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Situation getting worse
Monday, January 5, 2009

I tried to start writing this message one hour ago, but, I had to wait till the bombardment subdue a little. It is 9:00 P now in Gaza and I just heard a huge explosion in the middle of Gaza City. This is not to mention the continuous artillery bombing from land and sea. It is really crazy outside. It seems like the world has gone mad. These bombs and missiles, I really believe, should've not ever been made to attack the fragile human body, whole families, children and civilian buildings. Few minutes ago, one explosion literally shook the building where family lives in. It is dark outside as entire Gaza sinks in a black out where one can only see the flash lights of missiles and bombs sent down from the roaring F16s up in the skies.

Today, Monday, was a truly tragic day. More than 45 civilians are killed on Monday due to heavy Israeli bombing. The absolute majority of the victims are women and children. Children make up more than 30% of victims as reported by media today.

The Israeli tank shelling is so heavy and sporadic that entire families reach hospitals either all dead or injured. The Samouni family lost seven members at Zaitoun neighborhood south east of Gaza City. Abu Eisha family last 9 members east of Jabalia refugee camps. The bakr family lost their pregnant mother and her four children. All were victims of direct Israeli tank shelling at their houses.

From the sea, one sad story happened. An Israeli sea gunship fired shells at a civilian car hitting it directly. It was a family that tried to escape the city of Gaza to stay with relatives in the middle area of Gaza Strip. The injured mother phoned one local radio station pleading for help. She said that her children are thrown in the road; some killed, others injured in addition to her dead father in law. She asked for ambulances. But, ambulances could not reach the area, located 5 km south of Gaza city, along the coastal road, because Israeli ships and tanks fire at health workers and ambulances. The story did not end there. The father, who was waiting for his family in the middle area of Gaza, heard his wife voice on the radio. He came running on the road, from the opposite side, and when he reached just one hundred meters from his family, one Israeli tank fired at him killing the father immediately.

We are getting to hear more and more horrific stories told on the radio, told by the people and shown on TV. I am sure such stories are told to the international media.

Shifa hospital is getting full of those killed and injured however with one difference, during the past two days, and that is entire families now reach together emergency room. Reason is tanks are firing directly at homes and houses. The war machine is waged against the civilian population.

Health officials, yesterday, Sunday, declared Gaza a disaster area. There is a real shortage of medical supplies. The flow of victims is non-stop. All day, I could hear experience few minutes of calm. If tanks artillery stops, then, it is aerial bombardment or the shelling from the sea.

Israeli tanks have circled Gaza now. I could see from the window of my house the smoke and the battle ground to the south of my area. One major battlefield is about 2 KM south and south east of my residential location. All day, I could hear several types of explosion even heavy machine gun firing from helicopters. The tanks are slowing their movement or incursion into the city due to the incredible resistance. Everyone knows Gaza city is incredibly crowded with people and buildings. One can only wonder how these tanks can ever make it into such area, unless they kill thousands of people on the way to the center of city.

I just hope this can never happen. The Israeli army is waging a dirty war of making civilians pay a high price. Despite that, reports are saying that the actual military confrontation between Israel army and Palestinian fighters is so fierce especially in north and east of Gaza. These reports also said that Israel army suffered many causalities but Israel normally censor media reports.

The international community must work very hard to bring a cease-fire immediately. It is also important to allow more humanitarian urgent aid to the people. I noticed for the first time people buy extra amount of supplies from super-markets. I could see more nervous faces as many can hear the sound of actual fighting only few km from city center. The latest number of Palestinian killed reached 530 and more than 2400 injured so far.

B. Samed
Gaza, January 5th. 2009


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