Saturday, December 27, 2008

Eyewitness: Chaos in Gaza


The BBC's Rushdi Aboualouf in the Gaza Strip described the chaos as Israeli warplanes fired missiles at Hamas targets, killing at least 155 Palestinians.

Israeli planes are still flying over Gaza and they have just targeted another Hamas [security] compound in the middle of the Gaza Strip, in a place called Khan Younis.

We can see from our office here in Gaza, in the middle of Gaza City, ambulances are still evacuating the injured from buildings and school kids are trying to find secure places.

People who were going to their work were turned back and went home, and most of the residents in Gaza have been ordered by the Ministry of Health to stay indoors.

The mosques in Gaza are calling the people here to go to the hospitals and to donate blood. There is no room in the hospitals as far as we've heard from Hamas sources to treat the people.

No safe places

It's a very bad situation... There were Israeli aeroplanes everywhere, hitting everywhere. You could see smoke from north to south, from west to east. The people are really in a panic. The main object for the people now is to find a secure place to secure their family.

It's hard to find a secure place in Gaza. Gaza has no shelters, it has no safe places. The Hamas security compounds are in the middle of the city - it's not the kind of place where you see compounds outside the cities.

I have witnessed one of the compounds - which is 20m away from my house - I was standing on the balcony and I have seen the Israeli airplanes hitting the place.

Some of my balcony was damaged and my kid was injured and it's a very, very serious situation here in Gaza, the people can't do anything except stay indoors.


At 6:36 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

Too bad Hamas compounds are in the middle of population centers. Still, Israel is right to treat Hamas to a smackdown, especially when the Air Force is successully avoiding many civilian casualties (most of those killed were members of Hamas security forces and rocket-firing units). The situation in the Western Negev in intolerable.

At 9:06 PM, Blogger Gert said...


This is by and large a political move: the rockets are a serious nuisance but the vast majority miss their targets (perhaps Israel should counts its blessings for the fact that Hamas et al don't have the missile capability to strike IDF units or take out incoming F16's?) No, this is Kadima and Bibi pandering to the Far Right. The latter have now all of a sudden been given a belated Hanukah present. In the mean time, the occupation of the West Bank goes on unabated and the Far Right will feel emboldened by this move. Expect more aggressive settler stances very shortly. Mark my words... (Apology due if I turn out to be wrong on this.)

Hamas should have renewed the truce, but since as all this bombing will achieve is strengthen Gazan support for them, they won't, at least not just yet.

Despite my disdain for, and condemnation of Hamas, it's becoming increasingly difficult for me to see Israel as other than wanting to achieve complete subjugation of the Palestinians and full and unchallenged control of the West Bank. My sympathy for Israel is, once again, seriously being put to the test here.

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

Since even people like Amos Oz and the dovish Meretz party have called for action against Hamas, this is hardly pandering to the far right by Kadima and Olmert (Bibi ain't prime minister just yet, and I hope he won't ever be again).

The Qassams are more than just a nuisance. Civilians have been killed and injured by them, although the numbers aren't very high. The main impact is the fact that Israeli civilians are living in fear. When suicide bombings were all Israelis had to fear, at least they knew they could avoid buses and crowded areas. With the Qassams, even your house isn't safe enough.

The objective of these strikes are to force Hamas back into a ceasefire. Its aim is to reduce the number of rockets fired at Israel in the long run. It has nothing to do with the West Bank and everything to do with the Western Negev and the fact that Hamas fired hundreds of rockets at Israel last week, with no reason.

Do you have a better idea how to handle the situation?

At 1:52 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Yes. I'm now writing a post about it.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Cookie..... said...

Gert, I doubt that the folks who lost a loved one from a Qassam rocket would consider them a "nuisance". From what I've been able to ascertain, Israel has displayed exceptional restraint for quite some time as these rockets kept slowly killing her people, and as stated, kept her people living in fear.

I'm old school Gert, I'll let you poke and hurt me just so much, then I'm gonna break your nose or jaw, and give you a very sore groin area. Its the old lesson one learns when dealing with a bully. Ignore him, and he'll only keep it up and probably get even more violent. Let him know you won't tolerate his treatment, and hopefully he'll look for some other victim to push around.


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