Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

No humanitarian crisis in Gaza
By Amira Hass
Three hours after the Israel Defense Forces began their ground operation in the Gaza Strip, at about 10:30 P.M. Saturday night, a shell or missile hit the house owned by Hussein al-Awaidi and his brothers. Twenty-one people live in the isolated house, located in an agricultural area east of Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood. Five of them were wounded in the strike: Two women in their eighties (his mother and aunt), his 14-year-old son, his 13-year-old niece and his 10-year-old nephew.

Twenty hours later, the wounded were still bleeding in a shed in the courtyard of the house. There was no electricity, no heat, no water. Their relatives were with them, but every time they tried to leave the courtyard to fetch water, the army shot at them.

Al-Awaidi tried to summon help on his cell phone, but Gaza’s cell phone network is collapsing. Shells have hit transponders, there is no electricity and no diesel fuel to run the generators. Every time the telephone works, it is a minor miracle.

At about noon Sunday, Al-Awaidi finally managed to reach S., who called me. There was nothing else that S., who lives nearby, could do.

I had known Al-Awaidi for eight years, and I called Physicians for Human Rights. They called the IDF’s liaison office to ask it to arrange to have the wounded evacuated. That was shortly after noon – and as of press time, the liaison office had still not called PHR back.

Meanwhile, someone else had managed to reach the Red Crescent Society. It called the Red Cross and asked it to coordinate the evacuation of the wounded with the IDF. That was at 10:30 A.M. – and as of press time Sunday night, the Red Cross had still not been able to do so.

While I was on the phone with PHR, at about noon, H. called. He just wanted to report: Two children, Ahmed Sabih and Mohammed al-Mashharawi, aged 10 and 11, had gone up on the roof of their Gaza City house to heat water over a fire. There is no electricity or gas, so fire is all that remains.

Tanks are spitting shells, helicopters are raining fire, warplanes are causing earthquakes. But it is still hard for people to grasp that heating water has become no less dangerous than joining Hamas’ military wing.

An IDF missile hit the two boys, killing Ahmed and seriously wounding Mohammed. Later Sunday, an Internet news site reported that both had died. But H.’s cell phone was not answering, so I could not verify that report.

And there was no point in trying H.’s land line: A bomb destroyed his neighborhood’s entire phone system on Saturday. The target was a print shop (yet another of the IDF’s “military” targets). Its owner, a retired UNRWA employee, had invested his entire pension in the shop.

In B.’s neighborhood, the bombs hit the water mains, so she has had no water since yesterday morning. “I’m already used to coping without electricity,” she said. “There’s no television, but I hear what happens from friends who call. One friend called from Lebanon, another from Haifa. And Ramallah. But without water, how will we manage?”

A. offered his own take on the situation: “I keep the children away from the windows because the F-16s are in the air; I forbid them to play below because it’s dangerous. They’re bombing us from the sea and from the east, they’re bombing us from the air. When the telephone works, people tell us about relatives or friends who were killed. My wife cries all the time. At night she hugs the children and cries. It’s cold and the windows are open; there’s fire and smoke in open areas; at home there’s no water, no electricity, no heating gas. And you [the Israelis] say there’s no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Tell me, are you normal?”


  1. ibs said,

    January 5, 2009 at 16:19

    There is “no humanitarian crisis in Gaza” because Zionism denies the humanity of the Palestinians. As in other colonial settler societies, such as Australia, Canada and the USA, the indigenous people are considered mere fauna or flora that the rightful owners of the land have as much right to sweep away as they do to cut down the forests or dam the rivers.

  2. Jinjirrie said,

    January 5, 2009 at 16:52

    This article made me wonder whether Israel has totally lost the plot – then I remembered it’s never been quite sane – diagnosis is Munschausen’s Syndrom by proxy, which makes the US and Israel’s other accomplices sufferers of Munschausen’s Syndrome by proxy by proxy.

    I’ve linked with your site.

  3. Thomas Mc said,

    January 5, 2009 at 20:43

    And the German Nazis claimed they did nothing wrong in the Warsaw Ghetto.

    The Jews in Israel have become the ugliest possible thing they could imagine. NAZIs.

  4. January 5, 2009 at 21:53

    […] NO HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN GAZA January 5, 2009 Posted by verteta in Israel, PALESTINE. trackback Full Link : HERE […]

  5. Goliaths Curse said,

    January 6, 2009 at 02:50

    As they “turn the other cheek” to the slaughter by Gods self-chosen, America Christians will have alot of innocent blood on their hands when they are through.
    They are being set up.

  6. andy fox said,

    January 6, 2009 at 10:10

    When you have family of your own and i watch the ‘uncensored’ news and pictures of what is ‘really happening’ in Gaza it makes my stomach churn to think why humans can be so terrible to others and to make up propaganda to support such a fascist and in-humane decision to bomb and kill so many innocent children, women and men!! It makes me sick to know that all the world leaders have let this happen!!

  7. January 7, 2009 at 06:23

    […]  Enlace original […]

  8. Klave said,

    January 7, 2009 at 08:25

    I bookmarked your blog, thanks for sharing this very interesting post

  9. January 7, 2009 at 15:27

    […] crisis in the [Gaza] Strip, and therefore there is no need for a humanitarian truce.""…risis-in-gaza/ ^ That last site has a really good picture on it, check it out if you have the chance: […]

  10. January 11, 2009 at 06:09

    […] Enlace original Archivos […]

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