Gaza Stories

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Gaza Stories


Throughout the 21-day war, Abu al-Aish has brought accounts of war's tragedy to Israeli living rooms, making him for many the voice of Palestinian suffering.

During the broadcasts, Abu al-Aish also often spoke of his fears for his eight children as Israeli shells punished not only the Hamas militants they were targeting but civilians who live in the crowded enclave. His wife reportedly died recently of cancer.

When Channel 10 called him on Friday, he answered his cell phone crying that his house in the northern Gaza strip town of Jebalia had been hit by Israeli shells and his daughters killed. Eighteen members of his extended family were in the house at the time.

Palestinian doctor who gave war dispatches to Israeli TV reports 3 daughters' deaths


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As we drove slowly around the area, we heard women's cries for help. We approached their house on foot, followed by the ambulances, and as we came to the threshold of their home, they rushed towards us with their children, shaking and crying with shock. At the door of the house, the ambulance lights exposed the bodies of four men, lacerated by shrapnel wounds -- the skull and brains of one exposed, others whose limbs had been severed off. The four were the husbands and brothers of the women, who had ventured out to search for bread and food for their families. Their bodies were still warm as we struggled to carry them on stretchers over the uneven ground, their blood staining the earth and our clothes. As we prepared to leave the area, our torches illuminated the slumped figure of another man, his abdomen and chest shredded by shrapnel. With no space in the other ambulances, and the imminent possibility of sniper fire, we were forced to take his body in the back of the ambulance carrying the women and children. One of the little girls stared at me before coming into my arms and telling me her name -- Fidaa', which means to sacrifice. She stared at the body bag, asking when he would wake up.

Still Breathing: A Report from Gaza

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One of the nurses said to me that the nurses and paramedics were
horrified by what they were seeing. "We deal with cases all the time,"
she said. "But what we're seeing these days we've never seen before or

Upstairs a professor of economics, accompanying his
brother, sees me staring at my notes and says: "Exaggerate. Whatever
you write will not be as bad as the truth."

In the silence that followed someone put a mobile in my hand.

On a rubble-strewn street lay the body of a roasted and charred child.
Two bones were sticking out where her thighs had been. "The dogs ate
her legs," he explains. For a moment I put a hand over my eyes. The
phone goes round the table, each man gravely contemplating the burned
child on the screen. Then someone asks: "What will it take to make the
Israelis stop?"

The Palestinians say: 'This is a war of extermination'


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[quoteOne family buried a slain son over his grandfather. Another bundled up the tiny bodies of three young cousins and lowered them into the grave of a long-dead aunt. A man was laid to rest with his brother.

More than two weeks into the Israeli offensive that has killed more than 940 Palestinians, Gazans are struggling to find places to bury their dead. Cemeteries throughout Gaza City that were closed for new burials have now reopened.

"Gaza is all a graveyard," gravedigger Salman Omar[/quote]

Gazans seek new places to bury the dead


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At least three Palestinians in Gaza were shot dead yesterday after Israeli soldiers fired on a group of residents leaving their homes on orders from the military and waving white flags, according to testimony taken by the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem. The testimony was rejected by the military after what it said was a preliminary investigation.


Gaza: Residents waving white flags 'shot dead as they flee their homes'

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Israeli warplanes have attacked two fully equipped medical clinics in Gaza, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage, the Christian organisations which fund them reported yesterday. The Catholic relief group Caritas said its clinic in the al-Meghazi area of Gaza had been "completely destroyed" by a missile on Friday, and that 20 nearby homes had been damaged. Because local families had already fled their homes, no one was hurt, Caritas said, but equipment worth $10,000 (£6,700) was lost.

Twenty-fours later, another clinic funded by Christian Aid was also demolished in an air strike; it followed a telephone warning to the building's owners to leave within 15 minutes. Janet Symes, Christian Aid's head of Middle East Region, said the clinic had "standing room" only for mothers bringing their children for check-ups when she visited it last year. She added: "Now the whole clinic lies in ruins."


Gaza clinics destroyed by raids



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Dr Tarazi couldn't have it any other way; when crises hit Gaza he has always needed to be in the surgical room of the Shifaa Hospital, the Gaza Strip's largest hospital. Under heavy Israeli fire at the border, the Christian doctor and his family managed to make it back to their home. Despite over 20 years of working in Gaza's hospitals nothing could prepare him for what he was to witness.

"What is taking place here is a massacre, more than a massacre," the doctor told Daily News Egypt, "The Israeli military is attacking us from air, land and sea, we have no where to go."

Almost all the patients he had seen that day had been civilians, mostly children and women. Some of the injuries he treated had a strange odor, a kind that he had never witnessed before.

What is taking place here is a massacre, says Gaza doctor


martin dufresne

I just sent this whole thread to Jack Layton in response to his non-statement.

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Is this a new non-statement, or one of the previous ones?

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About 500 people including patients were huddled in a Gaza City hospital that suffered a "direct hit" in an Israeli air strike Thursday, the international Red Cross said, condemning the incident as unacceptable.

In an unusually sharply-worded statement, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said that the situation in Gaza was "completely and utterly unacceptable based on every known standard of international law and universal humanitarian principles and values."

The second floor of the Al-Quds hospital immediately caught fire in the strike on Thursday morning, severely damaging the pharmacy and parts of the building.

The blaze was put out by fire engines that rushed to the scene escorted by the Red Cross.

However, 500 people were still inside by mid-afternoon, "huddled on the ground floor ... in fear for their lives and choking on dust and fumes," according to the Federation.

500 huddled inside Gaza hospital after Israeli strike: Red Cross

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The humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is "shocking", the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross said after a visit to a
hospital in the embattled territory.

"I saw this dramatic humanitarian situation. There's an increasing
number of women and children being wounded and going to hospitals,"
Jakob Kellenberger told reporters in Jerusalem.

"It is shocking. It hurts when you see these wounded people and the
types of wounds they have. And I think that in addition the number of
people coming to these hospitals is increasing," he said.


Red Cross says Gaza humanitarian situation 'shocking'

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At the beginning of July this year, the Egyptian authorities agreed
to re-open the Rafah Crossing for three days for humanitarian cases to
enter and leave Gaza. Nevin fought her way through the crowds surging
to the border, and finally crossed into Gaza on 3 July.

‘I had been away for three years, and the change was shocking’ she
says. ‘I didn’t even recognise the way back to my own house – there had
been so much destruction since I left. It was wonderful to go home, but
our land had also been bulldozed. I really didn’t expect the situation
to be so bad.’ She knew that leaving Gaza would probably be very
difficult, so she began making enquiries within a week. She needed to
be back in the US at the end of August in order to start her second
year at St Lawrence.

When rumours started circulating that Rafah would open for the two
days before Ramadan, she went straight to nearby Khan Yunis to wait to
board one of the Egypt-bound buses. After two days she was allowed on
board and the bus joined the queue at Rafah. ‘My passport was stamped
[at Rafah] by the Palestinian officials, and I really thought we would
cross’ she says, ‘but after waiting in the bus for four hours, stuck
between Gaza and Egypt, the driver was ordered to turn the bus around
and drive back to Gaza, because no else could cross. People were crying
and screaming all the way back’.


Narratives Under Siege: Deadline Looms For Another Student Trapped Inside Gaza

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Rawiya Ayad lay in a bed on the ground floor of Gaza City's Shifa Hospital on Tuesday, connected to a respirator. A bandage covered her head, and dried blood scarred her face. Shrapnel from an Israeli airstrike was embedded in her brain, poisoning her blood. She was in a coma.

The hospital had no antibiotics to prevent her slow death. There was a shortage of electricity, too. So if the generator malfunctioned, Ayad's respirator would shut off and she could be dead within two hours. There were no skilled neurosurgeons. The eight-hour drive to get treatment in Egypt could kill her. Because of the cordon around the Gaza Strip, it was unclear whether she could make it to medical care in Israel.

"I have a feeling there's no way I can help her," said Fawzi Nabulsia, 57, director of the intensive care unit.


Hospital in Gaza City Engulfed by Suffering


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In an escalation of the ground offensive in the south of the Gaza
Strip, Israeli forces terrorised the population of Khoza'a, a small
rural community east of Khan Younis. They entered the area at about
3.00am on the morning of Tuesday 13th January in an incursion lasting
until Tuesday evening. This follows heavy missile strikes on Khoza'a in
recent days, notably on Saturday 10th January.

According to a local municipality official, approximately 50 homes were bulldozed along with farmland, olive and citrus groves. The scent of lemons could faintly be determined whilst navigating the wreckage, emanating from so many mangled trees. A family explained how their home was demolished
with them inside it. They sheltered in the basement as the upper
storeys were destroyed. Later they realised the basement itself was
being attacked and narrowly missed being crushed to death by escaping
through a small hole in the debris.

Iman Al-Najar was with her family in their home when military D-9 bulldozers began to demolish it. They managed to escape and Iman then encouraged some of her neighbours to try to leave the vicinity. The group of women were instructed by Israeli soldiers to leave by a particular street. They had children
with them and carried white flags, yet when they reached the street
Israeli special forces concealed in a building opened fire on them and
shot 50 year-old Rowhiya Al-Najar. The other women desperately tried to
rescue her but the gunfire was too heavy and they had to flee for their
lives. An ambulance was also prevented from reaching her and she bled
to death in the street.



"It was the hardest day of our lives"



I've sent the thread to Michael Ignatieff.  According to his speech which is referenced on the Rabble Home Page, he disagrees that there are terrible things occuring in Gaza.  Come to think of it, this thread, plus Iggy's youtube speech should be sent to every Liberal and NDP MP, coalition partners in waiting. 


Israeli operation Cast Lead(June 2008 since ceasefire with Hamas) "Guns&Butter" KPFA Radio Berkeley

- broader plan of invasion of Palestine and expelling or killing military leadership

- expulsion of Palestinians

- life should be made impossible for Palestinians and encouraged to emigrate

- US condemned Israeli plan to assassinate Arafat

- intentions were to undermine secular Palestinian authority and support Hamas and destroy political fabric of Palestine

- election of Hamas was staged following death of Arafat, and after evacuation of Jewish settlements in Gaza

- in 2005 Ariel Sharon ordered removal and relocation of over 7000 settlements but not to please Palestinians. It was part of a project to create a concentration camp situation - barricade Gaza and create a Warsaw Ghetto-like situation making life impossible. Killing women and children today who'ev sought refuge in public buildings

- gas fields discovered in the year 2000 by an exploration project of PA under Arafat, British Gas Group granted joint rights

- ownership of gas fields challenged by Sharon govt and Israeli supreme court,

- British Gas dealing behind scenes w Israeli govt - negotiations fell flat bc Israel govt insisted Hamas and Palestinians should rx no royalties or money whatsoever

- Chossudovsky believes Israel will try to confiscate gas fields as an objective of this invasion, now or later - An offshore area of sign. value

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"We will not return to our house unless there is an Israeli-Palestinian agreement and a complete stop to the war," the 56-year-old woman says.

"The Jews struck our house, they killed my son and they wounded my husband," she says. "I won't return because I am scared for the rest of my children."

The school provides some safety, but not enough, as Latifa and others discovered earlier Saturday when Israeli munitions rained down on the building, setting parts of it alight and terrifying the 1,600 people sheltering there.

Two young boys, one five years old and the other seven, were killed in the attack, which wounded a dozen other people including their mother, whose legs were blown off and who is now in critical condition, according to medics.


Displaced Gazans have little faith in Israeli ceasefire


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Israel stands accused of perpetrating a series of war crimes during a sustained 12-hour assault on a village in southern Gaza last week in which 14 people died.

In testimony collected from residents of the village of Khuza'a by the Observer, it is claimed that Israeli soldiers entering the village:

• attempted to bulldoze houses with civilians inside;

• killed civilians trying to escape under the protection of white flags;

• opened fire on an ambulance attempting to reach the wounded;

• used indiscriminate force in a civilian area and fired white phosphorus shells.

If the allegations are upheld, all the incidents would constitute breaches of the Geneva conventions.


Israel accused of war crimes over 12-hour assault on Gaza village


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For Palestinians searching the rubble of this devastated refugee camp, the mounds of concrete and metal hid all they desperately wanted and needed: the bodies of dead relatives, belongings and - bitterly - scraps of bombs now valuable enough to sell as recycled aluminum.

Destruction was everywhere on Sunday, in churned up farmland, dangling electricity poles, charred bodies of cars abandoned on pulverized roads, and broken pipes overflowing with sewage. The stench of rotting corpses, both human and animal, hung in the air.

Gazans dig bodies from rubble


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According to the Palestinian Statistics Bureau, some 4,000 residential buildings were reduced to rubble during the conflict. Western diplomats have said it could cost at least $1.6 billion to repair the infrastructure damage in Gaza.

"I don't know what sort of future I have now -- only God knows my future after this," said Amani Kurdi, a 19-year-old student, as she surveyed the wreckage of Gaza's Islamic University, where she had studied science.


Perhaps the wealthy western defenders of 'academic freedom' can answer her.



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"Initially everything seems in order... but they will present within one to five hours with an acute abdomen which looks like appendicitus but it turns out on operation that dozens of miniature particles can be found in all of their organs," he said.

"It seems to be some sort of explosive or shell that disperses tiny particles at around 1x1 or 2x1 millimetres that penetrate all organs, these miniature injuries, you are not able to attack them surgically."

The doctors said many patients succomb to septicaemia and die within 24 hours.

Outcry over weapons used in Gaza 

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More than 70 members of his family crowded into one apartment for days. On Jan. 7, Abed Rabbo said, the shelling intensified, and they heard an Israeli solider calling for people to come out of their homes.

Abed Rabbo said he gathered his wife, their three daughters and his mother, Souad. Souad Abed Rabbo said that she tied a white robe around a mop handle and two of her granddaughters waved white headscarves as they walked outside.

When they opened the door, they saw an Israeli tank parked in their garden about 10 yards away.

"We were waiting for them to give us an order," Khaled said last week as he stood in the ruins of his home. "Then one came out of the tank and started to shoot."

Souad Abed Rabbo said she was shot as she pushed her son back inside and her granddaughters fell on the stairs. When the shooting was over, she said, 2-year-old Amal and 7-year-old Souad were dead.

Israeli troops killed Gaza children carrying white flag, witnesses say