By Fida Qishta – ISM co-ordinator in the Gaza Strip
Visit Fida’s blog here.
The situation has been exploited very cleverly by the Israeli Ministry of War. Yes, the Ministry of War. The soldiers who call themselves soldiers defending Israeli security are continuing a bloody history of war crimes against Palestinians, from 1932 until 2009. During the last two days when since ground incursion started, things have been unbelievable, hard to watch or to talk about.
When the Israeli army evacuated people from the city of Jabalya city, the people moved to UN schools. They thought it would be safe, but it wasn’t. An Israeli tank shells attacked them. 42 were killed, most of them children, and more than 95 were injured. That increased the total number of children and women victims, until this minute when I wrote this piece, to 665 killed. 215 of them were children, and 89 were women. And more than 2950 people were injured. The numbers will maybe help you see the truth.
The Abu Asha family is one of the families that decided to leave the northern Gaza Strip to be in what they imagined would be a safe place. They were moving to the town of Deir Al- Balah in the middle of the Gaza Strip. But on their way on the road along Gaza’s seacoast, Israeli gunboats attacked them, and all of them were killed. Seven members of the same family were killed. They thought that they would be in a safer place. But there is no safe place in the Gaza Strip, and no safety with these killers.
Many Palestinian paramedics have been killed. The last week six paramedics were killed and many injured. Most the fire stations have been attacked. Do these people or these stations represent Hamas? What’s happening in Gaza Strip is a war crime, and we need the honest people in the world to stop it.
These outrages, which have shocked the consciences of the world’s civilized nations, but they haven’t moved their governments. These governments hope to shape a new reality in Gaza and in Palestinian affairs.
The situation remains extremely tense. What is happening in Gaza Strip is the outcome of 14 years of failed consultation and negotiation. This is Israelis peace and the world’s democracy. I still don’t understand, if the world didn’t like Hamas as a Palestinian party, why did they accept their participation in Palestinian elections? When they won, the world didn’t like them. Why then did the UN send observers to monitor the elections? There are many questions in Gazans’ minds which lead them to believe that there is no democracy in this world, at least not from the USA not EU. Does the world call right-wing parties in the Middle East terrorist because they are Islamic Parties, and then accept Israelis right-wing and left-wing Israeli parties who are killing Palestinians now in Gaza?
A big deal has been made of the homemade rockets which hit the Sderot settlement which sits on Palestinian land stolen by these settlers in 1948 from Palestinians who then became refugees in nearby Gaza. And nobody paid attention to the children and women who were killed in Gaza when the world thought there was a truce. There was no truce because over 21 Palestinians were killed and over 70 injured by the Israelis army. Did you hear about them? I guess not. You just heard about the rockets that hit Sderot, especially the Israeli woman who was injured yesterday and the 42 year-old woman who was killed. No worries about Palestinians and Gazans.
The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate in the Gaza Strip. Over 80 children, 40 women and 250 total civilians have been killed. Most of these people were killed at home, or coming home from school or work. Humanitarian aid is still a big problem, including the lack of medicine and food. The Israeli government said that they opened the border crossings to let Palestinians travel to Egypt for medical treatment and for humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip. It’s like the wolf killing the sheep and then selling its leather. Why did they shoot them if they want them to be in good health? Why didn’t they stop the airstrikes before they killed and injured all these civilians? They tell the world that the food trucks enter the Gaza Strip. Do you know how many trucks? Do you know that the Gaza Strip is cut into two parts now by the Israeli army? That means that if the humanitarian aid gets through into Rafah, it will never reach Gaza City, because they cut the main road into two parts. It reminds me of the Abu Holy checkpoint which used to divide the Gaza Strip in two. My friends and I used to wait to go to our university for hours and hours. And at the end of the day we went back home, without attending any classes. Our only class was on how to wait.
My mother is sitting in the door of our house counting the drones and the F16s. I think that if I asked her to count the airstrikes she would do it. People here still joke sometimes. One of my friends sent me a text message that said:
Look outside, the F-16 smiling for you,
The missiles are dancing in front of you,
The Zanana (drone) is singing for you,
Because the Israeli nation requested them all to wish you a Happy New Year