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Gaza Tonight

One Hamas leader was killed yesterday when Israel bombed a car near the President’s home- picture from Al-Jazeera News

By Mona El-Farra
from From Gaza, With Love

It is 7am, June 28, 2006. This is an update in the morning from last night. It was very dangerous for me to reach the computer. The power was cut off. I stayed on the floor with my son and daughter. We didn’t sleep at all like all the residents in Gaza Strip. While trying to get some hours of sleep, we did not manage. The jet fighters sonic bombs started showering us. It is very loud and horrifying noise, they are continuing their attacks.

I contacted the hospital several times: no casualties yet. The operation is going on in different parts of the Gaza Strip, but it is focused in the south: Rafah. I have no idea about the casualties.

We are really surrounded with death and expect death all the time. The disengagement of the Israeli army last September left Gaza people facing their destiny alone, with the full control of the Israeli occupation army outside the Gaza borders. The disengagement and building of the wall in the West Bank, did not bring peace to Israelis.

It is 1:30am, June 28th. The operation against Gaza, is continuing. The Gaza Bridge has been destroyed. The jet fighters are still in the sky hitting many targets. The Gaza power plant was hit by at least 7 missiles. I can see a big fire from my window and hear the sirens of emergency vans. The gun boats started shelling too. I live by the beach.

It is 10.30pm. June 27th. I am writing while the jet fighters are in the sky, with their horrible sound, bringing death and horror. I am still like everyone: waiting. I will not go to bed tonight, most of us in Gaza will not. I prepared my emergency bag, left it next to the front door. The hospitals declared high emergency status, the medical facilities resources are exhausted, and limited due to the sanctions.

We experienced all sorts of Israeli aggression in the last few months and throughout the Intifada. Since Ehud Olmert took over the government 4 months ago, 85 Palestinians were killed, economical and political sanctions were imposed and people here in Gaza have nothing to lose. Maybe they have only their chains to lose; they are frustrated and do not anticipate or look forward for any hopeful horizon.

I hope Israel will not go ahead with their operation into Gaza, the outcome could be horrible, the resistance movement is going ahead with their preparation too, but the balance of power is obvious to which side, any way Israel with Palestinian resistance or no resistance is attacking us all the time, but this time will be different, and in the process many civilian lives will be lost. I am listening to the local radio. It seems that the operation started in Khanyunis, the artillery started shelling, under the cover of Apache helicopters and jet fighters. I am able to write now, but I do not know what will happen next- the power might cut off soon.

A few hours ago, Mohammed and Sondos (my dear kids, I pray for the safety of all the children of the world, including Israeli children) had a narrow escape during their way home; a car exploded 150 meters from my home, close to the president’s home. One person died and 4 injured, I cannot help feeling worried. I am, after all, a mother. I shall stay strong.

Tomorrow I am going to the Red Crescent society office. We are supposed to get some medications to be used at Alawda hospital for the emergency department that was stopped at the closed borders. I am hoping to get it through with the help of WHO. I am not sure if we shall receive them in time, but I shall keep trying. Alawda Hospital is inside Jabalia refugee camp. Two weeks ago, it received the Galia family children, who lost their parents during the beach incident. Alawda hospital medicine supplies are enough for one week of routine use. If the operation continues and the casualty numbers increase, a health disaster will follow. I am just warning, since I am a doctor. The airplane’s sound in the sky is getting louder. I shall keep writing, it is big relief for me.