Where shall I start? How shall I start?
Shall I start with the numbers which keep increasing and changing? 90 killed, mainly civilians. 600 injured. 140 demolished homes. Or should I start by mentioning all the different areas of the Gaza Strip that have been constantly hit, day and night. Nonstop. If it is only about numbers, then let me tell you all about thousands of Palestinian children who are terrified night after night, day after day by the sounds of the Israeli shelling. The children have deep feelings of insecurity when it is dark. And no shelters.
The Israeli army has restarted their punitive home demolition policy, illegal under international law. Yesterday a six-story building where my relatives live in Khan Younis was hit and levelled to the ground. 106 relatives were made homeless. Even if the Israeli army’s goal was to punish one of Hamas activists, there is no justification for this cruel, brutal and collective punishment. Eight members of the Kawarea family were killed in Khan Younis when the jetfighters destroyed their home. The Israeli army spokesman said sorry it was a mistake. What a gentle, well-behaved, and civilized army.
Walking through the streets of Gaza City where I live can be a real nightmare. The drones and jetfighters are in the sky and you cannot anticipate what will happen in next minute. Are they going to target a car behind you or in front of you? Will you be caught in the blast? Will others will be dying right that minute somewhere else? Will others will be forced to leave their home in 5 minutes only to be bombed 2 minutes later?
Yet despite the fear, I had to go to the Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip to be with the medical emergency team and help as much as I could. This morning we received an injured deaf young man from Jabalia. He was working in a farm that was hit. Tens of cows and sheep were killed too.
I am so tired and sleepless. I don’t feel settled outside my home despite of the generosity of my friends who are hosting me. But my building, my neighbourhood, are too unsafe. No where is safe but with intense shelling nearby and broken windows, I had to leave.
The shelling is continuous, crazy and everywhere. Warships fire missiles against the beach in Gaza City. Rafah town is under severe missile shelling , 10 people in Rafah were killed when their home was levelled to the ground by an American-made F16.
The UN agency that runs schools and clinics for Palestinian refugees opened its schools to receive homeless people from different areas. Now larger numbers of people will drink from MECA water purification units.
Nobody is asleep in Gaza. No place is safe. The Israeli military attacks are coming from every direction.
From Gaza with love,
Dr. Mona El-Farra
MECA Director of Gaza Projects
Dr. Mona El-Farra, Director of Gaza Projects, is a physician by training and a human rights and women’s rights activist by practice in the occupied Gaza Strip.