I sit in my apartment in Gaza City for days and nights, watching the sky turn grey with thick smoke during the day, and bright yellow and orange in the darkness of the night. The grey and yellow and orange are courtesy of Israeli bombs, missiles, shelling, drones – gifts from the people of the United States to the people of Gaza. We don’t want your gifts, we want our land, our birthright. And because Israelis want it too, we must live in an open-air prison, be the target of your “best” pilots, be dehumanised so that you can kill us and blame us for making you kill us!
6pm Saturday, July 19It is summer in Gaza, Ramadan. Families should be together, sitting on the rooftops, having iftar, cutting open a red, juicy watermelon, eating roasted pumpkin seeds, shelling nuts, going to the mosque, staying awake late into the night, praying. It is the time to take our children to the beach, to tease them for being too clever, if they got very high marks and to tease them for not being very clever, if they did not get high marks. It is the time to visit family in Sheikh Radwan, in Rafah, in Khan Younis, to have iftar with brothers and sisters, and nieces and nephews. But we dared to leave our homes for the last 12 days.
We have to confess to our children that we cannot observe Ramadan like everyone else. We are Palestinian, so our lives are different, must be different. Their lives must be different. They have land that the Israelis want. They are different, they have Israelis in their lives. They are thegoyim, the unwanted other, the native American, the nigger of the American South, thekaffirof South Africa.
6:30pm Saturday, July 19The Palestinian Resistance demands that Egypt opens the Rafah crossing permanently. There’s a story to tell to our children: Why is the Rafah crossing closed today? Why has it been mostly closed since 2006? Isn’t Egypt an Arab country? Aren’t Palestinians Arabs or is it that Gazans aren’t Arabs? How do we explain this to the children of Gaza?
To the five-year old whose legs are being amputated as I write this: Does she know that the Rafah crossing was closed before she was born? Does she know that she had to lose her legs just because she is Palestinian, and lives in Gaza, and Israel is very, very scared of her? So scared that they had to shell her house 10 times in quick succession? So scared that this amount of fire power is the only thing that will stop her from scaring the Israelis?
7pm Saturday, July 19Two colleagues from Al Aqsa University, Jamal, Nasr and Khaled Nasr, have lost their two sons! RIP our lovely boys. How do I face your parents? How do your parents face tomorrow? And how many Israeli colleagues sympathise with us?
8pm Saturday, July 19More than 100 Palestinians killed in Gaza in 48 hours! Our population is only 1.8 million. This is a massacre! They are insane. This is ethnic cleansing. World, wake up!
9pm Saturday, July 19Bolivian PresidentEvo Morales calls what is happening in Palestine a genocide. Some are saying that it should be investigated. There is no need to investigate if the Israelis do not punish the instigators and perpetrators of genocide! Judge Richard Goldstone detailed the guilt of the Israeli army in 2008-2009. No one was held accountable or punished. The Gaza Docket of the 2008-2009 atrocity was given to the South African government who could act in terms of the Rome Statute. No one was held accountable or punished. Words are meaningless when 60 are killed in one day, when children have legs amputated, and when they sit alone in the dark, and cry next to the dead bodies of their parents.
10 pm Saturday, July 19Massive protests in London in support of Gaza. I tell friends there that they should demand nothing less than the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador, military embargo, and sanctions against Israel! That is the only way to stop the ongoing genocide.
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