The children of the Attar clan have lived through three wars in just over five years, each time fleeing their homes as Israel bombarded their neighbourhood in the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
They live in Atatra, a neighbourhood in northeastern Gaza, just a few hundred meters from Israel. Residents of Atatra fled their homes in Israel’s three-week military offensive in the winter of 2008-2009, during a week of cross-border fighting in November 2012 and again over the weekend.
After Israeli aircraft dropped leaflets over Atatra on Saturday warning residents to leave, sisters Mariam and Sada Attar bundled a few belongings into plastic bags and rushed out of their homes. They had 10 children in tow, as well as Mariam’s husband Omar, who she said suffers from stress-induced psychological disorders and can no longer function normally.
Their psychological scars show. Some act out, others cling to their mothers or withdraw, like 12-year-old Ahmed who sat by himself on a bench in the courtyard of a U.N. school where his family once again sought shelter.
"They bombed very close to my house," said the boy, looking down and avoiding eye contact. "I’m scared."
Experts said it will be increasingly difficult to heal such victims of repeated trauma.
"For the majority of the children (in Gaza), it is the third time around," said Bruce Grant, the chief of child protection for the Palestinian territories in the United Nation’s children’s agency, UNICEF. "It reduces their ability to be resilient and to bounce back. Some will not find their way back to a sense of normalcy. Fear will become their new norm."
The families sought shelter in the same U.N. school where they stayed during the previous two rounds of fighting. In all, 20 U.N. schools took in more than 17,000 displaced Gazans, many of them children, after Saturday’s warnings by Israel that civilians must clear out of northern Gaza.
Members of the Attar clan took over part of the second floor, with more than 40 people sleeping in each classroom. Mariam, Sada, Omar and the children were squeezed into one half of a room, their space demarcated by benches. Another family from the clan stayed in the other half of the room. A blanket draped across an open doorway offered the only measure of privacy.
In the classroom, the scene was chaotic, with children pushing and shoving each other and mothers yelling at them to behave. There was nothing to do for children or grown-ups, except to wait.
Mariam Attar, 35, said they spent the night on the hard floor for lack of mattresses.
She sat on the floor, her back leaning against a wall, and held her youngest, 16-month-old Mahmoud. She said her older children have become clingy, some asking that she accompany them to the communal toilet.
Recalling the latest bombings, she said: “We felt the house was going to fall on top of us and so the children started to scream. I was screaming and my husband was screaming.”
Her 14-year-old son Mohammed said the family cowered on the ground in the living room during the bombing to avoid being hit by shrapnel. He said the time passed slowly because they had no electricity or TV.
Mohammed and Ahmed, who is from another branch of the clan, said they and other children often play “Arabs and Jews,” fighting each other with toy guns or wooden sticks as make-believe weapons. Arabs always win, the boys said.
Rasem Shamiya, a counselor who works for the U.N. school system, said many of the children show signs of trauma, including trouble paying attention, aggressive behavior or avoiding contact with others. “They are very stressed,” he said. “Since these children were born, they have never known peace.”
According to figures released by the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 80 percent of the fatalities caused by Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip have been civilians. More than 20 percent were children. The organization also estimates 25,300 children are in need of psychosocial support.
The children’s fears are very real and parents in Gaza are increasingly unable to reassure them, said Pierre Krahenbuhl, who heads the U.N. agency that provides aid to Palestinian refugees.
"Today, we met with families who shared with us that they have simply no more answers to give when the children ask them why are the homes shaking, why is there so much destruction," he said.
Sada Attar, 43, said she worries her children and others in that generation will come to see violence as normal.
"These disturbed children are not going to be good for Israel’s long term interests," she said. "The child will naturally rise up and confront the Zionist enemy with the stone, with fire, with everything in their power."
Photos taken by Associated Press photographer Khalil Hamra on July 14, 2014 at the New Gaza Boys United Nations school, where dozens of families have sought refuge after fleeing their home in fear of Israeli airstrikes.
A pro-Palestinian protester confonts riot police during a demonstration against violence in the Gaza Strip in Paris on July 19, 2014, defying a protest ban. Rallies were also held in more than a dozen other cities, from Lille in the north to Marseille in the South. (Philippe Wojazer/Reuters)
Thousands flee Gaza’s Shujaiyah after night of terror | July 20, 2014
They walked in their thousands, barefoot and in their pyjamas, streaming out of the eastern Gaza district of Shujaiyah after a night of non-stop Israeli bombing.
They described hours of terror, as tank shells slammed into homes, with no electricity and no way to escape.They called ambulances, but there was no way for the vehicles to get in under the constant fire.
So in the end, thousands of desperate residents fled on foot at first light, walking two hours or more into Gaza City. They left behind the bodies of the dead in the streets of their neighbourhoods — in Nazzaz, in Shaaf and in other parts of this flashpoint area between Gaza City and the Israeli border.
One of those fleeing was Sabreen Hattad, 34, with her three children. “The Israeli shells were hitting the house. We stayed the night because we were so scared but about six in the morning we decided to escape,” she said. “But where are we supposed to go? The ambulances could not enter and so we ran under shell fire.” Three other men pass by in a hurry clutching bedding in their arms. Asked what they had seen they would only answer: “Death and horror.”
Many of those escaping Shujaiyah made for Gaza’s central Shifa hospital, which was engulfed by chaotic scenes and ambulances ferrying the dead came in a steady steam, among them a local TV cameraman Khaled Hamad and paramedic Fuad Jabir, killed during the overnight offensive, wheeled out wrapped in a bloody plastic shroud. "He wasn’t a fighter, he was a fighter for humanity," wailed one relative as the family buried him. ”He was an ambulance worker, did he deserve to die?”
Shifa hospital administrator Dr. Hasan Khalas confirmed that 112 Palestinians were killed across Gaza last night, at least 60 dead in Shujaiyah only. Dozens of victims in Shujaiyah haven’t been identified. ”This is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” said Doctor Said Hassan, who has worked at the hospital for eight years.
More than 60 Palestinians were killed, including 17 children, and 210 injured in Shujaiyah massacre so far. The ongoing Israeli military attacks on the Gaza Strip have so far displaced more than 135,000 Palestinians, according to a report. The death toll is expected to rise as Israeli shelling continues and more bodies are uncovered, while today’s total across the Gaza Strip has passed 90 already, bringing the 13-day total death toll to more than 410, with at least 3,000 injured.
1. Smoke rises during what witnesses said were heavy Israeli shelling at the Shujaiyah neighbourhood. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters)
2. A wounded Palestinian man reacts after the death of his relatives, who medics said were killed during heavy Israeli shelling at the Shujaiyah district, at a hospital. (Suhaib Salem/Reuters)
3. A Palestinian woman wearing clothes stained with the blood of other relatives, who medics said were wounded in Israeli shelling, cries at a hospital. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters)
4. Palestinians flee the Shujaiyah neighbourhood. (Finbarr O’Reilly/Reuters)
5. A Palestinian woman reacts after the death of her relatives, who medics said were killed during heavy Israeli shelling at the Shujaiyah district, at a hospital. (Suhaib Salem/Reuters)
6. Palestinians flee the Shujaiyah neighbourhood. (Finbarr O’Reilly/Reuters)
7. A Palestinian woman, who medics said was wounded during heavy Israeli shelling, stands at a hospital. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters)
8. Palestinians flee the Shujaiyah neighbourhood. (Finbarr O’Reilly/Reuters)
9. Palestinian policemen and medics carry a man, who medics said was wounded in Israeli shelling, at a hospital. (Suhaib Salem/Reuters)
10. Palestinians flee the Shujaiyah neighbourhood. (Finbarr O’Reilly/Reuters)
Day 10: Israel destroys Gaza’s Wafa hospital as staff evacuates all patients, three children killed while playing on roof, 5,000 tonnes of explosives fired at Gaza during Israel’s 10-day assault, UNRWA asked Israel to retract false claims about schools, Israel launches Gaza ground operation as death toll passes 240 | July 17, 2014
1. A Palestinian woman cries inside her damaged house which was targeted in an Israeli air strike. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters)
2. Palestinian children fill bottles and containers with water from a public tap in Rafah. (Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)
3. Belongings are strewn about in a building that police said was damaged by an overnight Israeli air strike in Khan Younis. (Finbarr O’Reilly/Reuters)
4. A Palestinian girl walks with a toy that she salvaged from debris of the el-Yazje apartment building which was destroyed following an overnight Israeli missile strike. (Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)
5. Children’s shoes are bagged among belongings salvaged from a damaged Palestinian home which police said was targeted in an Israeli air strike. (Finbarr O’Reilly/Reuters)
6. A Palestinian boy rides his bicycle past a damaged building following an Israeli air strike. (Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)
7. Flares fired by the Israeli military are seen above the northern Gaza Strip. (Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
8. The father of two boys from the Shaibar family, whom medics said were killed along with a girl from the same extended family by an Israeli air strike after the end of a five-hour humanitarian ceasefire, grieves outside the morgue in Gaza City. (Finbarr O’Reilly/Reuters)
9. A Palestinian woman reacts inside her damaged house which was targeted in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters)
10. Smoke from flares rises in the sky in Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip. (Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)
-Bir parça ay yiyoruz. Çok güzel, çok tatlı.
Joset bir parça ay verir babasına. İkisi birlikte yerler.
|—||Eugène Ionesco, Üç Yaşından Küçük Çocuklar İçin Üçüncü Öykü, çev. Nuri Pakdil.|
|—||Mahmud-ı Şebüsterî, Gülşen-i Râz|
Telefonumun hep açık olmasına dikkat ederim.
Eşim Zeynep de, yakın arkadaşlarım da bilir ki, telefonun şarjı bitmişse öfkelenirim. Sitem ederim neden akşamdan doldurulmadı bu batarya diye.
Unutulmasına katlanamadığım ender şeylerden biridir bu mesele. Sana ulaşmak istiyorsam ve böyle bir imkan varsa, o telefon şarj edilecek.
Bayram gezmesindeyiz. Kurban bayramı. Yedinci sınıftayım ve ilk telefonumu taşıyorum. Sagem marka —abim Yasin’le çok dalgasını geçeriz hala.
Akşama doğru şarjı bitti. Tabi o zamanlar “ince uçlu” dönemi değildi. Ki, olsaydı da benim Sagem’im vardı.
Misafirlik bitti, eve döndük.
Ev telefonumuz çalıyordu. Kapıdan girdiğimiz gibi açtım telefonu. Karşıdası ses, “Abdullah, ya siz nerdesiniz?” diye ağlıyordu. Büyük abim Osman. Cevap vermeye kalmadan bir yakarış daha çıktı ağzından: “Öksüz kaldık öksüz!”
Annemin vefat haberini böyle aldım işte.
Aylardan Şubat’tı. Bayramdı.
If the shit that has been committed by Israel in Palestine were not be sacrificed for the pornography of atrocity, world public opinion would be more sensitive indeed. The atrocity in Gaza has been banal for people since there is no longer a difference between sharing a scene from Gaza and sharing a music video. The atrocity in Gaza has been truly banal for people since it has been easier that doing something for Gaza (sharing a video including a graphic content or protesting in front of Israeli embassy).
As Zarifoglu says, Palestine is an exam paper in front of all of us. And we have failed. It seems that our situation is but a student’s struggle to retrieve the exam paper from his teacher who takes it. The exam is over.
Studio Judith’den yine muthis bir çalisma.
Radical Radius by Studio Judith / Judith Stewart
Çocuk düşerse ölür çünkü balkon
Ölümün cesur körfezidir evlerde
Yüzünde son gülümseme kaybolurken çocukların
Anneler anneler elleri balkonların demirinde
İçimde ve evlerde balkon
Bir tabut kadar yer tutar
Çamaşırlarınızı asarsınız hazır kefen
Şezlongunuza uzanır ölü
Ölüleri balkonlara gömecekler
İnsan rahat etmeyecek
Öldükten sonra da
Bana sormayın böyle nereye
Koşa koşa gidiyorum
Alnından öpmeye gidiyorum
Evleri balkonsuz yapan mimarların
Sezai Karakoç, Balkon.