Tuesday, April 11, 2006

And suddenly, the seams of childhood disappeared

Hadil Ghabin, 9 years old, was killed last night after an Israeli shell struck her family's home. 13 other members of her family were injured, including her pregnant mother, several toddlers, and her 15-year-old brother Ahmed, who lost his eye sight.

Hadil's mother was baking bread when the shells began to fall around them. She gathered her children and they huddled inside the house for safety.

According to her aunts, Hadil loved reading, writing stories, and playing "make-believe". "She would always gather all the neighbourhood children and tell them all sorts of wild stories," told me her Aunt.

And why not, for sometimes imagination is the only refuge we have here, the only realm that cannot be invaded. May she live the fairy tales she could only imagine during her short life. Photos and videos of the sad event (all mine):

Say to her, "My dear, my dear,
It is not so dreadful here."

Overcome with emotion, Hadil's mother collapsed when the body of her daughter, limp and expressionless, was brought to the house for a final farewell.

Hadil's 10-year-old brother Ahmed lost his sight in the attack.

"And suddenly, the seams of childhood

And the stories and dreams
flew away
like a kite"

Neighbours tried to comfort the grieving family, as they wept alongside them and threw fragrant basil flowers on her lifeless body before the burial.

One-year old Rawan comforts her other sister, Rana

Even as Hadil was being carried away, shells continued to pound the area, leaving billows of white smoke in the distance and an acrid smell lingering in the air.

The Israeli Army asserted today that despite the civlian deaths, which resulted from narrowing their range of attack, the shelling will continue.

The Ghabin household. The mother was baking bread when the shelling began, and gathered her children together in the living room when their house was hit.


Video one: A village mourns

Video two: the shelling of northern Gaza, not far from the Ghabin household and the farming village of Fa'dos, continues.


Blogger Hazem said...

this made me sad and speechless!

3:38 PM  
Blogger Fatima said...

la hawla wa la qwatta illa billah.

4:08 PM  
Blogger BHCh said...

Very, very sad.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is unimaginable to me how people who have been through this very same unconscionable kind of killing themselves (concentration camps, pogroms, etc.) can inflict the same on others. God help you all...and us. The world is desparate for His love and mercy.

My prayers are with all of you.


6:58 PM  
Blogger سامية جاهين said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a nightmare .. and you guys are right in the middle! It is most scandalous that the whole world sees what's going on ... and nobody bothers to do anything to help you!! All who are looking aside and shutting up should be ashamed of themselves and not be able to have one quiet moment anymore! Each time they try to get a rest, they should think of the shelling and gunfire and every time they look at their children playing happily, going to school and having wonderful dreams for the future, they should think of YOUR children!! Don't all children have the same right to a happy childhood, enough food and good education?? Children are children .. there is no difference! I am sending you all a lot of love and strength - may Allah bless and protect you all!

8:38 PM  
Blogger Khaled said...

Will any one tell what will the reaction of USA and the UN and UE if this girl was an israeli?
Allah yr7amha w y9abber ahelha, w y3een ahelna fe Falasteen.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Sophia said...

Laila, many thanks for your posts. I wish the entire world can read them and realize what is happening to the Palestinian people.

Take care

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't want more of this, STOP THE KASSAM ROCKETS. Or at least get the launchers to stop the disgusting practice of using civilians as cover.

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the last "anonymous" ... I have another idea - how about STOP THE OCCUPATION???

10:40 PM  
Blogger Moses said...

You know, I wondered how long it'd take for some anonymous someone to bang his knee on his chin.

That you can only fire up Zionist bot-response number 23 after seeing those heartbreaking photos is simply despicable.

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Laila..
..Coward to use children for war targets, creating fear in the Palestinian people...Certainly this the entire world is seeing!!Clearly that it could not be unpunished...

11:17 PM  
Blogger سامية جاهين said...

If you had a real cause Mr. anonymous... you wouldn't be afraid to reveal your name, now would you! Not only are you a coward, but you're ignorant, too.

I have to thank Hazem for mentioning this post on elshare3.blogspot.com. I feel so lucky to have found your blog, Laila. Please keep up the good work.

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To whoever wrote this:

"No, abu shaarmuta, what is despicable is that you morons think you can launch rockets at our kids and not face the consequences"

YOU ARE DESPICABLE!!! what goes around comes around, there is a special place in hell for people like you that cannot see the innocent children getting hurt in this mess

5:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:32 AM  
Blogger jarvenpa said...

I have no words.

I wish I could hold and protect all the little ones, all their families.

Your photos are very powerful. I will print them out and post them in my bookstore window.

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laila, I very much appreciate your blog. I think everyone who supports Israel should read your accounts to find out what life is like in Gaza, and I say that as someone who supports Israel herself. The stories you provide are something just impossible to get from news reports cos they show human beings, real feelings, real joy and tears....something reporters don't tend to do very succesfully even if they try (and I say that as a journalist too).

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to express my solidarity. This is wrong.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, the US could give in to foreign extremists, give in to the demands of these so-called 'terrorists' - which is to leave them and their community alone to live their lives in peace and quiet free from US and western interference!

It reminds me of official Israeli excuses that no negotiations will take place with Palestinians about illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine until resistence by Palestinians to the illegal occupation comes to an end - Orwell and Kafka come to mind here for some reason!

As the great Francis A. Boyle says in his brilliant little book 'Palestine, Palestinians and International Law' (he helped the PLO navigate towards the Palestinian declaration of national indepedence in 1988!) all that is required for a proper meaningful peace process to take place between Palestinians and Israelis is for the US government to step aside and stop preventing it !

(I posted this at blog earlier but thought it might be appropriate here)

My thoughts are with Gaza and its long-suffering brave people - a light to us all!


2:19 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Anon 3:12:

If it wasn't obvious already, that commentator was some sicko masquerading as some perverse interpretation of a "Palestinian" or Hamas member or something. After I deleted one of his posts, he showed up again under a different name with worst posts, so I have re-activated comments moderation for now.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm so sorry.

It breaks my heart that on top of coming to your blog and reading your entries and seeing images of this family, ANOTHER family, in mourning for their child's life, their child's eyesight, the injuries to the little ones and the rest of the family -- it absolutely breaks my heart to read comments left by people reflecting anything but the utmost sympathy for these grieving people.

It should not matter whose "side" of this tragic conflict that a person is on as to whether or not they can empathize with the suffering that they see here.

Once again, I am left asking -- what is wrong with some people?

I've re-posted some of your blog entries in my new myspace blog as I've retired Ninanthedog (and am now just myself because I have more liberty that way). Please let me know if reposting your entries (with links, of course) is not okay...but I hope it is.

My thoughts are always with you and everyone in Gaza.

Best wishes and be safe,
with love

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya Haram, may god have mercy on her soul. The children need all the support & love that can be given to them.


6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologies for my naff formatting a few comments up - but the link still works though -

Always yours and thinking of Gaza and its great People


8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To whoever wrote .."No, abu shaarmuta, what is despicable is that you morons think you can launch rockets at our kids and not face the consequences"!

Let be break something to you: you are so disgusting and low - you're real scum!! If you would use your brain for what GOD gave it to you, you'd be able to figure out that the core of the whole problem - is the occupation! Imagine yourself to be occupied, bombarded and shelled at random, shot at, terrorized 24/7, locked up, starved, humiliated, scared sick something might happen to your children - how would you feel??? I hope you fanatism, hatred and bottomless arrogance will lead one day to a situation in which YOU will feel the same ... just remember: what goes around, comes around! I wouldn't want to be in your shoes by then ...
Laila, my heart gots out to these children and parents .. I feel with them and wish to GOD, I could do anything to help! Stay strong and rest assured, there are people all over supporting you!!

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob Scott, 26, Liverpool UK.

Dear Laila and Yousuf,

The person who said "if you don't want more of this then stop the Kassam rockets" seems to be saying, "it's your own fault".

I'm sitting here in my room in Liverpool, England, I have the telly on in the background and I'm typing this on my computer that is connected to broadband internet. Whenever I see Gaza on the news it is always "This happened in Gaza today by the Israelis retaliating for this atrocity by Palestinian terrorists in Israel" ahh the good old BBC. The last bastion of accuracy in the West. Right, yeah. I'm off work with depression, and I sometimes find myself wallowing in self pity, but then I read the news on Whatreallyhappened and suddenly everything is put into perspective; I am lucky. Very lucky indeed.

Last night I watched a documentary about a Anglican woman priest who lost her daughter in the 7/7 bombings in London. She was talking of how it has affected her faith, and how she found it nearly impossible to forgive the person who committed that atrocity. She has been led to believe that it was a 29 year old schoolteacher from Yorkshire, a radical islamic scholar, who committed that particular atrocity, but was it? Everything I have read about 7/7 shows that there was complicity by the authorities and possibly Israeli involvement. This lady was one of many people all across the world who lose their children to sectarian violence every single day.

I feel partly responsible for the death of this 9 year old girl. After all, it was my country's Balfour Declaration that paved the way for the creation of the Rothschild's Israel, and my country has had blood on its hands ever since, as Israel, forgetting its own people's experiences in Germany and Poland, decided that it was OK to class Palestinians as second class citizens, much as the Nazis did with Jews. I suppose one difference is at least the Jews' suffering was brief.

My own country's Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, recently denounced the Hamas government as terrorists, despite Israel being both the bigger party, and the aggressor. I don't understand why the west thinks that this attitude is OK.

I just want you both to know that if the whole world really knew what was happening in Gaza, with the shellings, the sonic booms, the starvation, and the blatant infringement of human rights and international law by the Israelis, then it would be on your side. The fact is that the mainstream media is largely controlled by Zionist interests, and this means that what they would like us to think is that every muslim on the planet is a terrorist suspect. Sadly many do, hence the crappy response to events like this little girl's death. The West seems to think that the death of anyone from a developing country is not as big a tragedy as the death of someone from a 'civilized' country like Israel or the UK, hence why that despicable person above alluded to the idea that 'you brought it on yourselves'. They should do their history lessons.

Israel may have a biblical claim to the land of its forefathers, but the treament of the Palestinians will go down as the longest running apartheid in the history of the world, and will forever be a blot on the Jewish copy book, and if some people try in vain to stop themselves from being oppressed in the way they are being, then they are labelled the terrorists. Go figure. Israel are the biggest terrorists in the world, and I know that just from sitting in this chair.

My heart and soul goes out to the little girl's family and I pray every day for the end of the suffering of the Palestinians. Keep the faith. ;-)

11:53 PM  
Blogger Peter Shea said...

Hi Laila,

This may not be a good time given the tragedy you reported, but I was wondering if you get access to Thomas Friedman's articles at the New York Time. The NYT reserves their columnists for subscribers (of which I am one) but I get to e-mail the reserved articles. I can send you copies of his articles on the Palestinan/Israeli conflict. As a journalist, you probably know Friedman and how influential he is among the U.S. public and policy makers.

3:38 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

كدأب الغزاة دوما .... سيرحلون

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob Scott,

Very well put!! I commend you on your insight.


7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very sad. It is bad enough when innocent adults get caught up in this. When children have to suffer and die from what Israel is doing is hard to swallow. Those that seem to turn their back when Israel makes the attacks are just as guilty. It is time for the world to stand up for the Palistians. I will say the media in the West have not given the true picture as to what is really going on. My heart goes out to you and your fellow Palistians. I am going to put a link on my blog so maybe more will read what you say and learn the truth about what is happening. You have a great blog. keep on posting for others to see.

9:48 AM  
Blogger buster said...

this is my first visit on this blog.reading the posts and comments, im speechless.al-Fatihah for Hadil Ghabin

1:19 AM  
Blogger Norma Kassim PhD said...

my prayers with all..how could I ever complaint abt my life?

6:46 AM  
Blogger brian said...

How can this be happening in the 21st century? We haven't gotten smarter, our weapons have just gotten more lethal. Hopefully one day the world will realize that NOTHING is worth killing children for.

4:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob Scot
Israel is not Rotchild Israel. It's Israel. The Rotschilds played a minor part in the history of Zionism. It's not their brand.

If you want to know what I think, the British Government contribution to the conflict was far more destructive in 1948, when they packed up and left behind them a civil war.

Keep the holocaust out of this, will ya? What's happening in Israel/Palestine is bad enough, but any comparison and reference to the holocaust is not going to help the discussion. It's just going to alieante people like myself, whose families were muredered in Poland 60 years ago. I am equally critical of Israeli use of the holocaust to justify Israeli policies. I just think it's a device to get everybody's blood pressure up, not a way to promote dialog.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Honestly, what would you have Israel do about the rockets coming from Gaza? I often read Palestinian viewpoints (including yours) that if only Israel would stop the controlling the Gaza border and allow free flow of trade and people, the rockets would stop and Israel would have nothing to fear.

These claims seem to come from someone who has an unrealistic picture of the behavior and intentions of their own people. The evidence suggests that the rockets would continue regardless. They are a result of both the desire of different Palestinian militant groups to "prove" themselves, and they stem also from the viewpoint of many Palestinians that any Jewish political presence in ex-Palestine is illegitimate.

While I don't share that viewpoint, I understand and respect it. But these rockets are being launched at civilian homes and facilities in Israel, not the army or government. It is completely obvious and natural that Israel will fire back at the launching grounds, including those which are close to (or in) civilian neighborhoods.

Of course the Israeli attacks will do more damage than the Palestinian ones - because Israel is far stronger militarily and has complete control of the skies. But that doesn't mean the response is illegitimate. The comment above that "Interesting how they can claim self defense when no Israelis have been killed. 16 Palestinians in four days, not one Israeli dead" illustrates this fallacious mindset. The number of casualties does not determine whether military action is legitimate - otherwise you could make the same claim regarding Allied action against Germany in World War II.

If you are the far weaker side in a conflict, it is the height of stupidity to attempt to beat your adversary using military action. If Palestinian militant groups (unhindered by the Palestinian government) address their grievances through violence, they will receive the same in return. It is disingenuous and absurd to expect otherwise.


6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know why, but this blog was linked from www.indymedia.org.uk. We all know there is enourmous suffering around the world, but I think the way forward is to recognise each other as human beings. The Kadima plan is to seperate the territories and let the whole thing cool off. Let's focus on the positive, please.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

well Ben probably because the videos linked to this post were uploaded on to DC Indymedia...

The "Kadima" Plan is about maximum control, minimum responsinblity. It is no about peace. IT will divide the West Bank from Gaza (already has), and annex large tracts of palestinian land in the West Bank.

Such solutions are unsustinable because they are unjust.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a lot of unjust in the world but you'll never improve your life if you always focus on "justice". Move on. Of course the WB and Gaza are separated, eventually, a tunnel will be built to connect the two areas. I don't think peace is the main issue nowadays--separation and security are. Israel has the upper hand here as hard as that is to swallow--who cares though. Take what you can get, build upon it, create a social society and in another 50-100 years we'll talk about peace. Here is something I always wonder about: is there any disscussion ever among Palestinians of regret of not having accepted the partition of 1948? Seems to me, you are begging to just get that nowadays and looks like you'll get a few percentage of 100 square meters of land less now. Was it worth it to spend all this time in misery and at the end of the day, you'll get maybe what you could have had 60 years ago?

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

laila, was it unjust to kill 9 people and wound 65 by whoever claims responsibility this time? Is Hamas going to play the same game that Arafat played, saying something in Arabic which is contrary to the English statement? Are you going to send Yusuf to Hamas-Jihad-training school?

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see my own baby in the face of this beautiful, destroyed child. Oh God, oh God, why?

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both sides claim that God is on their side. Do any of you think that God supports either side in all this senseless bloodshed?
Let us look forward to the fulfillment of Daniel 2:44: "And in the days of those (worldly)kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite."
Let us wait peacefully for God's appointed one to come and crush all the corrupt worldly governments, yours and mine, and set up a righteous one the will put an end to violence forever!! Resist the temptation to fight!! Let God destroy the governments of Isreal, Palestine, the U.S. and all other governments so that the "meek can inherit the earth".

3:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This put me in tears..
Allah Yer7mha ow Ye'3md Roo7 El Shaheeda Hadil el Janeh. Inshalla Betkoon 7oor min 7oor el Janeh.
This is a painful tragedy for everyone who knew Hadil, and all Arab Muslim nations…
May Allah give her family the strength and patiences to go on.

What people around the world became Immune to such scenery? Shame on ZIONISTS!!

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This really touched my heart that it even led me to post a comment. Coming from the western (US) part of the world it's so awful and sadden to see this happen to anyone no matter what heritage/ religion, etc.. you are from.

May God bless you all.

6:39 AM  

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