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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