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First hand narrative of what happened in Gaza

February 1, 2009

source here

Israel has imprisoned Gaza for the last 3 years, cutting it off from the whole world. No food, water, gas, medicine; Palestinians are either trapped in or out of Gaza. People have tried to invent a solution, the under ground market. What has saved Palestinians for all these years are the underground tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. Where people crawl underground just to get some basic food supplies and fuel for generators. What normally costs 1 pound, we pay 6 pounds or more, and money is tight. Some hospitals even had to choose between which ventilators to run, because there just isn’t enough electricity, even for lights.

Add to all that, the special groups of the Israeli army that enter Gaza at any time to murder or capture anyone they want, the bombs that fall every now and then from Israel on Gaza, killing, burning, assassinating leaders, and most importantly…trying to kill the spirit of the people of Gaza.

So people decided to protect themselves, so how? They made (home made) rockets.. all made in Gaza, and sent them to the south of Israel. Most of these rockets did no harm because they fall -most of the time – on empty land, plus they are just (ماصورة حديد), that’s what they are called is Gaza. But, these home made rockets were Palestine’s voice, their only voice, a voice telling Israel that we are still alive, still defending ourselves, despite all your attempts to starve us and push us into poverty and depression and utter hopelessness.

After Israel killed Arafat and picked Abbas lead and be thier puppet, just like any Arab king or leader, and put him in the West Bank and ordered him to shut the West Bank up, now they only had Gaza to deal with.

And on the 27th of Dec. 2008, 11 am, I saw my first Israeli rocket fall on my doorman’s son. In seconds Ayman, the 22 year old young man whom I’ve known since I was a child, turned into a piece of red meat and blood in front of my eyes, in front of his father’s eyes……blood….and till this day his blood covers my street.

Rockets everywhere, bombs, different types of bombs, many types of planes covering the sky, smoke everywhere, black smoke, white thick smoke. The smell of the air burns your nose, the gases and the fumes sting the eyes.. only if you’re far away from the bomb; but if you’re near your eyes burst out and explode (that is a literal description). We-Doctors- have no idea what kind of chemical bombs are we facing here.
Other bombs after exploding people suffer from severe pain, even if they were not directly hit by the bomb but were close. They enter into epileptic-like fits, and after entering the operation theater, surgeons see organs melting inside the patient, but don’t know why or how, so they can’t do much, and then people die…painfully.

I’ll have to send you what I wrote now before I lose power, by the way, this is the first time I got to use a computer. The last time Gaza saw any power was more that 3 weeks ago.
I”ll send more if I can and if God keeps me alive.

Rehaf Alagha

Right now I’m writing this as bombs are falling left and right, the sounds of ambulances and shouting.. this is the song I’m listening to right now.
One tries to sleep at night but each night the Israelis save their best for last, the bombing and shouting and everything becomes worse just after midnight. There is no electricity so you try to sleep but it’s too cold because -again- no electricity and the bombs broke all of the windows, and of course the burst of the glass itself, when a bomb falls at a distance, could kill a person. But despite having no windows in this cold I am lucky enough to be covered by a good blanket, so again…I stayed alive, more comfortable than most. Even if we still had a window with glass left, we would have to keep it open at all times to prevent its burst whenever a new bomb falls on us or near us.

Eventually you wake up because you can’t sleep. Maybe its not always that you cant sleep because of the noise of the bombs or the cold or even the hunger, you find your nose and eyes burning because of the chemical bombs. I wish to keep my eye sight or lose it on the day of my death – I don’t really care if this day will be today or later. I find my house shaking all day, and I think to my self.. I wish to die by an Isreali’s hand rather than die under the walls of my shaking house, if or when it decides to fall…

I look through my poor window and its broken glass – smoke… smoke everywhere, I look harder to try to find houses…places…schools..streets …things that are familiar to me… its all gone.
These things, all these places..are my places, my memories…or i should say..they used to be mine.

I go inside to look for something to eat, the only thing we had left at home was rice. Uncooked rice. But we need things to cook it, usually you wouldn’t really think about it. But when you don’t have it, you will. I need water, gas, cooking oil, but Gaza doesn’t have these things.

My mother, a 65 year old college professor with a heart condition, combed the streets for 2 days looking for bread for us, while being showered with Israeli rockets and bombs. She didn’t find any.

10 days ago I sent my neighbor Ahmad, an 8 year old sweet kid. I sent him to beg for some water for his family and mine, but before he reached the end of the road an Israeli rocket hit him.
He’s gone.

So I fast. Actually most of the people I know here fast too, and when dusk comes, we eat something, anything we can find, and that’s it till the next day.

4 days ago Om Ahmad, decided to collect all the flour that she could find from our neighbors and bake the bread for all of us. So thank God. 4 days ago we got 7 pieces of bread, thank God.

Rehaf Alagha

During the first few days, I used to run around like a chicken with a broken neck. Yes, I’ve lived though more than one war before, but one forgets or tries to forget the dark things in her/his past and tries and live life, this empty empty silly life. After a few days I was on my roof, looking to the East, and I saw a bomb falling from a plane towards me.
I took 2 steps back and stopped to think, will these 2 steps save me? Am I afraid?

I’ve discovered that these 2 steps can’t save me.
Life is not that precious any more, but the bomb fell on the next building and it turned into a little hill of sand and darkness. But thats not the end, the story didn’t end yet. One second later I turned my head to the north, and you know what? The same thing happened again.
But this time I didn’t take any steps backwards, I closed my eyes and waited for the bomb to shower me. I guess God wants me to stay alive, for now at least, so again it missed me and fell on another home, another family, another human, another friend of mine…and I stayed alive.

Again, I have to post what I wrote before I lose electricity.

Rehaf Alagha

I want to make sure that, if I die, someone knows what I have seen, knows of whats going on here.

If I go out, I have to take care and lookout for falling bombs and rockets. I can’t take my car because a car is a bigger target, so an easier one for the plane. So, I walk as fast as possible avoiding falling because of the broken streets and destroyed houses, and most importantly trying to avoid seeing dead neighbors and relatives and friends lying in their blood on the streets…my streets.

El shifah hospital, the biggest hospital in Gaza. It has been bombed by the Israelis once at the very beginning of this “war”. This hospital is a big red grave- and I say red because once I fell on its floor, and the blood on its floors is like water.

We- doctors- work as cemetery keepers here. Others bring the wounded to us, thinking we can save them.
WE CAN SAVE THEM? HOW? without electricity? without water? without food, machines, medicine?
People in Gaza try as much as they can to donate any petrolum they can find to the hospital so it can run its generators, so there is some sort of electricity. Common people volunteer to be nurses or even doctors sometimes. Even the wounded, after they’ve been bandaged, they get up and help us.

The wounded are like dead fish on the floors of the hospital, lying there in their own blood.
Cotton? Gauze? Something to cover the wounds? I can’t find any. We don’t have any. We use bed covers, we cut them into little pieces and use it instead.

Rehaf Alagha

Chemical bombs are liquefying limbs. Small children are brought to the hospital after losing all 4 of their limbs, but are still alive. To die in between the arms of one of us doctors, to ensure that the rage against Israel, the new nazis, will live on and on in us, in me.

قنابل انشطارية or what ever that means in English, are decapitating men and women or even cracking an adult man into almost 2 equal halves.

I held in my arms a 2 month old little girl with a large piece of metal protruding from her little skull, after she had been exposed to one of these bombs. I almost dropped this half dead angel, and I wished, I wished soo hard that she would die…but she didn’t.

An old lady came to us holding a little photo of her 19 year old son, asking if we saw him. He left the house in the early morning looking for food but he never came back. We all know that the Israelies killed him, but no one was brave enough to tell her that.

The blood bank gave it’s last drop of blood after the first 8 HOURS OF THE WAR…. People donate but it’s never enough…

Four kids, not a day older than 12, came to us dead. They were brought to us to verify their names so their family can take them to be burried. But HOW COULD WE KNOW WHO THEY ARE AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN LEFT BLEEDING TILL DEATH IN THE STREETS FOR 5 DAYS, AND NO ONE COULD REACH THEM BECAUSE THE ISRAELIS CLOSED THE AREA AND SHOT ANY ONE WHO TRIED TO GET TO THEM. After 5 days in the streets….THE STRAY DOGS ATE THEIR FACES AND FINGERS AND TOES…stray dogs are eating our kids…. I just hope they weren’t still conscious when that happened to them, had the Israeli’s let even an ambulance reach them, many may have been saved… or at least not eaten by dogs.

Rehaf Alagha

After the Israeli army leaves an area after they’ve occupied for a few days or more- running away from the mojahideen towards the borders- and after they stop shouting and killing…
UN workers and Palestinian doctors and nurses, we enter hoping.
Hoping to find all dead….BUT THAT DOESN’T ALWAYS HAPPEN….You enter a house, one house, you never find less than 40 members of one family..all dead or almost dead.
If you look closer, you find men lying there bleeding, and they have been lying there bleeding like that for days.
You find dead swollen women, starting to decompose, surrounded by their 4-6 years old kids. Pulling their mother from her clothes asking her to feed them…..and they’ve been pulling her for days…days.

You find a 13 year old boy hallucinating and trying to feed his big brother a piece of bread believing that if he feeds him, all will be fine again. His big brother will stand and walk again…but his brother will never walk again.

You enter another house and you find a little girl, about 12-14 years old, walking around her destroyed home.
Stepping over the bodies of her entire family.
She can’t see them. Where she used to have eyes and a face, she now only has black and red holes.
No eyes, no nose, no lips. I don’t know how to describe what I saw… it was as if lava had passed on her face, and she has a piece of steak instead of her face.

I hate my eyes because they showed me this girl.

Rehaf Alagha

NB- Today at 3 am I lost the sense of hearing in my right ear because of an Israeli bomb that passed near my right ear. Hopefully it’s a temporary loss…. 🙂 and of course my eyes and nose have never stopped burning and stinging since the beginning of this war, I wonder what chemicals it is they use. I believe they must be precancerous.

The Psychological War….

ahhhhh a great great weapon….
Yes, starting by not admitting that a large number of their nazi soldeirs are harmed- which by the way are more than 30 dead and more than 100 injured- and counting the shohada’a from the civilians -who will reach 1000 or more- as dead mojahideen (fighters instead of counting them as civilians)-and again, by the way, the shohada’a from elmojahideen are less than 20…
Then, not admitting – or delaying- that we dropped at least 2 planes using only these silly home made rockets, and destroyed 1 tank and captured 2 nazi soldeirs, and killed 3 soldiers of some higher ranking.

They call us.
Yes, the Israeli’s call us at home. While we’re asleep (or trying to sleep that is) 2:00am 3:00 am 4:00 am
“This is the Israeli army ordering you to stop resisting us and turn in all the mojahideen you know”or “You better leave your homes before we come and destroy it” (leave our homes and go where? like perhaps there is somewhere to go even?)
Or they pretend that they are Arabs from Egypt or Libya or any other Arab country telling us how happy they are because they have food, water, meat, electricity and stuff, and we have none.

They enter the waves of our radio channels or TV channels, and send us messages through our Palestinian radio channels in arabic telling us to give up and blame Hammas for all what they -the nazi army- did to us.

At night, after midnight till 7-8:00 am, however bad the day, the night is always..always worse. You can’t sleep, and if you do, you see them in your dreams.
Once upon a time the calling for el fajr prayer in Gaza was soo clear and audible that you could always hear every word of it, and you wake up. Now… you never hear it. It’s there but it melts away…loses its way between the harsh screaming bombs….

The nazies bombed tens of mosques in Gaza during this war. But mosques never stopped calling the prayers. I saw people praying around a bombed mosque, and if or when we hear a bomb falling in the area..they NEVER raise their heads or run.

منشورات printed in arabic fall every day on our heads from their (nazi, made in america) planes- with their tanks of course full of the arab petrolum- and their papers carry the same message always
“Give up, blame hammas, no one cares about you”….
in short, give up, shut up and die.

Rehaf Alagha

Well, let us see what these new nazis did on the first day……….
30,000 soldiers on the borders of the Gaza strip. Covered by their made in USA, supplied by the arab petroleum tanks. After reaching the border, they paused waiting….
Waiting for what? The air force.

The nazi air force destroyed anything that could define a city. Sailing ports, colleges, clinics, streets, schools, even UN schools, government offices, power lines, mosques, kindergartens, the airport, money exchange stores, factories, farms, vegetable fields….

What a brave army, right?

Then came the bombs from the sea…military ships bombing the west of Gaza strip.

Now they think Gaza is a piece of cake, after all everything is gone, right?
NO, they were hugely wrong…
They started marching, then the war began. We have no navy, no airplanes as they do. But el mojahedeen, our resistance fighters, (hammas,fatih -yes,fatih-,jihad,kataib kasam,jabhaa shabiah,jabhaa demokratiah,kataib abo ali and others I may have forgot) all became one….

Poor, hungry, thirsty, cold, with their silly home made instruments (I doubt I can actually all them weapons).
Was it this bad? It was worse.
But words can’t say much really…. but they stood up in front of the nazis. The US is supplying those nazis with more and more killing machines and weapons and bombs and chemicals and we didn’t recieve even water from any one. Some say that the nazis have used every weapon known in Gaza in this war except the atomic bomb!! But…till this day…till this day, the nazi army couldn’t pass the mokawamah (resistance fighters) to reach anywhere except the borders, almost empty fields and the very edges of the cities……

An Israeli can never face the Palestinians on land.

I’m proud.

Imagine if we had an air force? (their main advantage on us)
Imagine if we didn’t have the arabic governments knife sticking out of our back?
Imagine if we didn’t have this (great great man), Abbas, soiling Arafat’s chair?
Imagine what we can do?

I am proud.

You too, be proud.

I hope what I wrote to you, all of you, from here, Gaza, my home, while being shaked from left to right and back again has affected you in any way. I hope you carry something, anything, from what you read…and carry it to others…maybe they too can be proud.

(I’m not a writer and I never will be, so forgive my boring words and writing mistakes, and thank you for reading.)

Rehaf Alagha

Now…I’m thinking…what will happen to all those families that lost their homes and land??
The Gaza strip is extremely crowded, so you have to imagine the homes and how extremely close to each other they are (like sardines). Plus the edges of the cities are the most crowded spots of the whole city (where the refugees came from all over Palestine when the nazis took their first homes and turned it into Israel!!)… On top of all of this because of the war families stay together. One little house could have more than 130 men, women and children under its small roof.
So imagine what happens…one house facing bombs, rockets, tanks, طائرات صهيونية حربية ذات مدفعية و رشاشات…..and if this poor house still stands, the army enters it (I’m talking now, whats currently whats happening at the edges of the city). They use the people inside as human shields. The Israeli’s come in to handcuff whoever’s still alive, torture them if they like, take some of them معتقلين, if they wish (and of course most probably we’ll never know their true fate), and murder others -in cold blood- and leave the rest cuffed watching their loved ones dying near their feet. Only awaiting their own death after days and days. Either by bleeding to death from the wounds they have inflicted on them by the Israeli army or starving to death or from the cold, or maybe due to a little of each. All this while surrounded by the bodies of the rest of their murdered family. Their houses destroyed.
The nazi army will shoot anyone or thing that tries to reach this or area…they do all that, if they wish…and believe me…they always wish to do so.

Some manage to stay alive, if i can call them that… especially if the Israeli’s leave within a few days, and people can reach them in time with something to drink or eat.
They’ve lost loved ones, limbs, eyes, maybe their minds, and surely a part of their soul..but alive.
Where will they go?
Now they are in the streets begging for blankets or a piece of bread, but what about later…what will they do????
I don’t know…they have become refugees for the second time IN THEIR OWN LAND!!!!

We all live in a great beautiful world, right? Where people care, right?

NB- The smell is unbearable. It’s almost 11 pm but my sky is bright and white because of the chemical fumes and the lights of the nazi bombs. I can see and hear not less than 2 nazi planes above my head, and of course they never stop singing…but I don’t feel much right now. Actually I don’t feel anything.

Today, I met a Hero.

I went out to look for bread, knowing that it was very possible I would never come back home. We didn’t have anything left to eat, so I went.

Walking down my street -carefully of course- a white car stopped to pick up a stranger, a 70 something year old lady and then dropped her off 3 blocks further – so she can reach her home faster before she gets killed because of the nazi rockets- and then this car stopped in front of me….

“Where are you going?” he asked me.
I’m looking for bread.
Now? All bakers are closed.
I know. I have to. I may go buy flour.
And where will you find flour?? and do what with it??
(he means because we have no water to make dough, and no gas to bake with) how many pieces do you have left?
I replied….none, we haven’t had any for days now.

He looked down, paused, and started the car and told me: I’ll be back here in 5 minutes.

When he came back, he had few pieces of bread with him. He gave them to me and said: this is half of what my family has, take them.

Remember…driving a car is extremely dangerous, it’s a big easy target for the nazi planes and he lives on the edge of the city, the beach, where not only the planes drop their beautiful bombs, no, the war ships too…
He could have died to bring me few pieces of bread, a few pieces of bread he took from his own family to help mine.

This is a HERO.

If you read this, you know yourself….Thank You.

This morning was strange….

I woke up before 6:00 am, I don’t know why. I had a smile on my face because I had a beautiful dream, where the nazi army left Gaza and the skies, my skies, became clear again -by the way, you would love our beautiful skies if you ever saw them, but without the war fumes and chemicals they continue to use, do you think that would ever happen? and I even saw my children, I have none by the way. I tried to listen for the sounds of bombs, there were none! For a second I thought my dream is true! :))) I went to my window and I SAW MY DREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!! the skies were CLEAR, no bombs…
It took me a minute to realize, Im not sure what happened, I don’t know.. maybe I was looking inside of me and not through the window, maybe it was my imagination.. or maybe I just wanted so much for it to have all been a nightmare. At any rate it took me a minute or two to really see.

Gaza has its sea on its west side of the strip, but now we have two seas, a west one and an east one. A gift from the nazis. The sky, God’s clouds, the nazi’s chemical clouds, broken bleeding houses, all fuse together forming our new sea.

We faced this night what equals what happened in 8 WHOLE DAYS OF THIS WAR!!!

The Palestinian Rafah- the forth and last city in the Gaza stip, and the closest to the Egyptian Border- IS DESTROYED. The nazi air force used the Egyptian skies-without taking the permission of the Egyptian government – to BOMB US by using BRAND NEW -ILLEGAL-ROCKETS. One of these cracks in the air turn into many smaller ones to evaporate a WHOLE NEIGHBOURHOOD, causing a large hole in the ground and cracking walls and blasting windows of far far away buildings.

I’m sick…my eyes are burning and lacrimating most of the time, my nose is the same. I feel a tube of air running through my right ear, I’m sure my ear drum has ruptured, an abdominal ache which goes once I say Ahhh, the toes of my right foot are spasmed, and some times I feel electric shocks running through my muscles…
I think it’s the chemical fumes, or maybe I’m stressed. I don’t know. But I stayed in bed most of the day.

Oh by the way, I was wrong. My dream didn’t come true.

A new weapon…

Now, for the first time, it is no longer just the smell and irritation of the Israeli chemicals in the air; but there is now a huge thick low cloud hanging over the houses, including my house. Now, right now, I’m writing this while holding a wet cloth over my noise and mouth.
You can’t see anything, a horrfyingly terrible smell. I thought the irritation and burning I felt the past days was bad from the other chemicals they had used, but that just goes to show you it can always get worse and you should be thankful for what you have at the time you have it. I feel nausea and my eyes are burning. I never saw such bombs before, I’ve lived through many, obviously as anyone in Palestine here has. But I haven’t seen anything like this, I don’t know what will happen and I’m a little frightened too.

Rehaf Alagha

Post #2
Shaymaa wrote22 hours ago

I stopped writing for some time, well mostly because I’m too tired.
I’m writing now while listening to gun shots.
Well, I guess the severe acute phase of this massacre has been -at least- paused for a while. The Israeli tanks are in Gaza, and not only on the borders, as they said; they are more than 1 kilometer inside Gaza. The warships are still on our coast, actually I can see them every day from my window.
Their planes never leave the skies, but to be honest, they are mainly exploratory planes; I see -maximum 2 war planes during the day. And only 2 rockets fall on us each day.

Gaza strip cities are still ghost cities, the streets are empty….

I say that’s better than before, wouldn’t you say that too? I don’t know…

But now new problems appear….
The dead are found daily under the broken homes. They are just pieces….pieces of human bodies.
The wounded continue to die every day because there isn’t anyone can do for them.
These chemical bombs that the Israelis have used on us they even burn the doctor’s hand while she/he tries to examine the wound. These same bombs burn everything, I saw a fireman trying to put out one of the fires made by these bombs, 3 times, 3 times he puts it out and it starts again. Water doesn’t put it out, sand limits it, but once a tiny breeze even moves the sand, the fire starts again.

Doctors say that some of these bombs -that were used on us – are made in the U.S.A. and they have caused instant cancer. These will die within 6-7 months. More than 1,300 are already dead, more than 5500 are injured. How many more will be dead in 6-7 months…. you do the math!! Oh but then I guess Israel will not count them as “civilians” that are killed as a result of what they have done, they’re “human shields,” right?
Who would use their own children as human shields??!! The Israeli army does it all the time, but of course to our children. But who would do that to their own children, it’s just ridiculous. The Israeli army they handcuff Palestinian kids to their cars so protesters wont throw rocks at them. They have children and even adults walk in front of the army as it goes around the town going into houses. How dare they say we use human shields, how dare they say the red cross or the UN schools or the shelters or where they store the food that has come for us, or the ambulances, or where reporters are staying (all places that are clearly marked and they have the coordinates for) are carrying weapons or resistance fighters… They only try to justify what cannot be justified. As for the resistance fighters they do not go near any such area. Even the homes they justify bombing them and say there were weapons inside, come look, come have an independent organization to come look… there is nothing of the sort.

I’m really really hungry… really I am. You may laugh but some times I have day dreams about a meal. But, guess what? Of course they -the new nazies- bombed all the animal and chicken farms, all the plants were destroyed, that’s one thing, but the other thing is that they bombed it with chemical bombs. Anything or anyone that feeds off these lands WILL GET CANCER, and these lands will stay like that for years and years to come.
I didn’t hear anything about water, but I’m sure it’s affected too, but WHAT CAN I DO? I can’t stop drinking water! Can I?

And of course, I can’t forget Suha. She is a friend of mine, a mother of 3 kids. At 7:00 am, while she was sleeping, a nazi rocket crashed onto the roof of her house, entered her bed room and took her right leg…now she doesn’t have a home to go to and she doesn’t have her leg either…and now I’m convinced that within 6-7 months she’ll die with cancer…

Alhamdo leAllah

Rehaf Alagha

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