breakdown over gaza

i’ve had an exhausting day and i don’t know if i am capable of being coherent right now, but i’ll give it a shot. i spent the day with a friend at amman ahliyya university in salt. i lectured in her class on feminist theory where i read suheir hammad poems about gaza and asked them to discuss her poems in relation to the theory they had been reading. it was so refreshing to be on this campus–to see so many students wearing kuffiyas, to see hear only music by musicians like marcel khalife or ahmed qabour in the cafeteria (and no pop music!), to see posters everywhere about not only relief work students and faculty are organizing, but also a boycott campaign of american products in jordan. mish ma’oul! but it is true and here is their beautiful boycott poster i saw all over campus:

stop

it was amazing to spend the day with people who are active or who have been re-activated by the situation and to hear all that they are doing. there is another on-going, daily sit-in in amman, though i did not know about it until today and it was too late for me to go. but here is how my friend described it:

i went to the sit-in yesterday and it was truly an inspiring and even historical event the likes of which jordan has not seen! they have been meeting there every day, all day and night since the beginning of the invasion and people flow in and out all day but one night there was about 200. they have put up a big tent (AND secured a license to do this – another first!), with smaller tents all over, flags and palestinian art on canvas everywhere, in the back there are rows of “grave stones”, there is a big “GAZA” made out of some flammable material which they light up at night so you can see if from the air, plus there are small fires everywhere since its get quite cold at night – inside the tent, there is much nationalist chanting, some poetry reading, some speeches, all peaceful, but very vocal and united.

i learned about this as i was in a taxi on my way to the airport to head to beirut. last night was another night with too little sleep. and i arrived at the airport with extremely heavy bags filled with gifts for palestinian friends in lebanon who are not allowed to go to palestine because they are refugees and their land is occupied by israeli terrorists who are busy bombing gaza. i have a variety of gifts, including a ton of nabulsi soap which in the quantity that i had made the bags ketir heavy. but i also had some olive oil from nablus. apparently, this is forbidden to bring on the plane. when the security at the airport started hassling me about it i had a breakdown. the lack of sleep and food and watching the horror of israeli terrorism and the lack of concern among the world leaders to do one f^%$#@! thing about it just unleashed a flood of rage and tears that was really uncontrollable. it was this combination of feelings about what is happening in gaza and the fact that my friends cannot go home and i was going to be forbidden from bringing them gifts from their homeland? i refused to let them take the olive oil. they wanted to check with my airline. but the problem was that i flew middle east airlines, lebanon’s national air carrier. and their counter was only a few meters away. i did not want them to see all these palestinian items in my bags as if they thought i had been there i wouldn’t be allowed to go to lebanon. it was very tense and extremely frustrating, but in the end they let me keep the oil.

but the sadness that this incident sparked stayed with me on the plane. once the lights were out i just started crying uncontrollably again. looking out the window as we took off i couldn’t help but think about what this same sky, what this same airspace meant for the people of gaza. where israeli terrorists were flying just about a hundred kilometers away, dropping bombs on palestinians in gaza. and then again when i saw rania in the crowd at the airport waiting to pick me up the tears came again.

so i’m back in beirut. saw friends tonight for a little while. i didn’t really want to go out, but two friends were here visiting family who are going back to canada in the morning so i went to see them for a couple of hours. and once again i’m overwhelmed by all the news that i missed about what is going on in gaza today. i will catch up readers tomorrow on some of the stories that i think are important and interesting, but here are a few to hold you over.

al jazeera covering the funerals of the dead palestinians who israeli terrorists murdered while they were seeking shelter in united nations schools:

here is footage of israeli terrorists attacking united nations schools in gaza:

and here is the toll of the israeli terrorist siege thus far: 700 martyrs, 30% of whom are children, and 3,100 injured.

Israeli warplanes killed three Palestinian civilians on Wednesday afternoon during what Israel had earlier declared to be a unilateral three hour halt in its attacks on Gaza.

Israel had announced that it would halt attacks between 1:00pm and 4:00pm on Wednesday afternoon to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Medics at Kamal Udwan Hospital confirmed that three sisters were killed by Israeli fire in the east of Jabaliya Refugee Camp. The sisters were identified as two-year-old Amal, four-year-old Su’ad and six-year-old Samar. Others were injured, medics said.

Meanwhile, Ma’an’s Gaza correspondent reported back that early on Wednesday evening Israeli warplanes struck a car in Beit Lahiya, killing the four Palestinians inside.

Medical officials report that 682 Gazans have been killed since the Israeli war on Gaza began 12 days ago. More than 3,000 have been injured.

Among the dead are an estimated 185 children and 41 women.

Jabaliya was the location of an Israeli artillery attack on Tuesday that killed 45 Palestinians who had taken shelter in a UN school.

Meanwhile, Red Cross teams managed to enter the Zaytoun neighborhood of southern Gaza City, which has witnessed intense fighting in the last 24 hours. Rescue workers removed two more bodies from the rubble of a house destroyed by Israeli warplanes, where more than 20 members of the same were feared dead. The removal of these bodies means 10 members of the Samuni family have been confirmed killed.

The Israeli warplanes also targeted a house related to Abu Muhadi family in An-Nuseirat, in the central Gaza Strip and four other houses at the borders in the southern city of Rafah, killing an elderly man.

a note: there was a 3 hour truce today, and supposedly this “lull” will be employed between 1-4 pm for the next few days. but what you may not know is that during this so-called brief “truce,” israeli terrorists did not stop their bombardment of palestinians in gaza. they murdered 3 sisters in beit lahiya and in the first few minutes of this they continued their airstrikes. and, israeli terrorists targeted another united nations school today:

The United Nations’ top official in the Gaza Strip said on Wednesday that there were absolutely no armed men inside the UN school in Jabaliya that was the target of an Israeli attack that left 47 dead.

“I can tell you categorically that there was no militant activity in that school at the time of that tragedy,” said John Ging, the director of operations of UNRWA in Gaza, speaking to Al-Jazeera.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the school shelling rose to 45 as wounded victims died in hospitals. Tens of thousands attended a funeral procession for the dead.

Ging also told the Australian newspaper The Age, “We have established beyond any doubt that the school was not being used by any militants.”

“They were innocent people,” said Ging, adding that around 350 Palestinians had taken shelter in the school after fleeing invading Israeli forces. The shelling of the Al-Fakhoura School was deadliest single attack on Gaza since Israel began its air bombardment 12 days ago.

Ging’s comments contradicted claims made by the Israeli military that Hamas gunmen had fired a mortar shell from the school. In a statement released on Tuesday night, the Israeli military confirmed that it had shelled the school.

The United Nations also says it provided Israel with the GPS coordinates of all its facilities in the Gaza Strip long before the current war began ten days ago.

Three other UN facilities, including schools and a health center, also came under attack by Israeli forces on Monday and Tuesday, killing at least three.

According to UN statistics, some 14,000 people have taken refuge in UNRWA installations across the Gaza Strip.

more updates bokra, but until then check the links on the sidebar under “gaza” for updates on blogs, news sites, etc.

and before i go one final thought for the day. yesterday my dear friend who i was staying with in amman, who is palestinian, has a seven-year-old son who asked me the other day about whether israelis come to amman. i said yes, but as tourists. he asked me if these are the same people he is seeing murdering so many palestinian children on television. i had to lie and say no. a year ago we had a similar conversation–after he had overheard me telling his parents stories about how israelis terrorize palestinians in the west bank. he was afraid, at the time, that they would come to jordan to kidnap and kill palestinians next. so i knew where this was going and i lied. i said, no, those israeli terrorists do not come to amman. but here is an interesting difference between there and here. another dear friend i saw tonight who has a son only a few years older than my other friend’s son wrote some sort of school assignment that was in the form of a letter to santa claus asking for some sort of christmas wish. what did this lovely young boy wish for? for sayyed hassan nasrallah to do something to those israeli terrorists. NOW!

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