A View from Gaza: We Hug the Children as the Bombs Fall

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Common Dreams

A View from Gaza: We Hug the Children as the Bombs Fall

Israeli forces killed six children when a missile struck a residential building in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (Photo: Defense of Children International-Palestine)

GAZA – Written Between 3 am and 4 am early Wednesday morning, July 9, 2014.

The Israeli warships continue shelling... It is dark.

I do not know what is going on and I can hear successive bombing. I am thinking of all the people I know tonight, especially my colleagues at the hospitals who are working under severe pressure and lacking basic medical supplies. Stay strong.

"I do not have any comment…
I leave it to you to comment."

I heard they bombed the area around the European hospital east of Khan Younis in Southern Gaza... Then the hospital was directly targeted. The hospital wall was damaged at 1 am due to the strong shelling. Then shelling continued with approximately 30 airstrikes.

'A View from Gaza'
by Dr. Mona El-Farra

When civilians took refuge at the hospital, they targeted it again.

The roof of the intensive care unit was damaged and the windows were blown out. Now at around 3 am, six patients inside the intensive care unit and 20 children inside the pediatric ward have had to be evacuated.

At the hospital, two injuries were reported, including one nurse.

I do not have any comment… I leave it to you to comment. For me, this is nothing new. This is normal behavior of the Israeli army.

Human rights violations against health centers and workers have always been the case when Israel invades.

On a personal level, I am thinking of all people, especially my cousins, who took refuge in the hospital.

At 4:15 am, there were explosions very close to my apartment. The Gaza port was just hit with at one least bomb. Nobody in Palestine is asleep tonight.

Oh no! It is next to my building, so loud I am on the floor with neighbors and children, who are so terrified and shocked.

Shattered windows terrify the children... These are vicious attacks... We are all on the floor.

An hour later, we hug each other while the children cling to adults... The bombs are so close.

Now, after a few minutes, I distract the neighbors' kids by showing some nice drawings sent with love and solidarity from Canada and Australia. The children laugh. I say, at this moment life is stronger than death. One day justice will prevail.

Mona El-Farra

Dr. Mona El-Farra, Director of Gaza Projects for the Middle East Children's Alliance, is a physician by training and a human rights and women’s rights activist by practice in the occupied Gaza Strip. She was born in Khan Younis, Gaza and has dedicated herself to developing community based programs that aim to improve health quality and link health services with cultural and recreation services all over the Gaza Strip. Dr. El-Farra is also the Health Chair of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip and a member of the Union of Health Work Committees. Dr. El-Farra has a son and two daughters.