Monday, January 5, 2009

Scared but steadfast in Gaza

Rami Almeghari writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, 4 January 2009

"As Israel's relentless bombardment of the occupied Gaza Strip raged on for an eighth day, The Electronic Intifada correspondent Rami Almeghari, via Skype, described how people were coping early Sunday evening in Gaza:
I now live in Maghazi refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, which is currently being bombarded by Israel from tanks along the border, American-manufactured F-16s in the sky, and from the sea. Last night Israeli forces invaded the Gaza Strip and heavy fighting is happening in the northern Strip and east of Gaza City.

I have just come back to my computer that I'm using when there is electricity. There are electricity cuts here that are very prolonged throughout the day. I managed use a power generator for my computer when the electricity is out but the generator needs fuel, which is scarce here in Gaza because of Israel has closed the border and everything is locked own right now. Shortly I will run out of fuel to run the generator and stay online; this will be devastating because I am a journalist.....

One of the air strikes hit a house in the al-Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City, claiming the lives of a woman, a mother and her four children inside their home. In addition, this morning Israeli forces targeted the popular Firaz marketplace close to the Gaza City municipal building. Five were reported killed and at least 15 wounded.

It is being reported that the Israelis are using weapons with depleted uranium. Many medics at hospitals report bruises, burns and fractures in the bodies of the wounded and dead -- consistent with these kinds of illegal weapons which are prohibited under international law......

I found that my neighbors are dealing very patiently with what is happening right now. They don't have any place to go and are staying close to their homes, expecting that the worse has yet to come. However, they are saying that they will remain steadfast in their homeland and neighborhood and homes, even if Israel destroys Gaza completely. These people have been refugees for six decades and this conflict is one of existence -- the Israelis don't want the Palestinians to exist and hope they will go to Egypt and Jordan. Refugees recognize this and they are remaining steadfast in their homeland.

One of my neighbors said that even if they destroy Gaza completely there are millions of Palestinians outside and they can simply continue the struggle against the Israeli occupation. I'm not saying this to be sentimental -- this is what the people say. People are scared for their lives but they are much more concerned about their existence as a people, their homeland, history and roots in this holy part of the world......."

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