Memories of Gaza
By Hassan Isilow
A group of South African humanitarian workers who survived a bomb blast in Gaza last week, made it home safely. The South Africans were part of the NGO Gaza Rehabilitation Fund, which had taken much needed aid to the beleaguered Gaza Strip. Johannesburg based Journalist, Nieshal Ramparsadh, who had accompanied the delegation, told me his five day visit to Gaza was a life changing experience he would not easily forget.
“While Gaza is being bombed, people are rebuilding their lives every minute- every day,” he related. On his second night in Gaza, Israeli forces fired a missile that hit a building located some 200 meters from his hotel. To him and members of the delegation, this was a frightening experience, he confessed. But despite such daily dangers and poverty, the Journalist said, he had been struck by the fact that Gazans were determined to live and continue pursuing their dreams.
“People in Gaza now consider these attacks a normal thing, unlike us – the visitors. I asked a resident in Gaza what he thought of the constant attacks and he replied that ‘if it is our time to die, then it’s been written by God,” he recalled. As a first time visitor to Palestine and a non-Muslim, Ramparsadh realised that Gazans knew best how to adapt to their circumstances and draw strength from prayers.
Late last month, Israeli Air forces launched nine missile attacks on Jabali and Khan Younis in Gaza, destroying several buildings. Last week three Palestinians were killed when the Israeli Air Force fired missiles into an area east of Al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza. Sources stated that the army also fired missiles at residents near the Agricultural College, east of Beit Hanoun, killing three residents and wounding four others.
Elsewhere, the army also opened fire at Palestinian medics and ambulances in an attempt to keep them away from the area as they evacuated the slain residents and the wounded to Kamal Adwan Hospital. The three slain residents were identified as Ehab and Akram Az-Za’aneen, and Tareq Al-Kafarna. The Israeli army claimed that the shells were fired at a group of Palestinian fighters who tried to plant explosives near the electronic fence, in northern Gaza. Attempts to get a comment from the Hamas spokesmen were futile as they all did not answer their telephones. This article was originally published on The Voice of The Cape Website.