Gaza Under Attack: July 22

Tuesday, July 22, Gaza City

Today is not that much different from yesterday.  Except you read new names of the dead and the wounded and you see more patients with needs. 

Tuesday, July 22, Gaza City

Today is not that much different from yesterday.  Except you read new names of the dead and the wounded and you see more patients with needs. 

Today was hard for me, another really hard day.  But it’s good; I’m still alive.  I couldn’t sleep last night, like every night, from the sound of bombing.  I was moving from window to window to see where the bombs were falling.  Sometimes I feel like I’m waiting for the bombs to hit my building, especially after the building next door was hit and eight people were killed. 

Two days ago, on my way to the Red Crescent clinic and hospital, I stopped in one of the shops and I bought six bottles of water.  There was a boy helping his father in the shop and he carried the water to the car for me.  He was so nice, about eleven years old.  His name was Mohammad Amar.  And we chatted and he had a lovely smile.  His smile stuck in my head because I’ve seen so many scared children in the clinic, and he was full of life and helping his father.  This morning I found out he is gone.  They bombed his house while the family was sleeping and he was killed along with other members of his family. 

This is the issue right now for everyone living in Gaza.  There is no one in Gaza who has not lost someone, a relative or friend or neighbor or colleague.  Everyone has the same painful feeling of losing someone. 

This is the reality we are living with.  You expect death at any minute, any second, no matter where you are.  Sometimes when I look at people, we look at each other as if it’s the last time we may see one another.  Sometimes when we leave the clinic, we say we hope we will see each other tomorrow.  And honestly, even when we are in a hospital or a clinic, we know there is no safe place any more. The Israelis killed people in the surgery room and the Intensive Care unit when they bombed a hospital.

The bombing has started again.

Whenever we try to take a moment to focus or think about something else, the Israeli forces remind us of death constantly with each bomb they throw.  I experienced a lot of attacks, but still I never get used to this and I think of how this is affecting children.  I saw dozens of children at the clinic, not injured or bleeding, but you feel they are destroyed mentally. And I’m not sure how we can help them once these attacks stop. How many of them can return to a normal life or survive?

Dr. Mona El-Farra, Director of Gaza Projects, is a physician by training and a human rights and women's rights activist by practice in the occupied Gaza Strip. She was born in Khan Younis, Gaza and has dedicated herself to developing community based programs that aim to improve health quality and link health services with cultural and recreation services all over the Gaza Strip. Dr. El-Farra is also the Health Chair of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip and a member of the Union of Health Work Committees. Dr. El-Farra has a son and two daughters.