Gaza Strip

"May God take revenge on those who did this!"

Samira Qishta, a mother of 12, rushed to her house in the al-Brazil housing project of Rafah City, right after the Israeli army declared a halt to its attacks on the coastal region on 18 January. “My God, what has happened? was it an earthquake? I cant believe my eyes!” This was Samira’s reaction when she saw her devastated house. The Electronic Intifada correspondent Rami Almeghari reports from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

Worse than an earthquake

Traffic on Sea Street, a major thoroughfare alongside Gaza’s coastline, includes horses, donkeys pulling carts, cyclists, pedestrians, trucks and cars, mostly older models. Overhead, in stark contrast to the street below, Israel’s ultra-modern unmanned surveillance planes crisscross the skies. F-16s and helicopters can also be heard. Remnants of their deliveries, the casings of missiles, bombs and shells used during the past three weeks of Israeli attacks, are scattered on the ground. Kathy Kelly writes from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

Profound psychological damage in Gaza

I was able to meet another extended family, take their testimonies that included the shelling of their house, phosphorus-like fires, sadistic drawings left behind by the Israeli soldiers occupying the house, the imprisonment of the elderly parents for four days with no food, no water, no toilets, no medicines, and the killing of their sheep and goats. Eva Bartlett writes from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

In Gaza, love is the strongest weapon

18 January 2009: Late last night, a text message notified us that the Israeli government was very close to declaring that they would stop attacking Gaza for one day. Shortly before midnight, we heard huge explosions, four in a row. Till now, that was the last attack. Israeli drones flew overhead all night long, but residents of Rafah were finally able to get eight hours of sleep uninterrupted by F-16s and Apache helicopters attacking them. Kathy Kelly writes from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

A child full of light will never see again

So many crimes have already been documented by Amnesty International and other human rights institutions. Many more are still untold stories. I can tell one story with my own words and my own camera — that of eight-year-old Louay Sobeh. Little Louay could not know what this war had in store for him or his family. Sameh A. Habeeb writes from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

Families flee to school refuges

“I could not leave my house, it’s too priceless to me — it’s home! Although I could hear the missiles hitting the house next door, kids in the family were frightened and wouldn’t stop crying. Still we managed to hold on until they destroyed our cousin Sadlah Matar Abu Halemeh’s causing the death of his nine-member family. All were killed and no one survived — then we decided to leave!” Eman Mohamed writes from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

White phosphorus: "The patient came back smoking"

It’s hard to believe it can get worse, but daily it does. Last week, I saw the white phosphorus clouds doctors have written about and condemned. From a tall Gaza City building, the panoramic view showed a spreading stream of poison, on eastern Gaza. The chemical burns deeply, to the bone, experts say. It is considered illegal warfare, not to be used in civilian areas. Eva Bartlett writes from the Gaza Strip. 

No honeymoons in Gaza

Wael Selmi displayed a surprising kindness and welcome — you are welcome any time — given that his life’s work had just been leveled by the invading Israeli army. Even more surprising, given that the brothers’ furniture factory in northern Gaza was destroyed by the Israeli army four years ago, causing $300,000 in damage and losses. They’d had it just two years at the time. Along with that ruined factory, the family owns agricultural land which they cannot access near the Erez crossing. Eva Bartlett writes from the Gaza Strip. 

Still breathing in Gaza

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. Caoimhe Butterly writes from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

"Twenty years of a life erased"

When I’d met the extended Abed Rabu family, before the ground invasion began, they had just had their house bombed by an F-16. Their area has been occupied by Israeli tanks and soldiers since the ground invasion began. Medical workers cannot reach the injured there, and those who have managed to escape testify to imprisonment in their houses, abuse, point-blank shooting (to death), and a number of dead not yet known. Eva Bartlett writes from the besieged Gaza Strip.