The BBC reported:
Some 50,000 Palestinians have been left homeless by the Israeli war on the people of Gaza, with 400,000 now lacking access to running water. Rebuilding what the Israeli military destroyed will cost billions of dollars…Israel called a ceasefire on Saturday, saying it had met its war aims. Hamas later declared its own truce, with one of its leaders claiming a "great victory" over Israel. Palestinian medical sources say at least 1,300 Palestinians were killed, nearly a third of them children, and 5,500 injured during the conflict. Thirteen Israelis, including three civilians, were killed.
The director of operations for UN aid agency in Gaza, Unrwa, told the BBC that the weapons used by the Israeli military had caused "horrific" injuries to children.
"These are not scratches or bullet wounds, these are kids who are hit by shrapnel in most instances," John Ging said.
Arab foreign ministers meeting on the sidelines of an economic summit in Kuwait City have meanwhile failed to agree on a unified statement on Gaza because "some are entrenched in their positions", Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari has said.
Still in shock and awed by the misery that is Gaza and seeing all things connected, as I read the above; I recalled this reflection on Iraq I wrote shortly after the USA bombed Baghdad.
Excerpted from KEEP HOPE ALIVE
Chapter 13: CATS AND COMPASSION
Terese absentmindedly caressed the pristine one hundred sheet Official Mead Composition notebook during breakfast. Terese had been writing poetry for years, but refused to let anyone read any of it. She even refused Jake and had a secret ritual. The first full moon after she completed a book, she would light a fire at 1 a.m. in the fire pit where Jake barbequed. She would read her words one last time by the light of the moon, then toss in the Official Mead Composition notebook. She would walk in circles as it burned, and only after the embers died did her ritual circular walk.
After breakfast, she brushed her teeth, grabbed her backpack, and set off into the woods, pondering, “I have been wrestling with this idea for a book for too long. Will this try end up in the fire, too? As always, I do not know; I never know anything before I begin, and as long as I stay open to learn as I go, it will be okay, okay. Christ have mercy on me and help me, please! How do I explain concrete walls to little children, and why men choose violence? How do you explain irrational adult behavior to little ones? Why do men choose hatred, injury, discord, error, and darkness to love, pardon, unity, truth, and light? Why is that? Christ have mercy on us all!”
Terese sighed deeply and immediately became aware of the sun’s rays filtered through the thickly canopied trail, and sensed the scurrying of small creatures around her, who were camouflaged beneath the thick carpet of leaves she tread upon. At the end of the trail, a gazebo had been erected in memory of a fallen soldier in a long ago war. Terese blessed herself as she entered, then opened her backpack, removed three gel pens and the one hundred sheet Official Mead Composition notebook, and groaned, “Okay, okay.”
Terese stared at the upper left corner of the virgin leaf of paper in her Official Mead Composition notebook and sighed as she chewed the end of a gel pen. After a few deep breathes, she set the tip down at the uppermost intersection of the red vertical line and the first of twenty-four horizontal blue lines, and watched in amazement as words filled the page:
I am an old crone now, but I once was your age.
I remember, when I was seven years old, I saw a picture in the newspaper of a little naked girl running in terror from a mushroom cloud, and I wondered, why did that girl have to run for her life in her hometown, when in mine, everyone was safe and happy?