War on Gaza: A Family’s Day

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The war machines of the Israeli occupation army invaded the Gaza Strip on 8 July 2014. Watching people seeking refuge at schools and … reminds us of the exile of the 1948 catastrophe. The occupation’s increasing savagery and violence overshadow the Ramadan period in Gaza and do not allow people to enjoy the spirituality of the moment and practice self-restraint in calm and peace. We follow Abu Ramadan’s family in Al-Zaytun neighborhood on the 13th day of the war. The whole house lies in ruins and is hardly usable. The bombardments do not leave them even at the time of breaking their fasts. The whole city is replete with fear, sounds of explosion, smoke, sounds of planes and tanks, shrapnel, and despair. The family has to leave the house and go to a school shelter. But we can see the signs of resistance among the Palestinian people stronger than before. Still, their only motto is “Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs.” They ask questions which have gone unnoticed so far by the international community, “What did we do? Is that because we demand our rights or homeland? Or that we defend our dignity? What was the crime we committed? Why did they come to our land?” and the story goes on …

TIME CODE: 00:00_05:00

Narration: The sun shone to announce the beginning of a new day. It was the 13th day of War on the Gaza Strip on the 20th of July 2014, and the 28th of Ramadan, the fasting month for Muslims. Abu Ramadan Yaseen and his family returned from the refuging school for those who left their homes. The family returned to their house near the school in Al-Zaytoun neighborhood south of Gaza City.

Interview (Arabic) announcer:“The situation is forced on us. I shall remind of what I said a while ago: no giving up, no despair, and no devastation. We will say goodbye to our martyrs, build our homes, plant trees in our streets. We will send our martyrs to heavens, whether they are children, old men, or young. We will send them to heaven then come back to resistance. This is the equation that should be dominant.”

Interview (Arabic) Om Ramadan Yaseen, Abu Ramadan’s Wife: “Director: Why should you hear or watch the news?The woman: Our families and children are being killed. We should know the news about where they bomb. We should know about the houses and the numbers of martyrs and the children who are dying. Those are our children, hearts, eyes, brothers and families. We should see the fighters who defend us and defend our grace and dignity.”

Interview (Arabic) Abu Ramadan Yaseen, War Victim: “We have been watching T.V. for 13 days. We watch the massacres, the killing and bombardments. They kill children, men, women, and old men. They kill people when they go anywhere, either to pray or buy food.”

Interview (Arabic) announcer:“Do not allow anybody to use this logic: to say that we can live peacefully with Zionists. You know what should be done with those who say this or those who want us to live next to them.”

Interview (Arabic) Abu Ramadan Yaseen, War Victim: “The power is off. May Allah destroy the Israelis.”

Interview (Arabic) Om Ramadan Yaseen, Abu Ramadan’s Wife: “There is no water or power supply. We cannot live like the rest of humans. And there is war, destruction, killed and torn poeple in the streets. The army bombed the children on the beach and destroyed our houses. What can we do about that?”

Interview (Arabic) Abu Ramadan Yaseen, War Victim: “Allah is sufficient for us against the Arab countries that refused to support the Muslims. They are supporting the Americans and the Israelis. Aren’t we Muslims? Allah is sufficient for us.”

Narration: After the power outage, Om Ramadan went to the kitchen to figure out a way to prepare breaking the fast meal for the family despite of the severe lack of ingredients as for Abu Ramadan he was out in the market looking for any available ingredients

Interview (Arabic) Abu Ramadan Yaseen, and Abu Kamel: “Abu Ramadan: I am going to the market to buy some vegetables to break the fast for the children. I hope we find it open Insha’Allah.

Abu Kamel: you know the way there and people feel afraid of going to their farms and collect vegetables. Most of the vegetables we have come from the south and they feel afraid from coming to Gaza City.

Abu Ramadan: No one went to his land because they feared being bombed in their lands or houses. The market is closed.

(Abu Ramadan talks to his wife on the phone): the market is closed; there is no vegetables. I do not what to do; you manage by anything from the house. Okay, Goodbye.”

Interview (Arabic) Om Ramadan Yaseen, Abu Ramadan’s Wife: “I am frying vegetables. I’m making fried potatoes and the eggplants to break our fast with it, Today my husband went to the market and found it closed because of the war. I am preparing food now using what I found in the house.”

Narration: Abu Ramadan returned home to help his wife to prepare the fast breaking meal.

TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00

Interview (Arabic) Om Ramadan Yaseen, Abu Ramadan’s Wife: “Arabs are watching us on T.V. During that, they are cooking everything: Chicken, sheep, Mandi and other things. But what are we cooking? We are cooking potato and eggplants to break our fast. We are frying them to prepare our breakfast. We are listening to the news of our land, houses, and children. They are being destroyed while Arab countries are just watching us and watching series and movies.See how the water supply is. There is no water in the tanks. The water supply is weak and cannot go up to the tanks.”

Narration: This is how Abu Ramadan and his wife prepare the meal in their house. As for the families that stay at school, they only have a small electric device they use for cooking.

Interview (Arabic) Om Alaa Yassen, War Victim: “The Israelis started firing by tanks. We could not sleep that night. Allah is sufficient for us. They killed our neighbors and destroyed the houses on them. What can I say? I am frying potato in the school. We have high morale and our men and fighters are strong, Alhamdulillah. If we have the weapons, we will liberate Jerusalem. Insha’Allah we will pray there. The food I am preparing is fried potato and some salad. Alhamdulillah for everything. What shall we do?”

Interview (Arabic) Kamelia Kuhail, War Victim: “My name is KameliaKuhail. My family consists of 5 members: My husband, 3 children and I. we were having breakfast when the area behind the house was hit. After a while, the missile hit the house itself. The kitchen, bedroom and living room were all damaged. Nothing remained in the house; it was all destroyed. The tin fell on my son and he is injured now. He is in pain because of his head. I have no other place to go, so now my children and I are homeless. I hope there will be a ceasefire or something. I have no place to stay at and nobody is helping us. The entire Arab world is just watching us.”

Narration: Kamilia lost her entire house and settled with her children in a shelter school while Abu Ramadan’s family have their own two-store house, ground floor and another upper floor. The house got hit by the Israeli Drones which caused severe damage in the upper floor making it unlivable.

Interview (Arabic) Abu Ramadan Yaseen, War Victim: “I was breaking the fast with my wife, and after we were done eating, she took away the leftovers and went to wash the dishes. She came back here while I was watching T.V. I was watching the news about what was going on in our country and what happened to people.”

Interview (Arabic) Om Ramadan Yaseen, Abu Ramadan’s Wife: “I was standing near the window when the missile hit the house. With the explosion, I fell on the floor and could not see my daughter or my husband. I did not think I was home, but I thought I was at the school and stones were falling on us.”

Interview (Arabic) Abu Ramadan Yaseen, War Victim: “We flew off the mattresses and I was moved from here to there. My daughter fell here, something like fire entered the house, and exploded. It was a missile. I got up looking for my wife and daughter and found them here. My daughter was hidden, injured and bleeding. We all became wounded.”

Interview (Arabic) Om Ramadan Yaseen, Abu Ramadan’s Wife: “Wife: the ambulance took us. My daughter and I were injured, and shrapnel hit my husband in his back. Look at this, how could we become like this? We should live this life.

Director: What is this?

Wife: this is the kitchen. Look at the destruction and at the bedroom. Look at the furniture.”

Interview (Arabic) Om Ramadan Yaseen, Abu Ramadan’s Wife: “Here is my bedroom, look at it. Look at these shrapnel; look at the damage of the closet. The wood is piled and so is the glass. See how the missile hit the neighbor’s house and destroyed their glass and their kids. This is unacceptable. This is my bedroom hit and bombed. We had breakfast and prayed Al-Maghreb then wanted to have some rest in our room.”

TIME CODE: 10:00_15:00

Interview (Arabic) Om Ramadan Yaseen, Abu Ramadan’s Wife: “The missile hit the place, and look at the glass, and our clothes and our condition. All our clothes are torn and so are our sheets. All the furniture in on the floor. Look at the fragments, look closely and let the world witness that. All our clothes are torn, look at my children’s suits. What was their fault? What did they do? How can we afford buying new things? Allah is sufficient for us. The girls’ clothes are torn too; winter and summer clothes are all damaged. The closets and the beds are damaged too. If we had remained here for more 10 minutes, we would have been killed. We would have been torn of glass and of the rocket and its fragments. Is that a part of any religion? What did we do? Is that because we demand our rights? Or We demand our homeland? Or We defend our dignity? What was the crime we committed? Why did they come to our land? Why? Look at the missile, what did we do to deserve being hit by this? Is that because we are demanding our rights?”

Interview (Arabic) Om Ramadan Yaseen, Abu Ramadan’s Wife: “Look at this destruction, the guest’s room, look at this destruction. There is glass, dust, and the missile powder. The decoration of the ceiling fell down. I was going to have a shower, and thank God that I did not have one. Look at the bathroom and how it was destroyed (x2) and even the door. There is nothing good in the house. How would we live here? See how the door was broken? It was completely destroyed.”

Interview (Arabic) Om Ramadan Yaseen, Abu Ramadan’s Wife: “Allah is sufficient for us.”

Narration: While we were with Abu Ramadan’s family in their house, we heard explosions everywhere, every now and then.

Interview (Arabic) Om Ramadan Yaseen, Abu Ramadan’s Wife: “There was another explosion. That one hit some place moments ago and exploded. We do not know where that was. May Allah protect all the people and children. Sometimes planes hit us, and sometimes tanks. What did we do to them? Can you see the fire in Al-shujaiya Neighborhood? They killed the people and burned the houses. Allah is sufficient for us against the Israelis. Look at the sky; it is black because of the fire and of what they fire on us. They are cowards and could not go out of their tanks. Their chiefs tell them to kill themselves but not surrender to the Palestinians. They tell them that they should not be imprisoned. Kill yourselves but do not turn yourselves in. They and their army are cowards. They fire missiles and kill innocent people and hit hospitals and mosques. They destroyed every mosque.”

Narration: Abu Ramadan and his family did not want to stay any longer inside the house, so they decided to leave before something disastrous happens.

Interview (Arabic) Abu Ramadan Yaseen, War Victim: “Abu Ramadan: Let’s go out as they may bomb the house. Let’s go to the school. Planes are firing missiles all day and night. Listen to the sounds of the planes and tanks.”

Narration: Because of the continuous heavy shilling and the fear of becoming a target, all family members rushed to the shelter school thinking that their whole house would be bombed at any moment because Gazaens knew that drone missiles are guiding missiles of the F-16 fighterswhich could destroy the house.

Interview (Arabic) Abu Ramadan Yaseen, War Victim: “We are afraid that they bomb it and destroy it. We do not belong to Hamas or to Fatah, but may Allah protect them. We support everybody, all the Muslims are our children. We do not belong to Hamas or Fatah but we were targeted, Alhamdulillah. My son and his wife were in the apartment during that. What shall we do?”

TIME CODE: 15:00_20:00

Interview (Arabic) Om Ramadan Yaseen, Abu Ramadan’s Wife: They targeted the mosque while the prayers were inside. Mosques and churches did not survive the bombings. They destroyed everything and no one is safe. Why is that? Is it because we have what is their right? Or because we want to live dignified on our land and in our homeland like other nations. The right of this land is ours and they took it. Where is our land that they took?”

Narration: Inside the school that houses tens of the expelled families from Al-Shujaia and Al-Zaytoun neighborhoods, people are living moments of waiting and fear. Some are watching the planes in the sky while others are following the smoke coming out because of the continuous shilling in the Gaza Strip. Others could not enter the classes and wanted to stay out in the corridors or the school square because the classes are crowded with women and children.

Interview (Arabic) Abu Ramadan Yaseen, War Victim: “Four families live in one classroom: our family, Al Ghazali family, Al Dahshan family and Arafat family. What shall we do? There is no enough room in the refuging schools, but we should support each other.”

Interview (Arabic) Kamelia Kuhail, War Victim: “I have three children my husband and I, we are now in the streets, my husband and I sleeps on one mattress, in this class there are about 40 people including children and elders and the number is keep on rising.”

Narration: This is the image looks like inside the school, it displays families from the Eastern borders of the strip live inside the school when the sunset is close. People start to make movement and everyone is busy preparing the requirements to break their fast prepare some food and drinks, the same is for Abu Ramadan and his family.

to the sound of explosions, fasting people break their Ramadan fast, some of them had their meals inside the classrooms while others eat at the corridors because there isn’t enough space.

Interview (Arabic) Abu Ramadan Yaseen, War Victim: “They have started bombing now. They will continue this the whole night. We could not sleep last night and I’m still awake till now.”

Interview (Arabic) Foad Arafat, War Victim: “We took refuge to the UNRWA schools because they provide protection in wartime. We are not supposed to be bombed here. However, we may be hit in this UNRWA school. They fire random missiles and do not know what they are hitting. There are 3 or 4 more families in the same class, so it’s not only us. We cannot have meals with other women, so men are staying separated from women.”

Interview (Arabic) Kamelia Kuhail, War Victim: “There is bombing every second. I was once going to the bathroom when a missile’s shrapnel fell next to me. My children have urinary incontinence because of fear.”

Narration: After breaking their fast, the men gathered in a circle in the corridor. They started discussing what happens in the country.

TIME CODE: 20:00_25:00

Interview (Arabic) Abu Ramadan Yaseen, War Victim: “Abu Ramadan: they are killing children, women and innocent people. They killed children from Shuhaiber family while they were playing on the roof.

Man to the left: Yes, I know them. two girls and a boy.

Abu Ramadan: they targeted them. What did they do? What was their fault?

Another man to the left: and they killed people who were fleeing from Al-Mansoura.

Abu Ramadan: they are children, what was their fault?

Man to the left: seventy people were killed today, but there is nothing to justify that.

Abu Ramadan: We want to live like other nations. Like the rest of the world. Every two or three years happens a new war and they kill young men.

Man to the left: they creatively kill children and cut trees. They destroy buildings too. Are they humans even?

Abu Ramadan: The whole world is silent. They are doing nothing for us. It is all for noting.

Man in the middle: if they want to be creative, they should send their soldiers man to man in the battlefield. It is not by using planes to kill children, women and old people.

Another man to the left: it is the Israelis habit from ages.

Abu Ramadan: What is the fault of those being killed? What is the fault of the children? Do children fire rockets?

Man in the middle: they say that children fire rockets. So drone rockets cut the children’s necks off their bodies because these children fire rockets.

Abu Ramadan: Yesterday in Shujaiya, they bombed many houses. What was the people’s fault? F16 rockets bomb big buildings on their residents. Why?

Man to the left: Yes, Al Batsh Family and Abu Kaware’ family for example.”

Narration: During the discussion, they heard the Isha’a call prayer in Gaza along with the sounds of the Israeli Army’s F16 planes that were bombing everywhere. Despite of fear and horror, the men gathered in the school’s square to pray Isha’s, asking Allah to protect them.

Interview (Arabic) Abu Ramadan Yaseen, War Victim: "I seek refuge in the Lord of the mankind, the sovereign of the mankind, the god of mankind, From the evil of the retreating whisperer who whispers evil into the breasts of mankind from among the jinn and mankind".

"God listen to him who praises him".

God is the great

O Allah, We ask you to make the Mujahedeen’s shots right. Oh Allah, put horror in the corrupting Israelis hearts. O Allah we ask you to bring their planes down, destroy their tanks and put horror in the hearts of their soldiers. O Allah, we ask you to make them paralyzed. Peace be upon the best human, Prophet Mohammed and his all companions.

God is the great.”

Narration: After finishing the prayer, sounds of firecrackers and Takbir were heard all over the school. Everybody was smiling and was delighted, in spite of the killing and destruction. Obviously, there was good news that spread, after 450 martyrs and more than 3000 until that day, As a resulted of an ongoing war by the Israeli Occupation on the Gaza Strip.

Interview (Arabic) Abu Ramadan Yaseen, War Victim: “The Palestinians captured an Israeli soldier; I hope they capture another one tonight. This is victory for us Insha’Allah. We will free all our prisoners and get all our demands with this soldier Insha’Allah.”

Interview (Arabic) Om Alaa Yassen, War Victim: “We did not want to imprison that soldier, but they themselves made us kidnap him. We did not want that from the beginning, but they made us do so.”

Narration: After the celebration, there were more explosions and raids, but everyone went to sleep in the school. At dawn, Abu Ramadan woke up to start a new day with unknown surprises.

Interview (Arabic) Abu Ramadan Yaseen, War Victim: “There is bombing and destruction every day. They have been bombing Al Shujaia neighborhood the whole night and everybody left it. There are many martyrs. Houses were destroyed and men, children and old men were killed. What life is this?”

Narration: A new morning comes to Gaza Strip while the war of destroying house on its residents continuous


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