A tragic loss of many lives on a bloody Wednesday
Sunday, February 11, 2004
The city of Gaza is a very sad place today. Israeli army, tanks and
helicopters have killed 15 Palestinians and injured more than 53,
ten of them in critical conditions, on Wednesday February 11th.
It happened suddenly in the early morning hours when tens of
tanks supported by several helicopters gunship attacked the
Shijjaiya area in the eastern part of Gaza City. The main thrust
of the operation and shooting took place in a major street in that
area called Baghdad Street.
The fighting continued form about 4:30 in the morning till two in
the afternoon. Ambulance cars, time and time again, kept racing
against time carrying injured people or killed ones to the hospital.
Relatives and friends rushed to the main hospital of Shifa to find
out about the fate of their loved ones. And for more than three
hours, the emergency room at the hospital and its medical teams
did not stop working attempting to save as many lives as possible.
There were old people and young boys swiftly brought in by
ambulances carried on stretchers. The large number of causalities
was unusually high which prompted few hospital officials to come
outside the emergency room and appealing to people for blood
donations. Immedialty, dozens of young men, responding to the
appeal of officials, went to the hospital laboratories to donate blood.
Back in Baghdad Street, exactly at the eastern end of it, heavy
machine guns and the occasional shelling could be heard being fired
literally from Israeli tanks at homes and people who were trying to
take cover by throwing themselves at the sidewalk. One high school
boy named Mohammed Hillis was found killed next to his school bag.
Other teenagers were seen jumping off their bicycles in the middle
of the street rushing for a cover by hiding into the smaller streets
between houses. Most of those injured or killed were shot in the
upper part of the body because Israeli soldiers normally occupy the
tallest buildings in an area and set up snipers at the roofs. That is
done after terrorizing the residents and kicking them out of their
homes. Witnessing and watching the whole thing through the morning
hours, what happened today was an orgy of shooting, cold-blooded
killing of normal civilians and a blood bath.
CNN and BBC barely mentioned it on news bulletin. But, Arab News
media was present and reported it with details.
And in the meanwhile, Israeli military in Rafah was carrying out another
incursion where two people got killed and 17 injured, nine of them
critically, according to local hospital sources in Rafah.
At the main hospital in Gaza, a big crowd gathered with many sad faces
and a lot of angry others too. Some were crying. Others preferred to
sit alone comprehending the loss of a brother or a
friend or neighbor, etc・
One young boy aged fourteen arrived to the hospital with his injured
brother in the same ambulance car. As the back door of the car opened,
the boy jumped first, pulled the stretcher along with the paramedic team
from inside the car. Then, he shouted loud ordering for the emergency
room to open, pushing the cart forward inside. But, a couple of doctors
asked him to leave and wait outside as he cried loud, pleading to stay
shouting, ・I want to be with my brother・ He knew that his brother would
not make it and wanted to say the last goodbye. Witnesses said the dead
boy was bleeding heavily before an ambulance car could reach him
because Israeli soldiers fired at the medical team blocking them from
rescuing the young kid. It is a normal practice by Israel army and such
incidents have been reported and documented over and over again for
the last couple of years in shooting at paramedic teams and destroying
Just outside the hospital emergency teams, a couple of prominent
leaders from Islamic Jihad were talking to several media sources that
in turn condemned the latest military attack on Gaza. And both leaders
announced ・a suitable answer will come soon for Sharon痴 crimes
against the Palestinian people.・Meaning that revenge will most certainly
People of Gaza expressed deep disgust and anger at the high number of
people killed by Israeli military. Some shops closed down. Many schools
were ordered to send students home. In the streets, people did not seem
to talk much. Most were stuck to the local FM stations, almost all day,
listening to breaking news following breaking news. Radio reporters
seemed to be everywhere; in the 吐ield ・not far from the tanks,
broadcasting live audio sounds from the battled area and from hospitals,
interviewing health officials who update latest 杜artyrs names, and from
Rafah, reporting about tank incursions which demolish houses and try to
identify owners names, Apache Helicopters latest movements where
broadcaster advise people what to do, etc・tc・
That is only a glimpse of what really happened today on bloody Wednesday.
By: B. Samed
Feb. 11th, 2004