After the pain from the heartbreaking pictures coming out of Gaza and the frustration towards a world seemingly unwilling to stop the bloodshed, what is left for you and me to do, for Gaza? If you ask me, I say what is left is for us to keep giving it a voice…
Layla is a cousin of a friend of mine, she lives in Gaza and will stay in Gaza. After days of trying to send me a couple of lines, from the heart of the physical and psychological war zone that has become of Gaza, battling numerous pre-warning missiles in her neighborhood and rockets targeting houses nearby, this is what she had to say:
Who is the real terrorist? Everybody knows that Israel is the one that started the aggression against us in Gaza; this aggression led the resistance to retaliate. The resistance in Gaza is mainly made up of Hamas, Jihad, and other factions. This resistance is denounced by [Mahmoud] Abbas; we are shocked by his negative attitude toward the Palestinian resistance, and the silence of the so-called Arab countries is so shameful as well.
This aggression is not like any other; this time ISRAEL HAS GONE CRAZY attacking civilians’ home, we’ve not slept for a long time, the shelling starts at night extensively, sounds of airstrikes, artillery and drones can’t stop us from thinking and worrying; is it our turn? It is terrifying when you look at your children who keep screaming and crying, they sometimes beg us to stop these massive explosions, beg us to save them, beg us to lie and say that it is all over, the war is over, but in vain. Sometimes you wish that you are alone to cry and scream for your own suffering of horror, and not pretend that you are fine to ease the pain of others.
Sometimes I can notice that each one of us at home strain at the other’s face with silence, as if it is the last time we will see one another. Each time, with the sound of every explosion, we lower our heads looking at each other’s face and wonder, is it over? Will we be ok? Or is it our turn? And each time we do so we smile at each other hiding a tear and great fear.
We are waiting with bleeding hearts, when will this damn war end and when will we be able to live in peace? We must have the right to live peacefully like other nations in the world, like humans not like animals slaughtered every day and night, death in Gaza wipes everything from the earth, the children who tried to play, the people who gathered for pray, the rocks anything that moves or stands still.
It is very painful to think that next time I may be the following martyr, how awful and sick when you think, am I going to lose my family members? Or are they going to lose me? Is this telephone call from relatives and friends to ask about us or is it from the IOF [Israeli Occupation Forces, also known as Israeli Defense Forces] asking us to evacuate? If it is to ask us to evacuate, where shall we go? No place is safe here. A friend of mine asked to evacuate their home, but when they moved to their relative’s home, they found them in turn evacuating to a friend who was evacuating to my friend’s home!! Oh my God, nowhere is safe or peaceful. If we have to evacuate our neighborhoods, why shouldn’t Israel evacuate our lands from Zionists who came from all around the world instead?
What we are trying to do from Gaza is to persuade people that we are defending our homeland…
So that the world listens and awakens to the horrors and inhumanity and the need to act.
And stay safe my friend…