Organized Destruction

Points from an email dated 2 March from a reliable source in Gaza who has asked not to be named.

What is happening here is chaos, but the term I prefer is organized destruction. Over the previous 48 hours, 35 were reported killed and around 75 injured. But in the last 18 hours one hospital reports a further 28 killed, including 3 women and 10 children under 16, the youngest being one week old. Less than 10% of those killed could be classed as ‘fighters.’ The majority are civilians who have suffered various injuries. Those with head and chest wounds from blast and shrapnel are, if they survive, among the seriously injured transferred to the main hospital in the Gaza Strip. This hospital has received 50 injured people in the last 24 hours. In the same time, we are told, 44 Palestinian rockets, incapable of being aimed accurately, have injured 10 people in Israel .

Though most of the Palestinian deaths and casualties have been in the north of the Strip, a missile has been fired into Rafah in the far south. Escalation is another word to use here. In response to one recent civilian death on the Israeli side, regrettable though any death is, the retaliation being experienced primarily within civilian residential areas is out of any proportion. At present it is a common sight to see people looking into the sky at the circling drones that are said to be both visual ‘spotters’ and capable of attack, with accompanying F16 and helicopters with flares. Over the last 24 hours, sounds of drones have regularly been followed by explosions. A little later we hear the sirens of the overworked ambulances responding to distress calls. Hospitals have been emptied of routine cases and other hospitals without accident departments have been opened for emergencies in response to the major disaster.

Though most of the injured are from within houses demolished by the missiles, one man has lost both lower limbs and was injured in the shoulder whilst feeding his goats. His father requests that a photograph of him be sent to the US as the chances, when he is ready, for getting out for appropriate prosthetic limb fitting, are slim to nil at present. Getting any kind of prosthesis in, let alone fitted, is costly. He is 20 years old and has a new wife with a baby on the way. Whilst he could well become mobile again on prostheses, the way ahead for him would be long and difficult to regain any degree of independence in any society, let alone one that is being systematically destroyed. He is one of many people with similar needs, thinking only of those injured in the last few days.

Underlying all these tragedies is the fact that such sophisticated military destruction is being supported by US and Europe with silence from the rest of the world. There is little condemnation of the state terrorism or continuing collective punishment of the deprived and impoverished people walled up in the Gaza ghetto.

Goodbye my child the terrorist!

Goodbye my child!  Your life was cut short by those strangers from foreign lands who came holding the Bible in one hand and a gun in the other, determined to steal your land and mine, to cut the olive tree that was there on the land before they were born, to cut the orange tree that I was hoping you would pick its fruits when you grow up, to demolish the house that I built to give you shelter. 

Raja George Mattar  

Back to Contents Top of page