Council for the National Interest

Nowhere to Run in Gaza

Jul 9 2014 / 7:50 pm

By Mohammed Omer.

John Whitbeck’s comment:

Transmitted below is a brief personal witness statement from Gaza by my distinguished young friend Mohammed Omer. Some of you may recall Mohammed’s article, which I circulated on March 29, regarding his excruciatingly difficult experience exiting Gaza with his seriously pregnant wife. I later had the pleasure of seeing Mohammad, his wife and their newborn son Omar when they were in France. With the help of some wonderful people, Mohammed has obtained Dutch citizenship, and he wanted his child to be born in the Netherlands so that he could also be Dutch and, by virtue of his passport, have reason to hope for a life in which he (unlike most Palestinians) would be treated as a human being entitled to fundamental human rights. However, since Mohammed, his wife and his son are now back in their Gaza cage, under bombardment and subject to a credible threat that Israel intends to intensify its onslaught and the misery of Gaza’s people, their future – any future – cannot be guaranteed.

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs – I am writing this as ambulance and rescue crews continue to search for bodies. Among the ones they have uncovered so far are those of 4-year-old Mohammed Nawasra, whose body was found underneath the ruins of his home in the Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, his 5-year-old brother, Nidal, and their 29-year-old mother, Sumoud Nawasra. Miriam Nawasra, 83, and Khalaf Nawasra, 29, were found alive, but critically injured. The Nawasra house in Maghazi refugee camp was targeted by an Israeli F-16 missile. No one knows why. Their home was bombed at5:30 a.m., as the family slept.

Most of the stretchers rescue workers carried into Gaza’s hospitals were filled with arms, legs and scattered pieces of human torso and flesh, torn into pieces by Israeli missiles.

Gaza is currently enduring one of Israel’s heaviest bombings. In the last hour, during and after Iftar, the meal breaking the daily Ramadan fast, 80 air strikes were launched on Gaza, according to Israeli sources. These strikes targeted homes, streets, schools, mosques, governmental buildings, greenhouses and agricultural fields.

The number of people killed grows relentlessly. According to Palestinian Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad Al Bizm, as of today 192 of the injured are children and women, and, in addition to the Nawasra family home, 63 others have been bombed. The list of casualties changes by the minute. [The BBC reported July 10 that as of 10:35 a.m EDT, 80 Gazans have been killed and 540 injured.] The Interior Ministry stated that Israel has launched 780 Israeli air strikes on Gaza. Every few minutes throughout the Gaza Strip one hears the resulting explosions.

As I write this, the Israeli Military has suggested a ground operation may be imminent. Indeed, troops and weapons have been assembling on the border. Israel’s navy has joined the battle as well, and is shelling Gaza from the sea. At this very moment I can hear missiles fired from Israeli warships hitting the homes and fishing boats of Palestinian fishermen.

Palestinian man is sitting on the ruins of what remains from his farm in Gaza City after Israeli airstrike overnight

In Gaza we all suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—it comes with the territory, our territory, that Israel attacks so violently. I don’t want my son to have PTSD. He doesn’t deserve that; he is a child, our gift.

Now, however, F-16s pound Gaza as drones buzz overhead and Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” continues. There is no moment of relief or rest for anyone trapped in Gaza, as Israeli bombs target yet another neighborhood—God help its terrified residents.

As I write this, news arrives of a group of teenagers killed while watching the World Cup match between the Netherlands and Argentina: 6 boys dead and more than 10 injured by a missile which struck the café on the beach in Khan Younis where, like soccer fans around the world, they were watching the game.

Now a haze of smoke arises from nearby buildings struck by Israeli missiles. One thing I do know for sure is that American-made F-16s are sucking the air—and life—out of the lungs of my family and neighbors in Gaza. No sirens, no shelters, no bunkers, no womb to hide in. Only the dead are safe and at rest.

I don’t know what else to say. I think we are going to die. It makes me sad that I cannot protect the child I made, I can’t protect him from these missiles. I just can’t. I don’t have the superpower to end this madness.

Posted by on Jul 9 2014 . Filed under Commentary & Analysis, Featured articles, John Whitbeck . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 . Both comments and pings are currently closed.

National Summit Videos

Watch videos from the Nation Summit!

Click image to watch videos from the National Summit to reassess the U.S.-Israel "Special Relationship".

Support CNI

Disclaimer
The posting of articles from organizations or individuals does not necessarily denote agreement with or endorsement of political positions or philosophies espoused by these highly diverse sources. For CNI's position please see our mission statement.
Disclaimer RSS Feed Contact Us
© Copyright 2020 Council for the National Interest.
Powered By Chromovision