We arrived inside Gaza at 5pm last night. We were met by Anees, a 23 year old Gazan. He has guided us around the community. When we first came in tonight, kids were playing soccer in the street. We saw lots of heavily damaged buildings, especially government buildings and homes near border.
There was no electricity when we first arrived. Later it came on for a while. People tell us that in some places electricity is on for 2 hours a day, other places as much as 6 hours a day.
We are spending the night in Rafah near Sea Street – about 450 meters from border, about 1 and a half miles from the Egypt border crossing. Also staying with us is Dr. Jim Jennings of Conscience International who is delivering medicines. Anees told us we could not stay with his family, because their house is near the border and that is too dangerous. So he arranged for us to stay in the home of a friend of his, Abed. The rest of Abed’s family fled. Only Abed is here in the home with us. People brought us food and tea. Their hospitality to us is amazing.
Anees told us tonight that he has no longer wants to make new friends because so many of his have died. A new friend may die tomorrow or disappear. He knew Rachel Corrie and she was the main reason he learned English. Others told us Anees went under fire to help Tom Hurndall get to the hospital when he was shot by IDF snipers.
At 12:24 am, we were asleep when suddenly bombs started falling. There were explosions about every 11 minutes. There were very loud noises and big bursts of light and everything shook. We could not tell where the bombs were hitting. At 1 am a helicopter flew over and all the electricity in the neighborhood went out.
It is hard to imagine kids and families going through this night after night.
This is all we can write right now. Please work to stop the bombing.
Audrey Stewart is a human rights worker with Loyola University New Orleans.
Kathy Kelly, a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, is writing from Arish, a town near the Rafah border between Egypt and Gaza. Bill Quigley, a human rights lawyer and law professor at Loyola New Orleans and Audrey Stewart are also in Egypt and contributed to this article. Kathy Kelly is the author of Other Lands Have Dreams (published by CounterPunch/AK Press). Her email is email@example.com