Bombing Gaza (2008) – Stories from Ground Zero

28 Dec

Emergency Protest Against Bombing in Gaza

Emergency Protest Against Bombing in Gaza

National Union of Students has announced an emergency protest at Town Hall  (4:30 pm) against Israeli bombing in Gaza which started on Saturday. Attend the protest if you can make it. This latest onslaught and escalation of attacks against Gazans must be condemned.

Code- named ‘Operation Cast Lead’, news station, Al Jazeera predicted that approximately 1000 Gazans have been killed or injured at time of blogging. BBC reported at least 227 casualties with at least 700 wounded while AP figures are at 230 dead with more than 400 wounded. In the last report, 100 tons of bombs are utilised in the first nine hours of bombing while at least 20 airstrikes are recorded in the first hours of Sunday.

The horror stories of the bombing have also been streaming in from alternative media in ground zero.

Writes Dr Eyad Al Serraj, a practising psychologist, writing for Counterpunch:

‘ The bombing went on for about 10 minutes. It was like an earthquake on top of your head. The windows were shaking and squeaking. My 10-year-old was terrified, he was jumping from one place to another trying to hide. I held him tight to my chest and tried to give him some security and reassure him. My 12-year-old was panicking and began laughing hysterically, it’s not normal. I held her hand and calmed her and told her she would be safe. My wife was panicking. She was running around the apartment looking for somewhere to hide…’

Safa Joudeh, a freelance journalist in Gaza gives a more alarming account of the carnage:

‘… What followed seems pretty much surreal at this point. Never had we imagined anything like this. It all happened so fast but the amount of death and destruction is inconceivable, even to me and I’m in the middle of it and a few hours have passed already passed.

Six locations were hit during the air raid on Gaza City. The images are probably not broadcasted on US news channels. There were piles and piles of bodies in the locations that were hit. As you looked at them you could see that a few of the young men were still alive, someone lifts a hand, and another raises his head. They probably died within moments because their bodies were burned, most had lost limbs, some of their guts were hanging out and they were all lying in pools of blood. Outside my home which is close to the two largest universities in Gaza, a missile fell on a large group of young men, university students. They’d been warned not to stand in groups as it makes them an easy target, but they were waiting for buses to take them home. Seven were killed, four students and three of our neighbors’ kids, young men who were from the Rayes family and were best friends. As I’m writing this I can hear a funeral procession go by outside; I looked out the window a moment ago and it was the three Rayes boys. They spent all their time together when they were alive, they died together and now they are sharing the same funeral together. Nothing could stop my 14-year-old brother from rushing out to see the bodies of his friends laying in the street after they were killed. He hasn’t spoken a word since…’

And my personal favourite blogger, El-Haddad who attributes the latest attack to, ‘the rains of death in Gaza’:

‘… My mother was in the Red Crescent Society clinic near the universities at the time of the initial wave of attacks, where she works part-time as a pediatrician. Behind the clinic was one of the police centers that was leveled. She said she broke down at first, the sheer proximity of the attacks having shaken her from the inside out. After she got a hold of herself, they took to treating injured victims of the attack, before they transferred them to al-Shifa hospital. There, she said, medical necessities were in short supply: face masks, surgical gloves, gowns, etc…’

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