As we sat down to break the fast, everything in the house started smashing and flying

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Walaa Ghussein

Last Tuesday night July 8th at 8:15 PM, my family and I: my mother, father, four sisters and the youngest brother, all were gathering in the dining room, preparing to break fasting. We circled a round table, full of various delicious kinds of food, chatting about a possible Israeli attack in the area and if we should leave the house or stay. All of a sudden hell broke out: massive explosion put an end to the conversation carried out by an F16 warplane less than 10 meters away from us, everything in the house was smashing and flying over our heads the windows, the dust, and the shrapnel. We couldn’t find a safe spot in the house to protect us but a small bathroom, where we 8 of us squashed under the merciless attack of the Israelis. The house has suddenly disappeared from the street’s sight; it was covered with smoke and fire. The neighbors were screaming and running to see if we’re still alive – there was no light to see what happened to the house, most people in the world will never understand what is it like to live such a horrific situation. The house and its walls would be your last concern as long as your beloved ones are still alive. We sat there, traumatized, waiting until it was “safe” to leave. We picked whatever stuff we thought we’d need and evacuated the area.

We all see in the media how Israelis run to their well protected shelters when they hear the “sirens”, they panic and hide in a safe place. Palestinians have no shelters and nowhere to go when their houses get bombed and destroyed, mostly upon their heads, by a heavy F16 missile, which leads to tragic massacres. The proportion of wounded, killing and destruction must be considered. Numbers, rising rapidly, every minute, speak for themselves. Israel exterminates whole families, one of the families had only one survivor, a child, whose fate was decided by an Israeli warplane to grow up without a family or a shelter. The entire Gaza Strip is traumatized again. No one can compensate our loss. If we would cry, we would form rivers that start in Gaza and end in the Atlantic Ocean. Of course the world and mainstream media does not call it terrorism.

Is this Israel’s bank of goals? Targeting “only terror”? What about Israel’s war crimes, massacres and their collective punishment of civilians, including women and children? And we have all seen Israelis sitting happily in towns near Gaza’s border watching the ongoing massacres, celebrating them. This is the Israeli way of saying “Hi! We want peace but Hamas is using Palestinians as human shields which is not our problem, so we’ll just have to kill you all.” I know that some Israelis dream of turning Gaza into the biggest parking lot in the world, which is a clear call to genocide, and also a clear statement that no one in Israel wants “peace”, as they claim.

This is not a “war” of two equal powers, nor is it a country-to-country fighting. It is an occupied territory subjected to the Israeli occupation brutal force. No one to blame but the Israeli occupation forces. We do believe in our right to resist our occupier and aggressor and our national duty of defending our land. The existence of Israel is the only thing that puts us, as civilians, in danger.  Palestinians have the right to choose who they want to govern them, Hamas or Fatah, and Israel should stop intervening in the Palestinian reconciliation which brought about this tragic situation.

I feel sorry for Israelis because they allow their government and soldiers to commit massacres in their name and allow Israeli forces to shell Gaza from settlements near Gaza border. If you don’t speak against this genocide, you are complicit in it. The murderers of kids and women should not be celebrated in the Occupation State of Israel and shelling Gaza should not be a pleasant scene that Israelis watch from towns on the other side of the border.

Israel suffocates our life in the Gaza Strip, people are mentally and physically exhausted because of the long-term siege imposed on the coastal enclave as a collective punishment for more than 1.85 million residents, human beings who are deprived one basic right: “the right to life”.

The root cause of the problem is Israel’s occupation. To end this tragedy that inflicts Palestinians the most, occupation must end and equal protection and rights must be granted to all people.

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Where is the money to build the shelters, Hamas???? Where did it go??? Do you not care about the people who elected you???

Is there ONE shelter in all of Gaza that your people can run to???

Let’s not be too cynical about JustJessetr’s comment. At least it expresses concern for the welfare of people in Gaza, and the large number of question marks suggests the depth and sincerity of his concern. That is why I expect him to support alternative ways of protecting Gaza residents against bombing raids — options that could be implemented more quickly and at less cost than building deep reinforced shelters for a million and a half… Read more »

My heart cries for you and the people in Gaza, Walaa. I’m doing everything I can to raise awareness about the decades long and ongoing Palestinian people’s plight and suffering. Big hug from The Netherlands!

RE: “As we sat down to break the fast, everything in the house started smashing and flying” ONE WAY PEOPLE CAN HELP: Please make a tax-deductible donation payable to The Gaza Mental Health Foundation Inc. Your gift will be sent to The Gaza Community Mental Health Program, which is providing vital mental health support to the traumatized families of the Gaza Strip. Your donation is tax-deductible to the extent provided by section 501(c)(3) of the… Read more »

thank you so very very much walaa. for sharing, for being who you are, for your sumud, for staying alive.