Keith in Gaza, Wed, 21 Nov 2012 14:59

It is just after 5-00 and we are all expecting the worst. The shelling has started …

People in Scotland and the UK no doubt think I am mad for being here but it is important for academics and all sorts of professional people to stand with these incredible people amidst all this madness right now. No one wants to take risks – I do not – but this is all part of life for our colleagues. Risk is a luxury they have never had! If the Israelis were not shelling on this occasion then they would be shelling on the next. For Palestinians it all works as though on a loop. The dialogue stays the same and only the weapons get worse. All this concern about Israel and its future. What about Gaza tonight !!!!

When do we start to talk about Palestinian security? When do we start to talk about kids in Jabiliya or Beit Lahia? Over 60 of those killed in the last week have been children, their sisters, mothers and grandparents. When do we talk of security for them? Do the vulnerable not count or is it just the vulnerable in Gaza that we forget about? Tonight the children of Gaza will go through another night of hell? It is traumatic for adults; goodness knows what the kids go through …

We really do have to get serious about security for Palestine. Doctors and all sorts of people are needed because we are expecting things to be very bad again tonight. When the bombs drop and the shelling starts shooting over in arcs from off shore everything goes black. Then come the smells of burning and endless dust that fills the air with electric cables crackling. This will last the whole night and then tomorrow we will get the news about more families that have been wiped out …

All this is happening after years of closure. It is not as though we face this violence with loads in reserve. Resources are scarce. There has not even been enough coming into Gaza to rebuild things since Cast Lead … Yet the Palestinians stay solid. I sat with someone in the hospital this afternoon and they did not talk about their injuries. They wanted to tell me about their grandfather’s land up the coast in what is now Israel. None of this involves idle indulges of memory. It is about an entire people refusing to accept negation, whether it comes from bombs dropping from the sky or caterpillar bulldozers. The Palestinians will not go away and why the hell should they ?

And now it is night … it has started !!!!

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