Day #9 – July 15, 2014 – #OperationProtectiveEdge

Source: Day #9 – July 15, 2014 – Media Bias

An Israeli campaign of a very different nature is happening today, three years after Operation Protective Edge.

Today, some Israelis are turning off their A/C in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza who are being crushed beneath the brutal summer heat without electricity.



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Inbetween stories, inbetween worlds

My friend in Gaza just gave birth yesterday to her second child. What is his future?

I’m feeling more and more separate, different, apart, isolated, and invisible. I have one foot in Gaza and the other in Baltimore.

The Gaza I remember from 2012-2013 is unlivable today.

The suicide rates are rising from despair and no future. Unemployment rates are the highest in the world. The power cuts are the worst they’ve ever been. Untreated sewage blights 50% of the beaches along the Gaza Strip. Travel restrictions from Israel and Egypt are killing people (literally) and now phone service and internet are being cut, shutting down Gaza’s last connection to the outside.

The crisis in Gaza is symptomatic of the larger crisis on our planet; but I see it more clearly in Gaza because I’ve been there and know people suffering there today.

The world is broken and we don’t know how to fix it.

My friend, Deb, recommended I read The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible by Charles Eisenstein. His message rings true to me. We are inbetween two worlds now, the Story of Separation (Chapter One) and the Story of Interbeing, the Age of Reunion, the ecological age, the world of the gift. (Chapter Three).

My feeling of great discomfort is probably the feeling of life inbetween the broken past and the unknown future. There’s no map, no guide, no guarantees.  Yet, I feel I met the future when I was in Gaza (2012-2013). There I glimpsed the Story of Interbeing that I’m only reading about now.


Leave a comment

Filed under Gaza, Peaceful, People, Uncategorized, Video

Day #6 – July 12, 2014 – Martyrs #OperationProtectiveEdge

The following blog post was written in July 2015, a year following Operation Protective Edge.

Source: Day #6 – July 12, 2014 – Martyrs

In 2012, I met an amazing man, Tariq Darwish, with an amazing gift in the Nuseirat Refugee Camp in the middle of the Gaza Strip. He could recite from memory the name, age, and circumstances of death of every Martyr (that’s the term that Palestinians give to those who die at the hands of Israel). I don’t know how he did it but last summer I often thought about him during Israel’s so-called Operation Protective Edge.

Israel’s Hasbara team tried its best to minimize the Palestinians’ suffering in the eyes of the world by dehumanizing them, blaming Hamas for their deaths (“Hamas forced us to fire on houses with civilians inside”) and by referring to the victims by numbers.

Here are their names. By the end of only a single day (July 12, 2014), Israel had struck 180 targets in Gaza, resulting in 51 deaths. Palestinian militants fired 125 rockets towards Israel that day, with no fatalities.

These are the Palestinian Martyrs killed on July 12, 2014.

  • At 01:20, after his wife was phoned with a warning, two drone missiles struck the house of a member of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam BrigadesGhaleb Kamel Mansour, in al-Junaina, Rafah; a follow-up IAF strike destroyed the house.
  • At 01:30, a strike on al-Nasr Street killed Yousif and Anas Qandil, father and son, who reportedly had fled their home, hoping to avoid collateral damage from shrapnel when their neighbours received a Israeli warning of an imminent strike on a nearby house. With others, they took shelter under a tree, where they were killed.
  • At 01:35 (var. 00:35), a drone missile hit a site, described variously as either the yard of Anwar Aziz Mosque or Martyr Anwar Aziz Square in Jabaliya, killing four people: Hissab Deeb Razaina (39), Abdul Rahman Saleh al-Khatib (38), Yousef Mohammed Mandil (39), and Mohammed Edris Abu Swailem, as well as wounding five others.
  • At 01:45, an IAF strike destroyed Mohammed and Shawqi Afana’s 2-storey house, with collateral damage to a nearby home; seven civilians wounded.
  • At 2:15 a.m, an IAF airstrike demolished the al-Farouq Mosque in Nuseirat refugee camp.
  • At 04:55 (or about 04:30, coinciding with the muezzin’s prayer): warning missiles, not heard by the hostel patients, were fired, but the disabled had no means to evacuate in time. Two mentally and physically disabled women, Ola Washahi (aka Ola Hussein Enshassi; aged 30 or 31) and Suha Musbah Abu Sa’da (aged 39 or 47) were killed, while several other people sustained injuries when the IAF struck a charitable care home for the handicapped in Beit Lahiya.  A caregiver was hospitalized for burns.
  • At 05:05, an IAF strike demolished a Wassef Charity office in al-Maghazi.
  • At 05:30, 3 drone-launched missiles partially destroyed Ahmed Ezzat Abu Ahmed’s 2-storey in Rafah’s al-Shaboura refugee camp, wounding Mohammed al-Houbi (12).
  • At 05:45, an IAF missile destroyed the Rafah office of the Ministry of Labor.
  • At 05:55, a drone missile hit the Islamic National Bank in the al-Agha building in central Khan Yunis, damaging flats and a nearby house.
  • At 06:45, an IAF airstrike struck militants belonging to the al-Mujahidin Brigades near the al-Katiba Mosque in Ansar, Gaza City, killing three: Mohammed Rif’at al-Syouti (20), Mohammed Bassem al-Halabi(25) and Nabil As’ad Bassal (29).
  • At 07:10, an IAF airstrike killed three police officers in a park in al-TuffahIbrahim Nabil Hamada (22), Hassan Ahmed Abu Ghoush (28), and Ahmed Mahmoud al-Bal’awi (23).
  • At 07:30, 2 drone-launched missiles hit the home of Islamic Jihadist Mohammed Jamal Timraz, in the Tel al-Sultan refugee camp, west of Rafah. A neighbour was phoned to evacuate the house beforehand. Shortly thereafter, an IAF missile destroyed it.
  • At 13:00, Al-Shifa Hospital staff in Gaza City announced the death of Safaa Mustafa Malaka (16), who had been wounded on 9 July in an attack on the family home in al-Zaytoun.
  • At 13:40, an IAF missile struck a site where several civilians reportedly seated under the al-Malash family apartment building in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City, killing six. The dead were: Nidal Mohammed Ibrahim al-Malash (22), Azmi Mahmoud Taha Obaid(51), Suleiman Sa’id Younis Obaid (56), Mustafa Mohamemd Taha Enaya (58), Ghassaan Ahmed al-Masri (25), and Rateb Subhi Yousef al-Saifi (22).
  • At 15:30, 2 drone-launched missiles hit No’man Wa’el al-Nahhal’s house in Rafah’s western al-Mawasi area, wounding his wife, Samar Fat’hi al-Nahhal (36); five minutes later, an IAF missile demolished the house.
  • At 16:30, an IAF missile was fired at a group of militants at the Doula intersection in al-Zaytoun, Gaza City, killing Ahmed Yousef Dalloul(37) and wounding three people.
  • At 17:30, an IAF bombing of a garden plot in al-Nazzaz Street in al-Shuja’iya neighborhood killed Ghazi Mohammed Mustafa Oraif (62) and his son, Mohammed (35), while they were reportedly tilling the earth.
  • At 17:30, a drone missile struck Jum’a Saber Khalifa’s 3-storey house, where 29 people resided, in the al-Nussairat refugee camp, followed shortly after by an IAF missile strike, killing a neighbor, Khawla Mohmmed Sarhan al-Hawajri (aged 25).
  • At 18:10, a drone missile fired at a group of militants, killing one person, Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed al-Sharatha (28), and wounding another east of Jabaliya.
  • At 19:30, a drone-launched missile struck the 2-storey house of Mohammed al-Bawab, an Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades operative, south of Rafah; an IAF strike demolished it 10 minutes later.
  • At 22:25, a drone-launched missile targeted two members of the al-Quds Brigades in the al-Zohour neighborhood north of Rafah, killingMuhannad Yousef Dubahir (21) and mortally wounding Izziddin Na’im Bulbul (27), who died in hospital three hours later.
  • At 22:30, in al-Tuffah, 2 IAF missiles, following a Hamas barrage of missiles towards Israeli cities, targeted the head of Gaza’s Hamas police, Gen. Tayseer al-Batsh. Initial accounts vary: either he was targeted as he was leaving a mosque in al-Tuffah, Gaza City, or the house where he was sheltering was hit by two bombs. In the latter case, he was injured while taking shelter in the house of his cousin, Majid al-Batsh, and the bombs demolished the house, and killed 21 or 22 members of the family inside. The attack killed 21 or 22 people and wounded between 35 and 45 people, including the general. It marked the single most deadly assault since the outbreak of hostilities. Ynet reported that the mosque was the primary target, that several militants, some intending to launch rockets, were among the 21 dead, and that the IDF “does not view the incident as a work accident”. The attack, reportedly without prior warning  struck Majed Subhi al-Batsh’s 2-storey house, home to two families, close by the al-Haramain Mosque in al-Tuffah, killing 11 family members:
  • Majed Subhi al-Batsh (50),
  • Bahaa Maj al-Batsh (28) his son,
  • Amal Hassan Mohammed al-Batsh (49), his wife,
  • Samah Alaa Subhi al-Batta (20), eight-months pregnant, daughter-in-law,
  • Amal Bahaa al-Batsh (2), his grandchild,
  • Jalal Majed al-Batsh (26), his son,
  • Khaled Majed al-Batsh (20), his son,
  • Mahmoud Majed al-Batsh (22), his son,
  • Ibrahim Majed al-Batsh (18), his son,
  • Marwa (25), his daughter,
  • Manar Majed al-Batsh (13), his child.
  • Several nearby houses owned by Majed al-Batsh’s brothers suffered considerable damage; the following were killed: Nahid Na’im Subhi al-Batsh (41), Qusai Issam Subhi al-Batsh (12), Mohammed Issam al-Batsh 17), Aziza Yousef Ahmed al-Batsh (59), Yihya Alaa Subhi al-Batsh (18), and Anas Alaa Subhi al-Batsh (7).
    15 other al-Batsh family members were wounded, 6 seriously.
  • At 23:05, a drone-launched missile struck a vehicle belonging to the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility, in Abu Bakr Street, western Rafah, seriously wounding Ziad Mahmoud al-Shawi (42).
  • At 23:40, a drone-launched missile successfully targeted a member of the al-Quds BrigadesEmad Bassam Zo’rob (23), in al-Siamat Street, northern Rafah. Two people who came to his assistance were struck by another missile, killing one, Fadi Mohammed Zo’rob (23), instantly. The other, Haitham Ashraf Zo’rob (20), died five hours later in hospital.

B’tselem estimated by noon on Saturday, 12 July, that of the 114 Palestinians killed, 27 had been killed while engaged in combat. Of the remainder, 26 were minors,13 were women (under age 60) and 5 were senior citizens. From 10 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday, Palestinian sources stated that 43 people, including 39 civilians, while 139 were wounded. 23 houses were demolished in air attacks.

Cites and references for the information compiled above can be found here.

I’m saying a prayer tonight while reading each victim’s name from July 12, 2014

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Day #5 – July 11, 2014 – #OperationProtectiveEdge

Source: Day #5 – July 11, 2014 – We Are Not Numbers

The Israeli government is very worried about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that is exploding worldwide, as they should be.

But they should also be very nervous about the Palestinian voices in and out of Gaza who are writing and publishing worldwide. We Are Not Numbers and the Palestine Chronicle are powerful forces that will be the Occupation’s undoing.

Three years ago (July-August 2015), Israel was bombing the Gaza Strip to smithereens.  Today they are trying to throw Gaza into the dark ages.




Filed under Uncategorized

Day #4 – July 10, 2014 – Nowhere to go #OperationProtectiveEdge

Source: Day #4 – July 10, 2014 – Nowhere to go

Israeli artillery shells sit waiting to be fired into Gaza on July 17, 2014 near Sderot, Israel. (Photo credit: Juliana Jiménez is a former Slate photo editor.)

The first ten days of Israel’s ‘Operation Protective Edge’ were conducted from the ‘safety’ of distance utilizing Israel’s superior air power against the tiny enclave of the Gaza Strip.

Just how large is Gaza? Some comparisons may help put things into perspective.

The Gaza Strip is only 139 square miles,  about the same size as Detroit (138.8 square miles), Philadelphia (134.1), Las Vegas (135.8), or Portland, Oregon (133.4).  With its population at approximately 1.82 million people,  Gaza has a population density of 13,064 people per square mile. That’s about half the density of New York City (27,778 people per square mile) and about equal with Boston (13,321 people per square mile).

If Americans in Detroit, Philadelphia, Las Vegas or Portland were being attacked, they would be able to leave their cities and seek refuge somewhere else. The Palestinians can’t leave Gaza. Israel closed the borders, effectively trapping them on the battlefield.

Israelis, mostly residents of the southern Israeli city of Sderot, one holding a national flag, sit on a hill overlooking the Gaza Strip, on July 20, 2014, to watch the fighting between the Israeli army and Palestinian militants. (Photo credit: Juliana Jiménez is a former Slate photo editor)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF)  supplied 5,000 tons of munitions to its troops to use in this campaign in 2014, more than a 533% increase over the amount of munitions the IDF used in Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09. (UN Report #408)  They carried out more than 6,000 airstrikes in Gaza in July–August 2014.
As a result, 142 Palestinian families had three or more members killed in the same incident owing to the destruction of residential buildings, for a total of 742 fatalities. An even higher figure is reported by some non-governmental organizations, which speak of 1,066 people, including 370 children and 241 women, killed inside their homes. (UN Report #111)

Comments Off on Day #4 – July 10, 2014 – Nowhere to go #OperationProtectiveEdge

Filed under Uncategorized

Day #3 – July 9, 2014 – Why should Americans care?

Source: Day #3 – July 9, 2014 – Why should Americans care?

Palestinian women hold night prayers in front of the Dome of the Rock at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem in support of Palestinians in Gaza. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

Why should Americans care about the Palestinian side of the equation in the Middle East? That’s the MILLION $$ question. And why should members of Congress care specifically?

The U.S. gives Israel ALOT of money every year under very favorable terms. By one estimate, American taxpayers have given more than $130 Billion in U.S. aid to Israel. Our subsidy appears to be growing. Can the U.S. afford to be so generous with Israel while ignoring basic needs at home (infrastructure and education to name a couple) and in other less-developed countries?

Riyad H Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, holds up a picture from the Israeli operation in Gaza during a Security Council meeting at the UN. Photograph: Kena Betancur/Getty Images

In the international arena, the U.S. routinely stands alone, or with the small minority, when voting on Israel’s actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The U.S. cast the only NO vote at the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva against a resolution calling for parties to be held accountable for potential war crimes committed in Operation Protective Edge. The U.S. knee-jerk support for anything and everything that Israel wants, endangers U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in the volatile Middle East.

After 9/11, President George W. Bush told the world that the terrorists hate American values. He was wrong. Extremists hate our foreign policies, not our values. We continue down this path of genuflecting before the State of Israel at our peril, and Israel’s peril too. America’s unwavering support for the State of Israel, even when the cold, hard facts show that Israel likely committed war crimes last summer in Gaza, only fuels the extremists. President Obama hit the nail on the head when he said that “extreme ideologies are not defeated by guns but by better ideas.”

Our basic common decency and humanity calls us to empathize with our fellow human beings — all of them — not just the Israelis running for cover under the Iron Dome. We lose our humanity when we ignore the tremendous lopsided death tolls, the assymetric battles, and the root causes of the conflict.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaza, Israel Defense Forces, People, United Nations, US Policy, Video

Day #2 – July 8, 2014 #OperationProtectiveEdge

Source: Day #2 – July 8, 2014

Aircraft flares illuminate the sky following an Israel airstrike over al-Suaciye district of Gaza City on July 18, 2014 in Gaza. Photo credit – Juliana Jiménez, former Slate photo editor.

Three years ago, Palestinians in Gaza were living and dying under a barrage of Israel’s sophisticated weaponry.

Social media was the second battlefield.

IDF @IDFSpokesperson

#IDF has commenced Operation Protective Edge in #Gaza against #Hamas, in order to stop the terror #Israel’s citizens face on a daily basis

3:22 PM – 7 JUL 2014

An American tweeted approvingly in reply.

Brad Weaver @CBWGaTiger Jul 7

@IDFSpokesperson Good luck, IDF, from a christian living in the USA. Obama may hate the jewish people but I still love them. Happy hunting.

Others disagreed.

How much longer? ‏@RiosJose559 Jul 7

@CBWGaTiger @IDFSpokesperson sorry but no “Christian” would ever say “happy hunting”…you need to read your motherfucking bible more….

ฉันไม่เข้าใจ ‏@1888MYRE Jul 7
@RiosJose559 @CBWGaTiger @IDFSpokesperson exactly what Israel is doing genocide . Plain and simple

Israeli soldiers of the 155mm artillery cannons unit fire towards the Gaza Strip from their position near Israel’s border with the coastal Palestinian enclave, on July 21, 2014. World efforts to broker a ceasefire in war-torn Gaza gathered pace as Israel pressed a blistering 14-day assault on the enclave, pushing the Palestinian death toll to 558. Photo Credit – Juliana Jiménez, former Slate photo editor.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized