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January 5th, 2009
09:04 PM ET

Our spirit will not die

Program note: Tune in tonight at 10 pm to hear Anderson's interview with Sami Abdel-Shafi live from Gaza.

A man weeps over his dead child at a Gaza hospital Monday.

A man weeps over his dead child at a Gaza hospital Monday.

Sami Abdel-Shafi
The Guardian

Yesterday morning, I hurried up to the rooftop of my home to catch a glimpse of the sun rising. Columns of black smoke stretched sideways over Gaza's horizon, eerily symbolising how Israel's ground assault has already inflicted more indiscriminate suffering on ordinary people.

I reflected how the fireball resulting from utter political failure among Palestinians, within Israel and, to an extent, internationally, has landed in the laps of Gaza's civilians. Within seconds, the deep and breathtaking sound of shelling from the sea forced me back downstairs.

By mid-morning on Sunday, about 12 hours into the incursion, Israeli troops were said to have reached the outskirts of Jabalia – a city and a refugee camp with a combined population of 200,000 – with Apache helicopters firing high-calibre rounds into the camp alongside the incoming artillery fire. But Gaza City, where I live, is no safe haven, being only about 8km from Jabalia, and 3km from fighting in the east.

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Filed under: Israel • Palestine • Sami Abdel-Shafi
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Barry, Asheville, NC

    This blog is viable only if you also have comments from Israeli families - private citizens; men, women and children - who received the first deadly shock of terrorist Hamas rockets destroying their lives and their homes.

    January 6, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  2. Tayyaba Zaidi

    I beg the audience to not beileve what one may hear about Hamas being terrorists and using its own people as shields. These people are basically "caged in" within their refugee camps with heavy economic sanctions. In fact, they have more aid going in now than before the rockets were launched. I do not believe in any type of terrorism, but I ask you HOW is Gaza to let the world know they are being oppressed? That all their utilities are controlled by Israel? That there is no work available for men to feed their families? It is easy to blame Hamas. Everytime Israel bombs, the same reasoning is given: that the Hamas organization is hiding weaponry there! I ask you this then, WHY is international media restricted from going in? And is Israel and their idealogy, their methods above International law?

    January 6, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  3. chris namaste

    Anyone can sit back and lay blame to another whether correct or incorrect. With the growing concern of bullying in modern society even under democratic order it is safe to say "It is still the same fight". One person being better than another. This old competition effects not only everyone but everything we beleive the world to be. People say they are civilized. People say they are educated. Why can't people just relax and love their neighbor. Whether it is countries fighting or families. To date their is no resolution to stop bullying. Physical, Verbal or illiterate languages. There is no words to describe love, it is an action.

    January 5, 2009 at 11:28 pm |
  4. sandy

    What's happening in Gaza right now is beyond outrageous and defies all logic and reason. Hopefully, one day everyone will see that violence and aggression only feeds more violence and more aggression. And, hopefully, Israel will realize that the reason Gazans elected Hamas is because they lost faith in all other available options and that they think Fatah is incapable of preserving their interests and they think it is simply not possible to make peace with Israel under conditions that allow them to live with dignity. When people lose hope and faith in a promising future, they turn to extremism. That's why the current aggression is a self-defeating strategy and is only bound to perpetuate the vicious cycle of violence. The international community and the world should be ashamed that they can't bring a just and acceptable solution to the situation. All we can do is watch the children die.

    January 5, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  5. Sherry Gardner

    It is so sad that innocent people are dying for a few egotistical, fanatical men in power. I am sure they are not all for the Hamas. I hope this headache is over for Barack. Poor guy. His plate is overflowing from the pigs in this world.

    January 5, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  6. xtina, chicago IL

    Sorry Mr Abdel Shafi. The " government " you elected supports and carries out terrorist acts by hiding behind citizens while Israelis are avoiding civilian casualties at all times in defense of their land.

    January 5, 2009 at 9:32 pm |
  7. jim Fallbrook

    The citizens of Gaza deserve what they are getting. First of all, they voted for Hamas. Hamas is firing rockets into Israel. Israel defends itself. Hamas hides behind women and children using them as human shields. Of course there are going to be civilian casualties. Due to Hamas's tactics, they are considered collateral damage. Muslims always use this tactic to get the international community on their side. It is unfortunate, but Israel's actions will saves lives in the long run

    January 5, 2009 at 9:30 pm |