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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. LAST PART (4)


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     iReporter AhmedFerwana is a teacher and writer who lives and works in Gaza City. He penned these thoughts after the cease-fire between Israel and Gaza, to reflect on the conflict and its aftermath. "It's a relief - I'm so happy that this war came to an end, but it's unfortunate that everybody knows it is not an actual end to the misery and conflict," he said. "For the time being, the situation is mostly back to normal, but there are no guarantees it will last forever." Ahmed hopes that now both sides can try to forget the war and go back to normal life. "Thinking of the whole conflict between Israel and Palestinians just makes me feel hopeless," he said. "I wish they would come to an end ... because it's the people of Israel and the people of Gaza who are paying the price of this war."
    - sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

    Another unusual wake-up alarm occurred with a heavier and more intense shelling on the tunnel’s area during the first hours of November 20th, 2012’s morning, another unstoppable wave of fear spread among my family members, and another bundle of fast strategic thinking of tactics and surviving procedures overcame my mind. The sounds of the explosions were deafening, the house’s constant shaking as a result of the thunder-like F-16 fighting jets’ airstrikes was more terrifying and threatening than ever, and the trembling rush of adrenaline was overblown to the extent that everybody’s eyes in the family were overly widened. Everything was all of sudden out of the ordinary, and gasps of shock were rapidly consuming the vulnerability of hope to survive. A Spontaneous volcano of questions erupted and annexed my peace of mind, “Is it the beginning of a ground incursion? Is it the beginning of a nation-wide terror? Will our house be targeted? And if not, is it going to keep my family and me safe?” Many questions that momentarily remained unanswered; yet many necessary answers were needed in this matter of life or death. Majestic was that thought of catching a glimpse of what was happening outside through a nearby window because it was the calm inhaler-dose for that asthmatic horror. The view from the window made it clear that it was just a “regular” escalation of airstrikes; therefore, I went back to my room to conduct the usual web-investigation of today’s situation and tomorrow’s destiny. Good news! Rumors about a ceasefire between the rivals were all over the news, yet the airstrikes, shelling, and killing of civilians all over Gaza were continuous. Optimistically I stayed awake all the night long waiting for that lost needle of truce to be found in the war’s haystack. And the waiting kept on waiting until another terrible incident occurred; an incident that would; most likely negatively, serve as a turning point during this nonesuch fatalistic war. On November 21st, 2012 a bus was bombed in the middle of Tel Aviv, Israel around 12:30 pm. Back then, all I felt is numbness within me and all around me. Motionless I lay in my bed while staring at the ceiling and thinking of the consequences of this bomb attack in the heart of Israel. The more I was thinking, the more I felt that I was lying in front of the fires of the inflammatory war in a mid-summer day. It was a high possibility that the Israeli military operation “Pillar of Cloud” change into “Pillar on Ground.” Thereafter, the worst would happen; a war that could be unimaginable in its ruthlessness, and indescribable in its brutality. At that moment, hopeful patience had its toll, my mind was completely obliterated by a missile of tiredness, and sleeping was better done than thinking of the unthinkable. At that very moment, I slept uninterested in what would happen next and discouraged to survive this psyche deteriorating war. However, I woke up later on amazed at how peacefully I slept; 10 uninterrupted continuous hours of sleep; 10 hours of sleep that felt like a piece of heaven. Yet, I chose to practice what I developed to be a habit through this war; a web-investigation to inspect this ugly war’s updates. Overwhelmingly, it was all over. Headlines all over the news channels and websites mentioned a ceasefire between the rivals that’s effective at 09:00 pm on November 21st, 2012. No more killing, terror, suffering, mourning, or most importantly waiting for death to come. It was a nightmare that finally came to an end with a death toll of 160 Gazans and 1222 wounded; most of them were kids, mothers, wives-to-be, and time-weakened elders. Happy indeed was I that the war is over, yet so terrified because of its unbearable, disastrous madness! Yes, terrified of the times yet to come, terrified of a crazier re-match of the rivals and the intimidating aftermaths of this war.
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