A Letter from Gaza
By Barbara Lubin
ccun.org, January 25, 2009
I entered the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night (January 21) with my
friend and fellow activist Sharon Wallace after waiting ten hours at the
Egypt/Gaza. The destruction and trauma is even greater than I expected.
In just two short days I met with families who were given
minutes to evacuate their homes and are now living in overcrowded UN
schools; I saw the ruins of bombed greenhouses; I looked out the window
at fields and roads torn up by the tread of Israeli tanks; and I visited
two universities where MECA supports students with scholarships-severely
damaged by Israeli bombs.
Out of all the devastation I have seen
so far, there is one story in particular that I think the world needs to
hear. I met a mother who was at home with her ten children when Israeli
soldiers entered the house. The soldiers told her she had to choose five
of her children to "give as a gift to Israel." As she screamed in horror
they repeated the demand and told her she could choose or they would
choose for her. Then these soldiers murdered five of her children in
front of her. The concept of "Jewish morality" is truly dead. We can be
fascists, terrorists, and Nazis just like everybody else.
spent the first morning visiting Rafah then drove north to Nuseirat
Refugee Camp where our partner organization Afaq Jadeeda Association is
buying food a delivering cooked meal to displaced families with funds
MECA provided. Then to Gaza City.
Today I visited Jabaliya
Refugee Camp and the Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City, two of the areas
hardest hit by Israel's brutal attacks. Pharmacies, schools, and homes
were indiscriminately hit in Jabaliya. Mohammed, one of our volunteers
in Gaza, and his family were forced to evacuate their home because of
intense bombing in their area.
In Zaytoun, I saw families
gathering wood from charred trees. The almost two-year blockade of Gaza
has deprived people cooking gas, so these terrified families build fires
to keep warm and cook the little food they can get.
I talked to
people on the street who told stories of wild dogs coming to eat their
dead neighbors, relatives bleeding to death because Israel would not
allow emergency workers into the area, and Israeli soldiers entering
homes to beat and kill.
But despite the immense mourning and
devastation, people are starting to put their lives back together.
Sabreen, a young woman from Rafah, told me, "We are a strong people. No
matter how many times Israel bombs us we are not leaving. We will keep
trying to live as normal a life as possible."
Gaza City, Gaza, Palestine
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