Saturday, January 27, 2007

15 killed in Gaza. Internal Clash in the past 24 hours

Just as part of the expected situation in the Palestinian Territories, Internal battles continue.
Is it really organized ? No. As many here believe- at least Fatah doesn't seem to be as organized. Hamas is much more organized and disciplined.
Are they strong? which party is stronger?
Close to be equal. But, major disadvantages of Fateh Militants is that they are not loyal to a certain leader. Even smaller militias do not seem to have loyalty to their leaders or direct bosses as experiences are showing. Many attacks by Hamas to Fateh leaders that were received by Fateh with coldness and carelessness, some even think that they want to get rid of each other. As we are learning about the people who are being targeted or threatened that they don't receive any "party" protection not even from their "sponsors" or partners. Ghreib Story is one of the examples.
The strength is ideology- Hamas's members are blindly tough with any thing that faces them they are also positive dealing with some of their mistakes. They have extreme willingness to sacrifice for their leaders, party and their ideology.

This result, is it because Hamas is only evil or very excited to get in power period. Its a result of many really bad guys who either stood next to Arafat or now standing by Abu Mazin who have main roles in dealing with the cause with coordination with the regional and international governments. In other words, poweful outside, corrupt and untrusted inside have been governing us for a while. Its easier to stay in opposition, but it has been easier for Fateh to ignore the right of "others" to exist or share power.

Tens of stories you hear in Gaza, and you are not expected to be able to memorize the details, headlines are enough at the moment. Hamas car was bombed by explosives tied into the car and killed 2 militants. Hamas attacks a Fateh leader while kidnapping going on between both sides.
All night, Hamas and fateh were fighting in the street of Gaza, several attempts to attack and control main buildings and bombing them in other cases.
The preventive security force, one of the least popular forces that Mohamad Dahlan have invested his money and intelligence to have his own "gangs" He no longer controls it but ties are still to exist. This side of the pictures is the least popular and sometimes unpopular among the fateh members themselves. Anyway, why am i here now..?
Oh, OK. Last night we were invited for a dinner at our friends' house, things were escalating around evening especially around the area of our friends. We didn't want to cancel it especially that good food was already prepared for us. We arrived while shooting was taking place and a couple were killed in the area. We passed through points of the presidential guards, police, and others they made sure that we are not "militants from the other side! We arrived and it was fun.....
an hour later the news were coming in saying that one of the problems was about to be solved....but after killing of hamas militants today (new ones) Hamas threatened to attack the Preventive Force building...This building is located 200 meters away from the house that we were at! To make this story i cant really describe the shooting and he bombing and the whole atmosphere that we experienced, battles continued till 6:00 am it started at 8:pm. We left this morning from that the streets (mainly in this area of Gaza its the President's control- its close to his house and office) were full of soldiers of the presidential guards and police, heavy weapons and many points at the crossroads.

I apologize to those who are disappointed ...but this is going to get worse..

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Sami Abdel-Shafi: A referendum could heal the Palestinian rift
Let Palestinians themselves speak on the recognition of Israel's right to exist
Published: 24 January 2007

Palestinians, who have had to endure Israel's siege on their freedom of movement and economic activity, have also been faced with sharp disagreements between Hamas and Fatah. Silence about the detailed status of talks between Fatah and Hamas to form a unity government increases the sense of neglect that many feel at a time when the need for a resolution of their disagreements is crucial. Palestinians and the watching world must be unambiguously informed of what both parties propose to end the multiplying crises in the Gaza Strip,

Saturday, January 20, 2007

People and things are at best the same.. to Israel

Erez Crossing-

Living in the Gaza Strip is one story, but getting out of it is, for sure, a special miracle for further punishment.
Between the years 1998 and 2002 I studied in Birzeit Univeristy. Birziet is a village near Rammallah, In the West Bank. In 1998, students were lucky enough to get permits from the Israelis. The permits were 6 months period. If a student doesnt manage to renew his/her permit he/she remains illegal in the West Bank, because he/she is originally from Gaza.
In 2000, we, students of Gaza, got stuck in the West Bank, because a complete closure was made in the territories as the Second Intifada started. In 2000 - 2002 Gazan students couldnt move between vllages or towns in the West Bank, or the did, by sneaking in or creating good lies. Thats because, the checkpoints between the villages and towns used to check IDs. and if the israeli soldiers would find a Gazan in the car..or walking, Erez will be his deportation destination.
leaving this period aside, you can imagine how important and how signifiant is the period of undergraduate. Its the first real experience especially if you, kind of, moved away from your parents. My best friends, my best places, every little even or story remains in my heart as the deepest meaning of my life. Birzeit made me. Its a special case. Being a Gaza in West also another experience.

After coming back o gaza, my home town, i was trying every possible way to get a permit to visit this town and see my friends. I managed to work with an International organization. International organizations have good chances to apply and get permits. ordinary palestiniains can't. I managed to go once in 2004 for 2 days.

Last week...was the second time i managed to get this permit, and i was the happiest person that I can finally do this!
So, i went with my boss and another collegue,, and here the journey starts...

You could see all the excitement on my face..but also, many many many other emotions...
We stopped at the first point were we get off the cab and start to walk towardsthe Palestinian guards. Those guards have one responsibility, and it is to take our ID cards and our permits if we have them with us, usually they are issued and recieved from the Israelis inside the crossing, and let the Israeli officers know that these names with these ID numbers are here. This step can take from 20 min in the best luckiest cases, to 3 hours, when I once experienced. After your name/ id number is called on the wireless device from the Israelis you jump to take your ID and take your luggage and start walking.
I m not good in measurements but its a big long terminal./corridor. It takes about 15 min to walk..till you reach the first Israeli Gate. Its closed. In front of you another zone of about 15 meters and then another similar gate and on the sides metal fences. You wait and wait. You cant notify someone that you are here. Except if you cross the line by talking to your collegue or laugh..then they hear you and they yell in hebrew sometimes in arabic; telling you to shut up..or lower your voice..or wait. This voice comes from some speakers. You cant even see speakers! So you basically deal with vacume and some yelling instructing you from.above?!
This time that you wait at this gate really varies..from 20min - hours. The gates suddenly recieve a signal and opens automatically and opens only to one meter so that it will be just enough for everyone to run in between the door and fences. Now, you are in a "buffer zone" thats at least what i and some people i met there called it. you wait again between 10min- one hour. the next gate opens and takes you to narrow terminals that are fenced and you walk quickly one by one, because the width doesnt take more than one person size anyway. The third door that is usually open, you pass a ery narrow revolving metal entrance that takes you to the security chek up. You start to recieve instruction in the language that is availabe. if you know hebrew thats great becasue sometimes you are just yelled at just because you are trying to guess what the hell does she/he (soldier) wants? So you manage to get your stuff on the luggage x-ray machine and most of the times they ask you to get most of the stuff out of it. Then .. you pass a metal detectro and then you find yourself in front of a rounded glass room that is surrounded from both sides with metal strips. You enter you see yellow marks for the feet and the door closes and its the X-ray machine this time for people. the doors closes, a louder voice from the "instructor" yelling at you, sometimes nice, by saying" please do this" . The soldier tels you what to do; you put your feet on the right place and raise your hands and stay still, and these two metal things go around you about 2 times really quickly thats sounds like a washing machine! and then the door opens. and you can go on now. You collect your stuff from the other side of the bags x-ray machins and you find your laptop thrown on the metal box under the machine, unless someone before you saved it from crashing. You walk about 20 meters passing few fences and terminals, and then reach a room that is glass and conrete. you communicate with someone finally! the soldiers. They check that you have a permit or check the permit that you have with you by putting your ID on the glass and wait for the Ok.They give you a colored piece of paper that proves that you can travle through Israel. After this , you walk about 10 meters, and here s the private security company personnel finds u and make you put the bags and open them. They are quiet, mostly polite. They search every little thing in the bag, they alsmost started to read my book! As soon as you get the Ok from those. you walk to the final gate! It is about 40 meters to that final gate. and you give the colored piece of paper and leave!!
I apologize if this confused you...but i needed to put down.
for any clarifications. please ask through comments.

There is still a lot more to tell about my shock approaching Ramallah..that has become an odd town drown in the Israeli "settlements, now i call cities"

Thanks for your patience.
Silent About Gaza
Jan, 18, 2007
by John Pilger
A genocide is engulfing the people of Gaza while a silence engulfs its bystanders. "Some 1.4 million people, mostly children, are piled up in one of the most densely populated regions of the world, with no freedom of movement, no place to run, and no space to hide," wrote the senior UN relief official, Jan Egeland, and Jan Eliasson, then Swedish foreign minister, in Le Figaro. They described people "living in a cage," cut off by land, sea, and air, with no reliable power and little water, tortured by hunger, disease, and incessant attacks by Israeli troops and planes.

Egeland and Eliasson wrote this four months ago as an attempt to break the silence in Europe, whose obedient alliance with the United States and Israel has sought to reverse the democratic result that brought Hamas to power in last year's Palestinian elections. The horror in Gaza has since been compounded; a family of 18 has died beneath a 500-pound American/Israeli bomb; unarmed women have been mown down at point-blank range. Dr. David Halpin, one of the few Britons to break what he calls "this medieval siege," reported the killing of 57 children by artillery, rockets, and small arms and was shown evidence that civilians are Israel's true targets, as in Lebanon last summer. A friend in Gaza, Dr. Mona El-Farra, e-mailed: "I see the effects of the relentless sonic booms [a collective punishment by the Israeli air force] and artillery on my 13-year-old daughter. At night, she shivers with fear. Then both of us end up crouching on the floor. I try to make her feel safe, but when the bombs sound I flinch and scream…"

When I was last in Gaza, Dr. Khalid Dahlan, a psychiatrist, showed me the results of a remarkable survey. "The statistic I personally find unbearable," he said, "is that 99.4 percent of the children we studied suffer trauma. Once you look at the rates of exposure to trauma you see why: 99.2 percent of their homes were bombarded; 97.5 percent were exposed to tear gas; 96.6 percent witnessed shootings; 95.8 percent witnessed bombardment and funerals; almost a quarter saw family members injured or killed." Dr. Dahlan invited me to sit in on one of his clinics. There were 30 children, all of them traumatized. He gave each pencil and paper and asked them to draw. They drew pictures of grotesque acts of terror and of women streaming tears.....

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Cant get my voice out ...Or maybe Not interested to do so?

Hi everyone. It has been a long time since I typed some words on this voice page...
I m forcing myself to gove it a try this time.
My thoughts will be confused and mixed up, but i know you are patient.
Throughout the past couple of months, i had nothing interesting to share with least it wasnt intersting to me..becasue i was alienated from the latest equations...or in other words, the lates battles.
As soon as the Gazans woke up from the shock recoverng from one of toughest incidents that resulted in the killing of 18 palestinians in their homes...Internal clashes started to rise as the main concern and the event taking place on the ground.
Fearless strong facing teh ideaology...facing the corruption,..facing the agendas..facing eachother. Many, tens, of incidents took place in Gaza and later a bit in the West Bank. Such were, kidnappings, shooting, attacking buildings and so on. Maybe its worth a bit of analysis right before the argument reaches the concipracy theories.

Thankfully, I m fairly objective towards this battle, trying not to fall in this "trap". There is no black or white in analysing the emergence of Hamas movement or the development of Fatah. However, the peopel are being asked to categorize themselves to stay behind one against the other.
I suddenly woke up and paniced for few the Gaza crossing. I remembered; We are occupied by Israel. Still.
West Bankers cant forget that they are occupied, therefore they have more venues to express their anger or frustration, or to convert negative energies into..something.
The combination of xperiencing Gaza with its ugly deadly clashes..and experiencing the humilation under the metal wires and gates through the Gaza Crossing..made me a bit more capable of throwing some words here.
Coming soon,