Life in Gaza: Letter from a Palestinian woman

My friend Oded Adomi Leshem from Tel Aviv sent me an email he received from a friend of his in Gaza. She writes about what she is going through and what she does when missiles hit her neighborhood. She puts a human face on the suffering of people in Gaza. After all, it is ignorant to think this is a war affecting the IDF or Hamas. Civilians are paying the highest price in this war. Some Israelis are describing it as though it were the First World War, the  so-called “war to end all wars.” But just as the 1914-18 war led inexorably to the 1939-45 conflagration, so this military clash will only cause more resentment and suffering that will perpetuate the cycle of violence.

Here is the letter from Gaza:

Thanks for your nice message. We are alright so far, and I truly hope your family is well and safe.

The situation here is really terrible and it’s getting worse day after day, and I’m sure the same applies in Israel. Our leaders don’t care about us. They are playing with our lives and the ordinary people of both sides are the ones who always lose. This has to stop!!

This morning, the Israeli F16 military jets hit our area twice. The first time, they hit the building of the council of ministers with 5 huge missiles just a few homes away from our home. Our home was shaking like an earthquake and our windows broke and shattered everywhere, and I felt the missiles inside our home. It was very scary. Of course serious damages happened to all surrounding buildings in the area.

The first time, the Israeli F16 military jets hit Palestine stadium, which is located in the neighborhood next to my neighborhood, with 4 huge missiles, and caused some damages to my home as well. I heard the huge explosions and saw the flames and it was very terrifying. We see and feel death very close with each bombing. Israel is bombing everywhere in Gaza all the time by air, sea and land. Nowhere to hide … Nowhere is safe … We don’t have shelters … We just stay at home so all of us can die at once if a missile would strike our home.

We are still recovering from the trauma of the first war [Operation Cast Lead in 2008-9 – editor]. How will we recover from this? Also the Israeli army (IDF) is sending text messages to us on mobile phones in Gaza with a warning in Arabic: “The next phase is on the way.” They are trying to intimidate us like what happened in the first Gaza war four years ago.This is insane … How much is too much? … I hope this madness will stop as quickly as possible.