gaza’s genocide / israel’s suicide

Abdellah Derkaoui
Abdellah Derkaoui

i do not know why i continue to be shocked by what i see and read, but i do. i decided i am sick of every mofo leader on the planet who quietly–or perhaps on rare occasion even loudly–expresses their “concern” with the evil slaughter of palestinians in gaza by israeli terrorists. i am also so sick of seeing motherf(*&^%@ like bani ki-moon who quietly expresses his “outrage” at israeli terrorists all the while smiling on camera, laughing on camera as hospitals with the wounded inside are bombed. as far as i am concerned ban ki-moon as blood on his hands too. the un security council resolutions are binding; he could have done something, but he chooses to do nothing. or gordon brown saying that it is “indefensible” while he does nothing to stop it. where is his airforce? i’m sick of these world leaders flying around the planet to discuss a ceasefire. i’m sick of no other country, no other airforce coming to the defense of palestinians. where is libya? don’t they have an airforce? can’t they bomb the zionist state back to the stone age? iran? someone? these people make false claims of concern–false because they do NOTHING–and meanwhile the people suffer, especially children.

ban ki-moon laughing over the genocide committed by ehud olmert
ban ki-moon laughing over the genocide committed by ehud olmert

here are some of the children whose suffering is at the expense of the collusion of the united nations and israeli terrorists.

and listen to what a lame-ass, weak, motherf(*&^%$ head of the united nations, ban, said in response to this genocidal spree of israeli terrorism:

in spite of this suffering, i never cease to be amazed, in awe, and in complete support of palestinian resistance in gaza. that they are able to stay steadfast. that they are able to survive and continue to fight amidst the unabated bombardment. this in spite of the 1,133 dead and the 5,200 injured, the latest figures from ayman mohyeldin on a twitter update. but the bodies still haven’t been pulled out from the rubble yet.

yesterday was a new low–just when you think israeli terrorists can go no lower–in their attacks on the unrwa building, where people had gathered together seeking shelter from the bombing, their attacks on hospitals–yet another one since my post yesterday morning:

Israeli snipers opened fire on families running to take shelter in a Red Crescent hospital in the Tel Al-Hawa area of Gaza on Thursday afternoon, witnesses said.

Sharon Locke, an Australian volunteer at Al-Quds Hospital said that when one family approached the hospital, Israeli snipers started firing at the family.

“They shot a young girl in the face and abdomen. She is now being operated on. The father of the family was shot in the leg and fell to the ground,” Locke said.

“The mother was screaming that one of her daughters was still outside, behind a bush, too scared to move. Mohammed, a medic I have been working with, ran outside and carried her to the hospital,” Locke said.

Locke later told Ma’an that some 600 Palestinians who had taken shelter in the medical facility have now been evacuated on foot to a nearby UNRWA school.

On Thursday morning parts of the hospital went up in flames when Israeli artillery shells struck the buildings. At the time of writing, the operations building of the hospital was still burning.

“The hospital suffered at least one direct hit this morning, and all the patients had to be moved in panic to the ground floor,” said Bashar Morad, director of Palestine Red Crescent emergency medical services. The second floor of the building immediately caught fire. The hospital’s pharmacy was also partly damaged. Fire brigade trucks, escorted by ICRC teams, rushed to the scene and managed to put out the fire.

“It is unacceptable that wounded people receiving treatment in hospitals are put at risk,” said Jakob Kellenberger, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who just completed a three-day visit to the area that included a stop at Shifa Hospital in Gaza.

supposedly israeli terrorists sent in fire trucks to help with putting out the fire of the unrwa building, where all the food and medical aid was stored as well, and supposedly ehud olmert “apologized,” but is this supposed to make up for their savagery? f)*^% olmert and f%$# his empty apology. one does not and should not ever forgive a people who make vapid apologies and continue doing the very thing they were apologizing for again and again and again for 61 years. and in addition to the bombing of united nations buildings and hospitals, israeli terrorists continue their long history of extra-juridical assassinations:

The Israeli military assassinated de facto Interior Minister Sa’eed Syam in an airstrike on Thursday.

His brother and son were also killed in the blast, according to news reports.

In addition to Syam, nine others were killed in the strike, which reportedly targeted a senior Islamic Jihad leader and the head of the Al-Qassam Brigades, an armed faction affiliated with Hamas….

Hamas condemned the killing of Syam’s son, brother Iyad and sister-in-law, as well as her son, who was killed along with four other neighbors near the home. Ten Palestinians were killed in the airstrike, including Syam and five of his family members.

meanwhile yesterday the free gaza movement tried once again to reach gaza, but were threatened by israeli terrorists and had to turn around and head back to cyprus:

Meanwhile, a Greek-flagged vessel trying to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip with medical aid for the Palestinians was turned back to Cyprus by an Israeli naval vessel.

Huwaida Arraf, an organiser with the US-based Free Gaza Movement, said that the boat was intercepted about 100 miles northeast of Gaza.

“They got very close and they threatened that if we continued they would open fire on us,” she told the Reuters news agency.

“They surrounded us with about four warships making it very difficult to navigate. They said they would use all means to keep us out of Gaza.”

those of you out there who want to pretend like there is some sort of peace movement inside the israeli terrorist infrastructure take a look at the most recent polling data from the jerusalem post and then think again:

The Israeli military operation against Hamas in Gaza enjoys the overwhelming support of Israeli Jews despite the loss of civilian life in the Hamas-run territory, a survey released Wednesday showed.

A whopping 94% of the public support or strongly support the operation while 92% think it benefits Israel’s security, according to the Tel Aviv University survey.

The poll found that 92% of Israeli Jews justify the air force’s attacks in Gaza despite the suffering of the civilian population in the Strip and the damage they cause to infrastructure.

in other words the majority of israeli terrorists are terrorists–they support this genocide in every way. and they should all be held accountable for the war crimes they all support financially, militarily, intellectually. this is an example of the kind of terrorism they support:

i received this email yesterday that shows the devastation that the health sector is experiencing in gaza right now:

Dear Friends,

The Israeli bombardment in its 20th day is the heaviest and most destructive that complicates the ongoing humanitarian operation.

The Israeli Military operation and bombardment is 400 meters a way from PMRS head office in Gaza; this will threat the lives of PMRS
teams and jeopardize their efforts in emergency response, our team might be forced to look for alternatives or move to safer places to
continue their efforts.

UNRWA head offices and store houses including fuel main supply were targeted during the last few hours; the main building was hit, and it is on fire now. UNRWA the most important organization that leads the humanitarian work is forced to completely stop its operation in Gaza.

People living in this neighborhood are trapped in their homes (like Tal A-Hawa neighborhood) with aid organizations and emergency health teams are unable to access these communities.

We all must work to ensure the protection of civilians in Gaza and maintain humanitarian efforts at this difficult time of the War.

Regards,

JIHAD MASHAL
Director General

Palestinian Medical Relief Society

dear, amazing caoimhe managed to get back into gaza via the rafah crossing the other day and had wrote this up about what she is witnessing:

Still Breathing, A Report from Gaza

By Caoimhe Butterly

The morgues of Gaza’s hospitals are over-flowing. The bodies in their blood-soaked white shrouds cover the entire floor space of the Shifa hospital morgue. Some are intact, most horribly deformed, limbs twisted into unnatural positions, chest cavities exposed, heads blown off, skulls crushed in. Family members wait outside to identify and claim a brother, husband, father, mother, wife, child. Many of those who wait their turn have lost numerous family members and loved ones.

Blood is everywhere. Hospital orderlies hose down the floors of operating rooms, bloodied bandages lie discarded in corners, and the injured continue to pour in: bodies lacerated by shrapnel, burns, bullet wounds. Medical workers, exhausted and under siege, work day and night and each life saved is seen as a victory over the predominance of death.

The streets of Gaza are eerily silent- the pulsing life and rhythm of markets, children, fishermen walking down to the sea at dawn brutally stilled and replaced by an atmosphere of uncertainty, isolation and fear.

The ever-present sounds of surveillance drones, F16s, tanks and apaches are listened to acutely as residents try to guess where the next deadly strike will be- which house, school, clinic, mosque, governmental building or community centre will be hit next and how to move before it does. That there are no safe places- no refuge for vulnerable human bodies- is felt acutely. It is a devastating awareness for parents- that there is no way to keep their children safe.

As we continue to accompany the ambulances, joining Palestinian paramedics as they risk their lives, daily, to respond to calls from those with no other life-line, our existence becomes temporarily narrowed down and focused on the few precious minutes that make the difference between life and death. With each new call received as we ride in ambulances that careen down broken, silent roads, sirens and lights blaring, there exists a battle of life over death. We have learned the language of the war that the Israelis are waging on the collective captive population of Gaza- to distinguish between the sounds of the weaponry used, the timing between the first missile strikes and the inevitable second- targeting those that rush to tend to and evacuate the wounded, to recognize the signs of the different chemical weapons being used in this onslaught, to overcome the initial vulnerability of recognizing our own mortality.

Though many of the calls received are to pick up bodies, not the wounded, the necessity of affording the dead a dignified burial drives the paramedics to face the deliberate targeting of their colleagues and comrades- thirteen killed while evacuating the wounded, fourteen ambulances destroyed- and to continue to search for the shattered bodies of the dead to bring home to their families.

Last night, while sitting with paramedics in Jabaliya refugee camp, drinking tea and listening to their stories, we received a call to respond to the aftermath of a missile strike. When we arrived at the outskirts of the camp where the attack had taken place the area was filled with clouds of dust, torn electricity lines, slabs of concrete and open water pipes gushing water into the street. Amongst the carnage of severed limbs and blood we pulled out the body of a young man, his chest and face lacerated by shrapnel wounds, but alive- conscious and moaning.

As the ambulance sped him through the cold night we applied pressure to his wounds, the warmth of his blood seeping through the bandages reminder of the life still in him. He opened his eyes in answer to my questions and closed them again as Muhammud, a volunteer paramedic, murmured “ayeesh, nufuss”- live, breathe- over and over to him. He lost consciousness as we arrived at the hospital, received into the arms of friends who carried him into the emergency room. He, Majid, lived and is recovering.

A few minutes later there was another missile strike, this time on a residential house. As we arrived a crowd had rushed to the ruins of the four story home in an attempt to drag survivors out from under the rubble. The family the house belonged to had evacuated the area the day before and the only person in it at the time of the strike was 17 year old Muhammud who had gone back to collect clothes for his family. He was dragged out from under the rubble still breathing- his legs twisted in unnatural directions and with a head wound, but alive. There was no choice but to move him, with the imminence of a possible second strike, and he lay in the ambulance moaning with pain and calling for his mother. We thought he would live, he was conscious though in intense pain and with the rest of
the night consumed with call after call to pick up the wounded and the dead, I forgot to check on him. This morning we were called to pick up a body from Shifa hospital to take back to Jabaliya. We carried a body wrapped in a blood-soaked white shroud into the ambulance, and it wasn’t until we were on the road that we realized that it was Muhammud’s body. His brother rode with us, opening the shroud to tenderly kiss Muhammud’s forehead.

This morning we received news that Al-Quds hospital in Gaza City was under siege. We tried unsuccessfully for hours to gain access to the hospital, trying to organize co-ordination to get the ambulances past Israeli tanks and snipers to evacuate the wounded and dead. Hours of unsuccessful attempts later we received a call from the Shujahiya neighborhood, describing a house where there were both dead and wounded patients to pick up. The area was deserted, many families having fled as Israeli tanks and snipers took up position amongst their homes, other silent in the dark, cold confines of their homes, crawling from room to room to avoid sniper fire through their windows.

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.

Once back at the hospital we received word that the Israeli army had shelled Al Quds hospital, that the ensuing fire risked spreading and that there had been a 20-minute time-frame negotiated to evacuate patients, doctors and residents in the surrounding houses. By the time we got up there in a convoy of ambulances, hundreds of people had gathered. With the shelling of the UNRWA compound and the hospital there was a deep awareness that nowhere in Gaza is safe, or sacred.

We helped evacuate those assembled to near-by hospitals and schools that have been opened to receive the displaced. The scenes were deeply saddening- families, desperate and carrying their children, blankets and bags of their possessions venturing out in the cold night to try to find a corner of a school or hospital to shelter in. The paramedic we were with referred to the displacement of the over 46,000 Gazan Palestinians now on the move as a continuation of the ongoing Nakba of dispossession and exile seen through generation after generation enduring massacre after massacre.

Today’s death toll was over 75, one of the bloodiest days since the start of this carnage. Over 1,110 Palestinians have been killed in the past 21 days. 367 of those have been children. The humanitarian infrastructure of Gaza is on its knees- already devastated by years of comprehensive siege. There has been a deliberate, systematic destruction of all places of refuge. There are no safe places here, for anyone.

And yet, in the face of so much desecration, this community has remained intact. The social solidarity and support between people is inspiring, and the steadfastness of Gaza continues to humble and inspire all those who witness it. Their level of sacrifice demands our collective response- and recognition that demonstrations are not enough. Gaza, Palestine and its people continue to live, breathe, resist and remain intact and this refusal to be broken is a call and challenge to us all.

as always caoimhe doesn’t only witness the devastation–she also pays homage to the steadfastness, to the resistance, to the resilience of the people with whom she works in solidarity. and i hope that this steadfastness lasts and lasts and lasts until the destruction of the zionist entity, which increasingly seems to be eminent. immanuel wallerstein offers his insight on the subject of the demise of the jewish state:

Israel however was always one step behind. When it could have negotiated with Nasser, it wouldn’t. When it could have negotiated with Arafat, it wouldn’t. When Arafat died and was succeeded by the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas, the more militant Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006. Israel refused to talk to Hamas.

Now, Israel has invaded Gaza, seeking to destroy Hamas. If it succeeds, what organization will come next? If, as is more probable, it fails to destroy Hamas, is a two-state solution now possible? Both Palestinian and world public opinion is moving towards the one-state solution. And this is of course the end of the Zionist project.

The three-element strategy of Israel is decomposing. The iron fist no longer succeeds, much as it didn’t for George Bush in Iraq. Will the United States link remain firm? I doubt it. And will world public opinion continue to look sympathetically on Israel? It seems not. Can Israel now switch to an alternative strategy, of negotiating with the militant representatives of the Arab Palestinians, as an integral constituent of the Middle East, and not as an outpost of Europe? It seems quite late for that, quite possibly too late. Hence, the chronicle of a suicide foretold.

one can only hope at this point. hope that this genocide is the zionist regime’s suicide. hope and support the resistance in every way possible to bring about this aim.

the gaza graveyard

nidal el khairy
nidal el khairy

3 days. 345 dead. over 1,450 injured. the death toll continues to rise. and it will. medicine is running out quickly. rania posted this morning a message from the free gaza movement:

The Free Gaza movement is reporting: “Dr Khaled from the Shifa hospital ICU in Gaza City told us on Saturday that the majority of cases are critical shrapnel wounds from Israeli gunboats and helicopters, with an approximate 80% who will not survive.”

more recently there are reports that are even more devastating–and notice egypt’s complicity here, behaving just like zionists do by allowing just a trickle of medicine to barely help for a few hours:

According to Dr Hassunin hospitals in Gaza are operating without medical supplies of any kind, while three of the main hospitals have been badly damaged. The ambulance services are now operating at 50% capacity due to a lack of medical and personnel resources. The entire area is now being serviced by 5 ambulances and 3 fire brigades.

The small amount of medicine that Egypt allowed into Gaza lasted just a few hours.

last night watching sayyed hassan nasrallah i kept thinking about his statement comparing the july war of 2006 with the current war on gaza:

“What is happening today is a Palestinian copy of the July war,” Nasrallah said, drawing a comparison between the Israel Defense Forces offensive in the Gaza Strip and the 2006 Second Lebanon War, which Hezbollah waged against Israel in southern Lebanon.

“This is exactly what happened with us. The possibilities and the same possibilities, the conspiracy is the same, the battle is the same battle, and the result, Allah willing, will be the same result,” the Hezbollah leader told the crowd.

of course the images i see on tv look just like what i saw in south lebanon. in nahr el bared. but as rania beat me to the punch: it is not an exact copy; it is worse. during the july war people had places where they could flee: ships from foreign countries came to take lebanese (and foreigners) away, lebanese fled to syria, lebanese fled to other parts of the country (though there too nowhere was necessarily safe). but here we have people captured in a concentration camp of sorts. they cannot leave. the mediterranean sea is blocked by israeli terrorist naval ships. the egyptian army is shooting at palestinians fleeing in that direction. they are surrounded. in gaza. the gaza that has become a graveyard.

but it is the same in the sense that the zionist terrorists planned this war at least 6 months before they began it (see earlier post for link on this). but it is the same as the july war in the sense that the united states, surrounding arab regimes, the european union, the united nations, the media are all allowing this to continue. they blame hamas just as they blamed hezbollah in 2006. i’ve seen far too many motherf*&^%$# israeli terrorists on television the last three days reciting their mantra–which, of course, the palestinian authority and the egyptian government now recite in tandem–that it’s all about hamas. there were rockets fired today, again, from gaza. but who fired them? well, first the democratic front for the liberation of palestine (dflp), which is a leftist resistance organization fired rockets:

The National Resistance Brigades, the militant wing affiliated to the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), fired four homemade projectiles at the Israeli towns of Kfar Azza and Ashkelon on Monday morning.

The group said in a statement that the shellings were “retaliation for Israeli atrocities in the Gaza Strip that have so far killed 300 and injured 1000.”

and yet the word hamas gets reiterated again and again. on the news. it is really like a mantra. i’m being subjected to tzipi livni again now on al jazeera. she is repeating the lies. mahmoud abbas repeats the lies. hosni mubarak repeats the lies. gaza is not hamas just as lebanon is not hezbollah. but in way both places the people have a right to resist foreign occupation and aggression from the zionist entity. egypt hit a new low this morning confirming that the mubarak regime is in deep collusion with the zionists:

The Egyptian Authorities officially barred a Libyan plane carrying aid to Gaza from landing in the al-Arish Airport in Egypt, in preparation to transfer humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

Hannibal Al Gaddafi, the son of the Libyan President, Moammar Al Gaddafi, said in a phone interview with the Qatar-based aL-Jazeera, that Egypt is taking part in the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip by barring humanitarian aid from being transferred to Gaza via its border with the Gaza Strip.

He added that Egypt previously took part in barring an aid ship from reaching Gaza, which comes, according to Hannibal, in conspiracy with the Israeli occupation.

Hannibal added that Libya will send more ships even if his means that the ships “will be on a suicidal mission” as they will be most likely subjected to Israeli shelling.

today libya is stepping up to the plate. nasrallah stepped up to it last night. who will be next? who will do something to break the siege? to retaliate? who will stop zionist terrorism once and for all? hasn’t 60 years of this aggression been enough for everyone?

here is video footage of a pharmacy bombed in rafah yesterday compounding the effects of the devastation in gaza with respect to medical supplies:

as i went to sleep i watched the islamic university in gaza being bombed. as i woke up i watched a family destroyed in jabalia refugee camp:

Palestinian medical sources reported that the Israeli Army shelled the house of Anwar Ba’lousha, in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, killing five sisters, all children, while the rest of their family remain under the rubble, others were hospitalized.

The sources added that the daughters of Anwar Ba’lousha “are now at the morgue and under the rubble”.

Rescue teams and medics managed to locate the bodies of Sama, 4, and Samar, 24 months, and later on located the bodies of the three other sisters who remained unidentified until the time of this report.

you can see this family on al jazeera as well as the damage done to the islamic university as well as the conditions in the hospitals as well as livni getting yet more air time on al jazeera in spite of her protests to the contrary:

i thought about them as i rode in a service today to balata refugee camp. i happened to be going there at the same time that children were walking home from school. i saw little kids–around age 5 or 6–walking joyfully home, arm in arm, holding hands. i kept thinking about the various stories from the last few days of israeli terrorists striking schools right at the precise moment that children were walking home. while i was in balata we were, of course, watching the news. watching the devastation that continued throughout the day. we also watched a fight break out in the zionist colonialist knesset during which muhammad baraka, a palestinian in 1948 palestine, to be removed after being subjected to racist rhetoric from the mouths of bloodthirsty racist zionist leaders:

Tempers flared at Israel’s parliament building in Jerusalem on Monday as rightist members of the Knesset one after another made inciting statements against Palestinians.

In response, one of the few Palestinian members of the Knesset, Muhammad Baraka, began a heated argument with several of the rightists in the room, causing the parliament’s speaker to expel Baraka from the session.

Opposition leader Benjamin Natenyahu was the first to offend moderate elements in the room through his vocal support for an aggressive and “bloody” operation against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, applauding atrocities committed by the Israeli army there.

Baraka, unable to restrain himself, told Netanyahu to “shut up and stop dancing over shed blood.”

Immediately, another member Netanyahu’s Likud Party, Gilad Arden, told Baraka to “go to Gaza,” causing the latter to answer, “Of course I would go to show solidarity with my people.”

Another rightist member of the Knesset, Avigdor Liberman, said to Baraka, “Go there and don’t come back.” Baraka fired back, “I and my people will remain a thorn in your and your likes’ throat.”

Following that comment, Knesset Speaker Dalia Itsik ordered Baraka out of the session. On his way out, an extreme rightist Member of Knesset Ardan said to Baraka, “You are a racist.” Baraka replied, “you are a shoe.”

Following that comment, Knesset Member Auri Ariel told Baraka in a challenging manner, “Hit him with your shoe.” Baraka apparently started to oblige, removing his shoe, before Israeli Knesset security removed him from the building.

meanwhile the partner in crime to the zionist government, my government, the american government, which is as much responsible for these war crimes as is the egyptian government, is enabling this through its generous military donations as quiqui reported on kabobfest:

The Israel Air Force used a new bunker-buster missile that it received recently from the United States in strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, The Jerusalem Post learned on Sunday.

the american government’s complicity here is not just because of its substantive military support for the zionist terrorist entity. it is also because of its silence with respect to calling for an end to this massacre NOW. instead bush continues to support zionist terrorism and barack obama says “no comment.” those who know audre lorde know her famous statement about the relationship between violence and silence. and as act-up (the aids coalition to unleash power) famously says, silence = death. joshua frank has a piece about obama’s silence on dissident voice:

It was the single deadliest attack on Gaza in over 20 years and Obama’s initial reaction on what could be his first real test as president was “no comment”. Meanwhile, Israel has readied itself for a land invasion, amassing tanks along the border and calling up 6,500 reserve troops.

i, like rania, am so grateful that i did not vote for that khara. the woman i did vote for, cynthia mckinney, is on a boat right now that left from cyprus today for gaza. this is a courageous, moral woman (hence she didn’t get elected). here is the press release from the free gaza movement today:

There is a time when silence is complicity and inaction is unacceptable. On Saturday, December 27, Israel began Operation “Cast Lead,” a military onslaught against the civilian population of the Gaza Strip that has – so far – massacred more than three-hundred men, women, and children, and seriously injured over a thousand.

In response to Israeli butchery, the Free Gaza ship, the DIGNITY, will depart Larnaca Port at approximately 5pm (UTC), on Monday, December 29, bound for besieged Gaza. The ship is on an emergency mission carrying in physicians, human rights workers and over three tons of desperately needed medical supplies donated by the people of Cyprus. Coordinating with the
Gaza Ministry of Health, the doctors will be immediately posted to overburdened hospitals and clinics upon their arrival.

We are not asking Israel for “permission” to go, and we will not stop until the DIGNITY lands in Gaza. We are answering urgent calls from hospitals and health care workers in Gaza by taking in three physicians who will stay and work in Gaza for several weeks. We will hold Israel responsible for the safety of our passengers and our cargo of emergency medicine….

The passengers on this Free Gaza emergency delegation include:

* International humanitarian and human rights workers from Cyprus, Australia, Ireland, Great Britain, Tunisia, and the United States.

* Doctors going to Gaza to volunteer in local hospitals, including Dr. Elena Theoharous, surgeon and Member of Parliament from Cyprus.

* Journalists going to Gaza to report on the massacre, including Al-Jazeera reporter Sami al-Haj, a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay.

* The Hon. Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate.

the media complicity in all of this is also compounding the situation. by repeating zionist terrorist propaganda, giving them space, repeating their rhetoric. thankfully we have eyewitness accounts online to get some accurate account of what is actually happening. here is a new report from safa joudeh on electronic intifada:

About an hour ago they bombed the Islamic University, destroying the laboratory building. As I mentioned in an earlier account, my home is close to the university. We heard the first explosion, the windows shook, the walls shook and my heart felt like it would literally jump out of my mouth. My parents, siblings and cousins, who have been staying with us since their home was damaged the first day of the air raids, had been trying to get some sleep. We all rushed to the side of the house that was farthest from the bombing. Hala, my 11-year-old sister stood motionless and had to be dragged to the other room. I still have marks on my shoulder from when Aya, my 13-year-old cousin held on to me during the next four explosions, each one as violent and heart-stopping as the next. Looking out of the window moments later the night sky had turned to a dirty navy-gray from the smoke.

Israeli warships rocketed Gaza’s only sea port only moments ago; 15 missiles exploded, destroying boats and parts of the ports. These are just initial reports over the radio. We don’t know what the extent of the damage is. We do know that the fishing industry that thousands of families depend on either directly or indirectly didn’t pose a threat on Israeli security. The radio reporter started counting the explosions; I think he lost count after six. At this moment we heard three more blasts. “I’m mostly scared of the whoosh,” I told my sister, referring to the sound a missile makes before it hits. Those moments of wondering where it’s going to fall are agonizing. Once the whooshes and hits were over the radio reporter announced that the fish market (vacant, of course) had been bombed.

mohammad on kabobfest, who is from gaza but living in ramallah, writes harrowingly about how terrorism feels when your family and your people are subjected to it but you are living far away, when you are not allowed to return to be with them:

I called my uncles in Gaza at around midnight. By this time, I was still horrified, still enraged, but I’d begun to view the massacre exclusively through the lenses of news stations. The following three conversations destroyed any sense of distance I had felt. Through them, I experienced the indescribable terror I started this article with. I was left shaking, fearing for their lives. And I am 50 miles away.

I first called my uncle Jasim in Khan Younis. He was speaking more than yesterday, but his voice was very quiet. He was telling me about some of the those he knew who had been killed; a friend, a police officer, a former neighbor who had just lost his mother the week before. He told me about others, asking me to tell my dad about them because he knew them too. Earlier in the day, he said, he’d gone to the Rahma Mosque nearby to pray over their bodies as his dead friends were laid out in a line.

He said it was cold, there was no electricity and the strikes were ongoing and everywhere. Every other minute he’d pause, telling me another had just hit. He said everyone is more than afraid, there is an unspeakable terror. Nothing is sacred he said, there is nowhere you can feel safe. He told me people were too scared to even go pray in the mosques now. So far the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Beit Lahiya, the Shifa Mosque in Gaza City, the Qassam Mosque in Bani Suheila and the Imad Akel Mosque in Jabalya had been leveled by jets fired from F-16 jets, with people inside.

That last statement is what began to drag me into their terror; even places of worship were being deliberately targeted for destruction. In such an environment, how can anybody feel safe?

He told me the streets had been empty since sundown, but that the Qassam Brigades had imposed a curfew at 12. ‘They’re setting up, they know its coming’.

I next called my Uncle Mahmoud, who had lost his brother-in-law yesterday. I asked him if his wife was at her family’s house. He told me she was with him, as were her brothers. He told me it was too dangerous for their family to be in their home, as it is near the eastern border. Last year, Mahmoud’s wife had lost her uncle in that home when he was shot in the head by an Israeli force carrying out an incursion in the area. With everyone expecting a ground invasion soon, sitting in their home seemed suicidal.

He told me the Israeli army had been calling thousands of people with recorded messages warning them that their houses were targeted for destruction. He said it was psychological warfare and that he would not be leaving the house. Nevertheless, I am terrified the Israeli army will carry out its threat. I asked him how his kids were. He told me they had been grabbing on to him all day, screaming whenever he left the house. Mahmoud is probably the one who has suffered the most in our family at the hand of the Israelis, but this was the first time I had ever sensed fear from him. His voice was hollow, monotonous. He said everyone is sitting at home, waiting to die.

I told him I couldn’t think of a thing to say to him. What do you say to a father sitting amongst his young children, next to his wife and brothers in law mourning their brother, waiting for death?

My final call was to my uncle Mohammad, in Gaza City. After the first two calls, I could barely say anything, nothing I could think of seemed enough. I asked him how his wife’s family were. They’re okay, he said, same as everyone else. His kids were asleep; they’re absolutely terrified. Again, he had kept the windows fully open in his apartment despite the cold, fearing they would be blown out by an airstrike. His situation was, if possible, a little more difficult than my uncles in Khan Younis. Gaza City is unbelievably overcrowded, and more than any other town in the Gaza Strip it contains a high number of buildings and offices used by local authorities and civil society institutions. In other words, prime targets — and the residents of Gaza City — have borne the brunt of the attacks.

I asked him what he had done today. He told me he’d walked around, seeing some of the bombed sites. He said the scene in Al-Shifa Hospital was beyond belief; the wounded lying in the hallways, the doctors unable to keep up with the steady flow of bodies. The hospital has reserved all its units to treating what it can of the wounded. Every other unit had been cleared; even pregnant women were being turned back. As Jasim had done earlier, Mohammad directed his anger at Egypt and the Palestinian Authority.

As we were talking, three huge booms interrupted us. Over the phone, I felt the fear they caused. I could tell they were very near his apartment. You could hear the window panes rattling. Their loudness shocked me; I’d heard how loud and how destructive an F-16 missile was, but this was the first time I’d heard one and it was terrifying, even over the phone. You could sense, from the way it shattered the quiet, how much destruction and death would be wrought by each missile. As the fourth missile hit 10 seconds later, I heard his children wake up screaming. He rushed to their room. ‘Its okay, its just another missile. Go to sleep Baba, its okay.’ I could hear the children-Nada, 13, Adham, 11, Haya, 4, and Dina, 3-whimpering as their dad tried to calm them down. ‘Its okay, go back to sleep, nothings going to happen to us, go back to sleep.’

A minute later the house phone and then his wife’s cell phone rang. Neighbors, wondering what was hit. I asked him if he could see anything, he said he couldn’t but the only thing around them that could need 4 missiles was the university [the Islamic University in Gaza]. As he said that another two deafening explosions were heard, shaking the entire building and shaking me to my core. The children began screaming again and as their dad rushed back to try and console them, I went to see the TV. It was as he’d thought: after attacking mosques, police stations, homes, factories, schools, medical depots, municipalities and prisons, Israel had destroyed part of the largest university in the Palestinian territories. Truly, nothing was sacred any more. In the 1980’s, Israel had closed down every single school and university in the occupied territories. In 2008, it is destroying them.

Hearing Jasim talk of his dead friends was horrific; hearing Mahmoud waiting for death made me feel lifeless in my helplessness; but hearing the explosions, the world shaking, the children waking up screaming, hearing the source of all this fear and death and carnage and destruction, the source of all this pure terror, left me shaking, left me angry beyond rage, left me scared for my family beyond fear.

It has been three hours since that conversation and I have been glued to the TV. For about an hour, the warplanes did not leave the skies and you could hear them through the live feed, hear them before they launched another missile that shook the city then lit it up for a second. The airstrikes are continuous, they do not stop. Since that conversation, another mosque was destroyed in Jabalya, the debris killing four young sisters as they slept in an adjacent house. For the past half hour local TV has been replaying the images of the girls being pulled out, limp and gray faced from under several feet of rubble.

Israeli warships have attacked Gaza City’s fishermen’s port, the one where the Free Gaza boats dock. Boats are burning in the water, while a home and a fire station were amongst the targets also hit.

It is almost 4AM and in Ramallah I can’t sleep. I’m not sure how anybody is sleeping in Gaza. This will not end soon. The sheer numbers of dead, the sheer variety of targets, the intention to instill terror into every single person inside Gaza indicates that Israel is planning to only escalate until it destroys the population and any sign of Palestinian nationalism.

and so we wait, we stay up late, we watch the news, we talk to our friends, we write. and we watch more of the same. stunned by the horror. and yet not. both as’ad and rami seem to be unmoved by nasrallah’s speech last night. maybe it is just more words, more rhetoric. but it contains words not heard elsewhere. words that at the very least gave people here hope. hope that sayyed hassan nasrallah would do something. or hope that egyptians would follow his requests. but rania feels otherwise and shows exactly why nasrallah’s speech is important (albeit she isn’t talking about it here) but with respect to the normalization of arab regimes with the zionist entity and it affecting the impotence here:

I don’t understand

I don’t understand any request for an Arab League summit. Let’s put our efforts elsewhere.

I don’t understand the Arab League itself. I don’t understand the Egyptian government that is openly collaborating with the Israeli Zionist government.

Or The Jordanan government. The Qatari. The Saudi. Any of the Arab governments that have economic and/or diplomatic relations with Israel.

I never expected humanity from Israel. But I hadn’t ever expected such open collaboration between Arab governments — particularly the Egyptian government — and Israel.

The border between besieged Gaza and collaborating Egypt is still closed. Closed by Mubarak. Closed by all the men who follow his orders and not their conscience.

There is no need for such collaboration. Even for a draconian, corrupt, dictatorial regime like Mubarak’s, there is no reason for such collaboration.

There is only shame.

unfortunately there is far too much shame to go around. shame on everyone and anyone. there is a gaza graveyard. one massive prison has become one massive graveyard. and it is on all of us who sit back and do nothing, especially every motherf(*&^%$ government on the planet right now which has done nothing but demonstrate its complicity through its support of zionist terrorism and/or its silence.

i ask you: if gaza were a graveyard of jews do you really think that the world would be so silent?

numb

i’m feeling numb today. this may partly be due to the weather. the sky had a strange haze to it all day. i couldn’t see the sea or the sky. it had an odd brown color and there was an intense wind blowing all day. of course, this didn’t stop the israeli terrorist forces (itf) from terrorizing people with their sonic boom shaking those of us living and working below. it’s like a mini earthquake and one of the sonic booms occurred in the middle of my drama class today. it shook the building–my students unfazed–and it shook my train of thought.

but that’s not really why i’m numb. i’m feeling numb because of the silence in this world that can allow the the suffering to continue in gaza. and it is not just the world. it’s here, too. there are no solidarity marches or any other sort of political activities indicating nabulsi solidarity with gaza. apathy, exhaustion is contagious. it’s a disease and it’s spreading far too quickly. i spoke with a friend tonight in gaza. she told me about the lack of fuel, and now the lack of bread. she told me about the itf invasions, one of which occurred 6 km away from where she is. she said that she thinks they are provocations because they are swift, quick 20-30 minute invasions of death and destruction. but unlike here she said there is solidarity among the people in spite of the political difference the media likes to exploit. she said that among the youth this level of political commitment is particularly strong. even some of the students who have received scholarships to study abroad have remarked to her that if they could get out they wouldn’t leave now. they see this as the least sort of sacrifice they can make as they watch mothers burying their children, families going with out bread. it’s amazing to think that such a desire for sacrifice and commitment can continue in gaza even though people in gaza have every reason to be exhausted far more than anyone here in the west bank.

a report that electronic intifada posted today from the palestinian centre for human rights on the crisis in gaza is particularly disturbing. the closure is now having an effect on bakeries and hospitals:

Mills

Three out of five mills operating in the Gaza Strip have stopped operation, and the remaining two are expected to join them by tomorrow due to the lack of wheat. There is also a shortage in drinking water, especially in high buildings due to repeated cutting of electricity.

Bakeries

In a grave development, several bakeries have stopped working due to the lack of fuel, cooking gas, electricity and flour. Developments at this level can be summed up in the following:

* There are 72 bakeries in the Gaza Strip: 47 that produce Syrian bread; 10 that produce Iraqi bread, and 15 that produce other kinds of bread and pastries. 29 bakeries that produce Syrian bread have completely stopped operation, while eight bakeries have been working in a lower capacity.
* Nineteen bakeries of Syrian bread, which is the most consumable kind of bread in the Gaza Strip, use cooking gas, eight others use electrical power, and the remaining four others use diesel.
* Seventeen bakeries that depend on cooking gas have stopped working due to the lack of cooking gas and eight bakeries that depend on electrical power have been working partially due to the repeated cutting of electricity.
* The population of Gaza City (approximately 570,000 people) depend on the bread produced by four bakeries that depend on diesel for operation.
* Ten out of 15 bakeries that depend on cooking gas for operation in the central and southern Gaza Strip have completely stopped operation, and the remaining five are expected to join them by Saturday, 22 November 2008, if the shortage in cooking gas continues.
* The last amount of cooking gas provided to bakeries in the Gaza Strip on 4 November 2008 was only 40 tons, which can hardly allow them to operate for one week.

Health conditions: Lives of patients are endangered

Health facilities have been facing a serious crisis due to the shortage in electrical and fuel supplies, which has in effect limited their ability to provide medical services to patients. Additionally, at least 45 kinds of medicines have been lacking in the Gaza Strip. Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip is a clear example of the impacts of shortages in electricity and fuel supplies on medical services provided to patients. According to sources of the hospital, several electricity generators need maintenance, which cannot be performed due to the lack of spare parts, whose entry has been banned by IOF. According to those sources:

* The main electricity generator, which generates 900 kilovolt amperes needs maintenance and IOF refuse to allow the entry of spare parts for it, although the ICRC intervened with IOF to allow the main keypad which is required for its maintenance.
* Prince Nayef Center for Carcinoma and the Magnetic resonance imaging machine have been stopped due to the lack of high voltage electricity.
* The hospital suffers from a shortage in cooking gas which is used in disinfection and in preparing food for patients.
* There are serious concerns that some vital medical equipments in hospital in the Gaza Strip, including artificial breathing sets in intensive care units, may stop working. Pasteurization machines may also stop working due to the lack of electricity and fuel.

today, as a result of the lack of fuel, al shifa hospital has had to shut down as a result of the closure:

Dr. Hussein Ashour, head of the Al Shifa medical center in Gaza, one of the biggest medical centers in the Gaza Strip, stated that main facilities at the center stopped functioning due to the lack of fundamental equipment and tools.

and of course itf continues to invade and murder palestinians in gaza:

A fighter affiliated with the Al-Qassam Brigades, the militant wing of Hamas, was killed early on Thursday in Gaza City by the shrapnel of a missile fired from an Israeli tank.

Mu’awiya Hassanein, the head of Ambulance and Emergency Services in the Palestinian Health Ministry, told Ma’an that 21-year-old Mohammad Abd Ash-Shaqour Al-Ara’ir died when an Israeli tank fired a missile toward him.

there are also long term risks of malnutrition as a result of this blockade, consequences that may not be readily visible, but that are nevertheless part of the zionist state’s slow genocidal policy in gaza:

The Gaza Strip’s de facto Ministry of Agriculture warned on Thursday that the ongoing Israeli blockade could cause “a real food disaster” as the absence of feed and fuel starves farm animals, according to a statement.

The ministry’s assistant undersecretary, Ibrahim Al-Qidrah, wrote in a statement received by Ma’an that “owners of such farms will sustain heavy losses if natural gas and feed are not shipped into Gaza.”

Al-Qidrah also noted that newly hatched chicks “cannot survive cold weather,” predicting that poultry farms would be the first to go as fuel runs dry. Warming uses 150 tons of natural gas per month, aside from basic caring and feeding on the farms.

Owners of incubators and poultry farms were forced to euthanize hundreds of thousands of chicks faced with the ongoing fuel and feed depletion since Israel’s near-total closure of the Gaza Strip, which is now entering its 17th day.

“Another two million eggs will be destroyed if the situation continues,” the agriculture minister warned.

He said that “such depletion will cause shortages in white meat available at local markets,” adding that the increased demand would raise prices, as well.

Red meat has also become scarce since the Israeli blockade began over two weeks ago.

maybe it is all of this that makes me feel numb. paralyzed. because i can’t do anything. because even those who are in a position to do something cannot do anything.

or maybe it is that this world is so callous and cold that in the midst of all this itf inflicting this tremendous suffering on the people of gaza, one of the most notorious war criminals who hails from the zionist state, shimon peres, was knighted in london:

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II bestowed an honorary knighthood on Israeli President Shimon Peres on Thursday. Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was escorted into Buckingham Palace by the Queen’s Guard and the Household Cavalry.

The Queen stepped towards Peres and shook his hand before appointing him Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG) – the United Kingdom’s sixth highest honor. As Peres is not a subject of the Commonwealth, he did not kneel upon receiving the honor and may not employ the title ‘sir.’

or maybe it is that as people continue the preparation for the world conference against racism, also known as durban 2, the zionist state laid bare its true colors showing the world that it is a bit hypocritical for a racist state to participate in a conference against racism (you need to read between the lines to understand this subtext):

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni announced Wednesday that Israel has made a final decision to boycott the United Nations “Durban II” conference on human rights this spring, fearing it would be used once again as a forum for anti-Israeli sentiment.

The World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, to be held in Geneva in April, is a follow-up to a 2001 summit in Durban, South Africa on the same issues.

“The documents prepared for the conference indicate that it is turning once again into an anti-Israeli tribunal, singling out and delegitimizing the State of Israel,” Livni told Jewish-American leaders at the UJC General Assembly in Jerusalem.

“The conference has nothing to do with fighting racism,” she said. “In view of this situation, I decided that Israel will not participate and will not legitimize the Durban II conference.”

The foreign minister also called on the international community “not to participate in a conference which seeks to legitimize hatred and extremism under the banner of a fight against racism.”

case in point on the zionist state, by definition, is a racist state. why do you think it is my american readers out there that you see nothing or read nothing about what is happening in gaza? why do you think it is that the zionist regime works so hard to keep reporters from entering? it is because they do not want you to see what is going on. they do not want to be found out.

Leaders of the world’s biggest media organizations filed a protest with Israel’s prime minister Wednesday criticizing the government’s decision to ban journalists from entering the Gaza Strip for the last two weeks.

The protest was the latest in a chorus of international criticism of Israel’s Gaza closure, tightened after a five-month truce began unraveling about two weeks ago in a flurry of Israeli airstrikes against militants and Palestinian rocket barrages targeting Israeli towns.

Those signing the letter included Associated Press Chief Executive and President Tom Curley, Reuters Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger, New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, ABC News President David Westin, BBC News Director Helen Boaden and other top executives from CNN, the Canadian TV network CTV, the German broadcaster ZDF, and the French news service Agence France Presse.

“We are gravely concerned about the prolonged and unprecedented denial of access to the Gaza Strip for the international media,” they wrote in the letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

“We would welcome an assurance that access to Gaza for international journalists will be restored immediately in the spirit of Israel’s long-standing commitment to a free press,” reads the letter.

but there seem to be a few lone voices in the world out there demanding some significant outcry on the world stage today:

AUSTRALIA has switched its position to vote against Israel on two resolutions at the United Nations, ending the Howard government’s unswerving alignment with the United States and raising concern from the Jewish community.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire says the United Nations should suspend or revoke Israel’s membership.

Maguire, in a news conference Thursday, said that it’s time for the international community to take action against Israel. She claimed Israel should be punished for ignoring a series of United Nations resolutions over the years.

of course no leaders in the united states speak out with such forcefulness. gross human rights violations are gross human rights violations. when will the world wake up and get over it’s ridiculous fear of being called anti-semitic? everyone is ready to jump on the bandwagon to punish countries who violate international law when the people in those countries are predominantly brown folks. but when they are jewish. silence. one day this hypocrisy will be revealed for what it is. but how many more people in gaza will have to suffer until then.