Sunday, August 27, 2006

Gilad Shalit's B-day is tomorrow! what a piece of info

GSH is the soldier prisoned by Palestinian resistance.

Mabrouk to Fox Journalists

I am glad this is over. I wanted to mention something about that stupid event. Now there is no need to. What is really making me worry is those new factions that are being created. Identity is seriously being threatened, whether we like to admit it or not. Gaza is expected to develop more of these many undefined loyalties and identities. Although many don't accept how Fox news work, but those were working amongst us.
If you are really interested to know the opinion here on this issue, every single person I saw was saying the same thing "this is stupid and doesn't make sense"

I need to say this...And I am laughing..I couldn't but laugh about the news that said that the Journalists accepted Islam....! I mean...I don't know. ut it is funny and many are laughing and talking about it as an amusing piece of news.

"Mabrouk: means: congratulations

From walls and blocks to the chains of tanks

Back from Rafah crossing..After stories and adventures. Got in by a miracle.

Their second night at home after the indescribable trip back from Egypt, there was an invasion close by their house.
At 11pm, I call them just to make sure things are ok, (there is 10 min distance by car from my house and theirs) mom said ...That she noticed some tanks on the border moving towards the military bases/crossing near us. They were far away but one could tell that something might happen. I hung up with her...Not taking this piece of info so seriously. I go to finish my day..With some work on my embroidery..And I turned on the little radio that is packed of local radio stations that can tell you the little details about what is going on in Gaza...When they happen.
The radio station started with this very known piece of music that comes before a "breaking news". The news was confirmed...Tens of tanks are moving along the east of Gaza..From the very north of the middle of the Strip. More movement was taking place close to our home there. I called mom, and I heard her voice so different than it was like 15 in earlier..And I heard the bullets coming from the Apache plane. Emergency status was declared....At least in my house. Me, the radio, and my embroidery that I kept on making the same mistakes while working on it again and again! The piece of cloth could not take more mistakes, as a man living near the border was screaming on the radio...With his big family that has at least 20 children. Thro four families live in the same building. Israeli tanks didn't even act as if there is people. They managed to hide and run away from the bulldozer destroying some parts of the house. And mom slept in the corridor...And then moved to her bed as the light came up.
I went to sleep and woke up at 5am...called her. They were fine. I went on with my regular day schedule.

The issue is not safety, really. It is many other things somehow related to this threat to your being. It is the exhaustion resulted from anxiety and fear that you experience each time you go to bed and you fear a bomb under it. This is simply what it is. It is the fear, anxiety, but mainly humiliation. Humiliation is what kills you,,,without realizing, because you face events one by one and you get excited sometimes, and you laugh you cry you care you don't..All those. Facing these noises and facing these scenes cause great feeling of disability of any humane element in you.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Rafah maybe today...?

For the 60 time maybe to hear the rumor. Rafah will reopen tomorrow. Now, it should be working, no one knows till when would it be able to operate. Palestinians yesterday attacked the crossing after threatening to bomb it if all parties don't agree to reopen it.
From Israel...The Europeans have to take the instructions.
From Egypt, the art of laziness and carelessness, and sometime evil towards Palestinians.
from Palestine..A mixture of corruption and carelessness...

My friend who managed to leave during the few hour reopening last week..Had to jump from the top of a bus to catch his suitcases. He ended up in the Egyptian airport prison because it is the law! If you are Palestinian and don't have anything to do in Egypt and you are a man between the age of 18-40 you simply should not be there. This was emphasized recently towards youth. This friend is on his way to Germany to do his Masters. And his Visa starts only on the 28th and his flight from Cairo is on the 29th. He remained in prison of the Egyptian airport for four days until he found out that his legs are almost broken from that move from the bus on the crossing.
He was taken to a hospital, that Egyptians have made for Palestinians to make them stay and not be able to "run away": and also have a shelter.
This friend spent exactly 24 hours at the crossing...Between the different phases procedures.
However, here you can only blame Palestinians for be the cause of this problem because of mess on the Palestinian side,,,thousands of people want to get out....How can you make it work? But you would also say..If those people were not deprived from their simple right to go to their families and buisnesses for about 2 months...They wont need to create a mess or cause problems.
Just imagine the trap...You go to Gaza...Be aware you may never come back..Or it may take a long while., you plan to visit a place outside of Gaza...You should be prepared to spend more than double the money you had on hotels or any kind of place you could stay at...For another journey of going back home.

Today, I expect my mother to be able to get in. I don't want to believe it till I hear her voice from the Palestinians side of the crossing.
Thousands want that day pass smoothly. thousands are praying to get their kids out to schools, go back to their families on either side, save what remained from their buisnesses.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

What should I do..?

It has been a while since I wrote here on the blog. The more i see people and interact with my surrounding the more I feel that I can't do anything.
Daily life....The little things...
  • Gaza is very hot in the Summer...Very few people dared to swim after the terror that Palestinian family faced on the beach about 2 months ago...The beach is almost empty even on Fridays.(weekend)
  • Gaza is very hot in the summer, Very few people have air-conditioning in their houses..If they do...The electricity is very limited..
  • Gaza is very hot in the summer, very few people get regular supply of water...Because of problems originally existed from Israeli settlments and Palestinian mismanagement. Now a third reason is electricity ,,if the area gets its turn for water supply that means the municipality got electricity power...The area or the houses don't have electricity..So the water can not be pumped to the houses. It is either this or that, but in reality you don't get either one.
  • Gazan employee cant get air-conditioning in the office, or even start up a computer because of bad network or limited supply through generators...
  • Thousands have finally hoped to leave Gaza through Egypt to go to their schools, work, and families abroad. Yesterday it was the rumor that the Israel's have agreed with the European observers to reopen the Rafah crossing. Friends have left their houses in the middle of last night to reserve a place or a seat on the bus that transfer people from the Palestinian side to the Semi-Palestinian Semi-European (All checked through Israelis in the back of windows you stand in front of) and then Egyptian side....This trip, by the way, is beyond anyone's imagination..You cant but experience it to really know what it is like. And it gets harder every few months. Because my mom is still stuck for more than 45 days in Egypt, leaving from a house to the other a hotel to the other....I am following the news of the crossing more carefully. Have you ever thought of not being able to leave a geographical area not because you don't have money or your health doesn't allow you to travel...But because of ...Other reasons...Or other guilt.
  • I started working for a local NGO (non-governmental organization), and I have started working on some project proposals that tries to get emergency assistance to those who have seriously harmed by the recent Israeli incursions. I met one person from Rafah...(very south of Gaza Strip), he is from a village called (Al-shokeh) whcih is at the very east and south of Gaza strip on the border. The guy seemed to be very decent and respectful...And he came to me saying ...I am not asking for money or food for my area...But I am only asking for media attention. He said..."Not many people in Rafah know what is happening with us" about 20 houses were demolished the past few weeks, and 17 killed, we have one school, Israelis have been shooting at the school that has become a shelter for those who lost their houses."
  • Since I started to work with this ngo, I have suffered from the electricity problem so much. The office doesn't have a proper generator and buying a new one will cost lots of money that this little ngo cant afford. Especially with the high price of fuel. There is some sort of schedule to the electricity, for example, if there is electricity supply at 9 am that means it will stay for another 6 or 7 hours..If there is not, that means it will come at around 5pm. Most of the days, we go to work after 5pm and stay till midnight, in addition to few hours in the morning for meetings and phone calls. What kind of productivity do you expect..?
  • about half of the Gazan population haven't gotten salaries for the sixth month now..Only two days ago..There was an exceptional act by the government that could provide a certain amount of money because it is schools time. Schools will start in 10 days ..Or so.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Observer: Qana was a mistake/target

....One Israeli commander.. called the Qana bombing a 'mistake' and was unable to explain the apparent contradiction in the IDF's position, ...He said he had seen the video of the attack, and admitted: 'Generally they [Hizbollah] are using human shields ... That specific building - I don't know the reason it was chosen as a target.'

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

From b'tselem : in Beit Hanoun

20 July 2006: Israeli Soldiers use civilians as Human Shields in Beit Hanun

B'Tselem's initial investigation indicates that, during an incursion by Israeli forces into Beit Hanun, in the northern Gaza Strip, on 17 July 2006, soldiers seized control of two buildings in the town and used residents as human shield. ....

I met 'Aza over coffee today for the first time...and after watching the waves of the Mediterranean of Gaza and the Israeli ships that completed the image...I saw this Soldiers use 'Aza al-Kafarneh as a human shield during an IDF operation in Beit Hanun, July 2006
'Aza al-Kafarneh, mother to two
I live in the al-Kafarneh neighborhood, next to the a-Nasser mosque in the center of Beit Hanun. My family has twenty-one members, eleven of them children. We live in a four-story building. Click on title for more. ....


- 3 houses bombed in Beit Hanoun. North of Gaza
- Tanks are around Rafah -south- but got out from the areas invaded few days ago.
- Hundreds are in Schools living their and getting United Nations meals (UNRWA) because of the latest incursion of Rafah. Some left their homes, but most of those peoples' houses were destroyed completey.
- Crossings are still closed.
- Yesterday, The speaker of the Palestinian Parliment was arrested (kiddnapped) by the Israelis and today was sent to hospital after torture in prison (as some news reported). remember that 8 ministers and more 20 of the PLC (Legislative Council) were kiddnapped in the begining of the operation (June--)

Friday, August 04, 2006


I couldn't help this ..I was just finishing the previous post about Gaza, and I just saw hundreds of pieces of people all over a big area of land...That used to be their Houses..!!!!! 33 in Lebanon. Just now!!!!! Pieces.. burnt!

Anyone wants to say anything about mistakes better go to another site..

3 days old...and many others..

- In Rafah: 11 killed in the last 24 hours during the ongoing incursion of El Shokeh in Rafah (South of Gaza), One of them was a 3 day old girl that was carried by her mother when she was running away from the shelling at their house. The girl died in her mom's hands.

- Yesterday in Gaza City: 2 Homes were bombed, one by an F-16 plane and one by an Apache Helicopter. Families were warned of the bombing of their houses. Now it is a regular activity that doesnt bring any serious attention even to those warned!

- Everywhere, Gazan's are barely managing with the Electricity problem and the high price of fuel that gets in to Gaza from Israel every week or so. There is some food everywhere. And guess what! For the first time i taste that great taste of fruits! so we wondered, then someone told me that Israel is not selling much and we finally got the good stuff. Because usually, we get the least qulity of their fruits and vegetables. Anyway, i am not so proud to get those Israeli fruits but in Gaza, there is no Alternative for anything. Gazans are not able anymore to grow fruits because land is bolldozed and we no longer have trees.

-More leaflets seen yesterday, and i guess they were saying the same statements , something more like staying away from "terrorists"

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Crossings Update (Gaza to the outside world)

The Rafah Crossing (between Gaza and Egypt-south) is the only crossing that Palestinian took some control over after the disengagement in August of Last year. There is a memo of Understanding that the crossing operates upon. A specific number of European observers have to be at the crossing to monitor its operation. Israel imposed some regulations to make sure they agree on who gets in and who doesn't. For example, when you go from Gaza to Egypt and you reach the security check area it is a very long process but the important part is that the Passports have to be checked and cleared by the Israelis through Palestinian personnel and by European observation. Now, since the 28th of June the Crossing was completely closed because of an order by Israeli security to the Europeans. Simply, Israel tells the Europeans not to go to the crossing to do their job, so they don't and then, the crossing is closed. During, the past period of closure, 500 Palestinians were stuck between both sides of the crossing. These are usually men who are approx. Between the age of 18-40 these have to be transferred. About 10 Palestinian died in this crossing in this period of closure because most of them are patients who get medication from Egypt or sent for urgent operations. This problem was solved when a group of Palestinian (Aqsa Brigades) from Rafah attacked the crossing and liberated those 500 people. During this period thousands were waiting on the other side either in Egypt or right off the border in the Egyptian side. There was an agreement to re-open the crossing for two days for those who are stuck right after this attack. Thousands managed to get in after more than 20 days of waiting.
Hundreds, if not more, are still stuck in Gaza and have families outside, or have admissions in Universities are waiting for a re-open from this side (Gaza to Egypt), The news came out yesterday that it will be open today and tomorrow only for those cases who have visas or are admitted to Universities. I know at least 3 people who were ready to leave and were on stand-by for a long time. It was not opened. The latest news is that there will be no re-opening in the coming days.
Eretz Crossing (North) has a full Israeli control since it was established! In the 90s. Gradually this has become like an International Crossing. There has been a closure imposed over the original closure. This simply means that before the operation some International organizations, businessmen and foreigners were able to request a permit and use it! After the operation, like any operation, all permits are no longer valid. In this case, there are several arrangements of what is called "coordination". Very few organizations can do that. Some like USAID, United Nations, and President's Office (Palestinian). It depends on the level of this double closure.
Anyway, there were many coordination(s) made with the Israelis especially by the American Embassy and other European gov. Institutions. All were cancelled today.
My friend, that I have her story under the" rains and friends" was promised to leave two days ago because she has a coordination that was made by miracle thru American Embassy, she actually went and passed but again was turned back to Gaza. Yesterday she tried again (American Embassy) and finally, today, they were told that all coordination(s) were cancelled.
Many diplomats are not able to leave.

200 homes were warned last night to be bombed in Gaza

i just learnt that 200 homes were called by phone by the ISraelis to be bombed soon. One i know of from a friend, a United Nations employee who has nothing to do with any political activities beyond the accepted. A "normal" civilian. Anyway..these houses are located in Gaza City. Information was reported from family members of the houses to the palestinian police to make sure that there re no other phonecalls are being made by any palestinian as jokes! That is funny but sad in the same time. Some started to joke around by calling using a certain number to show as "private call" and say that they are the Israeli Defence Forces...this was solved and now all calls that are coming from private calls are from Israel.

after 2 am

Ok, it is after 2 but when I went to bed it was about 12:05, I was even chatting to a friend in the US that I didn't want to to talk to because he is one of those who believe only in what Fox brings him and I was watching live on Jazeera the big operations taking place in south and middle of Lebanon, it was about 11:50, i heard a relatively loud F-16 flying over Gaza. i waited ..for 15 min nothing happened. I even thought of posting something on the blog saying that I am waiting for a bomb. Anyway, just about few minutes ago, with the little radio next to me, I jump with a tone of breaking news of the local station and some kind of an explosion in the background. It is funny that the rule now, is that your are better off sleeping while bombing, because you will not have the same effect or shock. You might be surprised that this is true. We are on public electricity now! Great! And my husband was still out. The first thing I jumped to do is call him and make sure he is not moving and he is Ok.
Really strange noises I am hearing now after some rockets. Two rockets (big ones sent from the north) were hit on the beach of Gaza City, this is not common by the way, it is strange, It is the "port or the acting port area" where fishermen have few boats and some stay there over night. This is just 2 min walk. One, at least, rocket was sent from some kind of plane to a house (previously warned I think) in El Bureig Camp in the middle area of Gaza strip. Last thing here, is that artillery is bombing in the north, but this is normal, and just now it was found out that the ships are bombing the beach! We see the ships during the day usually, and there is a strict closure on the Beach since the beginning of the operation and sometime before. No one can go fishing at all. Some sneak in a couple of meters in, maybe that is why the are was bombed.
Will find out later..

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The plan...

Israel set war plan more than a year ago Strategy was put in motion as Hezbollah began gaining military strength in Lebanon

"Of all of Israel's wars since 1948, this was the one for which Israel was most prepared," said Gerald Steinberg, professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University.
More than a year ago, a senior Israeli army officer began giving PowerPoint presentations, on an off-the-record basis, to U.S. and other diplomats, journalists and think tanks, setting out the plan for the current operation in revealing detail. Under the ground rules of the briefings, the officer could not be identified (from article)