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    Wednesday
    Nov212012

    Mohammed Omer - A Report From Gaza Under Siege


    Gaza City—Casualties mount as the Israeli military continues to bomb the Gaza Strip. On Sunday Gaza’s health minister, Dr. Mofeed Makhlalati, said the death toll had risen to seventy-five killed and more than 680 injured. So far three Israelis have been killed as result of Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza.


    Medical sources at Shifa Hospital say that 90 percent of the casualties are civilian. “We are human. We like life, and we would like to live life like other people,” Dr. Makhlalati said at Shifa on Sunday evening. Behind him, more bodies were being moved into the morgue.

    In Gaza City, Israeli fighter jets fired four missiles at a sports stadium. In Rafah, at the southern end of the Gaza Strip on the Egyptian border, F-16s and unmanned drones fired nineteen guided missiles at the tunnel complexes, which are used to smuggle everything from petrol and bicycles to food and medicine. The tunnels have been the lifeline of the besieged Strip ever since Israel imposed its blockade in 2006, soon after Hamas won democratic elections in Palestine.

    Another missile fell further north, claiming three members of the Fujo family, two of whom are children. Israel’s highly sophisticated missiles have taken out the electrical towers that provide power to Rafah from Egypt. One by one, vital supplies and services to the population are being destroyed. Commercial activity has all but ceased. Gas stations no longer have fuel. Other civilian targets have been bombed, including the office of the prime minister as well as several mosques and the police headquarters.

    Sunday morning Israeli fighters targeted the media, bombing two well-known office buildings, Shawwa Hosari and Shorouq, which house most of the international media outlets, including Germany’s ARD, Britain’s Sky News, the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya, the Associated Press, Reuters, NBC, CNN and the Lebanon-based Al Quds TV. Eight journalists were injured; one cameraman lost his leg.

    On Sunday as well, Israeli military penetrated Palestinian radio frequencies, using the public airwaves to broadcast warnings to the population of Gaza. The broadcasts provide Israel with a measure of deniability but are of little use to civilians. Gaza does not have bomb shelters, and with the borders closed, the shoreline blockaded and many of the tunnels destroyed, no one can leave. The Palestinian education ministry and the United Nation Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) have shut all schools in this coastal enclave. Mosques and churches are not safe. The stadium is not safe. Media offices are not safe. Government buildings are not safe. Homes are not safe.

    There is nowhere t