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Letter from Gaza
What Israeli Disengagement Sounds Like
by Dr. EYAD SERRAJ

In the last days, Gaza was awakened from its dreams with horrible explosions which have shattered our skies, shaken our buildings, broken our windows, and installed feelings of panic.

We suddenly felt helpless, under the control of the Israelis and at their mercy. The new method of exploding sound bombs in our skies is now available to the Israeli army who would not use it before the disengagement because they were careful not to alarm or hurt the Israeli settlers who were in Gaza. This new method was used by the Israeli army since Friday day and night. Usually between 2-4 in the morning, between 6:30 and 8 in the morning school going time, and in the afternoon or early evening. The explosions are heard and felt all over the Gaza Strip with the same intensity. These explosions were used alongside the usual routine of bombing and killing which the Israelis forces are familiar with.

This new cycle of terrific violence started with Israel assassinating four people in the West Bank town of Tolkarem. In the same day Islamic Jihad retaliated from Gaza by sending rockets to Israeli village of Sdirot. In the same day 19 people were killed during a military parade of Hamas. Apparently the cause was mishandling of explosive, but Hamas blamed Israel. Hamas joined Islamic Jihad by sending rockets to Sdirot where five people were injured.

Hamas quickly retracted and announced that it will stop all military operation from Gaza. Islamic Jihad followed with assertion that it will abide by the truce. Israeli campaign of bombing continues. Last night I, with all Gazans, were awakened by the horrible noise twice, 3:30am and at 7:15am. I hardly was able to sleep in between. I was supposed to travel today to Amman and from there to Zurich to be with you, but Gaza is also sealed off by the Israeli forces. No one is allowed in or out of Gaza and that includes foreigners and even the Palestinian President Mr. Abbass who appealed for calm. We stand firm against all forms of violence and in any name be it national liberation or security.

We believe the whole area and perhaps the world is being attacked and manipulated by a small group of fanatics on all sides. These violent fanatics, some ideologue, some political and some business, are supporting each other, feeding each other, and needing each other. The ultimate victim is the ordinary human being, security, peace, and humanity itself.

We believe firmly that forces of evil should and can be stopped. Only when people of wisdom, people of commitment to peace and equality in humanity, to justice and to love, only when people stand together that good will prevail and this is why we formed the FFIPPI to struggle in solidarity for justice and for peace, to end the military occupation, and to stop all forms of violence.

We are committed to these ideals. And we want you to be with us.

Dr. EYAD SERRAJ is director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Center based in Gaza City. Dr. Serraj was supposed to be speaking in Geneva today, but, for reasons he explains above, is remaining in Gaza.





































CLARIFICATION

ALEXANDER COCKBURN, JEFFREY ST CLAIR, BECKY GRANT AND THE INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF JOURNALISTIC CLARITY, COUNTERPUNCH

We published an article entitled "A Saudiless Arabia" by Wayne Madsen dated October 22, 2002 (the "Article"), on the website of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity, CounterPunch, www.counterpunch.org (the "Website").

Although it was not our intention, counsel for Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi has advised us the Article suggests, or could be read as suggesting, that Mr Al Amoudi has funded, supported, or is in some way associated with, the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

We do not have any evidence connecting Mr Al Amoudi with terrorism.

As a result of an exchange of communications with Mr Al Amoudi’s lawyers, we have removed the Article from the Website.

We are pleased to clarify the position.

August 17, 2005