A forgotten story in Gaza: The Slaughter of Innocence
By Sameh A. Habeeb
[Al Shj'aya, East Gaza City, September 22, 2008] The fault Israeli policy of collective punishment has had a great effect on civilians lives in the Gaza strip and West Bank. Those people are being punished for no reason but being part of the area they live in. In the Gaza Strip, the siege imposed since more year ago still going on. The West Bank is still under complete control of Israeli army and settlements swallow more Palestinian lands. In the Gaza strip where I live there are many hidden stories for those punished people!
I knew lately a story of people who were severely harmed by the Israeli army. I made all efforts, collected all date, hold up my Camera and then visited the house! In the house I was shocked with fact I saw; innocent people with no legs but sad and terrified hearts!
"The morning of that day was cloudy, scary and vague. My heart was leaping up so fast and my 7-month fetus was quarreling inside of me. The more minutes advanced, the more my hearts strongly and horribly was beating until the decisive moment happened. I saw amputated legs and hot blood covered my face"
The incident day was March, 1st, 2008. Israel had announced officially that a holocaust would be on the way in Gaza and so far, at least 140 innocent people have been slaughtered.
Most all of them are children and civilians that have paid the price for militants firing Qasam rockets into Israel!
Maha, Jaber and Fatima were on the 5th floor of their apartment. Pregnant Maha was dressing her three year old daughter Fatima when the weapon of destruction hit the balcony. The shell hit them directly and then penetrated five walls in the apartment before it stops. The weapon of destruction ignited a fire in the kitchen when the gas jars exploded.
It appears that Maha the mother, Fatima her daughter and their nephew Jaber were directly targeted by an Israeli weapon of destruction..
Maha informed me that she was hit in almost all her body by the shrapnel at the same time she saw a flying leg, blood and bones. "I heard my daughter's crying and moaning voice. Her body was covered by rubble and her blood flowed out of her little body. I tried to help her but I could not due to my extreme injuries."
Maha lost her left foot and the calf of her right leg. Maha now has a plastic foot courtesy of doctors in Turkey but is far from recovered.
Fifteen year old Jaber, had been sitting on a plastic chair in the living room. He was sad, depressed and frustrated over his case! He informed me, "A shell destroyed me. I'm destroyed now. I am useless now. I can do nothing by myself, I have no legs."
Jaber was unable to continue speaking. He went on weeping over his bilateral amputations which have rendered him totally dependent on his family. His depression overwhelmed even me and I went crying!
Little Fatima suffers daily nightmares, is nervous and has become withdrawn, depressed and introverted. Doctors have prescribed the need for psychological rehabilitation for this innocent one who has had her childhood slaughtered of the cycle of violence!
The family was initially treated at the local hospital in Al Shifa. Maha was treated with no anesthetic at all for she was pregnant. After she made it to Turkey she delivered her baby, who received Turkish ID before they returned to Gaza 20 days ago.
Now, Jaber might get a chance for treatment at Israel to get 2 digital legs! Maha still hoping to travel for treatment and get new digital foot! Fatima still having nightmares and she is introverted!
To look at the story in Photos:
If you have a clue about how to help them, you can contact me on the below info:
Sameh A. Habeeb
Photojournalist & Peace Activist
Gaza Strip, Palestine
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