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Gaza child killed by Israeli bombing in 2021

Palestinians recover the body of a child from the rubble of a destroyed building in Gaza City's Rimal residential district on May 16, 2021, following massive Israeli bombardment. Israel's army said it had bombed the home of the political leader of Islamist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, as the UN Security Council was to meet amid global alarm about the escalating conflict. (Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images)

By Your Actions Ye Shall Be Known: Implacable Israel Again Bombs Gaza, Still Shattered By Its Last Atrocities

Abby Zimet

Unimaginably, Israel is again bombing the besieged enclave of Gaza. This time, the colonial and nuclear power that gets $10 million in military aid each day from the U.S. took to the deadly skies in the middle of the night to drop bombs on a traumatized, brutalized, occupied and often homeless population in retaliation for—wait for it—"incendiary balloons" launched from the territory that may or may not have "caused fires in fields in southern Israel." In response, Israel's mighty military said it was "ready for all scenarios," including renewed fighting "in the face of continued terrorist acts emanating from Gaza" - like, say, balloons. Israel's attack came just weeks into a supposed ceasefire from their most recent atrocity, the 11-day bombardment in May that killed over 250 Palestinians, including at least 67 children, and left Gaza once again in ruins.  It also came hours after a pointedly provocative "Flag March" of right-wing Israeli settlers and other zealots—"God's chosen people right there"—chanting "Death To Arabs!" through East Jerusalem; they were accompanied by Israeli police shoving, arresting and assaulting scores of Palestinians, including elderly women, sometimes for the crime of holding a Palestinian flag. And the bombings came on the first full day of a newly-sworn- in, equally bellicose Israeli government hailed in some stubbornly disingenuous quarters as signalling a new chance for "peace" and a "two-state solution" but rightly deemed by most Palestinians suffering under the same Occupation "same ax, new executioner."

In this country, there's arguably been a subtle shift in the political discourse on Israel, with some lawmakers questioning the morality of funding the savage, state-sanctioned ethnic cleansing of the Occupation. But mainstream Dems are still blathering about—and funding with an obscene $735 million—Israel's "right to defend herself." Most vitally, what Steve Earle calls Israel's "death machines" are still rumbling, and per Matthew 7:16, "By your actions ye shall be known." In Gaza, still grieving and bleeding, "Our families are not healed yet," notably from the  midnight massacre on al-Wihda street that killed 44 Palestinians, including 18 children and several generations of entire families buried in the rubble when Israeli planes bombed their homes. In a harrowing series, The Electronic Intafada tells some of their stories. At least 21 members of the Al-Qawlaq family were killed, from 6-month-old Qusay Sameh to 90-year-old Amin Muhammad; of eight children killed, four were getting therapy for past traumas. Ten members of the Abu al-Ouf family were killed, including Dr. Ayman Tawfiq Abu al-Ouf, home from treating COVID patients, his wife and two kids; one relative: "Words do not suffice." Of seven Ishkintnas, the only survivors were Riyad Ishkintna and his daughter Suzie, 7, both buried for hours in the rubble; as Riyad lay there, he heard his 9 and 2 year old calling for him, until they fell silent, "buried with their dreams and the nightmares that haunted them.” Today, Suzie still "hardly speaks or eats"; doctors say she is severely traumatized and depressed. Riyad prays he "will live a good life with my only daughter."

"I will do my best to help her with even the simplest things," he says, "because she is the only person left for me in this world."


Abby Zimet

Abby Zimet

Abby Zimet has written CD's Further column since 2008. A longtime, award-winning journalist, she moved to the Maine woods in the early 70s, where she spent a dozen years building a house, hauling water and writing before moving to Portland. Having come of political age during the Vietnam War, she has long been involved in women's, labor, anti-war, social justice and refugee rights issues. Email: azimet18@gmail.com

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