Thursday, August 18, 2011

BOOM!

We all knew it was coming. We knew we'd be hit hard tonight. As soon as the news from Israel broke....the first attack on the bus....I KNEW Gaza was in for it. Whether or not anyone from here had actually even carried out the attack, we were going to feel Israel's wrath. We're an easy scapegoat. Seal up the borders, keep the media quiet, and have some fun...

Rafah, in the south, was hit first, before sundown and 7 were killed, including a child and the leader of the Popular Resistance Committee. Then we got reports of tanks on the border, and by the time iftar (the breaking of the fast at sundown during Ramadan) came around, we were all braced for more. F16s and drones were overhead all evening, but that was it. Nothing more. I spent most of the night staring at my screen between conversations with friends....tweeting and Facebooking trying to make sure someone....anyone....was paying attention when all hell broke loose. I was fighting off rumors about an UNRWA evacuation and then trying to confirm whether or not the US embassy in Tel Aviv had told Americans to leave Gaza....the former not being true and the latter being true.

Finally, just before midnight, my friends walked me home from the cafe we were hanging out at, and within 20 minutes, the bombing had begun. As soon as I opened my computer, I was reading reports of strikes all over Gaza, but especially in Gaza City. Then the electricity went out and suddenly BOOM! boom boom! I shreeked in terror as I felt a gush of air rush through the window I had cracked open hours before (thank God!!) and felt the ground shake under me. Still shaking, I grabbed my phone, called one of my friends and proceeded to just go "holy shit! that was so close! holy shit!" repeatedly as we both laughed. He was laughing with me out of amusement because this was normal to him and I was laughing out of panic because I didn't know what else to do and desperately didn't want to cry. I knew in that moment, why people here are so angry with Israel and with the US. If nothing else, this was terrifying! And try having it happen repeatedly just because some jerk you don't even know decided to fire off a rocket or carry out some pointless attack in the southern part of Israel....and not be able to run away from it. We're trapped here. There is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

I'd felt strikes before, but nothing so close that I felt the air pressure go nuts and thought the windows would explode. It finally hit me what it was like to be here. I watched the images unfold on TV of women and children, covered in dust, being brought into the ER of Shifa Hospital, where I had been just a couple days ago collecting information and conducting interviews for a piece on the health crisis. It was surreal in a way....but it also left me feeling frustratingly helpless. I'm here. I'm an American, on the ground, in Gaza, as it's being bombed like mad, and there was absolutely nothing I could do. I could tweet. I could report. I could absorb it all. But that was it. What could I have possibly done to save the life of the 13 year old who died 15 minutes from where I live? What could I have done to comfort the mother I saw screaming on TV carrying her injured child to an ambulance? All I have for now are my words. So please take them, share them, and understand that innocent lives are being lost. Every Palestinian killed today is a human being too. One life lost is too many. I don't care who you believe is right or wrong. This is life and death.....there's no room for politics anymore.

My most retweeted tweet tonight....


Julia C. Hurley
I'm officially in hell. TV screen filled with death. Bombing next to my house. F16s & drones overhead. Welcome to . Thanks ...
2 hours ago via web

13 comments:

  1. Your words have travelled far and done a lot. Really. This is coming from someone in Vancouver, Canada who had never heard of you before (I just discovered your Twitter today}, and your reporting from the ground has had a huge impact on awareness and understanding. Thank you so much.

    Stay safe! Keeping you and everyone in Gaza in my prayers during iftar tonight.

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  2. its interesting and moving to see your pronouns move so naturally to be "we" about yourself and the families in Gaza... that is why YOU will be the one to bring change inshaAllah <3

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  3. I'm sorry that you had to live it to understand it, hell is nothing like this, because once you are in hell that's it there are no more surprises, no cool downs and then flip a coin or spin a bottle to war? no war? but what you have just wrote is amazingly well said I thank you for it Julia, because this is one of the things we really simply can't say it the way you did. thanks a lot, and I'll certainly share it.

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  4. Your most amazing writing yet... Not So Anonymous

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  5. I read your post in Texas, it is been a fearful night for so many and you are right to write about it, that's doing a lot. We need full media coverage that we'll probably never get.

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  6. i knew it too, as soon as the domestic protests started getting out of hand!!

    keep safe!!

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  7. Just discovered your blog, and wish I had sooner! Your dedication to Gaza is inspiring, and thank you for your vivid and genuine writing--I will definitely be sharing if that's ok! :)

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  8. Julia,

    First and foremost, I applaud your bravery. You are an amazing woman who does what she says and says what she believes. I am proud to say that I know you. Second, although I wish I could be in Gaza with you recording and reporting on the hell that Gazans are forced to endure, I assure you that I will do whatever I can to get your blogs out to those people that may be able to make a difference. Stay safe and God bless you.

    Nancy

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  9. this is only the beginning, sweetheart..
    i know it's difficult, but try to visualize Violet Flame transmuting to positive and call on St Germain.. also, Archangel Michael for protection, and El Morya for God's Will (both blue flame)..
    God/[insert preferred Diety's name here] Bless You <3

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  10. Thank you for a wonderful, insightful, well written blog Julia for those of us not there. I know you work with my sister and between what both of you are writing and telling, I feel so sad the world always has a skewed image of places they haven't been to. Which makes your work all the more important from the first-hand accounts. How can anyone possibly comment on something if they are not there to witness it first-hand and go off 2nd hand media and politicians accounts. It's always the every day people in any situation who are the real story. Watching and listening from afar and with love from New York.

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  11. Two children were killed ALONG WITH wanted militants. To wit; the children were human shields.
    The infant was killed while being driven in a car with the head of the PRC and a physician. Hmmm? The most wanted man in Gaza would NEVER use an infant for a human shield!

    Fact. In retalitation for raiding Israel and killing an innocent Israeli family, 15 PRC militants have been killed in Gaza along with two children (human shields).

    Shoshana Lidsky
    Shoshana_Lidsky@yahoo.com

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  12. From: Shoshana_Lidsky@yahoo.com

    10 of the 13 Gazans killed since Thursday were terroristsץ

    In retaliation for Thursday's terror attack near Eilat, Israel has struck Gaza hard with airstrikes. Yet despite the pro-Hamas and leftist Tweeters claiming that Israel's airstrikes are aimed at Gaza infrastructure and civilians, even according to Arab sources most of them were clearly aimed at terrorists or terrorist infrastructure.

    Fully 10 of the 13 killed since Friday were terrorists. From Thursday:

    1- Kamal 'Awadh Mohammed al-Nairab (Abu 'Awadh), 43, PRC Secretary General;
    2- 'Emad 'Abdul Karim 'Abdul Khaliq Hammad, 40, the leader of Nasser Saladin Brigades;
    3- 'Emad al-Din Na'im Sayed Nasser, 46, a member of Nasser Saladin Brigades;
    4- Khaled Ibrahim Salman al-Masri, 26, a member of Nasser Saladin Brigades;
    5- Khaled Hamad Sha'at, 32, the leader of manufacturing unit of Nasser Saladin Brigades

    A child who was with the above targets was killed as well.

    From Friday:

    6- Mohammed Fayez Mahmoud 'Enaya, 22, from the PRC, on a motorcycle
    7- Samed 'Abdul Mo'ti 'Aabed, 25, "activist of the Palestinian resistance" on a motorcycle
    8- Anwar Hassan Saleem, 23 and
    9- 'Emad Fareed Abu 'Aabda, 23, "activists of the Palestinian resistance" both on a motorcycle (Islamic Jihad)
    10- Mo'taz Bassem Quraiqe', 29, a leader of al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad)

    That last attack also killed Quraiqe's 2 year old son and a physician - who were on the same motorcycle or car with him.

    Every single fatality in Gaza has been from airstrikes aimed at terrorists.

    No one was killed on Saturday or so far on Sunday in Gaza.

    All of this comes from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (Thursday and Friday details).

    Ma'an claims 14 have been killed; PCHR has no information on any other deaths though. (Ma'an's editor says that may have been a mistake.)

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  13. er, hello, does israel not have a right to protect its citizens? yes, people get killed but would you like it if canada continually bombed you the us. would you not respond?

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