Over and over again, we have heard the familiar Israeli refrain ‘We are not targeting Palestinians; we are only targeting Hamas and their infrastructure.’
We have hear this for seven days now, while bodies have staked up on the floors of hospitals, and the casualty rate has climbed into the thousands. We know how many of the victims are children and women; we know that the targets have often been schools and hospitals.
Even so, the Israeli refrain continues: ‘We are not targeting Palestinian civilians.’ “We are not targeting Palestinian civilians.’ As if saying it enough times will make it a reality.
Late one night, five sisters huddled together in their beds. The air strikes had been ongoing for a couple of days, and it was easier for them to face the night with each other, than trying to suffer through another sleepless night alone.
The oldest of the sisters, Tahrir, is seventeen. She tells her sisters that everything will be okay.
She does not know this of course; but this is not the first air strike of her young life, and she knows that it makes it better when the older people say it is okay.
They all stay in their rooms and wait. Bombs keep falling – some sound really close, and some sound like distant thuds. Sometimes there are no noises for a few minutes – then the bombing starts again.
The youngest girl, Jawaher, is just four years old. She does not understand anything and spends most of the day and night crying. Her sisters try to quiet her and make her laugh. They want the little girl to feel better, but they also want her to be quiet. They are afraid that too much noise might tell the bombs where they are. It is better just to be quiet and wait Tahrir tells them.
So that’s what they did. They sat quietly in their beds listening to the world around them explode, and waited for morning.
But for the five sisters in Jabalya, morning did not come.
Before the suns rays crept over the horizon, an American made F-16 fighter plane dropped its payload on the mosque neighboring the home of the girls.
The roof and walls of their house collapsed on top of them. They all died; maybe instantly, maybe after moments of excruciating pain and horror. Five sisters…gone.
When the bodies were brought to the overflowing graveyard, there was no enough room. The oldest was given her own grave, while the younger girls were buried in pairs. It will be a long time before we forget the ‘five sisters in three graves’.
‘We are not at war with the Palestinian people’ they say over and over again.
Maybe there is a glint of truth to such a statement; perhaps Israel is not at war with the Palestinian people but only Hamas. If this is true, then what is clear - and unmentioned - is that Israel does not care how many Palestinians are lost in this war.
Any amount of death is justifiable if you are targeting the enemy.
Take for example the recent assassination of a Hamas leader in his home. Israel received ‘actionable intelligence’ that they could take him out, and did so – along with eleven of the man’s children.
If asked whether they would shoot the devil, even if it meant hitting a hundred angels, I wonder what Israel would say.
Name: Zainuddin H.Abdulkadir Home: Pontianak, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia About Me: Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the now, nothing will ever happen in the future;it will happen in the now. See my complete profile