FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Gaza: Whole Villages Have Been Wiped Off the Map

by

I’m writing now from my home, but I still feel dizzy from shock and nauseated by the sights and smells on my visit to Khan Younis and Khuza’a.

Yesterday I decided to use the opportunity of the ceasefire to visit my family in Khan Younis. I especially wanted to see my sister who had open heart surgery before Israel’s assault. I hadn’t seen her for 36 days. I’m lucky that I have enough fuel in my car to drive 24 kilometers (15 miles) so I struck out towards the south.

I drove down Salaheddin Road and passed rubble from mosques, houses, and factories. Some buildings were destroyed completely and some partially. Later on in my drive, I saw dozens of big trees uprooted and smashed, fruit trees destroyed and farms and gardens decimated and ruined. The Israeli bombs were aimed to destroy the infrastructure, to destroy Gaza’s economy. Even the main cookie factory was targeted and destroyed.

I passed UN trucks distributing food to people in long lines. This siege and assault by the Israelis has made everyone in the Gaza Strip live as a refugee, missing basic needs and struggling to survive.

When I drove up to my family’s place in Khan Younis, it was a very emotional moment. We’ve lost many family members and, excuse me, my friends, I’m not going to talk about this meeting because every family in Gaza is going through the same thing.

My sister and relatives decided they wanted to go to see Khuza’a, a village located east of Khan Younis. At first I didn’t want to go to Khuza’a. I didn’t want to be reminded of the massacre, to witness more horrors. But I decided to go so I could give you, my friends from the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), and others living outside of Gaza my first-hand account. I know you are following the news closely but I also know the news might not tell you what has gone on and is going on in Gaza.

As we set out to the east, my niece pointed out the devastation, “You can see where the Israeli tanks were—here and here.” When we came to the village Abbasan, there was an Israeli military vehicle destroyed. Palestinian flags were flying from it and Palestinian children were playing on it while their families stood watching them.

We continued toward Khuza’a. It was a model Palestinian agricultural village with open fields and green everywhere. They had fruit trees and vegetable fields. But there was nothing left of the village I remembered.

The smell and the sights we saw were shocking. The moment we parked and I got out, a very strange smell hit us—the smell of dead bodies. That smell will never leave me; it is still stuck in my nose. We saw totally flattened houses and other houses partially destroyed.  It reminded me of pictures from war-torn areas where years of fighting erased a village. I could tell that something huge and terrible had happened here, the rubble and the destruction were extreme. Some villagers told us they had found two bodies in the rubble a couple of hours before we arrived. Still people were searching the ruins for their relative’s remains. Many times I had to stop myself from vomiting because the smell was so strong.

This Israeli assault has hit the Palestinian people more deeply than the last two military attacks. This one is even more deadly and destructive. Whole neighborhoods and villages have been wiped off the map.

I ask myself now how can we start again?

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.

Weekend Edition
February 12-14, 2016
Andrew Levine
What Next in the War on Clintonism?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Comedy of Terrors
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh – Anthony A. Gabb
Financial Oligarchy vs. Feudal Aristocracy
Paul Street
When Plan A Meets Plan B: Talking Politics and Revolution with the Green Party’s Jill Stein
Rob Urie
The (Political) Season of Our Discontent
Pepe Escobar
It Takes a Greek to Save Europa
Gerald Sussman
Why Hillary Clinton Spells Democratic Party Defeat
Carol Norris
What Do Hillary’s Women Want? A Psychologist on the Clinton Campaign’s Women’s Club Strategy
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Election: Any Good News for Palestine?
Linda Pentz Gunter
Radioactive Handouts: the Nuclear Subsidies Buried Inside Obama’s “Clean” Energy Budget
Michael Welton
Lenin, Putin and Me
Manuel García, Jr.
Fire in the Hole: Bernie and the Cracks in the Neo-Liberal Lid
Thomas Stephens
The Flint River Lead Poisoning Catastrophe in Historical Perspective
David Rosen
When Trump Confronted a Transgender Beauty
Will Parrish
Cap and Clear-Cut
Victor Grossman
Coming Cutthroats and Parting Pirates
Ben Terrall
Raw Deals: Challenging the Sharing Economy
David Yearsley
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Formation: Form-Fitting Uniforms of Revolution and Commerce
David Mattson
Divvying Up the Dead: Grizzly Bears in a Post-ESA World
Matthew Stevenson
Confessions of a Primary Insider
Jeff Mackler
Friedrichs v. U.S. Public Employee Unions
Franklin Lamb
Notes From Tehran: Trump, the Iranian Elections and the End of Sanctions
Pete Dolack
More Unemployment and Less Security
Christopher Brauchli
The Cruzifiction of Michael Wayne Haley
Bill Quigley
Law on the Margins: a Profile of Social Justice Lawyer Chaumtoli Huq
Uri Avnery
A Lady With a Smile
Katja Kipping
The Opposite of Transparency: What I Didn’t Read in the TIPP Reading Room
B. R. Gowani
Hellish Woman: ISIS’s Granny Endorses Hillary
Kent Paterson
The Futures of Whales and Humans in Mexico
James Heddle
Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You
Michael Howard
Hollywood’s Grotesque Animal Abuse
Steven Gorelick
Branding Tradition: a Bittersweet Tale of Capitalism at Work
Nozomi Hayase
Assange’s UN Victory and Redemption of the West
Patrick Bond
World Bank Punches South Africa’s Poor, by Ignoring the Rich
Mel Gurtov
Is US-Russia Engagement Still Possible?
Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown Receives Cold, Dead Fish Award Four Years In A Row
Wolfgang Lieberknecht
Fighting and Protecting Refugees
Jennifer Matsui
Doglegs, An Unforgettable Film
Soud Sharabani
Israeli Myths: An Interview with Ramzy Baroud
Terry Simons
Bernie? Why Not?
Missy Comley Beattie
When Thoughtful People Think Illogically
Christy Rodgers
Everywhere is War: Luke Mogelson’s These Heroic, Happy Dead: Stories
Ron Jacobs
Springsteen: Rockin’ the House in Albany, NY
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“The Martian”: This Heroism is for Chinese Viewers Too
Charles R. Larson
No Brainers: When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail