Saturday, March 14, 2009

Collateral damage

Testimony from the Abed Rabbu family in Palestine during Operation Cast Lead. (Israel's most recent military campaign in the Gaza Strip which started two days after Christmas Day last year).

From here: “I saw two soldiers standing outside of the tank. One of them was eating chips, and the other was eating chocolate. They kept looking at us, but without saying a word. A third soldier got out of the tank but stayed on it. He had a white complexion. He was wearing a gray cap, and he had his hair braided. He was carrying an M16 assault rifle. He had two or three stars on his shoulders, I can’t recall. He looked at us, pointing his gun, and then fired."

Khaled says he heard more than 12 bullets fired at his family. His daughter Amal was struck in the chest. Suad was shot multiple times in the chest, almost ripping her small body in half. Samar too was struck in the chest and stomach, and left with two five-centimetre holes in her back where the bullets exited her body. His mother was also struck in her left arm and lower back and fell to the ground. Khaled further describes the horrific scene:

"We tried calling an ambulance to save mother and my daughter Samar, who was still alive because she had a pulse when I checked, but I had no reception. I covered my three daughters, and my brothers and I began placing cotton on their wounds. My brothers Ahmad and Mahmoud were trying to treat mother and my daughter Samar, but we couldn’t because the two holes in her back were large; about five centimetres diameter. I couldn’t bear looking at my daughters. I sat inside the house for two hours or more, while everybody was crying out for help by calling ambulances and the neighbours. One of our neighbours, who worked as an ambulance driver and medic, tried to help us. He lives 70 meters away from our house but couldn’t leave the area because the whole area was besieged by the Israeli troops. Anyway, he tried to help us, but the tank shelled his ambulance and destroyed it.”

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