Saturday, January 17, 2009

The children of Israel's war, and a "seize" fire

My mother-a pediatrician- spent the day yesterday visiting the child victims of Israel's war on Gaza. She distributed some toys bought with donations to try and bring some smile to their destroyed lives.

My father took these pictures of the children, as well as of ambulances hit by Israeli shells and shrapnel.

They spent what they told me was the most terrorizing night of the past two weeks yesterday- missiles destroying buildings around their house, lighting apartments and towers on fire.

He sent me a brief email around dawn, in terrifying clarity it read:

Loved ones :
I thought to take few moments on the generator to write this email to you, It might be our last communication. The Israeli army has been heavily bombarding everything in GAZA now. They escalated their attack intensively after 4 AM. Tal El-Hawa is on fire ( I will attach photos that I took of smoke from burning buildings), they just fired a missile on one apartment in a huge apartment building in front of our house ( Borj Al-Shorook) I guess Laila knows it. Phosphorus bombs now are fired everywhere on houses and on people. UNRWA's main stores in GAZA were hit.
Hundreds of people are trapped in burning buildings in Tal El-Hawa and Al-Sabra and everywhere in GAZA. It is clear now that these people decided now to finish everyone and everything in GAZA strip. I still have faith in Allah.

This late evening as I write this post, and we hear word of Israel unilaterally ending its offensive- on its own terms-a sinister action in the cloak of benevolence; such a ceasefire (or "seize fire" as an Israeli journalist friend of mine unintentionally put it) would allow the suffocating siege of Gaza to stay in play, and allow the occupation army to re-enter and re-attack at any moment of their choosing. There is also word of a curious Israel and US signing an agreement to help Egypt end "smuggling on Gaza's border" without any involvement of the people who the border surrounds (not to mention the solar technology already exists for spotting the tunnels; or the fact that new tunnels will continue to pop up as a gateway to the outside world and a means of subsistence for the people of Gaza as long as the siege is in place and Gazais blockaded).

And as the dust settles and death-drenched streets quiver back to life, it remains to be asked: what has this accomplished exactly? Do Israel's feel safer now, knowing they have eliminated over a thousand Palestinian lives; maimed tens of thousands; and destroyed the rest?

Medics also say a woman and child have been killed in (another) Israeli raid on UN-run school in thte northern Gaza Strip. Eleven other people are wounded. But who's to stop them?

Earlier, in Jabaliya, a mother and her 5 children- all under the age of 13- were completely eliminated as they huddled together for shelter. THese are the victims of Israel's question for a new equation. They are the factors that are included in the calculation. Very clinical, very clean, very defensive.

And here, an account of a family whose son was killed while they enjoyed a brief respite from the onslaught- only to be sniped to death and used for target practice by Israeli soldiers.


Blogger shunradan said...

I rarely comment on blogs, but I have been reading your posts for a while. Sources for the human dimension of this slaughter, beyond the sheer numbers, are invaluable and much needed.

Do you have a list of charities that are able to get material through the blockade? Ways to help people like your mother? Perhaps you can dedicate a post to it...

Thank you, and be strong.


7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very great blog you have here and I will read it a lot.
Im looking at the net to fint alternative reports from Gaza, I dont belive that information they send here from CNN, they only wants us to se what they think we should se.
Im more interested to se whats hapen to the palestinians in Gaza and this blog is very good reading and I will continue to read it.
Im sitting in Sweden and follow whats happend in Gaza, and we are lots of people here who thinks and work for you, the way we can here in the north.
We never forget you

9:44 AM  
Blogger Anne Vis said...

Thanks for sharing the stories and pictures, Laila. The truth needs to be out in the open for all to see. Wishing you, your family and the people of Palestine strength and light ...

12:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I feel with your pain at this hard time for you and your people. I hope that majority of the people will work for a better future for people of Palestine.


1:09 PM  
Blogger -Inner Peace- said...

Ι'm shocked all these days....and every day more than the day before....The Greek doctors ,who finally got through the Egypt borders and are surgering at Rafa's hospital,said that we haven't seen anything....The poor Palestinians are in a terrible terrible situation,the humanitarian disaster is something they can't discribe with words,they said that the had been lots of times in Gaza ,again and again years ago,but this situation is undiscribeable.
I don't have words...

1:21 PM  
Blogger said...

Laila, can you provide a good link for relief donations?

2:52 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I found your blog on MSNBC. It is captivationg and the reports from Gaza are heartwrenching. I wish I could say or do something to help. I am not muslim, nor Jewish, nor Palestinian. I am a christian American of German descent. Most important, I am a human being with a deep compassion for all human beings and profoundly disbelieve in the use of violence to assert one's beliefs. I so wish the very best of life to you and your family.

Gigi White
Washington State, USA

2:59 PM  
Blogger nina said...

Dear laila,
I'm glad if this massacre is over. I'm glad your family and friends are okay.
But it gives me chill down my spine. Gaza is back where it started, isn't it? Under siege, under oppression, under attack on daily basis...
Plus now they have 1200 bodies to be buried, 5000 wounded to be healed, and cities to be rebuilt. What kind of peace we can achieve from that?
Congratulations, Israel. Salute for your everwhelming victory over unarmed children and women of Gaza.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Smilius said...

Looking for some Gaza voices on web, i found your blog. every days i come here, expecting to find some way out of this conflict. is with tears in my eyes that i read all the testemonials in ground. i'm writing from Portugal, where i don't see anyone concern about it. i don't understand how the world allows israel to kill all these people in name of their safety... how can they be thinking their achieving their goals?? worse, how is it possible to other countries to believe in that?? there is no excuse, they are trying to eliminate everyone in that land, and so far, nobody cares... i'm so shamed for that... i wish the best for everyone who's suffering physical and psicological torture in the hands of the 'chosen people'. Susana V.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Halla said...

Daniel, I made a donation to the red crescent/cross. Thats a good charity.,0,4395549.story

9:24 PM  
Blogger Marcos Diarios said...

Dear Laila,

Please, a message from GAZA Blogger Sameh Habeeb:
"I am writing to make a request for a good friend from Gaza (Amer Shurrab, UWCAD '01--03, Middlebury College '08.5). He just found out his father and two brothers were attacked while returning home from their farm during the 3-hr ceasefire. One brother (Kassab Shurrab) died, but the father (Mohammed Shurrab -64) and the remaining brother (Ibrahim-17) are now wounded and stranded in an Israeli Defense Force (IDF) controlled area. It's been 16 hours and emergency services are unable to reach them. The ambulances cannot travel there without permission from the IDF, and local aid groups claim that soldiers are blocking their access.

We have spoken with the local Red Cross in Khan Yunis and they have been trying to get the IDF's permission to get to the family, but have not been allowed. What we are asking, is if you could help by using any of your contacts (in the area and/or region, with NGOs, HR groups,media, etc), to bring attention and pressure in order to get permission for the ambulances to save two lives. We are very desperate and trying as many avenues as possible to help aid reach them. If you know even a foot soldier who might be able to push the ball by calling a local commander we would really appreciate any help."
Day 22 of Israeli War On Gaza

9:29 PM  
Blogger Soughtout said...

Daniel. You may want to consider donating through the International Red Cross at:


Or the Palestinian Children's Relief Fund at:

To Laila

There are millions of people worldwide who are with you and the members of our human family in Gaza and the West Bank. Thank you for being strong. You, your family and the people of Gaza are in my prayers.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My prayers are with you and yours.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Moses said...

Another way to help is The Middle East Children's Alliance:

I believe they have direct connections with Dr. Mona El Farrah as well as Fida Qishta in Rafah.

Moses (Abu Shaar)

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I checked the link. heartbreaking story.

someone there(link) was already deeming this article as mere false propoganda.

Oh well, since they stopped dropping bombs and as of now.

I hope things will get more peaceful from now on.

I'll keep praying, thank you for all your work Laila, Jazak allahu 5airan.


6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found your blog through I have appreciated reading it and seeing more than is available on mainstream media. I'll be praying for the well-being of your family

7:35 AM  
Blogger Renee said...

God bless your mother and father for doing what they can.

I felt sick when your Dad had to write you the email and say it may be his last.

God Bless them all.



6:37 AM  

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