November 21, 2012

Gaza Under Assault--A Letter

[This letter was written earlier today by Mads Gilbert,  a Norwegian physician working in Gaza. Gilbert describes the effects of the savage attacks of the IDF and the desperate struggle to save men, women and children caught up in the bombings. This hasty translation of Gilbert's letter into English was done in Norway. I have left it exactly it came to me--the meaning is clear, and polishing it would only detract from the immediacy of this report.]

Letter from Mads Gilbert, Gaza, 21.11 2012:

Midnight passed. No truce.

Also no children rest, resting woman or man rest.

Drones buzzing insects as evil and we know they are followed by thunderous detonations. The curtains in the window where I am writing this follows pressure and I can clearly feel the pressure waves. All windows are open so they do not implode and spread deadly swarms of glass.

There are so many deadly swarms here in Gaza. Grenade and bomb shrapnel, drone swarms, swarms of flyers with threatening to further terrorize the civilian population dropped from heaven.

It's been a terrible day.

It's hard to describe 13 torn bodies, dekapierte, torn limbs, charred, toddlers divided in two - it all comes to Shifa. With a desperate cry for help, screaming in pain. Mamma'er coinciding paralyzed in despair when the dead children recognized.
We are working.
Intubated, cuts of clothes, cannulated, trying to understand where the damage is on those who still have signs of life.
Today there were 24 deaths and 189 injured. Not everyone is going to Shifa, but many.
We lost two "on the table" splinter damage to the pulmonary artery and debilitating head injuries. A cava inferior-tear were rescued with the help of skilled vascular surgeons in the group of 40 volunteers Palestinian doctors who came from the West Bank yesterday.
Solidarity. New alliances among Palestinians. Major Arab delegations whizzes through the hospital with shocked faces while bombthunders unstoppable reminding them of the imminent in their political responsibilities.
A family with children coming into the morning hours after Israeli jetbombers have crushed the largest bank in the center of Gaza City. Dad is furious, calling for revenge. Children listen horrified.
Timeout at 00:44: Damn now, the bombs right at us. Serial Bombs.
How are they able to comfort their children during this night?
I'm scared. Evil seems to prevail.
I do not know about if "the world" know how this million prison really is. It is not possible to find shelter, resort, flight, protection. And the same power that keeps everyone trapped bombs simultaneously unstoppable with one of the world's most powerful war machine.
What would happen if Michelle Obama was here last night with his two daughters? Lived in a house in Beit Lahia in the outskirts of Gaza City, porr peoples quarters, without light, without any security. What if she ran into Shifa with one of their beautiful child in her arms, penetrated by shrapnel - without any opportunity to get away?
Would there been a change then?
I do not understand that Jens, Espen and Inga Marte and others who said so much right about the struggle against terrorism and political violence awhile ago - how can they sit with all their influence either silent or expressing understanding for Israel's "right to to defend itself"?
They attack the more, as they have attacked in the past 60 years.
Did we not learn that injustice must be stopped now, in our time, as we know and can act - not as an archaeological exercise with the hindsight lens and the cool, historian distance that makes the discomfort of betrayal easier to live with?
Do not send multiple bandages, doctors, lunches and meaningless statements.
Stop the bombing.
Open Gaza.
End okkupasjoen of Palestine.
Let the kids have peace.
Let the mothers breastfeed.
Let the old people drink clean water.
Let fishermen fish and farmers harvest.
Let teachers teach and children learn.
Let the youngsters travel and discover something other than siege, blockade and fear.
Let the soothing gentleness of the nights sleep lie like a rug over years of longing for rest of Gaza's people.
Then they do not need to defend themselves against superior power.
"Then the weapons sink impotently down
When we create human dignity
We create peace ", he wrote, Nordahl (Grieg).

Gaza, in the night's eerie.

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