Tag Archives: sad voice

Homeless since the war

My pickup, two story house and cheese diary after being attacked by the Israeli F16s

My pickup, two story house and cheese diary after being attacked by the Israeli F16s

London, December 30, 2011

In the third anniversary of the Israeli aggressive war against the Gaza Strip, my two story house and cheese factory are still rubbles on the ground.

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 van used for distributing cheese after the attack

The van used for distributing cheese after the attack

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.

One of the neighbours looking at the cheese in site of the attack

One of the neighbours looking at the cheese in site of the attack

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.

One of my cousins walking at the site of the diary wondering why do the Israelis attack the diary

One of my cousins walking at the site of the diary wondering why do the Israelis attack the diary

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?

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Homeless versus Settlers in Palestine

A Gaza engineer is lamenting the destruction of his house by the Israeli balldozers

A Gaza engineer is lamenting the destruction of his house by the Israeli balldozers

By: Motasem A Dalloul

The Palestinian case has become more ironic at the recent days. Israelis, obviously and deliberately, have been violating the international law regarding the rights of the Palestinians while the International Community turns its back to them.

The originally large number of homeless Palestinians has been increasing rapidly since the end of the Israeli war against the Gaza Strip. That war has resulted in thousands of homeless in Gaza, and the silence of the International Community encouraged the Israelis to intensify their frenzy eviction campaign against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. So that, new hundreds of Palestinians are included to the list of homeless everyday.

Amid this reality of the Israeli oppression against the Palestinians who used to live peacefully in their own land, there has been an intense campaign of building new homes for new exotic settlers.

The Israeli Government either, illegally seizes land or forcefully evicts citizens from their homes, and so it builds new houses for those settlers.

Quartet, which consists of the UN, USA, EU and Russia, is always described as it is highly dedicated to peace and encouraging democracy in the developing countries. The Quartet watched the war crimes committed in Gaza during the Israeli war and it is aware of the effects of the strict siege imposed on the Strip. It also watches what’s going on in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

It knows everything about those homeless and also knows everything about the Israeli oppressive actions. Principals of the Quartet always show their deep feeling of depression over the misery of those sick and homeless. They always promise them that they will do their best to solve their problems. Therefore, they ask them to maintain self control in order to be able to get the permission for them to do something. May be they want to discuss if Palestinians can organize a peaceful march or not?

They ask the homeless to maintain self control and when the Israelis escalate their discrimination and eviction campaigns and when they commit war crimes they ask the homeless also to maintain self control. Also for the same reason.

The Israelis decided to include historical Islamic sites to their heritage, the Quartet didn’t move. The Israelis broke into and desecrated Al Masjed Aqsa and Masjed Haram Al Khalil, the Quartet said it’s worried about that move. The Israelis intensified settlement activities and toughened the siege, the Quartet increased moves in order to find a peaceful solution for that problem.

In addition to all those Israeli violations against the Palestinians, the US also asks the Palestinians to maintain self control and promise to find a peaceful solution for these problems. In order to keep control in its hand, the step that may favour the Palestinians, it says that “the USA is obligated to the safety of Israel”.

Continuous daily killings of the Palestinians are always nonsense. However, an attempt of self defense by a Palestinian is something dangerous and anti-Semitic and strict procedures must be taken in order not to be repeated.

Palestinians are always being pushed out of their lands, their homes are being destroyed, their historical and Islamic sites are being profaned and stolen and their rights are being violated. The same procedures also are being taken. The victim must keep silent and the victimizer must raise his voice and complains against the oppressed victim.

This is the theory of the double standards which the Quartet deals with when something is related to the Palestinians and the Israelis or the Arabs and Muslims and the Western interests.

But this will not continue forever. People will not keep silent forever. They will sometime and somehow rebel against their oppressive governments and stop their oppression. So that, principals wherever they are should prepare themselves to be one day in the dock.

Constructing new settlements in the West Bank

Constructing new settlements in the West Bank

Maniac Israeli settlers defy the Israeli forces and attack Palestinians in the West Bank

Maniac Israeli settlers defy the Israeli forces and attack Palestinians in the West Bank

Israelis settlements under construction in Jerusalem

Israelis settlements under construction in Jerusalem

The Psychological Costs of the Gaza Sieg

A group of martyrs who were killed by the Israel planes during the Gaza war

A group of martyrs who were killed by the Israel planes during the Gaza war

London, December 24, 2011

At 12 years old, Malak goes out with her father to help him collected wood near the Gaza-Israeli border. The Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip has left her father Jehad Darabi without work, and the house without heating. As they gathered the wood on one fateful day, the Israeli troops opened heavy fire on them, separating father from daughter.

“My father escaped, whereas, fear prevented me from running,” said Malak. “As you can see, I can no longer stand.” 

Although her father was eventually able to come back for her and took her safely home, the incident left Malak with a psychological scar that goes deeper than bullets can reach.
“In the beginning, I was able to walk, but after several nightmare-filled nights I started to feel unbalanced while walking, until one day, it reached this point,” she said. 

Darabi, himself now suffering from acute anxiety, is left helpless. “Doctors say she needs daily physical and mental therapy,” he said, “but we have no money for that.”

A lot of families still live in the open-air since the war until now because of the siege

A lot of families still live in the open-air since the war until now because of the siege

11-year-old Ayed Al-Soos also provided for his family by selling old metal scraps he gathered from around the border area. “During one of his working days, the Israelis opened fire at him, removing his left hand and two fingers from his right,” his mother, Rawya, remembered in a sad voice. 

“Despite his serious injuries, his father never came to the hospital as he felt guilty and, at the same time, he feels unable to compensate his son.” 

Ayed’s father leaves their house each morning and does not return until late in the evening. “I don’t know where he goes, but I’m sure he leaves because he’s unable to meet our needs.” 

Crippling Unemployment
“This type of siege, in which the majority of the community becomes unemployed, is exceptional, ” said El-Helw.
Malak and Ayed are two young victims of the 9-month-old Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip. Manal Al-Sakani, a psychologist and counselor, has been following their cases. 

“Both children were exposed to high degrees of psychological stress. They were compelled to share in their family responsibilities together with their unemployed fathers,” Al-Sakani said. 

Professor Mohammed Al-Helw, a lecturer of psychology at the Islamic University of Gaza, said, “This type of siege, in which the majority of the community becomes unemployed, is exceptional. I believe the psychological disorders resulting from it are to be expected, as the Gazan people are only human.” 

Al-Helw witnesses first-hand the outcome of the high unemployment rate at his university. “Many students are forced to discontinue their studies, as they have been unable to pay tuition since their fathers became unemployed.” 

“There are a large number of students living in a clear state of anxiety, since they must keep [their average scores] above 65 percent or they will be deprived of their student aid,” he said. 

In agreement to this, Dr. Mohammed Abul-Sobah, head of the Gaza Mental Hospital’s Psychology Department and lecturer at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, said that many of the cases received at his clinic are suffering from psychological disorders as a direct result of unemployment. 

“I recently received four patients at the Mental Hospital; a father and his three sons. They are suffering from a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) resulting from their inability to fulfill their business commitments as their commodities are being denied entrance at the Karni Crossing [the commercial crossing between Gaza andIsrael]” GAD is characterized by excessive and uncontrollable worry that is disproportionate to the actual source of worry. 

Abul-Sobah said he also noticed a sharp increase in the number of Conversion Disorder (formerly known as Hysteria Disorder) cases during the first three months of the siege. These included Hysterical Aphonia (impairment or loss of speech), Hysterical Paraplegia (paralysis of the lower body) and Hemiplegia (paralysis of one side of the body), as well as hysterical blindness. 

“At the hospital, we are experiencing an overcapacity in bed space despite the fact that many Palestinians refuse to go to the hospital or to the mental health clinics, because they do not consider themselves to be psychologically ill, until their conditions become increasingly complicated. “ 

Disturbing Politics
The Palestinians “were given the opportunity to select their representatives of choice in a democratic way, only to be penalized for that same choice,” said Al-Maqadmi.
While the psychological stressors of unemployment come as indirect results of the siege on Gaza, the confused messages sent by international politics seems to directly affect the mental health of Gazans as well.
“The psychological plight of the Palestinians began with the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) election in 2006, following the universal opposition created toward their democratic choice of new government,” declared Dr. Iyad Al-Sarraj, a psychologist and head of the International Committee for Lifting the Gaza Siege. 

The Palestinian Authoritiy, Arab regimes, the US, and the majority of the International Community encouraged the participation of Hamas in the 2006 PLC elections. “However, when Hamas accepted and swept nearly two-thirds of Palestinian voices, in one of the most clear and transparent elections in the world, all those previously directing it into the PLC arena formed a united front to compel Hamas to abandon their ideology or face International sanctions,” explained Dr. Said Al-Maqadmi, a psychiatrist and manager of the Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflicts Resolution. 

“These circumstances led to a state of confusion for the Palestinian people, who were given the opportunity to select their representatives of choice in a democratic way, only to be penalized for that same choice.” 

An orphan is watering the tomb of her father who was killed by an Israeli air-strike during the Gaza War

An orphan is watering the tomb of her father who was killed by an Israeli air-strike during the Gaza War

“This state of confusion only increased as internal clashes erupted between Hamas and Fatah, and then reached its peak following the complete siege imposed on the Gaza Strip by the Israelis, the Arab states, and the International Community after Hamas presided over it,” declared Al-Maqadmi. 

Al-Sarraj went on to say that “the Palestinians believed they chose the right party, but the entire world opposed their choice and this led to confusion.” 

Multitude of Disorders
“An example of this behavior is the intentional approach of Palestinian children toward Israeli borders, with the hope of getting shot and dying,” said Abul-Sobah.
It is not surprising, then, that these events have had unfortunate consequences, especially for the Gazan population.
“Psychologists are reporting that the continuous stress has resulted in a number of psychological conditions and has led some members of the community to suffer an unstable state of mind, making them easy targets for depression and frustration, ” warned Dr. Sameer Zaqout, a psychiatrist and current manager of the Gaza Community Health Program. 

“If the Gaza siege continues, further unexpected psychological disorders will appear which will be difficult to treat.” 

He went on to say that “denying the results of unambiguous elections, attempting to impose an external political agenda that supports the occupation against us, internal clashes, division of the Palestinian lands into two parts, incessant Israeli incursions, killings and bombings, shortages of electricity and other basic needs, the death of patients who cannot attain treatment, down to the loss of burial shrouds; all this and there is still a long list of hardships the Gazans have encountered that make their life extremely difficult.” 

During a conference held in Gaza on Thursday, January 31, on the psyc hological impact of the Israeli siege, Dr. Jomaa Al-Saqqa, a public relations official at Gaza’s Ministry of Health announced that, “Some patients who need to be treated abroad and who were allowed to travel, are being blackmailed by the Israelis at Israeli checkpoints. Therefore, most prefer to return back, rather than head to the hospitals they have been accepted to receive treatment in.” 

According to Al-Maqadmi, “Gazan children and youth are suffering from many psychological disorders resulting from the siege, such as bedwetting, nightmares, PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder], depression, aggression, as well as poor learning and achievement. “ 

“An example of this behavior is the intentional approach of Palestinian children toward Israeli borders, with the hope of getting shot and dying,” Abul-Sobah, head of the Gaza Mental Hospital’s Psycholog y Department, said. 

Both Al-Maqadmi and Abul-Sobah believe this comes from their desire to become martyrs in the hope of going to Paradise to live a life better than this one. 

Perhaps children like Malak and Ayed do not go to the Israeli borders just to help out their fathers after all.