Thursday, April 9


People are steady getting called anti-semites for talking about the power of the Israeli lobby, and yet for some reason I never see stories like these in the news.
From statements collected in Gaza by Human Rights Watch in January.

Radwan al-Mardi, male, forty-five, Beit Lahiya. His six-year-old daughter, Nada, was killed as the family tried to walk to safety.
The soldiers were shooting around us but we continued to walk. In one hand I held some bread, in the other I had my daughter’s hand. Just behind us were my two sons, who were holding white flags. The road was torn up by the bulldozers, and Nada was barefoot. I lifted her up whenever there was debris on the ground. Then she was hit. She fell on her face. I knew she was injured, but I thought she was hit in the arm. She had sand in her mouth, and I cleaned it out. She made a moaning sound, but she couldn't speak. I dropped the bread and carried her in my arms. I ran and found a car, and they took her to Kamal Adwan Hospital. I still hadn’t realized the bullet had hit her head. I went to see what happened to the rest of my family. When I got back, she had already been transferred to Shifa Hospital. The bullet had entered the back of her head and lodged behind her eyes. She died at two in the afternoon.

Majid Abu Hajjaj, male, forty-five, farmer, Juhr al-Dik. His mother and sister were killed by machine-gun fire.
I had already left the area, but I was on the phone with my family all the time when they were under fire. I could hear the explosions in the background. I was calling the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and the BBC, but no one could help us. They were killed after they left the neighbor’s house. When I came back two days after the cease-fire, I found my sister and mother on the ground. My sister was covered by wires and trash. She had been run over by a tank. The next day the neighbors brought us her severed foot. My mother’s body was partly buried in sand. They’d been lying there for sixteen days.

Sami Rashid Mohammed, male, forty-five, former Palestinian Authority employee, Jabaliya.
Six Israeli soldiers pushed me in front of them using their guns, which were pointed at my back, and we ended up in an orange grove. While we were there, the soldiers came under fire. They took their positions immediately, and the officer called me. He ordered me to get on my knees, facing the direction where the fire came from. From behind me, they started responding to the source of fire. Two soldiers, one with an M-16 and the other with an automatic machine gun, were firing from right behind me. The flying bullet casings from the machine gun were hitting my cheek.

Ahmed Abu Halima, male, twenty-two, farmer, Beit Lahiya. He was at home with his family on January 4 when a white-phosphorus shell hit the house, killing five and wounding four.
I was talking with my father when the shell landed. It hit my father directly and cut his head. The explosion was large and the smell unbearable. It caused a big fire. The pieces from the shell were burning, and they could not be put out. Those of us who were unharmed ran outside. My brother’s wife, Ghada, and their daughter, Farah, came down with no clothes on. My brothers Yusif and Ali came, too. Yusif was burned on his face and Ali on his back. We brought the dead bodies to a car. One relative, Abu Saleh, contacted the Israelis for coordination. He said we had one hour to evacuate. We drove in a cousin’s Mercedes truck. At al-Atatra junction they fired at us from a machine gun on the top of a tank. They hit my grandfather Mattar, my aunt Ralia, and two  others, who were lightly wounded. Behind our Mercedes was a green Golf with more relatives. They hit one of my cousins in it too, in the leg and abdomen.

Iman al-Najar, female, thirty-one, Khuzaa village. On January 13, Israeli soldiers destroyed homes in the neighborhood and ordered residents to walk to the village center.
Rawhiya took a white flag with a group of about fifteen women. She said, “Let’s go together.” When she reached the corner, they fired at her immediately. It was 7:45 a.m. She was hit in the head and fell even though she was holding a white flag. We tried to get her body, but we couldn’t get to it. In the attempt, a girl, Yasmin, was wounded in the arm and leg. I bandaged her wounds and called the ambulance, but they said they couldn’t come. The Israeli bulldozers were pushing us out. There was lots of dust. We were hugging each other. We said, “Let’s go. It is better to die from bullets than to get buried. At least if we die from bullets, they will see us.” We decided to go together. When we came under fire, we crawled. We were ashamed to leave Rawhiya behind. We carried the old women and went looking for the nearest U.N. school. But we didn’t want to stay there because we heard that they shelled them too. Why does the whole world go crazy when an Israeli dies but not when we are dying here in our homes? We were calling everyone. Where were all the organizations that we see all the time? We called and got only the echo.

(From the April Harper's)

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