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

December 08, 2016
John W. Whitehead
Power to the People: John Lennon’s Legacy Lives On
Mike Whitney
Rolling Back the Empire: Washington’s Proxy-Army Faces Decisive Defeat in Aleppo
Ellen Brown
“We’ll Look at Everything:” More Thoughts on Trump’s $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
John Stauber
The Rise and Fall of Obamacare: Will the Inside Story Ever be Told?
Ted Rall
Ameri-Splaining
Michael J. Sainato
Mainstream Media Continues Absolving Itself From Clinton, Trump Election Failures
Ralph Nader – Mark Green
Divest or Face Impeachment: an Open Letter to Donald Trump
Gareth Porter
US Airstrikes on Syrian Troops: Report Data Undermine Claim of “Mistake”
Martha Burke
What Trumponomics Means for Women
Ramzy Baroud
Fatah, Hold Your Applause: Palestinian Body Politic Rotten to the Core
Steve Horn
Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Attorney General Pick, Introduced First Bill Exempting Fracking from Drinking Water Rules
Joe Ware
The Big Shift: Why Banks Need to Stop Investing Our Money Into Fossil Fuels
Juliana Barnet
On the Ground at Standing Rock
Franklin Lamb
Aleppo Update: An Inspiring Return to the Bombed Out National Museum
Steve Kelly
Hidden Harmony: on the Perfection of Forests
December 07, 2016
Michael Schwalbe
What We Talk About When We Talk About Class
Karl Grossman
The Next Frontier: Trump and Space Weapons
Kenneth Surin
On Being Caught Speeding in Rural America
Chris Floyd
In Like Flynn: Blowback for Filth-Peddling Fascists
Serge Halimi
Trump, the Know-Nothing Victor
Paul DeRienzo
Flynn Flam: Neocon Ex-General to Be Trump’s National Security Advisor
Binoy Kampmark
Troubled Waters: Trump, Taiwan and Beijing
Tom Clifford
Trump and China: a Note From Beijing
Arnold August
Fidel’s Legacy to the World on Theory and Practice
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix a ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
John Kirk
Cuba After Fidel
Jess Guh
Repeal of Affordable Care Act is Politics Playing with the Wellbeing of Americans
Eric Sommer
Team Trump: a Government of Generals and Billionaires
Lawrence Davidson
U.S. Reactions to the Death of Fidel Castro
John Garvey - Noel Ignatiev
Abolitionism: a Study Guide
Clancy Sigal
Caution: Conspiracy Theory Ahead!
December 06, 2016
Anthony DiMaggio
Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
Richard Moser
Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Warmongering 99 – Common Sense 0: the Senate’s Unanimous Renewal of Iran Sanctions Act
Norman Solomon
Media Complicity is Key to Blacklisting Websites
Michael J. Sainato
Elizabeth Warren’s Shameful Exploitation of Standing Rock Victory
David Rosen
State Power and Terror: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock
Kim Ives
Deconstructing Another Right-Wing Victory in Haiti
Nile Bowie
South Korea’s Presidency On A Knife-Edge
Mateo Pimentel
Some Notes and a Song for Standing Rock
CJ Hopkins
Manufacturing Normality
Bill Fletcher Jr – Bob Wing
Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016
Peter Lee
Is America Ready for a War on White Privilege?
Pepe Escobar
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
W. T. Whitney
No Peace Yet in Colombia Despite War’s End
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail