Nine-year-old Mohammed Jaber remembers how he took his pocket money and went out with his 5-year-old sister Ghina, as the long summer day of fasting came to an end, in the month of Ramadan. “My parents try to keep me indoors, but I was bored, so we went to buy jellybeans and chips,” he says. Once on the street, in the densely populated al-Bureij refugee camp, he heard that the neighbours had received a call warning of an air strike. Mohammed rushed back home. There are no shelters in Gaza, so his parents and their six children took cover in a bedroom.
“Mohammed remembers the last war two years ago. He knew what was going to happen,” his mother Mariam explains, recalling how the child, white with fear, ran and picked up a pillow to cover his face and ears. “I thought he was going to suffocate himself,” she says. Suddenly, the deafening explosion sent pieces of shrapnel and glass flying through the room. “All my children started screaming. I managed to calm them down, but after that they were in shock; they would not speak.
“Since then, Mohammed has started bedwetting again, and my 5-year-old daughter Ghina keeps saying, ‘Mama, people will bomb our house.’ Whenever her father goes out, she clings to him. She thinks he will not come back if she lets him go.” Mariam does not know what to tell her young children. “I cannot tell them the truth, that there is no safe place, and we cannot leave.”
Jonathan Cook in his article about the recent arrest by Israeli soldiers of the 16 year Palestinian girl, Ahed Tamimi, outlines in detail how Palestinian children are systematically targeted and brutalised by Israeli authorities.
With specific demeaning laws for ‘Arabs” as opposed to Jewish settlers. With walls constructed to keep out the rightful Arab occupiers of their own lands in Palestine. With the evil brutality of Israeli settlers against the people and children they have stolen their lands from ( and Israeli laws which allow that brutality to be wiped away) – with the ongoing imprisonment of children without trial (or a “Military” ( read show-trial) trial for those Arab adult and children captured or killed or tortured for their ‘misbehaviour’ against Israeli troops on their own lands -it is small wonder Palestinians remain angry against their oppressors.
One day soon perhaps, the Israeli population will begin to understand that their continued oppression of the rightful owners of Palestinian lands can only lead to the destruction of Israel. Continued fictional presentations of Arabs as lesser beings by a bigoted society only exacerbate the inevitability of that end.
Only negotiation with real truth and honesty by the Israeli entity with Palestinians, and and an acknowledgment and compensation for the dreadful wrongs committed by that entity over the last 70 years , will allow a one state solution to occur ( the only viable solution) , where Jews and Arabs can once more live harmoniously together in Palestine/Israel.
Why prolong this agony?