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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Gaza: Whole Villages Have Been Wiped Off the Map

Dr. Mona El-Farra


I’m writing now from my home, but I still feel dizzy from shock and nauseated by the sights and smells on my visit to Khan Younis and Khuza’a. 

Yesterday I decided to use the opportunity of the ceasefire to visit my family in Khan Younis. I especially wanted to see my sister who had open heart surgery before Israel’s assault. I hadn’t seen her for 36 days. I’m lucky that I have enough fuel in my car to drive 24 kilometers (15 miles) so I struck out towards the south. 

I drove down Salaheddin Road and passed rubble from mosques, houses, and factories. Some buildings were destroyed completely and some partially. Later on in my drive, I saw dozens of big trees uprooted and smashed, fruit trees destroyed and farms and gardens decimated and ruined. The Israeli bombs were aimed to destroy the infrastructure, to destroy Gaza’s economy. Even the main cookie factory was targeted and destroyed. 

I passed UN trucks distributing food to people in long lines. This siege and assault by the Israelis has made everyone in the Gaza Strip live as a refugee, missing basic needs and struggling to survive. 

When I drove up to my family’s place in Khan Younis, it was a very emotional moment. We’ve lost many family members and, excuse me, my friends, I’m not going to talk about this meeting because every family in Gaza is going through the same thing.

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