Friday, January 20, 2006

Return of the Drones

It's late, but I can't sleep. Israeli drones are whirring inceasantly, forbodingly, overhead.

Mostly, I think, its an intimidation tactic, like the Sonic Booms (which have ceased over the past week, but which the Israeli High Court said the army could continue using last week). The drones are unmanned and often carry missiles, and are controlled remotely from some operation room, where army commanders can, in the privacy of their own barracks, view what's going in Gaza from above perhaps. You can' help but feel like some macho young Israeli soldier is getting a kick out of playing a real-life video game tonight; its our own sick Reality Show. "Smile Gaza, you are ALL on Army TV!".

You feel like the noise enters your brain after a while. Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...then it gets a little louder and more intense if the plane gets lower or focuses in on a target...WHIRRRRRRRRRRR...then dies down a bit rrrrrrrr. Like a very large, menacing mosquito, right above your head, but of course with more deadly consequences. You almost want that rocket to get launched somewhere just so the whirring will stop. Oh. Now there are two of them, or are they three?

They are particularly eery in the dead of night when the only other noises are an occasional car screaching past or late-night election poster-plasterers attempting to stick something up on our apartment building wall (all the cats were killed off accidentaly by the Municipality's rat poison last year). Well, back to bed I go, or so. I guess.


Blogger Yafiah Katherine Randall said...

Laila, I am also still awake, also on a Mediterranean coastline, but at the other end to you. There is no noise here except the humming of my laptop. What can I know of what it is like to be living under occupation but I feel a link to you, and your little son Yousef and I know that there is a noise here as well, that of the cry for justice in your ancient port.

2:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting that you mention the Israeli High Court allowing the use of sonic booms...I've never seen the use of suicide bombers or Gazan-launched missiles even brought before any sort of Gazan/Palestinian agency. I wonder what would happen to any Palestinian who said, "Hey, guys, I think this is violating some sort of international law"?

Probably be shot in the town square as a collaborator.

8:00 AM  
Blogger jarvenpa said...

I hope for you a time when what you hear is the singing of birds, and happy children playing, and people going about their peaceful business.
I lived as a young girl on a remote air force base in the desert (in the US) where they tested supersonic planes. Sonic booms all the time. Broken windows. Oddly, after three years I stopped jumping at the sound.

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is my first time here, but I am looking forward to hearing about your experiences.

11:59 AM  
Blogger ratttu said...

have they really killed all the cats in the whole strip?

8:41 PM  
Blogger Zak said...

Guess what drones are being used..against US allies like Pakistan as well...

1:50 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

As far as I can tell, yes Rattu! I haven't seen a street cat in a long long time.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Aisha said...

I am moved by your journal. I hear about these stories on the news but its not truly real until you hear it from a real live person there. You look so beautiful and just like any of my friends. It makes it more real when you can put a face behind it. Keep up your writing. May someone read it who will realizei.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lady, you can rest assured that the soldier looking at your neighborhood through the lens of the drone's camera has far more enjoyable things to watch when he is off duty, like the antics of a younger sibling, or a nephew, or a child of his own, and is only putting the hours in because there are people in your neighborhood striving their hardest to kill as many Israelis as they can, including those the soldier's loved ones.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shooting automatic rifles and burning cars to celebrate. Did Palestine just win the Super Bowl?

"Bye Mom, I'm going out to play with my friends. Have you seen my automatic rifle?"

hard to comprehend

7:11 PM  

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