Gaza Eye Witness Account

    Eye Witness Account by Abdurehman - 10/04/2009

    GAZA GAZA Ahlul Izza – GAZA GAZA Ramzul Izza

    We entered Gaza on Monday 9th March 2009 (12th Rabiul Awwal 1430) and was warmly greeted by the residents of Gaza. This narrow strip of land measuring 25-miles by 5-miles is the most densely populated in the world with over 1.5 million Muslim residents imprisoned behind huge concrete barriers on 3-sides and Israeli warships along the coastline. These people live so close to Baitul-Muqaddas, but prevented by the Israeli from entering Jerusalem and praying in this holy Masjid. 

    As the world stood-by and watched the defenceless people of Gaza being massacred, by the most sophisticated weaponry including banned chemical weapons continuously over 22-days; the people of Gaza I met were resilient, courageous and defiant against the cowardly, brutal and inhumane atrocities of its occupier and neighbour.

    The following day after we had rested, the Palestinians showed us the horrors and destruction of the 22-days of onslaught which had targeted the basic civil infrastructure. We were shown the mindless destruction of Water Treatment Plants, Hospitals, Universities, Schools, Roads, Bridges, Masjids, Police Stations and countless government buildings and residential areas. Even the dead were not spared, with graveyards bombed and Israeli tanks desecrating the sanctity of the deceased. I was greatly affected by these images of complete destruction, having spent my entire working life building civil infrastructure as a professional civil engineer.

    I was heartened to observe that only weeks after such a massive onslaught of destruction by the Israeli, the Gaza strip is carrying out patch repairs and trying to regain some semblance of normality. I saw widows and families living in tents where their house used to be. Families were living in houses and flats with walls partially blown away, with plastic sheeting draped to keep the weather out. I admired the resolute courage of the little children as they walked to school at 6.30am after Fajar prayers and thought of the hundreds of children bombed and deliberately gunned-down by the Israeli soldiers with no conscience and value for Arab lives. My thoughts turned to the racist and cruel graffiti left behind by the Israeli soldiers in the Palestinian houses they occupied during the massacre and reflected on their messages of hate towards these innocent civilians of Gaza.

    Ummah Welfare Trust (UWT) working in collaboration with Al-Imdaad and Essahaba Medical Complex had established a grants distribution project in Gaza and I was honoured to have been asked to witness some of the grants being distributed. UWT had made available 130,000 dollars for the grants project to families who had suffered material loss during the recent Israeli aggression. Al-Imdaad carried out a detailed survey of the affected areas of the Israeli destruction and made a comprehensive list of the families affected together with details of the severity of their losses. The families worst affected were given grants of a 1000 dollars per family to assist with their subsistence.

    The Palestinians do not like hand-outs, they are a proud and dignified people and despite the recent destruction and hardship of the 18-month siege of Gaza, there is no begging on the streets. The grant distribution project initiated by UWT is effective in that it helps the affected families to undertake the basic repairs to their properties and shelter. Having met these brave and dignified people and personally seen their misery; I would strongly urge the grant distribution project is widened to help thousands of other affected families to enable them to live in some dignity. Gaza is only a small strip of land along the coast which is exposed to the seasonal cold, heat and wind and any help to assist these people to repair their dwellings will meet their greatest need at this time. Finally, I was asked by the people of Gaza to convey a simple message – not to forget them and to remember them in our DUAS.

    Gaza Eye Witness Account