Gaza: The Ugly Face of War

The daily killings continue in Gaza with graphic images, despite odd talk of peace and ceasefire. Numbers seem useless but we have to go on! In a statement, the Gaza Ministry of Health states that Israeli warplanes committed 12 massacres in the past 24 hours, killing 107 citizens and wounding 143 others.

It added thousands of casualties remain in the streets and under the rubble as Israel continues to prevent anyone from reaching them.

Until there is a ceasefire, this is to be the fate of the Gaza Palestinians, killing, injury, destruction of houses, starvation and lock-up.

Meanwhile the bombardment of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip continues. The Israeli air force have long been telling civilians to continue to move south to Rafah, the border city with Egypt.

One journalist, Ibtisam Mahdi, explains what it means to continue to move from one place to another, and how Israeli soldiers treat the displaced in an ugly, horrible manner. After all, the soldiers hold the guns and it’s easy to be brave against the vulnerable.

She tells of a tale when she had to argue to the soldier about the fact, she would be rather shot than leave her children behind or of the young man ordered to strip naked and cross the cold water.

Throughout the war, the Israelis continued to tell people to move to Rafah with historical similarities related to World War II. The city previously had a population of 200,000 which has today swollen to 1.3 million. No one exactly knows just where are they supposed to go from here.

Today, Gaza experiences painful scenes of misery and destructions. Videoclips show a tragedy that is never ending with some in hysteria because of the continuing deaths of members of their family who have been killed in scores at a time.

But Palestinians in this war have tended to display resilience. Despite the bombs literally falling on their heads and homes destroyed in an incredible way, they say “we are not leaving”. They have been video clips of them returning to their bombed-out houses and attempting to build and stay on their wrecked homes.

There is also heartache and fear. This war has not been against Hamas as Israel claims as the fighters and leaders of the Islamic organization are nowhere near to being destroyed.

Hamas members are not embedded in the population. They are in deep underground tunnels and only appear to fight Israeli soldiers and are beating the mighty Israelis, destroying their tanks, armor and falling men.

They are still fighting strongly by the admission of the Israelis and the Americans and are likely to do so for a long time with many saying “you can’t beat them.”

The Israeli army have put themselves in an embarrassingly position. They are not the “moral” army as they claim to be because they have simply been dropping bombs on mostly women and children.

These victims include toddlers and babies who are helpless. They live in a state of fear with horrific images being seen all over the world despite the attempt at censorship thanks to the social media.

Literally whole cities, towns, villages, communities have been destroyed in Gaza.

Images of mayhem and destruction have been graphic with magnification added, showing the extent of Israeli vengeance. It would be wrong to talk about one city destroyed for there has been so many over the past months. This reflects the magnanimity of the Israeli destruction and firepower.

And then there is the willful destruction of schools and the pupils. The Gaza Ministry of Education said Israel bombed 400 schools during this war on the Strip and killed 4895 students. This may not be too surprising since this war has been mainly against women and children with the fact many of these schools are run by UNRWA and used as refuge centers for that 1.9 million that were displaced in this war.

And then there was the videoclip of the youth who was shot at in the face while he was filming one of the destroyed neighborhoods of Gaza. He was filmed right at the time when an Israeli sniper fired at him point blank and when he was saying ‘we thank God of the blessings we are in.”

Israeli paranoia

Israelis today are in a state of paranoia. From its top politicians – including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, army chief Herzi Halevi to the people-in-the street.

According to the British medical journal, The Lancet, the Israeli population are in a state of national psychological shock and deep depression – a situation that started on 7 October when Hamas operatives invaded the so-called Gaza enveloped and killed 1200 Israelis and took to the enclave about 250 hostages.

Different manifestations are appearing among Israeli soldiers with the most glaring is the fact – and according to their defense and army institutions – is the thousands in need of psychological help in their hospitals. This is being reported all the time, across the media especially by Jewish newspapers.

Interesting are three facts: Soldiers, more and more are shooting at would you believe it, sheep, 31 percent of the wives of reservist soldiers are calling for a divorce and more and more Jews are leaving Israel to elsewhere in the world. In just one day, 30,000 Israelis flew out of Ben Gurion airport.

Marwan Asmar is a writer based in Amman, Jordan.

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