On December 9, 2008, I introduced Sam Habeeb, a twenty-something photo journalist and humanitarian worker in Gaza:
Yesterday, Sam received three death threats against him and his family because of his reports from Gaza:
I spoke with Sam today. His life is in danger from death threats and also the bombs that are very close to his home.
I have got more calls from anonymous persons stop blogging or I would be killed. Yet, I would keep on this track. Some of you do wonder how I send news in such conditions. I really suffer a lot to send you this update due to lack of power. I go around 4 kilo meters a day in this cruel war where I charge my laptop battery to be able to send this work! This is very risky since shells rain down and drones hover over me! I will keep this up...
[There is] No water, No beans, No fruits, No chicken, No rice, No bread, No Markets, No shops, No Medicines, No medical Machines, No enough Doctors, No enough ambulances, No fuel, No gas, no beans, no candlelight, No power, No Internet...
Have a look at Gaza Children:
I have only met Vittorio Arrigoni on the Internet. Vit reported on January 9, 2009:
Take some kittens, some tender little moggies in a box," said Jamal, a surgeon at the Al Shifa, Gaza's main hospital, while a nurse actually placed a couple of blood-stained cardboard boxes in front of us. "Seal up the box, then jump on it with all your weight and might, until you feel their little bones crunching, and you hear the last muffled little mew." I stared at the boxes in astonishment, and the doctor continued: "Try to imagine what would happen after such images were circulated. The righteous outrage of public opinion, the complaints of the animal rights organisations…" The doctors went on in this vein, and I was unable to take my eyes off those boxes, sitting at our feet. "Israel trapped hundreds of civilians inside a school as if in a box, including many children, and then crushed them with all the might of its bombs.
What were the world's reactions? Almost nothing. We would have been better off as animals rather than Palestinians, we would have been more protected."
At this point the doctor leans towards one of the boxes, and takes its lid off in front of me. Inside it are the amputated limbs, legs and arms, some from the knee down, others with the entire femur attached, amputated from the injured at the Al Fakhura United Nations school in Jabalia, which resulted in more than fifity casualties. Pretending to be taking an urgent call, I took my leave of Jamal, actually rushing to the bathroom to bend over and throw up.
A little earlier I'd been involved in a conversation with Dr. Abdel, an ophtalmologist, regarding the rumours that the Israeli Army had been showering us with non-conventional weapons, forbidden by the Geneva Convention, such as cluster bombs and white phosphorous. The very same that the Tsahal Army used in the last Lebanese war, as well as the US air force in Falluja, still violating international norms. In front of Al Auda hospital we witnessed and filmed white phosphorous bombs being used about five hundred metres from where we were, too far to be absolutely certain there were any civilians underneath the Israeli Apaches, but so terribly close to us all the same.The Geneva Treaty of 1980 forbids white phosphorous being used directly as a war weapon in civilian areas, allowing it only as a smoke screen or for lighting.
There's no doubt that using this weapon in Gaza, a strip of land concentrating the highest population rate in the world, is a crime all on its own. Doctor Abdel told me that at Al Shifa hospital they don't have the medical and military competence to say for sure whether the wounds they examined on certain corpses were indeed provoked by white phosphorous bullets.But on his word, in twenty years on the job he had never seen casualties like those now being carried into the ward.