Woke Up To Massacre
November 8, 2006
I woke up this morning at 8:50 a.m. and already we had 22 dead. 18 in Gaza and 4 in the West Bank. And the toll is rising. The Israeli tanks opened fire on several homes as the residents were sleeping. You don't really expect a diary entry from me do you?
On Tuesday Israeli troops had completed their largest military operation in Gaza in a year on Tuesday after killing 60 Palestinians in a week-long incursion in the Beit Hanoun area.
We are now in three days of mourning this massacre this morning here in Palestine.
I am sending this out only because in my despair today, my friend told me that I should. That the world does care...and that I should send images....
Again I send you this poem which Mahmoud wrote in 2002
The siege is lying in wait.
It is lying in wait on a tilted stairway
in the midst of a storm.
We are alone. We are alone to the point
of drunkenness with our own aloneness,
with the occasional rainbow visiting.
We have brothers and sisters overseas..
kind sisters, who love us..
who look our way and weep.
And secretly they say
"I wish that siege was here, so that I could…"
But they cannot finish the sentence.
Do not leave us alone. No.
Do not leave us alone.
Our losses are between two and eight a day.
And ten are wounded.
Twenty homes are gone.
Forty olive groves destroyed,
in addition to the structural damage
afflicting the veins of the poem, the play,
and the unfinished painting.
(Mahmud Darwish, A State of Siege, 2002, translated by Ramsis Amun)
Date: 08 / 11 / 2006 Time: 09:28
A Palestinian father despairs after his
whole family was killed in Beit Hanoun
Gaza - Ma'an - Israel has renewed its assault on the Gaza Strip, killing at least 20 Palestinians on Wednesday morning.
Palestinian medical sources reported that dozens of Palestinian citizens had been killed or injured in an Israeli artillery bombardment of Beit Hanoun in the north of Gaza Strip. A large number of women and children were also injured in the shelling.
The sources said the preliminary number of the citizens killed is 18, but rising. In addition, more than 35 were injured. Many of the dead arrived at the hospital fragmented in pieces.
The bombing targeted the house of two brothers, Sa'ed and Sa'di Al-'Athamneh from Al-Kafarneh district in the town of Beit Hanoun.
Eleven members of the Al-'Athamneh family were killed, including a one-year old girl. The killed are:
Dima Al-'Athamneh (1 year old girl)
Another young girl, Ala' Al-'Athamneh
The medical services are identifying the rest of the dead but it is proving difficult to identify them due to their fragmented bodies and the critical condition in which they arrived at the Kamal 'Udwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya. In Kamal 'Udwan Hospital, there are 12 dead and in Kamal Naser Hospital there are 4 dead. The number of people killed is raising by the minute.
Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli artillery bombed the houses while the residents were sleeping, resulting in the large number of casualties. Palestinians are comparing this massacre to the Qana massacre by the Israeli army in south Lebanon 3 months ago.
The government spokesman, Ghazi Hamad, appealed to the international community on the Al-Jazeera satellite channel to mobilize and stop Israel carrying out such massacres against unarmed Palestinians.
Reports are also coming in that armed Palestinians are firing at the European Union building in Gaza City.
Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and defense minister Amir Peretz have expressed their "regret" over the deaths of Palestinian civilians in Beit Hanoun. The two men also said that they will offer the Palestinian Authority urgent humanitarian assistance and immediate medical care for the wounded.
Peretz also ordered an urgent investigation into the bombardment and a halt to artillery fire at the Gaza Strip until completion of the inquiry into the circumstances.