A snapshot of the tragedy and utter senselessness of Israel’s attack on Gaza:
A dentist stood at the bed of a doctor, his good friend Ehab Madhoun, 32, who had just died, his shrapnel-pitted body wrapped in a white shroud.
The day before, Dr. Madhoun, a general practitioner, was in an ambulance responding to an Israeli strike at the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza. Another missile hit the ambulance. The driver, Muhammad Abu Hasira, died instantly. Dr. Madhoun lingered for a day, dying of his wounds on Wednesday in the intensive care unit of Shifa Hospital, where hundreds of people have been brought since Israel began its heaviest assault on Gaza in three decades.
The dentist cried.
“He was just doing his work,” said the dentist, who would not give his name. “He’s a doctor, and I can’t understand why Israel would hit an ambulance.
…Several children [were] in another intensive care unit on Tuesday. Among them was Ismael Hamdan, 8, who had severe brain damage as well as two broken legs, according to a doctor there. Earlier that day, two of his sisters, Lama, 5, and Hayya, 12, were killed.
“I prepared them breakfast that day in the garden,” said their mother, Ayda, 36. “They had the tea, bread and thyme. Lama wanted a second pita, but we all teased her saying, ‘Keep it for lunch.’ She told us, ‘Don’t worry, God will provide us with bread.’
“She made all of us laugh,” the mother said. “I cleaned after them and collected the garbage. Ismael volunteered to dump the garbage, but Hayya and Lama joined him. The garbage can is in front of the house, a five-minute walk away. All of a sudden I heard the news from a neighbor, and I ran barefoot to the hospital. A relative collected the bodies of Lama and Hayya on a donkey cart.
“The neighbors ran trying to save Ismael, who was the only one breathing,” she said. “They say my kids flew 40 meters before hitting the ground.”
Ismael died Wednesday night.
In a twisted way, it’s a good thing Ismael died. Who would have cared for him? What kind of life would he have led? But then again, I am not his father and how can I put myself in his place?
Can anyone reading this not feel like raging against the sheer injustice of it all? President-elect Obama, are you listening? It’s time to take a stand. Support the people of Israel of course and their right not to be bombarded by missiles. But tell Israel it must end the carnage and it must end the strangling siege against Gaza. The solution is simple. It is the will to do it that is missing. Mr. Obama, you can help provide that will with a simple, straightforward statement. You’re missing in action. Missing when we need you most.
Wait for some Israeli spokesperson claim that militants hide in ambulances, like we heard before in Lebanon ’06. Vittorio Arrigoni reports that Wea’m hospital has been bombed as well as a medicine warehouse in Rafah, and Al Shifa hospital – the largest in the strip – received threats from the army. (http://www.freegaza.org/index.php?module=latest_news&id=2ce3677c56a012c009f75448db287929) After all, these places also provide treatment to injured Hamas members, so I guess that makes them legitimate targets, just like the kindergarten in Be’ersheva that certainly served many future Israeli soldiers.
Ewa Jasiewicz witnessed the three children mentioned in the NYT article brought into Beit Hanoon hospital:
Ismael Hamdan says
After the siege is lifted the first thing Hamas will do is import heavier weaponry, bombs and rockets so the next war or flare up in 3 years there will be rockets flying into all major Israeli cities which will lead to an even larger conflagration.
The Israelis and Egyptian government offered numerous times to let in humanitarian aid and and regular supplies while regulating the weaponry of war coming in and Hamas refused bcs they don’t want to be told what they can import……
You make it sound so simple living in your living room far from Sderot….
these guys alternate between committing acts of terrorism and crying for pity. hey here is an idea. stop the terrorism. nobody is forcing you to be terrorists. you do have a choice. you make it. you suffer the consequences. you cry for pity. and you start the cycle over. all you have to do is stop the terror. seek peace and not war.
I don’t understand why you are pleading to Mr. Obama to do something. He is not yet the President. Unless you are advocating the overthrow of President Bush, Mr. Obama cannot do anything but make statements without power behind them. One reason this is happening now is because Israel feels they could not get away with it after Obama has become President, and I think, and hope they are right.
My prayers fly to the Palestinians in Gaza. I hope Hamas will gain control of the Palestinian elements that continue to provoke retaliation of this kind, and prove itself a true and responsible representative of its people.
May G*d forgive us.
Walter Ballin says
Tzvee wrote: “these guys alternate between committing acts of terrorism and crying for pity. hey here is an idea. stop the terrorism. nobody is forcing you to be terrorists. you do have a choice. you make it. you suffer the consequences. you cry for pity. and you start the cycle over. all you have to do is stop the terror. seek peace and not war.”
Tzvee, You’re standing up for and justifying immorality. Israel has been committing terror against the people of Gaza for an awfully long time as mentioned in Richard’s blog “Gaza: Getting It Right” and in that blog the article by Chris Hedges denounces the 18-month Israel siege. Tzvee, what you said makes almost as much sense as the Nazis justifying Kristalnacht because of the assassination of the Nazi official in France Ernst Eduard vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan. Notice I’m just using the word “almost.”
these guys alternate between committing acts of terrorism and crying for pity. hey here is an idea. stop the terrorism.
What about Tzvee, Stop occupation, go back to 1967 borders, pay Palestinians compensations and stop pretending to be in this tragedy the victim.
Terrorism is a consequence of the decades long occupation. If Jews were packed in Gaza style concentration camp in equal conditions as Palestinians now for 40 years you can’t deny the fact that also you would resist. Probably with equal means as they do now.
Walter Ballin says
SimoHurtta wrote: “If Jews were packed in Gaza style concentration camp in equal conditions as Palestinians now for 40 years you can’t deny the fact that also you would resist. Probably with equal means as they do now.”
Jews actually were packed in a Gaza style concentration camp in Warsaw by the Nazis during WWII.
Richard Silverstein says
@tzvee: Not so simple, Tzvee. All Israel has to do is agree to withdraw to 1967 boundaries and share Jerusalem. Hamas has said it would live in peace with such an arrangement. That means it would stop terror. Advocate that to every Israeli you know & then we can talk about how simple it should be for Hamas to end terror.
terrorism is never justified
Walter Ballin says
tzvee wrote: “terrorism is never justified”
Does that mean terrorism committed by Israel, which you must not mean? How about when the Israeli Irgun led by Menachem Begin blew up the King David Hotel killing many people, among so many other terrorist acts? And going back to the present, Israel’s economic blockade of Gaza mentioned in that Hedges article that Richard posted?
Richard Silverstein says
@Ismael Hamdan: Absurd. Israel has kept the Gaza borders sealed for virtually 18 months, letting in dribs and drabs of humanitarian aid. It has NEVER offered to let in “regular supplies” unless Hamas recognized it, renounced violence & agreed to previous PLO negotiated treaties.
I make it sound so simple because it IS so simple. It’s Israel (& to a lesser extent Hamas) that make it so complicated.