The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. Things that happened a week ago feel like a lifetime ago due to news and events which surpassed the previous days happenings. Gaza became an everyday word and I was hooked on the news coming from there like a junkie needing a next fix. I forced myself to watch the most horrendous of footage that the local people had filmed on their mobile phones and read the saddest of statuses written on Facebook.
For now there is a truce….for now! Yes, the bombs have stopped dropping over Gaza, but how on earth can people begin to rebuild their lives there, how can they begin to rebuild their homes for that matter? Over 16,000 homes have been destroyed. Just think about that for a minute, 16,000 homes! Think about your home, go on, take a good look around your own house. Mine is filled with happy (and some sad) memories. I have family pictures dotted about the place, photographs of holidays and paintings from places I have visited. I have gifts given to me by my friends and family, some of these I hold very dear to my heart. I have important documents like my birth certificate, driving licence, insurance and bank details and my most precious of documents, my passport. I have worked hard to make my house into my home, cluttered with memories of fabulous visits to places near and far, and of friends and family. I would think that your house is the same. So imagine, just imagine you were given just 57 seconds to leave your house before it was going to be razed to the ground. What do you do? What do you take? This is if you actually recieved a phone call or text to warn you. (what if your phone was not by your side? What if it wasn’t charged up? What if you didn’t have a phone?) What about the ‘warning’ bomb they dropped on people’s roofs? A ‘small’ bomb to warn of one that is coming to destroy the house and maybe the occupants. What if you had an elderly relative that wasn’t easily moved? What if you were heavily pregnant? Were sleeping? Had numerous children in different rooms? All of these questions and more spun round and round in my head.
16,000 homes, with numerous occupants. There are over 450,000 people displaced, that is almost half a million people. I live in Coventry, the population here is under 320,000 just to put it into perspective, so that is the population of an entire city and then some who can not live in their homes any longer. Here is a brilliant link where you can put in the name of your home town and compare it to the size of Gaza.
Look up the population of where you live and think…..just think.
I drive past blocks of flats and think of the flattened ones in Gaza, bombed without a second thought for the families whose lives were inside. I honestly can not contemplate how they are continuing with nothing and nowhere to go.
There have been 89 entire familes wiped out during this campaign…..all dead, wiped from history. One wonders if Israel wants to do the same with all the families of Gaza?
I also had to question the warnings to people, as had there been Hamas in the building, then surely they would have been warned to leave too? On the day the ceasefire was announced, the heads of Hamas stood for a press conference, in the open in Gaza. Yes, a ceasefire and truce had been called, but Israel could have easily and justifiably taken them all out on one fell swoop with NO fatalities to any civillians, ceasefire or no ceasefire. But who am I, a mere mortal to question all of this and these actions that have come from the ONLY democracy in the Middle East, and the MOST moral army in the world.
I, along with many others, will be watching closely to see if anything changes for Gaza apart from that the fishermen have a couple more miles of sea to fish in. I hope for the sake of all the dead (over 2,100) that their lives and deaths were not in vain and that they counted towards a free and fair Gaza. More of the world has now woken up to this……more of the world is now watching!