Rights and Accountability 26 August 2011
In a video released today by independent journalist Mohammed Al Majdalawi and distributed by Middle East Children’s Alliance, Palestinians describe the impact of Israel’s latest bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip.
Al Majdalawi also produced a video in which Palestinians vent their frustration over the continued closure of Rafah crossing in a report published by The Electronic Intifada two weeks ago.
Al Majdalawi’s video, narrated by Jehan Al Farra, was accompanied by the following report:
August 26th, 2011: Today I went to check out the places in my neighborhood where Israel bombed yesterday. The first place I visited was the Al Salam Sports Club and then onto the Al Huda Kindergarten in Beit Lahia. I cannot put into words the hideousness of what I saw there; the aggrieved faces of children, youth, and mothers. A nice sports club and a kindergarten were both demolished in the Beit Lahyia Refugee camp. Games, footballs, child-sized chairs, and books were strewn about amidst the destruction.
Yousef Khader, a member of the Free Running Group in Al Salam Club, said to me when I met him, “We used to play in this Club, and I am very perplexed over why would Israel bomb this place? We are just players and despite the fact that Israel destroyed the club, we will continue to practice our favorite sports.”
Another local woman, Um Salem, said, “This must be a new type of Israeli aircraft. It flies over our skies without making any sound when it suddenly bombards us and we hear a huge explosion. It is different from the Apaches or F-16s. We live near Al Salam Club, and while thankfully no one was injured from my family, they all continue to be frightened and panicked.”
The people of Jabaliya Refugee Camp cannot move freely in the evenings after they break their fast (Iftar) during Ramadan. This is because Israel has and continues to target civilians in the streets between Iftar time and Suhoor (the pre-dawn meal for those who fast).
Abu Mohammed lives in the Abd Rabbu area in the east of Jabaliya. Frustrated, Abu Mohammed exclaimed, “I lost my home during Israel’s last invasion in 2008, and what we have suffered during that time is enough. Every day we have had Iftar to the sounds of bombing and air strikes.”
Another resident, Adham Abu Salmyiah, described the dire emergency response situation. “There is a shortage of medicines and medical supplies in hospitals so I appeal to the outside world to stop Israeli aggression and to send the medical supplies for the people in Gaza.”
This recent escalation in Israeli aggression has been deemed by many politicians from the various factions as an exportation of, and diversion from, the internal Israeli crisis. It is a deliberate attempt to quell protests by shuffling cards with Palestinians all over again. People in Gaza wish to live in a safe place and achieve the peace and freedom. It is still the voices of ordinary Gazans like myself and the people I spoke to that are not being heard. If things are to change here, the international community needs to recognize our right to exist and speak out the against the occupation and bombing of our people and the places we live and play.