London, December 30, 2011
Both properties were destroyed by the Israeli F16 warplanes in December 30, 2008 during the aggressive war against the Gaza Strip.
I and more than 60 members of my extended family used to live in two adjacent buildings and on that date, the Israelis called us and gave us only ten minutes to leave them in order to destroy them.
We directly took to streets, me, my old parents, brothers and their wives and kids, my small angels, without taking any necessary thing from the houses.
We also informed our neighbours to leave their houses as the F16 attacks destroy a big area, not only the target house. The same they did, all of them rushed to streets with their children without taking any small thing with their hands.
Ten minutes left and nothing happened. We were hesitant to return back or stay away, but the last decision was to stay away. It was the right decision as three minutes later, we saw the F16s flying on the air and two rockets hit one of the houses and the cheese factory.
A huge cloud of fire and ash spread around a large area above the houses. Just minutes later, the fire and the ash have evaded and a hill of rubbles emerged at the place of my house.
The second building and the houses of the neighbours were partially destroyed. Wall had big holes and doors, windows, furniture were all destroyed. They became inappropriate for life.
How did we spent time
Some of us stayed with relatives and neighbours, mainly women and children, and some stayed wandering in the streets.
There were no communications at that time, and so we were apart from each other and we did not know anything about each other.
I myself associated my older brother and spent time walking in the streets, going to Al Shefa Hospital see wounded and martyrs, to cemeteries, to news agencies to report something as I used to report to Al Jazeera English Satellite Channel and The Radio of South Africa. I spoke also with the BBC.
We did not have money, so that, we spent that time either hungry or even hungry. But it was a difficult time as sounds of explosions and scenes of destruction were everywhere and every single minute.
What made it so horrible for me is that I heard that the house of my relatives, with whom my kids were staying, was attacked. But things went well when I knew that it was attacked by an artillery shell, not F16.
At that time, people considered artillery shells as a kind of mercy if compared with the F16 destructive rockets.
After the war, all of us joined together and, thanks to Allah, we found that no one was killed or injured. We really were lucky despite the destruction of our houses and the livelihood factory.
Some families lost one, two, three, … 20, 40, and more. Some families were completely eradicated such as Al Daya and Al Sammouni families in the nearby neighbourhood.
We stayed in the open air for a while and then were could have some makeshift homes. But, of course, we were lucky because we are, to some extent, considered wealthy if compared with other Gaza residents. We have enough area of land and some vegetable and fruit trees.
We managed to do something for ourselves before receiving helps from others. We did not consider receiving helps because others are needier than us and there have been shortage of aids until today.
But the makeshift houses took us 50 years back through time. My kids always complain, but I and my wife always ask them to be patient as later on we will have a new beautiful house.
But, unfortunately, today is the third anniversary of the demolition of our houses and cheese factory, and we are still waiting for the world to petition for the Israelis to left the siege.
I think, the world, I mean the West which rants about democracy and human rights, is biased because when they see that the Gazans launch a useless homemade rocket on the Israelis, they turn the whole world upside down and suspect Palestinians of being terrorists.
But, on the other hand, there is a strict siege imposed on the Gaza Strip for 5 years and people are dying of hunger and sickness, children attend school lessons in caravans, no access to clean drinking water, shortage of medicines, and the world does not just have a look.
In the third anniversary of the aggressive Israeli war against the Gaza Strip, experts say that Gazans need 100,000 housing unit urgently.
So that, let me know now, who is the one who produces terrorist?
- Israeli soldiers speak about their experience during the savage war (abujomaa.wordpress.com)
- Israeli soldiers shot children while eating chocolate and crisps (abujomaa.wordpress.com)
- A civilian killed, several wounded in an Israeli air-strike (abujomaa.wordpress.com)