After a week of pounding from air Israelis moved their troops into Gaza strip. TV channels, notably CNN, kept up a running coverage, but their reporting was from the Israel end, for no foreign journalist has been allowed into Gaza. TV doesn’t take us behind this picture of smoking Gaza. It takes a blogger to give us a sense of the misery and hardhip of ordinary Gazans, whose most normal condition of life today is its uncertainty. A US-based blogger Laila El-Haddad, who has, till now, managed to stay in touch with her parents in Gaza, shares her thoughts on the plight of Gazans, trapped in their homes and nowhere to go for safety.
Excerpts from Laila’s blog post, after a call to her father, a physician in Gaza, soon after the land offensive started on Saturday night: He said Israel destroyed 3 JAWAL centers (the mobile provider); so many mobile phones, including his own, are down, but his landline is functional.. He tells me that a building behind my cousin’s house in Gaza City was destroyed, and is now burning down in a voracious fire. It had an orphanage in it. My mother says she won’t lie..they are terrified.
Flares and firebombs are being shot to light up the sky. Propaganda fliers telling the people of Gaza that ”they chose Hamas and Hamas has abandoned them”; that “Hamas will lead them to catastrophe”…and calling on them (Gazans) to “take charge of their destiny” and to call a given phone number or email with tips and then a warning to call “in secrecy” (thanks for the tip). Israel is also broadcasting on al-Aqsa TV station there.
A sampling of a spate of comments to Laila’s post:
It happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina, it happened in Rwanda, it’s happening in Darfur and what exactly should we call the mass murder of Palestinian civilians? Surely not a “quest for peace”.
We are so frustrated, we go to rallys, we blog but we feel so helpless. We call our cousins and they sound so scared it frustrates us – Nadia Hammad
I just watched the CNN news interview with you (Laila) and your dad. I can’t belive how your dad, mashallah, controlled himself while under attack and you didn’t lose it either listening to him .
I am a Canadian…non Arab, non Muslim…but a human being and a mother. I cry for the Palestinians just as I did for the people in Lebanon and the Iraqis.