Israel’s rain of missiles on Gaza and Tae’er’s legs

Gaza,
8 August 2006

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Palestinian man carrying the body of Rewan Hajaj 5 into Al Shifa hospital. (NPA)

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Medical worker carrying a Palestinian infact who was injured during the Gaza attack. (NPA)



In Gaza City, where many businesses have closed their doors, and the rest that remain open are struggling. Al Shifa Hospital is by far the busiest place all over. In the intense heat of Gaza’s hottest summer days, dozens of men, boys, and journalists, hang out at the entrance of the hospital, waiting for the Red Crescent ambulances to unload the latest casualties which mostly arrive as small body parts… arms, legs, fingers, and even in some cases, not knowing, and wondering in horror, what body parts are left behind.

The most tragic event can easily happen when two ambulances from two hospitals start collecting the remains of the flesh of people who were killed. The collection of body parts within the chaos and destruction is definitely not an easy task, especially when there are groups of people being killed and two ambulances take the share of delivering all the victims remains to two different hospitals. Within this horrendously difficult process, one ambulance will have body parts of a victim that will take to a hospital, and the other ambulance will take (not knowing) other parts of flesh… leg, or arm, owned by the very same victim to another hospital to the north! One cannot decipher pieces of human flesh from one to the other in this complete chaos and discord that happens daily here in the Gaza Strip.

One of many tragic stories

Standing outside the gate of the Intensive Care Unit inside the hospital, Mohammed Mansour 24, who was there with his cousin Tae’er 13, who got injured. Mohammed has nothing to do but wait for Tae’er to wake up from the coma he is in. Meanwhile as he anxiously awaits his little cousin to open his eyes, Mohammed sees the large numbers of casualties with people with no legs and arms rushing into the hospitals. “Human flesh, legs, arms and heads are all collected in blankets. I can’t sleep at all after seeing all these horrible and gory scenes” he said, pointing out at the ambulances getting into the reception to unload the casualties.

Mohammed came from Khan Younies, the southern part of Gaza to be with Tae’er who got severely injured and still in a coma. As no one of Tae’er’s family are able to be with him in the intensive care unit, he left bleeding, but doctors informed him that they managed to stop the bleeding and that he should wake up from the effect of anesthetization tomorrow morning.

In the early morning, Tae’er started to wake up slowly. The last thing he remembers is: he was at his home with his family and curious to go outside to see what was going on around his house…

He woke up, still very sleepy. The first thing he saw was his cousin Mohammed who stood over his head telling him, “You will be fine.” The little thirteen year old boy did not respond as he pulled the blanket from his body and saw he has no legs.

The child started to cry in despair. Quietly he said, “My… my… my legs.” This is the only thing he managed to say. Nurses came rushing into the room trying to comfort him, but Tae’er seems to be not able to understand where his legs are… he went out walking on his feet out of his house to see what was going on around with all the loud bombings, and here, the memory connects once again in the hospital, but this time, he is lying down on the hospital bed and will never be able to walk again in this life.

Tae’er Mansour is not the only one to suffer like this. In every section at Al Shifa hospital, you can find many different stories, and the majority of those who were injured were innocent victims, and mainly children, many of them extremely injured. It is clear that the hospital cannot take the vast amount of casualties with the chaos of people screaming, and many of whom are looking for their loved ones with moaning, screaming and crying with such total despair and helplessness.

Palestinian civil society organizations have been very active in the past few days, especially the youth organizations working in Palestine, as hundreds of Palestinian youth and volunteers from different youth organizations have had organized a youth demonstration condemning the silence of the world on the ongoing war crimes in both Palestine and Lebanon.

Yousef Abu Amrah 24 , one of the volunteers and the organizers in the demonstration said:” We as Palestinian youth are demonstrating today against the Israeli war crimes and it’s the right time to announce about the death of United Nations which is no longer able to protect civilians in both Palestine and Lebanon”. He said referring to the demonstration where the participants raise black flags at the United Nations squire in Gaza City.

“Now, around 20 Palestinian youth volunteers from different youth organizations are in the process of preparing to travel in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Lebanon” he said. “This initiative is mainly by the youth working with medical aid teams and crises to assist our people in Lebanon” he added.

Despite of the fact that both the Palestinians and the Lebanese are being hit by the same rockets and both have the same plight, but the Palestinian youth are still trying to get the story out and show the Israeli war crimes in both countries. Many of the youth participating in the demonstration invite all youth around the world to activate boycotting both the US and Israeli-made products, as many consider buying the Israeli and US- made products as a free offer for Israel to continue it’s aggression against humanity.

The “Civilized” world destroying fellow humans lives and spirits

According to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, since the beginning of the ongoing attack, Israel has fired approximately 200-250 artillery shells into different parts of the Gaza Strip every day since June 28th, and around 202 air strikes from Israeli F-16’s and helicopters.

According to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, since the beginning of the ongoing attack, Israel has fired approximately 200-250 artillery shells into different parts of the Gaza Strip every day since June 28th, and around 202 air strikes from Israeli F-16’s and helicopters. All these attacks target most of the time are government buildings, civilian houses, infrastructure, agricultural areas and political and militants leaders from the Palestinian factions as well as the life sustaining water and electricity stations in different parts of Gaza Strip.

It has been nearly a year after Israel withdrew its soldiers and 8,000 Jewish settlers. Gaza’s 1.3 million Palestinians have seen their hopes for a better life crumble and deteriorate amid fresh fighting with the Israeli’s, and a new surge in militancy. The fighting is still going on without abate.

With the war continuing to escalate in Lebanon into higher and deadlier levels, another war against humanity is overlooked in Palestine. While the world’s attention with the deadly, inhumane war on Lebanon, Palestine suffers in the shadows of lies and deception. Israel’s vicious attacks on Gaza Strip called “Summer Rains” is still continuing with hundreds upon hundreds of people murdered and injured each day. The ones who remain alive, struggle daily with the complete closure on the Gaza crossing borders, including the Karni commercial crossing which is the main source to receive foodstuff into Gaza. There are continuous demolitions of homes, destruction, making fellow humans starve and destroy everything related to humanity.

Mohammed Omer is Youth Project Officer, Norwegian People’s Aid, Palestine.

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