March 23: “Fire also upon rescue”…

…it said in the “how to run an Israeli incursion” notes a commander appears to have left behind (doh) near Jabalia, according to Haaretz. Just in case the Palestine medics thought it was accidental. I shouldn’t read the comments that follow articles like this that try to speak out within Israel, but inevitably I do…and it’s kind of funny how half of them appear to be from such ignorant and rascist people that all by themselves they totally provide the answer to the “how could anyone possibly believe Israelis would do this” comments posted by others. And that second lot of Israelis – what bubble do they live in? Do none of them google? Do none of them read my blog, for goodness sake?

Some of the good guys – Israeli Physicians for Human Rights – released a report today stating that “Israel attacked 34 medical care facilities and prevented Palestinian medical teams from reaching the wounded during the offensive in December and January.”

Some more of the good guys, the Anarchists Against the Wall, who’ve no doubt been keeping Tristan and his family as cushioned as they can in his Israeli hospital room, gave us a new update yesterday and it isn’t good.

March 22 update: There has been some deterioration in Tristan’s condition over the weekend, and he has had to undergo two more emergency brain surgeries due to elevated cerebral pressure. Tristan’s condition is now once more defined critical and unstable, and he is fighting for his life. Tristan’s parents and lawyer will hold a press conference in Jerusalem tomorrow afternoon. Anyone wishing to contact Tristan’s parents with messages of support is encouraged to write to Support.Tristan@gmail.com

The report of the press conference is on the Alternative Information Centre’s web page, and Tristan’s parents’ faces have just filled my eyes up with tears, here in this Gaza net cafe where I have the least right to cry of anyone.

And Ma’an news (which is sometimes wrong but has a good chance of being right this time) says another fisherman was shot from Israeli gunboats a couple of hours ago, 18-year-old Muhammad Al-Lawwah, somewhere near the beach I go walking on. And Deeb Al Ankaa, who was injured last Tuesday March 17, who my colleages visited yesterday, tells us he was TEN METRES from the beach when he was shot twice, once in the shoulder and once in the torso where the bullet has left both entry and exit wounds. He’s been married 8 months. And his father was 40 metres from the shore when he had his little boat confiscated on the same day.

And three more medical patients died from the siege today.

I don’t really know what to say today. I can’t make all this injury and death into something hopeful, or something meaningful, or even something interesting. It’s grindingly everyday.

Remember this truck? Israel tried to use this for propaganda...

Remember this truck? Israel tried to use this for propaganda...

I will leave you with something I discovered a little while ago. Do you remember that before the ground incursion began, E and I were spending nights with our Jabalia friends as they hid in the basement while the bombs fell? And then we would go out in the morning (somewhat less bombs) to document the attacks. And you might remember a picture we took of a yellow truck in which a family had been blown up.

Well, what I didn’t know was that Israel was actually using footage of the last minutes of these people’s lives, taken from the air, as a youtube propaganda video about how they were just targetting Hamas rocket firers. However the locals told a B’Tselem field worker the same story they told us (the Guardian newspaper picked up on it also) and a very different version of events was posted to youtube here.

Ok. Thinking about Jabalia has reminded me of something hopeful, after all. Our Jabalia friends have told us the family will be expecting a new baby later this year. If it’s a girl, she will be called after her grandmother, who died out seeking bread for her grandchildren, on December 27 2008, when the sky fell in on Gaza. For a country that loves its children so much, and yet loses so many, this is the one kind of hope you can pick up and hold tight.

I wonder if we will get to keep Tristan, too?

I wonder if Tristan, who doctors say may have to contend with severe disabilities, wants to stay?

Tristan's parents at today's press conference

Tristan's parents at today's press conference, pic - AIC

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One Response to March 23: “Fire also upon rescue”…

  1. LFB says:

    You are doing a wonderful and immensely worthwhile job: don’t ever feel that your reports are short of hope – you give us a picture of a wonderful people who have still got so many gifts of hospitality and kindness, of *endurance* which is something hopeful in itself. What we see through your eyes is life continuing – not life at an end: people who survive in these conditions are a shining beacon of hope in themselves.
    How is your course going…It would be very helpful if you have a spare moment [!] to do an interview with some of the fishermen, and their families, to give us an idea of how they are affected. That could then be forwarded to people in the fishing industry in the UK to see how much they would be able to support, raise awareness, and just encourage these poor families.

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