Gaza children too scared to step outside

Mohammed Dawwas in Gaza City
The Independent
December 30, 2008

Palestinians gather their belongings as they flee their home following an Israeli air strike.
Palestinians gather their belongings as they flee their home following an Israeli air strike; PHOTO: Getty

You can tell those moving about Gaza City by the mattresses on the car roofs. The streets are mostly deserted but some people are shifting from one house to another, trying to guess where the bombs might land and put distance between themselves and possible targets. Others are heading to the bakeries where there are long queues for bread. There is wreckage everywhere.

On Sunday night, we were told that the Red Cross had issued a warning that the Al Kinz mosque next to our building was likely to be destroyed. My wife and four of the kids went in the lift but many others went down the stairs because they were frightened about getting stuck, given that there was no power and the elevator was operating off a generator. There were about 100 of us gathered outside in the yard and we could hear continual explosions.

I drove in convoy with my brother-in-law to his father's place. It was eerie, completely dark except for the headlights of our two cars. We drove the wrong way down one way streets to avoid going near a the Palestinian Legislative Council Building, in case the Israeli planes had it on their radar.

This is daily life in Gaza now. It was tough before but, believe me, it's a lot worse now.

I ventured back this morning. My neighbours were moving out. I went to my apartment and opened every window so they wouldn't shatter during the explosions that show no sign of stopping. I opened all the doors bar the front one, put the television on the floor and left. People have been receiving warning messages on their mobiles. One of these was sent to my 18-year-old daughter Yasmin. It said in words to the effect of "This is the Ministry of Defence. If you have any weapons or wanted people in your house, evacuate the place. There will be no exceptions. We will expand our operations."

My nine-year-old son Ibrahim has been crying and shaking ever since the first bombardment on Saturday. His brothers are happy to play in the yard but he doesn't want to leave the house. He stays close to his mum all the time. And when I went out to get some food he says: "Please baba, don't go".

Israel-Palestine Timeline

Israel-Palestine Timeline: The human cost of the conflict records photos and information for each person who has been killed in the ongoing violence.

History of the Israel Lobby


Alison Weir's book Against Our Better Judgement: How the U.S. was used to create Israel brings together meticulously sourced evidence to outline the largely unknown history of U.S.-Israel relations.


Buy it on Amazon, and visit the book website for reviews, more ordering options, and upcoming author events.

IsraelPalestineNews.org


Information largely missing from U.S. news reports. Read the Blog


The History of Terrorism
Videos & Multimedia

British TV Documentary – Dispatches: The Killing Zone

VIDEO: Palestinians Document Settler Violence

VIDEO: West Bank attack filmed

Video – Gaza: A humanitarian implosion

Video: Old Palestinian Man Describes Being Shot

Video – The Easiest Targets: The Israeli Policy of Strip Searching Women and Children

Audio Interview – Psychology of Suicide Bombings

Video – Soldiers Explode a Portion of a Palestinian Home, Killing the Mother

Video – Soldiers Force a Palestinian to Play Violin at Roadblock

Related Articles

Palestinian human rights NGOs condemn Beit Hanoun Massacre; call for international investigation

Shooting and Hitting

An Old Refrain that Stabs at the Heart

One Year After the Shooting of Brian Avery

Someone Even Managed to Defecate Into the Photocopier

More Articles on Invasions

Israel 'using food and medicines as weapons'

Nobel Peace Laureate: Hope as Palestinians Use Nonviolence in their Struggle for Human Rights and Freedom

Israeli Strip Searches: A Partial List

68 women gave birth on checkpoints, 34 infants and 4 women died

Americans Tortured in Israeli Jails

More on Collective Punishment/Terrorism

Additional Resources

Documentary – Jenin Jenin

Amnesty International – Shielded From Scrutiny: IDF Violations in Jenin and Nablus

Report – The Jenin Inquiry

The Gaza Strip: A humanitarian implosion

Back to a Routine of Torture – Torture and Ill-treatment of Palestinian Detainees during Arrest, Detention and Interrogation – September 2001 - April 2003

Amnesty International – Israeli Settlers Wage Campaign of Intimidation

Booklet – ‘No Exit’

Amnesty International – Under the Rubble

Organizations

Public Committee Against Torture in Israel


If Americans Knew distributes and posts to our website copyrighted material, sometimes without the permission of the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of the Israel/Palestine conflict. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law since it is being distributed without profit for purely educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

This website is printer-friendly. Please Print this article and share it with your friends and family.