Saturday, August 20, 2011

29th Day: Gaza Fires Back (& SCAF Lied?)

More people died today. 

Nothing came as a surprise to me as I witnessed the Show-de-Force everyone was suddenly too eager to boast. 

Israel continued its airstrikes on Khan Younis in the “wee small hours of the morning”, right after Suhour. I got my updates instantly from Twitter: the unfortunate tragic irony of being excited about knowing you're the first to know about the strikes from twitter followers and followees, yet knowing they are right in the center of not only a dangerous zone but a potentially fatal situation. I recalled the horrors of air-strikes ten years ago, they don’t have to be F-16s to terrorize you to the bones. Just knowing you could be mistaken for the next target or knowing your refuge is in fact the actual target. It is not so much about death as it is about surviving then living with a permanent disability: lost arms, limbs, sights, or any sort of dis-figuration. 

Graphic pictures today surfaced from yesterday’s deadly attacks on Gaza Strip: Men who have been blown up to pieces, weeping women, a child completely disfigured, burnt and his viscera exposed. I knew I saw too much, but surprisingly like most fellow-Palestinians I have grown too used to seeing blood (or bodies cremated by missiles and fire). 

Today Gaza fired back. I must assert that Gaza was plunged into this for few apparent reasons. Located relatively far away from the site where an attack took place near the Israeli Red Sea resort town of Eilat (the ethnically-cleansed Bedouin Palestinian village of Imm-ar-Rashrash), completely besieged by Israel and Egypt, and not having a single faction adopting this highly-moderated attack: Gaza was the first to take the blame and the people living there were anticipating a fast response from Israel. 

On the far-right of the Palestinian political spectrum: Today Hamas abandoned the seize fire and vowed not to stop firing its rockets on Israel until Israel stops its raids. Some of Hamas’ rockets reached the Israeli town of Be’er Shiva (formerly the ethnically cleansed Palestinian desert city of Beer as-Sabe’, literary: the Lion’s Well), killing two Israelis and injuring others. 

On the middle-right: Fatah claims Israel is turning the region into turmoil to delay their “heroic” attempt to declaring a “statehood” in September. Ironically, but not surprisingly, a Fatah-spokes man vowed to defend Gaza in every way possible. ‘nought said. 

And on the hippie-socialist left-side-that-bows-to-dictators: The PFLP (having lost all credibility, supporters, and position since the late 1980s) was back on stage firing few rockets into Israel, but not getting much applauds. 

The news were not all sarcastic today though.

Egyptians demonstrated in the thousands in Cairo, Alexandria, and else-where in front of the Israeli embassy and consulate offices since last night. At 3:00 AM, there were hundreds of angry men chanting and waving Palestinian flags, demanding a firm response from the Egyptian government following Israel’s attacks on Sinai- Egypt, which killed three Egyptian soldiers and injured others. The chants also called for an end to the peace treaty with Israel, and the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador from Egypt. By the early hours of the morning, when thousands stormed the streets across the Israeli embassy, SCAF issued two statements announcing bringing home the Egyptian ambassador until Israel officially apologizes. Until now, SCAF has not delivered it’s promises, and Egyptians are only growing further resentment towards them. 

So why am I bringing Egypt into this? 

A new generation of Egyptians who want it their way- [Reuters]
The simple answer is that Egypt is Gaza’s only Arab neighbor, Gazans have strong ties with/ and feelings toward the country that ruled the Strip prior to the 1967 War. Also, because for decades under various dictatorships, Egypt has been the mediator and anchor to [the Western influence and] America’s policies in the region. Egypt has been the substrate that balanced the region through war and peace, and the change that took place there is yet to show some decisive consequences with an orphaned Palestinian Authority following the fall of Mubarak, and a new generation of Egyptians who want over with the old ways of not having things their way. 

Today was certainly not just another day, the 29th day before the supposed “statehood” saw further blood and modern artillery. Palestinians still sit and look for clues. Ramallah is definitely the worst place to be at the moment if one wants solid clues. Today's funniest tweet came from @LinahAlsaafin who tweeted "#Abbashole asked Arab league whether armed resistance would be ok if UN fake statehood didn't work out. Can someone poison him already?" I just had to respond with a line from Chicago: "some guys just can't hold their arsenic!"

I guess for now, I’ll stick to twitter updates.

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