Adham Khalil writing from Jabaliya refugee camp, the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, 13 January 2009
|Smoke rises over Gaza City during Israeli bombardment, 11 January 2009. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)|
It is very horrible here. Today was the worst. There were lots of F-16s above us and white phosphorous falling from the sky.
I didn’t sleep last night. The sound of shelling in the north and east kept us all awake.
Most of the time we don’t have any electricity in my house. So when the power comes for an hour or two the whole family is busy. We charge our mobiles, pump water, bake bread. But I have seen so many horrible things on TV that sometimes I wish we could stay without power.
So far, my own family is okay but I feel shy to speak about my family. I don’t think like that. Everyone in Gaza is my family. We are suffering collectively as we are being punished and forgotten collectively, and we are dying.
It is very dangerous here and everywhere in Gaza. By 5pm the streets are empty. Not even one person goes out of their homes in my area. But even in our homes, we are not safe. I swear sometimes I can smell death around us.
It is not true to say this is a war between Hamas and Israel. I am an eyewitness in Gaza and though you may think that Gaza is a country and Hamas is a great and powerful army, these are lies. The Palestinian factions do not own tanks, warplanes, or warships. They have homemade rockets, simple weapons. They cannot do anything against Israel’s great and powerful army.
We are living under complete siege with daily killings and our houses destroyed. Hamas and other Palestinian factions are trying to defend Palestinians from the continuing massacres, invasions and air strikes. The Israeli occupation and actions in Gaza are terrorist actions, as are many of their actions and policies dating back to their ethnic cleansing campaign in 1948.
But I think this, right now, is the worst catastrophe I will see in my life.
I don’t have any guns or weapons. I struggle by simply telling the truth. Many people have asked me if there is a way to send money or food. But what we really need is our freedom and an end to the fire.
Don’t keep silent about the Israeli massacres and Holocaust against Palestinians. The demand for an end to this siege must be louder than the bombs that rain down upon us.
Adham Khalil is a resident of Jabaliya refugee camp and a youth leader at the al-Assria Children’s Library. His blog, Free Free Palestine, is at http://nagyelali.blogspot.com.
This report was compiled from Adham’s text messages and phone calls, and was adapted for publication by staff at Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) due to the difficulties imposed on Gazans to communicate freely with the outside world. To help MECA send more medical aid to Gaza for thousands of sick and injured people living under siege, visit www.mecaforpeace.org.