Neither Hamas nor Islamic Jihad can match the strength of the Israeli military. In the last 2 days, Israel has killed over 40 Palestinian civilians and injured scores more. There are no reports of any Israeli casualties. So why do those movements keep on fighting and why do they still have any support in Gaza? Globe and Mail columnist Eric Reguly visited Gaza recently and reported on a generation that sees little hope for the future. Until they are allowed out they see little option but to resist. Read more.
It’s rare for a Canadian journalist to go to Gaza. First because the Israelis dont want foreigners looking around and rarely give permission. And second, because the Canadian government is complicit, actively discouraging any Canadian from visiting Gaza. But Globe and Mail correspondent Eric Reguly was there for 3 days in May. He describes with compassion the desperation of a lost generation of Palestinians, 80% of whom are not from Gaza at all, but stuck there as refugees, not allowed to return to what today is the Jewish state of Israel.
Here are a few excerpts from Reguly’s insightful article:
On psychological trauma
“In an interview with The Globe in Gaza City, Helen Ottens-Patterson, the head of mission for Doctors Without Borders in the Palestinian territories, said youth trauma – often marked by sleepless nights, high anxiety, aggression, lack of concentration and bedwetting – is pervasive. “Children who are 14 or 15 have only known the blockade, four wars and many escalations,” she said. “They know nothing else.”
On the spirit of resistance
“The Israelis are trying to shock us, but they forgot one thing,” said Nada Thabet Doghmost, a 23-year-old architecture and interior design student, in a café in Gaza City. “They forgot that we are free spirits and own this land.”
On material destruction
“In the early afternoon of May 15, 2021, the Israeli military phoned the occupants of the 12-storey al-Jalaa building in Gaza City to issue a warning: You have 40 minutes to clear out before the entire structure is taken down by smart bombs.
The building was filled with commercial offices, including those of the Gazan bureaus of the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera, plus some 30 residential apartments. Among the residents was the extended family of Jawad Mahdi, a wealthy Palestinian clothing entrepreneur and property owner who had built the tower in 1994.
“My father begged the Israelis to give us another hour,” he said. “They told him, ‘Leave now!’ We took nothing. We didn’t have time.”
All that was left of the building, including the warehouse, was smoking rubble.
On death and dying
“Ms. al-Qolaq is 23 and studied English at university. She has a quiet, withdrawn, crestfallen air about her, which is perfectly understandable.
On the night of May 16, 2021, an Israeli air strike destroyed her home on al-Wehda Street in Gaza City. She was buried alive for 12 hours under three floors of rubble. She could barely move in the blackness and was bleeding, drifting in and out of consciousness.
When the digging teams finally uncovered her and sent her to the hospital, she was told that 22 members of her family had died in the attack – her mother, sister, two brothers, two grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. “No one in the war lost so many members of her family,” she said. “No one had the experience I had.”
Mr. Reguly’s June 21 article in the G and M “Gaza’s young people have known nothing but a blockade for 15 years.” can be seen here. It is worth reading.
Last minute. A demonstration will be held in Ottawa on Wednesday August 10 to oppose the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.
Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.
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