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    Posted November 25, 2012 by
    Gaza Strip. Palestine
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Your stories

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    A Journal of a Blind Rescuer, an account of war and survival in the Gaza Strip, Palestine. PART 2

    It was still the second day of the unfair war on Gaza, and I was in a state of psychological readiness to receive the shocking outcome of that madness. Alone during the annoyed night of the noises caused by the surveillance drones that were swarming through the dark skies, I followed the numbers of the airstrikes, the numbers of unarmed civilians and children killed, and the numbers of all other losses in both Israel and Gaza. Numbers and numbers all over the news channels, websites, articles, reports, and analyses were all that mattered. That was what the people of Gaza were considered by the media; merely numbers of “collateral damage” through a war they never wished to be emerged. What about the “unilateral damage” of every single unjustified death? Parents who have lost a kid, children who have lost a parent, or a whole family that has lost its right to live a normal life in dignity and peace? It was all but a “collateral damage” for the media, for the international community, for the Arab world, and for the oppressor against the oppressed. It was all but an “inhumane moral conspiracy” to lessen the value of humanity; the value of representing GAZANS as human beings instead of numbers. It was all but “an inferior goal” to be achieved through such an unjust war; a goal of dehumanizing and incriminating the innocents of Gaza. And for Gazans, just like me, it was an undesired road of suspicions. It was a road with major signs on its banks; signs to be memorized so that a Gazan could get a wanderer’s License in a world that licensed Media-blackout, deception, ignorance, injustice, humiliation, displacement, genocide, and discrimination against a group of people who did nothing but crying out for their simple rights. A tiring night of endless thinking I choose to end by checking up on my family one by one and kissing them goodnight as I hoped tomorrow would come and I’d be able to see them alive; a night that its sleeping Lullaby was the sounds of the bombardments caused by the Israeli’s airstrikes and the non-stop noises of the swarm of surveillance drones.
    Hearing the echoes of massive explosions caused by the F-16 fighting jets’ airstrikes all over Rafah was the sign that it was a new day of atrocity; it was Friday November 16th, 2012. Through irregularity of every day’s waking up habits, all I cared about was a careful checkup trip among my family members to comfort that anguished, caring soul of mine knowing they are safe, and a thorough scrutiny of the news channels and websites with a doubtful hope that the international community might have intervened with decisions of cease-fire, or decisions that would stop the vivid nightmare of a like-no-other unmerciful war. Disappointed was I to find out that Israel announced reinforcement of troops on the Gaza strip’s 64 mile border belt and the death toll of civilians rose morosely. “What does that escalation mean? Is it possibly a preparation for a long-term war? Is Israel preparing for a ground invasion?” I hoped not as I terrifyingly stepped on that ladder of endless questions.
    I’m not a political analyst, nor have I ever wanted to be involved in politics. However, the subconscious system of my mind works in a way that I can’t control or understand at a time of war. This system’s catalyst is the unbearable calamities of the war, and its objective is survival; a mental system I chose to call “an artful adoption” to current and sudden war environment. But in order for this system to work well, a full understanding of the war’s aspects is essential so that a person could form an anticipatory foreknowledge of the events that are yet to come. The complexities associated with the war; if resolved, would make a regular individual a professional expert of military issues and war survival. For example, depending on the experience I gained through the 22 day war of the Israeli military operation “Cast Lead,” and this operation “Pillar of cloud,” I; like many other Gazans, can differentiate by sound the type of warplanes flying in the sky; whether it’s an apache helicopter, an F-16 fighting jet, or an unmanned surveillance drone. Also, measurements of how far the airstrikes are can be calculated depending on the echo of the explosions or the few-second belly dance of the house if you are indoors. And in case you are outdoors, those measurements can be calculated depending on how high the debris would actually fly or fall nearby, and the amount of smoke you can actually see as a result of a certain airstrike’s missile explosion. Apart from this, the one golden rule that you need to strictly follow is that if you go out and leave the so-called safety provided by your own house, there is a big possibility that you might meet your soul reaper. It is true that there were cases where soul reapers would pay visits to some individuals in their houses, but the possibility of meeting them outside of your house is definitely much bigger. Nonetheless, a bright smile on your face is highly recommended.
    That is how life in Gaza through times of war is; a mixture of ironies that you; most of the time, never get a change to comprehend. “Easier said than done,” was what first came to my mind as I; out of astonishment, was levitated off my bed around 04:00 am because of an explosion I never experienced before in terms of sound, strength, and effect. It was November 17th, 2012, and with that heavy airstrike I started the day. Back then, I turned on all the lights in the house, and as I was heading back to my room, another rock-and-roll airstrike took place; causing the house to shake, and spreading fear among my family members as they rushed out of their bedrooms. I took them all to what I call “The safe room” for it relies cornered by the end of the house and right next to a neighboring building; and then, that unexpected gathering of the family became an unusual tea-time. We sat together, chitchatted, and exchanged fake smiles of security as if there were no more 18 airstrikes that targeted the tunnel’s area; that’s only less than half a mile away from the house, and turned the whole neighborhood upside down. When my family eventually went back to their sleep despite of the noises of those drones in the sky, I mentally traveled with my thoughts beyond the borders of Gaza heading to the southern parts of Israel; mainly Ber Sheva. I have two friends there who are Israeli-Palestinians as identified by most of the international community, and the 1948 Palestinians as identified by Arabs; or dare I say only identified as such by Palestinians in Palestine and all over the world. Two friends; whom I was so worried about, live there, and most likely they were little affected by the war between Israel and Gaza. Besides, I started to think of the Israeli civilians and the mutual pressure they were going through at this hardship.

    To be continued...PART 3
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