Posted by Joshua on Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
Safa Joudeh is the girl behind the Gaza Diary. She has a Facebook page and this is her latest diary entry:
Last night the intense bombardment of nearby areas caused one of our windows to Break. Usually the windows are left open day and night despite the bitter cold for fear of them blowing in from a nearby explosion. But last night, the young children staying in the house were sick and we decided to close some of the windows to stop the air draft. We were glad that the window only cracked and wasn’t shattered, or it could have harmed the little 2 year old boy sleeping on the bed beneath it.
The heavy bombardment came as Israeli tanks pushed farther into Gaza. They’re not very far off now, only about a five minute drive away. We’re afraid, because the Israel military has been warning that it will implement phase 3 of the assault: a full scale invasion that entails bringing their tanks into the streets of Gaza, backed of course, by the Israeli Air force: destruction at a point blank range. In such an event, the over 900 people already dead will constitute only a portion of the civilian losses, and the already disfigured streets of our city will be turned to dust.
Furthermore, Israel has employed some unnerving and terror-spreading tactics in the Gaza Strip that have caused Gazans to break down with helplessness.
The IDF have infiltrated the air waves of local radio stations and TV channels. As we watch the news all of a sudden the screen goes black and an IDF message appears: “You will witness the unleashing of our wrath!!’. We turn off the TV and turn to the radio, moments later the broadcasting is interrupted and a harsh voice comes through the speakers: “Leave your area and gather in the center of your town! We are warning you for your own safety! This is the IDF”.
Where are people supposed to go? Those in the center of the city such as my family are already being bombarded, and each home is already accommodating at least 1 or 2 families that have fled their areas. UNRWA shelters are already full and the streets aren’t safe. So we are people are being forewarned when in reality, they have no option but to stay put. Many people feel that it would be more merciful not to be warned of the imminent deaths.
In other areas, Israel is throwing thousands of flyers from planes in the residential areas, threatening that more attack methods will be practiced against the population, and asking the residents to come forth with information about Hamas fighters, information which, obviously, civilians don’t have.
In my home we are taking in as many of our relatives, who live in more dangerous areas, as we can. At mealtime, several people gather in a couple of circles at 2 tables to eat, as others wait their turn. We eat in 3 shifts. When its time to sleep, some people sleep on couches, others in chairs and others on blankets on the floor.
During the last 16 days, along with the entire people of Gaza we have learned how to live with the most minimal aspect of comfort, and have experienced the hardships of an impoverished life to their fullest. When the power lines were fixed 2 days ago, electricity and running water were restored to our homes for 6 hours a day. The moment the power came on in our neighborhood, you could hear the cry’s of happiness and celebration coming from every apartment and house within hearing, despite the ongoing bombardment.