The execution has now become of two wars.
No one is used to getting bombed every year. Children in particular live in constant fear. But it becomes part of life.
As Israeli missiles rained down on Gaza City on Friday, my 6-year-old daughter, Amal, asked her mother, memories of last year’s horrors still fresh: “Will there be another war?”
During the attack, my kids, especially 9-year-olds Lina and Amal, remained mostly silent. Amal tried to sleep and Lina lay down in the living room. At night, like most children in Gaza, they tremble with fear every time they hear an explosion. A report published by EuroMed found that approximately 91% of Palestinian children live in constant trauma and terror due to repeated attacks by Israel.
Nothing can prepare you for this. Israel has been bombing Gaza since the Second Intifada. We are never used to bombs. And we may never know how to deal with sheer terror and outright Israeli barbarism. No lie or hug or sweets can pacify children. When the bombs would drop, the children would always scream in fear. The lie that things will be alright and that these fireworks will no longer work.
As of Sunday morning, Israel had killed at least 30 Palestinians, including two Islamic Jihad leaders, and a younger girl, Ala Qaddam, 5.
More than 250 Palestinians have been injured and many homes and buildings have been destroyed or damaged.
As I was writing this Saturday morning, Israel had a wedding in the northern Gaza Strip, allegedly killing the groom’s mother.
This is like Israel’s war on Gaza in May 2021 and its major 2014 attack and the many tensions between them. And it brings back memories of Israel’s bombing campaigns in 2012, 2008–09, 2006 and many others, many of which coincide with the Israeli elections.
Palestinian resistance fighters, as expected, eventually responded by firing home missiles at Israeli military bases. By doing so, they are reaffirming the Palestinian right to self-defense and liberation.
Many Palestinians have seen countless loved ones murdered in their sleep, or while they were resting and generally concentrating on their own business. If Israel will kill us, no matter who we are or what we are doing, why not fight and die, many Palestinians believe, defending our existence?
There is no one more determined or dangerous than the one who has nothing to lose.
During the May 2021 aggression, according to AirWars, in more than 70% of Israeli attacks in which Palestinian civilians were killed, there were no reports of casualties from resistance. In other words, only civilians were victims.
About two-thirds of the more than 2,200 Palestinians killed in Gaza in 2014 were civilians, according to B’Salem, an Israeli rights group.
Note that such statistics usually count resistance fighters killed by Palestinian civilian police or in their homes, as they slept as terrorists.
Given these realities, I am convinced that civilians, primarily children, women and the elderly, are not the collateral damage – rather they are Israel’s main targets.