Gaza's pain will go on and on

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WORLD'S INDIFFERENCE: Palestinians helpless in the face of Israeli aggression

.NOT many people are surprised at the ongoing attacks against Gaza. Zionist Israel will not allow Gaza to rest until it is annihilated from the face of the earth, say Gaza watchers.

There's no authority anywhere in the world that can stop this from happening.

If the people of Gaza are harbouring any hope that some world policeman would come to their assistance, they are grossly mistaken. But the people of Gaza have no such dreams, which means that they must fight their own battle to survive.

If the fight is a fair one, then the stage may be different. Rockets against F-16s? Home-made bombs against tanks and sophisticated military ware? Stones and bricks against automatic rifles and machine guns?

To the Zionist regime and their allies, the people of Gaza are terrorists, regardless of whether they are in uniform or not. To the people of Gaza, these "terrorists" are freedom fighters. They are patriots.

The battle over Gaza is about a homeland and about sovereignty over a small piece of land they call their own. Over the years, this piece of land has shrunk in size as Zionist Israel keeps encroaching and converting the land into Israeli homes.

You see, Gaza is an occupied territory. Commercial transactions in Gaza are done using the Israeli currency, the sheqal. It's now the new sheqal. One Israeli new sheqal is the equivalent of about seven or eight sen.

An Israeli act of aggression is to be feared, I can tell you from personal experience. I was in Gaza on a humanitarian mission a few years ago where I first encountered Israeli aggression.

My group and I were visiting several areas where Israeli bombs had destroyed homes and farms. The survivors were gathering food and trying to salvage whatever belongings from the rubble of what were once their homes.

Most of us didn't see it at first until a fellow relief worker pointed to an air show that was going on near us. A couple of Israeli F-16s were hovering above us as if they were about to unleash another round of attack.

There were five other Malaysian relief volunteers with me on that day, and we were busy looking for shelter. But an old Gazan caught hold of me and asked what was I trying to do.

After I said that my friends and I were looking for shelter, the old man smiled and said: "No point. There's no shelter from an Israeli attack in Gaza. We all can die here any time, anywhere. We are not safe even in our homes."

Which led me to believe that there will never be peace in the Gaza Strip. A fighting Gaza is of great use to Israel. It gives the Zionist regime the justification to amass arms and use Gaza for target practice.

Gaza can never win in its fight against the Israelis, given the hopeless situation they are in. The best solution is political intervention. But there seems to be little political will across the globe that can provide an enduring solution to the fighting in Gaza.

I recall the words of Father Manuel Musallam, the man the whole of Gaza referred to as "The priest of the million". I met him in his downtown office in Gaza.

"My son, this is not a war of religion. This is about our homes. My family home has been destroyed, my land taken. In Gaza, we Christians and Muslims are brothers, locked in a brotherhood, embraced in pain, perpetual suffering and inevitable death."

In the next few days, we will witness more destruction and death. Like in all previous tales of Gaza atrocities, such images seldom move the world to the one thing everyone wants -- a real move to end the wanton killings.

An injured Palestinian child in a hospital following an Israeli air raid in Beit Lahia, the northern Gaza Strip, yesterday. Israeli airstrikes hit the cabinet headquarters of Gaza’s Hamas government, with witnesses reporting extensive damage to the building. AFP pic

Father Manuel Musallam says Muslims and Christians in Gaza are united in pain


Ahmad A. Talib is Media Prima executive director of news and editorial

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