FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

In Gaza, We Have Lost So Many That We Love

by

It’s been three days since Israel’s deadly attack on my cousin’s home and I still haven’t been able to go to Khan Younis to mourn with my surviving family.  The Israeli bombing is ongoing and it’s difficult and very dangerous to travel 18 miles from where I’m living and working in Gaza City.  Today Israel announced a ceasefire and I wanted to go to Khan Younis.  But we have learned we cannot trust these ceasefires and one of my cousins called and begged, “Please don’t come, no where is safe, and you don’t need to take the risk.”

There is no safe place in Gaza.  I’ve said it many times before in writing, in interviews, because it is the frightening reality for us.  Many families have been erased and everyone in Gaza is wondering when it will be their turn.  Between 60 to 65 families have been wiped out completely.  My family is no different from any other in the Gaza Strip.  Part of my family has been erased.   We are always wondering, “Who will be next?”

Here is the story of my family, just one among many stories in Gaza:

At 2:30a.m. on Friday, August 1, my family received a first “warning” bomb on the roof of their house while they slept.  They jumped up, woke the children, and told everyone to run outside.  The family lived in a four-story apartment building. Three to four minutes after the first bomb, a second larger bomb hit the building.  Part of the family was outside running into the street, but part of the family was still in the building when the second Israeli bomb hit.

My cousin’s son Emad was trying to bring the children together to move them to a safer place when a third rocket hit them in the street and killed them all where they stood.  There were body parts everywhere, most of them children.  This series of attacks killed nine members of my family:

Abed Almalek Abed Al Salam El-Farra, 64 years

Osamah Abed Almalek El-Farra, 34 years

Awatef  A’ez Eldeen El-Farra, 29 years

Emad El-Farra, 28 years

Mohamad Mahmoud El-Farra, 12 years

Nadeen Mahmoud El-Farra, 9 years

Yara Abed Al Salam El-Farra, 8 years

Abed Al Rahaman El-Farra, 8 years

Lujain Basem El-Farra, 4 years

Also, ten more people were injured in this bombing, among them one family member, Afaf, who was pregnant and miscarried her baby.

The night my relatives were killed was one of the worst nights throughout Gaza.   No one could sleep because the bombing was everywhere.   At 4 a.m. I opened Facebook and saw that a post about Abed Almalek and some of his children and grandchildren being killed.  I immediately called my cousin Mahmoud in Khan Younis and when he answered the phone, he was weeping.   Mahmoud is a headmaster at the UN school in that area, taking care of refugees and he confirmed the news.   It was a shocking painful moment, but this is Gaza.   You find yourself supporting someone because they lost their loved ones and suddenly you find that same person supporting you in your loss.   And later we both support others in their loss.   It’s like a circle.

It’s tragic and sad for our family and for everyone in Gaza.   Abed Almalek was one of the father figures in our family.   We are a family of refugees who were driven into Gaza when our land was taken by Israelis in 1948.  Abed was a businessman who owned a home painting and decorating shop.

Israel is killing and destroying homes, schools, infrastructure—everything.  When Germany bombed London during World War 2, the English built bomb shelters under London Underground stations to protect civilians.  Even with shelters, the English evacuated hundreds of thousands of children from any area that might be targeted, even sending thousands of children overseas for safety.  But in Gaza’s case, where can our children go?  Where can our people go?  We are not safe at home and not safe in United Nations facilities.  We are targeted by the Israeli military just because we are Palestinian.  Our Israeli attackers are cowards because they target civilians and especially children.  They are trying to kill the future of our people by targeting the next generations.

But I’m very proud of the people in Gaza.   Despite all of the pain and violence, people are coming together, supporting one another, sharing whatever they have. It’s an issue of survival.  Israel’s attacks are aimed at killing us as individuals, as a country and as a cause.  So I get up every morning because it is my duty to my community and because I know others are doing their duty to keep me and my country and my cause alive.

I don’t want condolences on a personal level.  This is a tragedy for everyone in the Gaza Strip and for every Palestinian.  I want people to take a stand and take action to stop these war crimes.

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.

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.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
May 26, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Swamp Politics, Trump Style: “Russiagate” Diverts From the Real White House Scandals
Paul Street
It’s Not Gonna Be Okay: the Nauseating Nothingness of Neoliberal Capitalist and Professional Class Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
The ICEmen Cometh
Ron Jacobs
The Deep State is the State
Pete Dolack
Why Pence Might be Even Worse Than Trump
Patrick Cockburn
We Know What Inspired the Manchester Attack, We Just Won’t Admit It
Thomas Powell
The Dirty Secret of the Korean War
Mark Ashwill
The Fat Lady Finally Sings: Bob Kerrey Quietly Resigns from Fulbright University Vietnam Leadership Position
John Davis
Beyond Hope
Uri Avnery
The Visitation: Trump in Israel
Ralph Nader
The Left/Right Challenge to the Failed “War on Drugs”
Traci Yoder
Free Speech on Campus: a Critical Analysis
Dave Lindorff
Beware the Supporter Scorned: Upstate New York Trump Voters Hit Hard in President’s Proposed 2018 Budget
Daniel Read
“Sickening Cowardice”: Now More Than Ever, Britain’s Theresa May Must be Held to Account on the Plight of Yemen’s Children
Ana Portnoy
Before the Gates: Puerto Rico’s First Bankruptcy Trial
M. Reza Behnam
Rethinking Iran’s Terrorism Designation
Brian Cloughley
Ukraine and the NATO Military Alliance
Josh Hoxie
Pain as a Policy Choice
David Macaray
Stephen Hawking Needs to Keep His Mouth Shut
Ramzy Baroud
Fear as an Obstacle to Peace: Why Are Israelis So Afraid?
Kathleen Wallace
The Bilious Incongruity of Trump’s Toilet
Seth Sandronsky
Temping Now
Alan Barber – Dean Baker
Blue Collar Blues: Manufacturing Falls in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania in April
Jill Richardson
Saving America’s Great Places
Richard Lawless
Are Credit Rating Agencies America’s Secret Fifth Column?
Louis Proyect
Venezuela Reconsidered
Murray Dobbin
The NDP’s Singh and Ashton: Flash Versus Vision
Ron Leighton
Endarkenment: Postmodernism, Identity Politics, and the Attack on Free Speech
Anthony Papa
Drug War Victim: Oklahoma’s Larry Yarbrough to be Freed after 23 Years in Prison
Rev. John Dear
A Call to Mobilize the Nation Over the Next 18 Months
Yves Engler
Why Anti-Zionism and Anti-Jewish Prejudice Have to Do With Each Other
Ish Mishra
Political Underworld and Adventure Journalism
Binoy Kampmark
Roger Moore in Bondage
Rob Seimetz
Measuring Manhoods
Edward Curtin
Sorry, You’re Not Invited
Vern Loomis
Winning the Lottery is a State of Mind
Charles R. Larson
Review: Mary V. Dearborn’s “Ernest Hemingway”
David Yearsley
The Ethos of Mayfest
May 25, 2017
Jennifer Matsui
The Rise of the Alt-Center
Michael Hudson
Another Housing Bubble?
Robert Fisk
Trump Meets the New Leader of the Secular World, Pope Francis
John Laforge
Draft Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Unveiled
Benjamin Dangl
Trump’s Budget Expands War on the Backs of America’s Poor
Alice Donovan
US-Led Air Strikes Killed Record Number of Civilians in Syria
Andrew Moss
The Meaning of Trump’s Wall
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail