I recently contacted a Palestinian friend who I met while he was doing his PhD in London and who now works for the UN Human Rights Commission in Gaza, where he lives. I wanted to know how the savagery of the Israeli army has affected him and his family. Yesterday, after some weeks, he finally responded. It was shocking. Actually, it shouldn’t be shocking given how much we have seen of the indescribable suffering of the Palestinians on our television screens, and how much we have heard of the raging hypocrisy and silence of western governments when it comes to Palestine. Just compare their reaction to the brutalities of ISIS in northern Iraq, which led to both a military campaign and a huge humanitarian response. The reasons are also clear: there is oil in northern Iraq, and the armed force which is committing the atrocities is not the Israeli army. Yet on another level it is difficult to comprehend that such suffering is being inflicted on someone we know and love.
I wanted his response to be shared and have asked his permission to do so, which he gave on the condition of anonymity.
Many thanks for your message again. Things for me and my first degree relatives are ok. Yet, a close friend of mine lost three of his kids in unwarning shelling of his house. Luckily enough, he himself saved the attack (only injured), but lost his three kids. Another friend lost his cousin and brother in law as well. They Slaughered us...They Slaughetered us my friend. Things remain uncertain. No body knows who is the next...They just shell out houses without any warning....All happen out of sudden... You may be sleeping when the attack took place.... Alot of work here...what happened can no be put in words....Listening to people is a burden....being able to sleep is anohter burden...being able to eat is a thid one...I guess they confiscated the very essence of our life.....I do not think we are are human any more....Without exception, every one in Gaza has been affected by the Israeli offensive..The lesson I learned out of this experiences :"International Community is dead".
But before I leave you from this life my friend, I wish to stress couple of words: “they will never let us down…even if they kill all of us, destroy ALL OF our homes, and our infrastructure.. Our souls will keep fighting them…” The battle is not Hamas battle any more. The offensive is against us, as civilians. International community should understand that. So far, they killed some 1,976 Palestinians. Of these, 1,417 believed to be civilians, including 459 children, and over 239 women. Large number of civilians was killed in attacks on their homes, in the time when they were sleeping. Significant number of these attacks took place without any warning. In many cases, complete families, including parents, brothers, and sisters, were killed.