listen to the un so a un cease fire will only tie up the hands of the israeli army not hamas!

long live israel and the people of it!!!

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the palestinian people choose Hamas, they put them in power although they supported the destruction of israel. Then just like Hamas assumes that it can terrify the israeli citizens because many are in the reserves or have served, then israel can begin to terrorize the people that put hamas into power...

12:48 PM  
Anonymous faried said...

I wonder those who support israel attack have ever read the history book.what would you do if your country invaded by other country?? Are you just sitting around do nothing or fight. Hamas is not the teroris. They only do what other people should do, to fight for freedom to their country.israel occupied palestinian soil and been killed thousand of palestinien and now they claim as victim. That's simply ridicoulus and unacceptable.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First let me say I am not pro Israel. I want people to think what would the US or any other country do if someone were attacking your country from theirs? If Cuba were to start launching missles at South Florida we'd be knocking on there door in minutes.
What does Hamas plan to achieve by pulling on a tigers tail? Palestinians should rise up against Hamas. They are nothing more then terrorists.
I agree that Israel does over do it, but if I were them, surrounded by nations that want to destroy them I would also send a strong message.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous jeb said...

it is a shame that peaceful-minded Arabs get caught up in the mess created by terrorists like Hamas, but why don't you stand up and kick them out? As another poster wrote, if Mexico or Canda fired missles into the U.S., wouldn't the U.S. respond...and wouldn't the world expect it? If Israel fired missles into Jordan or Egypt, wouldn't Egypt or Jordan respond...and wouldn't the world expect it? When the peaceful people living in Gaza stand up to Hamas and throw them out, then peace and change will occur. Until then, you have brought this on yourselves.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laila,

I just saw you and your father on CNN. Thank God that you and your father are representing the Palestinians to a US audience. Many, many thanks for your efforts,

Nancy

6:02 PM  
Blogger Thunder said...

Jeb, there is no love loss for Hamas in the Arab world, but I am afraid you have fallen for the propaganda talking point. Or the BIG LIE.


Hamas was actually funded and supported by Israel in the 80s as an alternative to Fatah (PLO) and in an attempt to weaken the PLO. Why weaken the PLO/Fatah? It was making the transition to a legit political partner and Israel may have found itself in the position where it would be forced to negotiate with them.

In recent years Hamas was voted in as an alternative to the weak and corrupt Fatah.

Neither Israel nor the Palestinians wanted this election, but it was forced down their throats by our wise and great President George W. Bush. (Who superficially thinks elections means democracy!)

Result was Hamas won and Fatah lost.

Israel did not like the this, so put Gaza under siege and blockade and then put insane preconditions and demands onto Hamas before they were to talk to them. (I will not go into the details here as this is a blog, and not a book.)

So Hamas (a wacko political organization, original funded by Israel) has been lobbing primitive rockets into Isreal as the slow genocide took place in Gaza.

One could make the argument that they are only defending themselves and keeping honor just as those of the Warsaw Ghetto did when they fought back. (They, too were called terrorist and agitators.)

Forget about Hamas and who brought what on to whom. That is not relevant.

Reality is Israel will achieve really nothing out of this. It emboldens Hamas, and does not make Israel safer.

Sometimes I get the impression that is what the Israeli "leadership" is seeking -- continued conflict to keep the industry of conflict going.

After all, if there is peace that means a settlement and compromises will have to be made. The Palestinians have agreed to a return to the 67 borders. Israel keeps finding an excuse not to negotiate.

The leadership of both sides provoke and are poisoned.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Bryan said...

Thunder and friends - here's another simple question to ponder: If Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, how in the world are they obligated to continue providing food, water, and electricity? In the past 3 and a half years, Hamas has devoted its total effort to hoarding weapons and launching rockets at Israel. This is an indisputable fact. Why has no one on this sight yelled and screamed about the real cause of food shortages, unemployment, and poverty in Gaza?
It's this same schizophrenic mentality that is dooming the Arab world in general. Countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia have over half the world's oil reserves but are spiralling towards famine, abject poverty, and civil war. Please explain it to me. And please come up with more creative arguments than: it's all the fault of the Americans and the Jews.
I'll give you a hint: The leaders of the Muslim world fall into two camps: a) superwealthy bums who have never worked a day in their lives (the Saudi Royal family) and b) dogsh!t fanatics like the Taliban and Ahmedinejad in Iran. Get some decent leadership for a change and you'll be amazed how fast the rest of the world will embrace you.

7:02 AM  
Blogger Edna said...

Bryan,

You forgot to mention that Israel has blockaded basic human essentials to the Palestinians. You also did not mention that Gaza is occupied by Israel even when there is a withdrawal. Basic essentials cannot be denied an entire population. A million and a half Palestinians have been denied food, water, electricity on a daily basis. Right now, more than 700 Palestinians have died as a result of the Israeli bombs and ground invasion. No child is safe anywhere in Gaza which is the most crowded place on earth. Remember too that many of the inhabitants of Gaza are displaced people who come from other now occupied areas of Palestine. Israel is an illegal entity built on stolen Palestinian land.

You mention that Hamas has devoted its total effort to hoarding weapons. From where does Hamas get weapons if the entire area is blockaded? How many Israelis have died since this latest Israeli onslaught against the Palestinians began? One, two, or three? Isn’t the death ratio of 700 to one a bit overwhelming to any decent person’s mind?

You mention corrupt Arab leaders. I am not an Arab, or Irani, or even from the Middle East. I am American and I can mention many corrupt American leaders. Let’s start with Bush first! What are we Americans doing about our corrupt leaders? By the way, the whole state of Israel is corrupt! I think we Americans should get some decent leadership for a change who would stop Israeli aggression against the Palestinian civilian population. We Americans think we have a democracy but in fact we do not.

American taxpayers pay billions of dollars every year to support the Israeli war state. What a shame? Imagine the good we could do if we used this money instead to feed the hungry and clothe the poor. Imagine how differently we would look to people around the world if indeed we did stand for justice, true democracy, and support the inalienable rights of all, especially the oppressed, especially the Palestinians!

5:30 AM  
Blogger Edna said...

Bryan,

You forgot to mention that Israel has blockaded basic human essentials to the Palestinians. You also did not mention that Gaza is occupied by Israel even when there is a withdrawal. Basic essentials cannot be denied an entire population. A million and a half Palestinians have been denied food, water, electricity on a daily basis. Right now, more than 700 Palestinians have died as a result of the Israeli bombs and ground invasion. No child is safe anywhere in Gaza which is the most crowded place on earth. Remember too that many of the inhabitants of Gaza are displaced people who come from other now occupied areas of Palestine. Israel is an illegal entity built on stolen Palestinian land.

You mention that Hamas has devoted its total effort to hoarding weapons. From where does Hamas get weapons if the entire area is blockaded? How many Israelis have died since this latest Israeli onslaught against the Palestinians began? One, two, or three? Isn’t the death ratio of 700 to one a bit overwhelming to any decent person’s mind?

You mention corrupt Arab leaders. I am not an Arab, or Irani, or even from the Middle East. I am American and I can mention many corrupt American leaders. Let’s start with Bush first! What are we Americans doing about our corrupt leaders? By the way, the whole state of Israel is corrupt! I think we Americans should get some decent leadership for a change who would stop Israeli aggression against the Palestinian civilian population. We Americans think we have a democracy but in fact we do not.

American taxpayers pay billions of dollars every year to support the Israeli war state. What a shame? Imagine the good we could do if we used this money instead to feed the hungry and clothe the poor. Imagine how differently we would look to people around the world if indeed we did stand for justice, true democracy, and support the inalienable rights of all, especially the oppressed, especially the Palestinians!

5:30 AM  
Blogger Bryan said...

Well, Edna. You tell me where Hamas is getting weapons from. Use logic: Through underground tunnels dug from Gaza to Egypt and probably some smuggled in by sea (Syria, Iran, etc.). I somehow doubt sophisticated rockets materialize out of thin air.
Second, Edna, you and 90% of the people on this site simply refuse to, or are incapable of, connecting cause and effect. If terrorists want to shoot rockets at innocent people, don't be surprised when the people getting shot at say enough's enough and retaliate. If you can't win a fight, don't start one in the first place. Am I being too logical right about now?

Finally, no one disputes that every political system has had incidents of scandal and corruption. The difference is vast; America does have a system of checks and balances with a track record infinitely better than the totalitarian regimes of the Middle East.
As I pointed out in my previous post, look at the so called "leaders" of the Muslim world today. Some are superwealthy bums who've never worked a day in their lives (think Saudi Arabia). Others are disturbed dictators whose sole goal is to cling to power until they die of old age or are ousted in a coup (think Musharraf in Pakistan or Kadafi in Libya). Yet others are simply unbridled fanatics like the Taliban in Afghanistan or Ahmadinejad and the ayatollahs in Iran.
Now can you understand why the Muslim world has done virtually nothing to help the Palestinians in the last 60 years?
Their leaders would rather squander oil revenue and foreign aid on buying weapons than on providing their own populations with food and clean water. And Hamas has followed this pattern to a t.
I hope this puts it into perspective for you, Edna and friends.

6:38 AM  
Blogger Edna said...

Bryan,

Well Bryan, please tell me where Israel gets its weapons from. I can tell you. Israel gets billions of dollars from American taxpayers. Israel is a war state and has one of the strongest military machines in the world. Gaza is an occupied territory under the mercy of a state without mercy.

You forgot to mention that prior to a Palestinian rocket that landed in the sand of an illegal Israeli settlement built on stolen Palestinian land, that Israel maintained an 18 month siege of Gaza where basic human needs were blockaded from the Palestinians. You blame a few Palestinian soldiers for building homemade rockets to defend themselves but you refuse to acknowledge the fact that hundreds of F-16s bomb the civilian population of Gaza. You speak of terror but bombing by air and an assault by land with armored tanks to the tune of fighter bombers and army helicopters overhead is the greatest form of terror. How many Palestinian babies have died because of this invasion and daily bombing? How many thousands more have been injured?

It is true that most of the Arab leaders are corrupt. If they were not, Israel as a criminal war state would not exist in the first place. Even now, if Arab leaders took some kind of united stand, the slaughter of innocent Palestinians could not continue. As for your system of checks and balances, Bush has done the greatest damage of any leader in modern times. He has destroyed our American economy. How man Americans can now afford insurance? How many of us have lost our jobs? How many of us too have no hope for a better future? How many Iraqis have lost their lives for WMD that never existed in the first place, and if we want to be really selfish, how many of our poor American soldiers have lost their lives, or even worse, come back home without limbs or suffered from mental disorders for the atrocities they have seen and committed?
Remember too that Bush’s fumbling and horrible choices have even affected global economies. Even now a new shipment worth another billion dollars is on its way to Israel.

I think 90% of the people of this site are very capable of understanding cause and effect. I think you are the one with the problem. You have made the oppressor the oppressed and the oppressed the oppressor! This is the trickery the Israeli war state performs on a daily basis. This is the same deceit that you are using. There is no way that more than 3000 Palestinian injured can be justified or the more than 800 dead overlooked. The Israelis in charge of this Molten Lead campaign which is in reality the genocide of the Palestinians, cannot wash the blood of the innocents from Israeli hands.
The real terrorists are the Israelis. This is a holocaust against an entire civilian population just because they happen to be Palestinian and because they refuse to leave what is left of their country to the usurpers of their rights.

7:58 PM  

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