Sunday, December 31, 2023

The Philadelphi Corridor : The Experience we do not go through

Updated on: 4/1/2024 

Up till now, there has been no official Egyptian 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on Saturday that the border area known as the "Philadelphi Corridor" or as known in Egypt “Salahudin Corridor” between Gaza and Egypt should be under Israeli control.

"The Philadelphi Corridor, or more precisely, the southern checkpoint (in Gaza), must be under our control. It must be closed. Any other alternative arrangement will not ensure the disarmament we are seeking." Netanyahu emphasized this in his weekly press conference following his cabinet meeting.

Expressing his belief that Israel's ongoing conflict in Gaza and other regions would persist for several more months, Bibi with a face botched with a makeup that failed to hide the impact of the war he launched on his health spoke about his plan concerning the Philadelphia Corridor despite Egypt’s warnings.

In October, Egypt issued a warning to Israel against conducting any military operations within the 100-metre-wide corridor, a region governed by the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty of 1979.

Last week the Egyptian informed sources denied that the Israeli army was operating in the Philadelphia Corridor according to Israeli media reports.

The week before, Israeli TV channel KAN reported that Egypt rejected a suggestion from Israel to deploy a joint security a joint Egyptian Israeli force on the Philadelphi axis near the border with the Gaza Strip. The Egyptian state is not stupid to be dragged to the fight.

Friday, December 29, 2023

How to Escape Israeli Shelling in a Gaza Market

Can you imagine the terror of escaping a military bombardment in a densely populated city? 

Israeli shelling of Rafah
This is how the Israeli shelling looks like in a civilian area in Rafah

This was the reality for Joe Jayyab, a young Palestinian content creator once dubbed “Palestine’s Youngest Travel Blogger” who turned into a military correspondent.  

A week ago, Jayyab and his brother ventured to a market in Rafah to purchase food supplies.

In a video captured by Jayyab, you can see just how close the shelling is to civilians.

Escaping Israeli shelling

According to Jayyab, Israel was targeting a UNRWA school that had become a refuge for hundreds, if not thousands, of families. Amidst the chaos, people were still attempting to buy their supplies in the market.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Gaza War 2023: This is what the real humans of Palestine say /are saying/said “Bethlehem’s silent Christmas edition”

“If Jesus - Peace be upon him - were to be born today, he would be born under the rubble. In Gaza!”

Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bethlehem.

22 December 2023

Sunday was Christmas Eve, but the usual festive spirit was noticeably absent at Christ’s birthplace in Bethlehem, located in the occupied West Bank.

Thousands of Christian Palestinians, residing in the land where Jesus Christ was born, chose not to celebrate Christmas as they have for countless centuries.

The Nativity Scene of 2023 at the Lutheran Church of Bethlehem
The Nativity Scene of 2023 at the Lutheran Church of Bethlehem 

The question arises: how can they celebrate when their fellow Palestinians are victims of the most severe genocide since the Nakba of 1948?

According to assessments by the Washington Post, based on interviews with Western experts, UN officials, and satellite imagery, Israel has waged one of the deadliest wars of this century in Gaza, lasting 80 days.

In this post, I will share the sentiments and actions of Christian Palestinians in Bethlehem during Christmas. 

This year, the usual festive mood was replaced by a sombre atmosphere.

The traditional Christmas tree and lively traditional Christmas Eve Procession by the renowned Palestinian scouts of the Patriarch of Jerusalem were absent.

Instead, the procession of the Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem scouts to Bethlehem turned into a silent protesting march in gloomy rainy weather as the heavens wept.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Al-Shifa babies are fine and okay in Egypt … let’s bring the rest of the premature babies from Gaza to safety

Many people have asked about the recent updates on the Al-Shifa premature babies in Egypt, and I have great news for you: they are okay, safe, and on the road to recovery from the challenges they've faced.

How do I know this? Thankfully, a team from the World Health Organization (WHO) led by Robert Holden, WHO emergency coordinator, visited the Administrative Capital Hospital on the outskirts of Cairo to assess the babies earlier in December.

There are currently 12 premature babies at the Administrative Capital Hospital. They were airlifted from Al-Arish due to their critical condition. Thankfully, they began to recover especially from malnourishment.

According to doctors at the Emirati Field Hospital in South Gaza, where the babies were transferred before heading to Egypt, most of the infants experienced severe hypoglycemia—a potentially life-threatening condition due to insufficient blood sugar levels. This resulted from their inability to consume an adequate amount of milk.

Al-Shifa Premature Baby
The most recent photo of the famous premature baby from Al-Shifa Hospital as
released by WHO at the administrative capital hospital in Cairo in early December

Ironically, during the visit, Dr Brennan identified our favourite baby, Rana, as a boy instead of a girl—the daughter of Rana. This revelation left me feeling a bit bewildered especially Palestinian doctors and journalists affirm that the baby is a girl.

Regardless of the baby's gender, what truly matters is what the WHO official said about the challenging start in life that the baby endured, having lost both parents and an eye.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Gaza War 2023: The Deir El-Balah massacre on 5 December in video and photos (+18 Graphic content)

 Describing the current situation involves recounting how I was focusing to work on this post on what happened to Deir El-Balah, only to discover that the Israeli army has committed at least two massacres, resulting in the loss of numerous civilian lives.

Regrettably, the international media appears indifferent to the ongoing casualties over the past 24 hours.

On Tuesday, the Israeli Occupation Army once again perpetrated a series of massacres against Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Top of Form

This time it was in Deir El-Balah, in central Gaza.

The Israeli shelling targeted a street in Deir El-Balah, precisely next to the home of Palestinian Photographer Motaz Azaiza. He captured the immediate aftermath of the shelling in both video and photos.

I compiled the videos that he shared on Instagram into an 11-minute unedited video, which I strongly recommend watching until the end. You can watch it on YouTube because it is restricted due to the graphic content. 

This footage provides an unfiltered glimpse into the current situation in Gaza.

Motaz Azaiza, despite being named GQ Middle East Man of the Year, couldn't even celebrate for a moment as he searched for his brother. 

Deir El-Balah's street after the Israeli shelling. 

Fortunately, his brother survived, but sadly, his neighbour and friend, Mohamed, lost his life.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Gaza War 2023: They are not journalists and photographers anymore; they are people facing genocide

"The stage of risking everything to bring you the news is over, and now the survival stage has started," said Palestinian photojournalist Motaz Azaiza on Saturday.

“I brought enough news to you, and God be my witness, it was for God and to serve my country,” said Azaiza as the Israeli army entered its second day of attacking Gaza after breaching the truce between it and Palestinian factions led by Hamas.

Bissan , Ismail and Motaz 

“We are now facing the start of internal siege; we can’t move to North or South.” The young Palestinian photographer, who was chosen as GQ Middle East’s Man of the Year 2023, described in a post in Arabic how the Israeli tanks surrounded central Gaza on both the Northern and Southern ends.

The message of Motaz Azaiza 

“Our situation is more dire than you can imagine,” Azaiza, who lost scores of his family members in this way, said.

“Remember: We are not content for you to share. We are a cause attempting to stay alive, alone.”

I've read what Motaz Azaiza has said and shared online, and I feel deeply concerned—worried for him and for other Palestinian reporters, photographers, and citizen journalists who, for two months now, have bravely conveyed the truth to the world.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

The Released detainees of Palestine : The World Forgotten Palestinian Children in Israeli prisons

Since November 24th, a truce brokered by Qatar and Egypt, with support from the U.S., has been held between the Palestinian factions led by Hamas and Israel. Tuesday marked the fifth day of the ongoing truce, subject to potential extensions.

While Cairo, Doha, Washington, and Gaza advocate for a ceasefire, Tel Aviv faces internal divisions. The current Israeli cabinet is at risk of collapsing as its right-wing ministers oppose any truce or exchange of captives, aiming for the continuation of aggressive colonial racist policies toward Palestinians.

Palestinian Fawzy Al-Junaidi
From the archives: The arrest of 16-years-old Palestinian Fawzy Al-Junaidi
 in occupied West Bank in December 2017 by Israeli forces

The Israeli army itself exhibits internal divisions, driven by the fear that a peaceful completion of a Palestinian detainees-Israeli captives exchange deal would signify another defeat for Israel.

Once again, Israel’s invincible army will be defeated by a militant group whose members wearing knock-off Adidas pants and slippers instead of boots in Gaza. That defeat would impact the image of the Israeli army in the region.

Until Tuesday, 60 Israeli captives, including women and children, have been released from Gaza in exchange for the release of 180 Palestinian detainees, mainly women and children, from Israel. Additionally, 21 captives, comprising 19 Thais, one Filipino, and one Russian-Israeli man, were released in separate deals.

Notably, Israel initially excluded Thais and Filipino workers from its negotiations, leading both the Philippines and Thailand to involve their Ministers of Foreign Affairs in discussions in Doha and Cairo.

Under ideal circumstances, no child, elderly person, woman, or unarmed individual should be taken captive or held hostage.

Following the truce deal announcement, the Israeli government has already published a list of 300 Palestinian detainees online. 

However, examining the disproportionate numbers of Palestinians, particularly children and women, unjustly detained in Israeli prisons and the harsh conditions they endure, one might comprehend the motives behind such actions.

It was a desperate action to release those detainees or rather hostages as they have been called by the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at the UN Security Council in New York on Wednesday. Since October 7, the Israeli occupation forces arrested about 3,365 Palestinians in the West Bank.

In the Arab world, we know this technique as Israel is trying to use these new detainees in the talks to release its hostages instead of the old Palestinian detainees already in Prison.

In the past five days, Western media coverage has once again focused on one side, perpetuating the demonization of the other.

Several overlooked facts, crucial to understanding the situation, include the illegality of Israel's presence in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights, as it constitutes an occupying force according to international laws and UN Security Council Resolutions, particularly Resolution No. 242.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Al-Shifa Hospital Premature Babies: All what We know about Rana, Halima’s Baby

When I shared the photo of the premature baby lying alone in an incubator, one eye open and the other injured, little did I anticipate that this image, offering a glimpse into the world of the renowned Al-Shifa Hospital's premature babies, would quickly go viral.

Premature Baby Rana of Gaza, the daughter of Halima Abd Rabou
Premature Baby Rana of Gaza, the daughter of Halima Abd Rabou
by Belal Khaled 

I felt a sense of joy, thinking that the narrative of this tiny fighter, who not only battled for her life as a preterm baby but also faced the additional challenge of being Palestinian, a life the Israeli army seemed indifferent to, resonated with many.

She was introduced in the Arab media as Baby Halima, named after her deceased mother. Regrettably, it later came to light that my information was inaccurate, stemming from a mix-up.

Now here is the correct information.

This is baby Rana Shamlakh, the daughter of Mrs Halima Abd Rabou.

According to photojournalist Belal Khaled of the AFP, baby Rana lost both parents, they are martyrs according to the official documents issued by the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The family are martyrs in Arabic  by Belal Khaled
The family are martyrs in Arabic 
by Belal Khaled 

It is unclear if the mother, Mrs Halima died during the delivery or in the war. 

There was a mix-up of information when Khaled, who is currently doing a tremendous job of transferring the image of what is happening in South Gaza, captured her famous photo at the Emirati field hospital and her medical record where she was introduced as the baby of Halima Abd Rabou.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Watch this: Long Live us and Long Live Palestine in video

In the wake of the 2023 Gaza War, a surge of Arab and Palestinian artists took to the internet to express their solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza through their art. This outpouring of creative expression is not a new phenomenon for the Arab world.

Long Live us and Long Live Palestine "Omar Rammal"
Long Live Us and Long Live Palestine "Omar Rammal"

On the contrary, Palestine and the Palestinian resistance have long been a source of inspiration for artworks across various mediums, including painting, literature, poetry, cinema, and music.

This time arts found a bigger and quicker platform online. I wanted to share samples of those artworks. After all, it is important to share with the world what we say because it seems that the world does not see us as humans. 

Please watch this short film by Palestinian director Omar Rammal. It went viral on social media across the Arab world in the past few days.

It is called “Long Live Us, Long Live Palestine.”
And yes, there are whole younger generations of Palestinians that won’t forget nor forgive.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Can we save Old Jerusalem's Armenian Quarter?

 On Saturday, the Patriarchs and heads of Churches in Jerusalem issued a joint statement declaring their total support and solidarity with the Armenian Patriarchate warning against Israeli settler takeover of Armenian Quarter land without saying explicitly.

It was the latest update in ongoing serious development that is not covered as it should in the media due to the ongoing ethnic genocide in Gaza by the Israeli army.

The statement of the Churches in Jerusalem and the Holy Land expressing deep concern about recent events in the Armenian Quarter of old Jerusalem.

They urgently appeal to relevant authorities to restore peace and harmony in the Armenian Quarter, emphasizing the need for legal negotiations to prevent further escalations.

Cathedral of Saint James in the Armenian Quarter
The door to the famous Cathedral of Saint James in the Armenian Quarter 
Arab Media considers it as a symbol of the Armenian Quarter 
with its words in Arabic "The Armenian Monastery"  

The statement of the Churches of Christianity's Holy Land comes after the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem issued a statement on Saturday pleading with them to stand with it in what it called "unprecedented times," saying that what has been happening in the past few days was "another clear step taken toward the endangerment of the Christian presence in Jerusalem and the Holy Land."

So, What is happening in the Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem's Old City?

Israeli Occupation Police aka IOP ordered local Armenians to vacate the Armenian Gardens, also known as the Cows' Garden, in the Old City of Jerusalem, alleging misappropriation of property.

How or why did this happen?

It turned out that the Armenian Patriarchate made a significant mistake, and there is now a genuine concern that this error may jeopardize the existence of the Armenian community in Old Jerusalem after 16 centuries of its presence.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Gaza War 2023: After 40 days and nights "Graphic"

After 40 days and nights since the commencement of the Israeli war supported by the West in Gaza, it becomes apparent that the objectives were not solely focused on freeing Israeli captives or eliminating Hamas.

After 40 days and nights, the toll stands at 11,320 Palestinians killed, predominantly civilians, with 4,650 children, 3,145 women, and 685 elderly among the victims due to the Israeli airstrikes, shelling and besiege. " Israeli airstrike killed at least 13 Israeli captives but their safety is not a priority for the Israeli Military as what it is important to them is to keep that fake military superiority alive"

father mourns his son after he was killed due to an Israeli airstrike  in Gaza last "AFP
A father mourns his son after he was killed due to an Israeli airstrike 
in Gaza last "AFP

These documented deaths represent only a part of the tragic toll. Currently, there are still 3,600 Palestinians, including 1,750 children, officially listed as missing, presumed to be under the rubble.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), during this period, a Palestinian child was tragically lost every 10 minutes on average.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Gaza War 2023 : This is what the real humans of Gaza say /are saying/said "Vol.1"

The people of Gaza have something to say to the world and you must hear them.

They are not those fake people of Gaza with fake terrible accents shown on Israel’s official accounts.

a boy from Gaza
A child looking at the dead body of his father
 before his burial in Khan Younes, Gaza 
by Belal Khaled 
First, the children of Gaza read this statement in a press conference in front of the famous Al-Shifa Hospital on 7 November.

“We want to live, we want peace, we want food, medicine and education; not bombs,” They said.

It seems that very few heard them because Israel intensified its attack against one of the few remaining hospitals standing.

The doctors at Al-Shifa Hospital persistently stand, dedicated to aiding patients and assisting thousands of families in search of a secure refuge amidst the horrors of war.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Gaza War 2023: Hospitals are still attacked by "white phosphorus" , forced displacements on Day 35

For the second consecutive day, Israeli forces persist in their attacks on Al-Shifa Hospital, with some units reportedly advancing in the North of Gaza.

Gaza's El-Shifa Hospital
El-Shifa Hospital is the only building with lights now in its area in Gaza 
Saber Nur El-Din for EPA 

Video and photographic evidence captured the Israeli army once again using white phosphorus while bombing the vicinity of the hospital.

Dr Khaled Abo Samra is from the doctors currently there and he posted this on Friday.

"We are enduring the most challenging moments within the confines of Shifa Hospital amid the brutality of Zionism. The Israelis have specifically targeted the maternity and outpatient buildings, opening fire and causing shrapnel to hit the complex. Those of us who remain, the doctors, are resiliently holding on, endeavouring to organize and multitask as nurses and cleaners. We consider ourselves an integral part of this land, and we make a solemn promise that we will not abandon our post until our last breath."

Israeli forces and their tanks reached the Al-Rantisti Children's hospitals and ordered the people to evacuate, only when the Palestinian people raised the white flags and their hands in surrender, they were shot by the Israeli military.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Gaza War 2023: The Israeli army unleashes R9X Hellfire on Al-Shifa Hospital “Warning: Graphic content”

Once again, we witness a real-time war crime being committed by the Israeli army, and the world seems indifferent, oblivious, and unresponsive.

Just a few hours ago, the Israeli occupation army deployed an AGM-114 Hellfire missile, also known as the R9X through a drone, in the yard of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, resulting in disturbing and graphic scenes of bloodshed that were captured on video. Here was the bloody moment, the missile hit the yard.

These are the remains of an Israeli artillery illumination round

“Warning: Graphic content”

At least one person lost his leg in this attack. Here is another angle for that young man who lost a limb in a few seconds. 

According to Palestinian activists and journalists, the Israeli army targeted the hospital’s yard next to the journalists' tent, close to where live stream cameras are mounted. People were sleeping as you can sleep.

The hospital yard has already been transformed into a shelter for internally displaced Palestinian families, including those of the injured.

Here is another video showing the moment the hospital yard was hit. 

The Hellfire R9X is an American air-to-ground missile, a variant of the Hellfire missile featuring a kinetic warhead with pop-out blades instead of explosives.

Commonly known as “Ninja missile”, the R9X has six blades flying at high speed, to crush and cut the targeted person.

It is designed allegedly for precision strikes against specific human targets. Its notoriety grew when the US military employed it to track down prominent Al-Qaeda figures, including Ayman El-Zawahary.

It is not the first time the Israeli army has used that type of similar weapons. In 2018, during the peaceful protests of “The Great Return March” which was organized by Palestinian Poet Ahmed Artema at the border fence, Israel fatally shot over 200 people and left 10,000 others injured. 

The Israeli forces used a novel type of ammunition called the "butterfly bullet," which detonates upon impact, causing extensive damage to tissue, arteries, and bone in the targeted individuals.

The Israeli army claims that the Hamas leadership is located beneath Al-Shifa hospital, which has been refuted as a false claim.

I think we saw in the videos that those who had their legs cut were simply Palestinian civilians who thought that they would be safe in the hospital!!

Non-Muslim Non-Arab doctors from Western countries who worked at this hospital were the first to deny these allegations, but the international community seems to be unresponsive.

Both the Palestinians and Hamas have called on the UN to inspect the hospitals to verify the truth of the Israeli allegations, but their pleas have largely gone unheard, and these hospitals remain largely undefended.

Here's a copyedited version of the paragraph:

Thursday evening alone, the Israeli army, often referred to as the "most moral" army in the world, launched attacks on four Gaza hospitals in a single night. First, they targeted Al-Rantisti Children's Hospital, rendering it inoperable.

It is like an inferno !! The Israeli army used white phosphorus missiles against the children’s hospital.

Then they directed their attack towards the Awada Hospital.

And yes, this is the “fire belt bombing”.

Then we had the attack on Al-Shifa hospital.

According to the health officials in Gaza, it is only a matter of hours before all hospitals in Gaza will be out of service.

The number of victims in Gaza and West Bank killed by the Israeli attacks reached 10,966 people in addition to 28,500 injured. According to the official numbers, 10,818 people have been killed so far in Gaza including 4,412 children and 2,451 women.

This week, Gaza's only psychiatric hospital became non-functional after sustaining damages due to an attack on 5 November.

According to the UNRWA, there 50,000 pregnant women are in Gaza, with over 180 giving birth every day.

Unfortunately, the Israeli army won't stop.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

#LateHumansofGaza: The lost lives of Egyptians in Gaza

On Monday, it was announced that Egypt managed to evacuate about 152 of its citizens from Gaza for the first time after 30 days since the start of the Israeli war.

The news came as videos began to resurface for Egyptians calling the Egyptian government to evacuate them as it helped foreign countries to evacuate their citizens through the Rafah border crossing.

Currently, there are extensive evacuation efforts underway, with over 7,000 citizens from more than 60 countries being evacuated from the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing. This operation is made possible thanks to Qatari mediation efforts.

According to some estimations, there are not less than 40,000 Egyptians alone in Gaza alone.

Some of them are Egyptians who married and lived in Gaza like for instance Mai Gamal.

Earlier on Friday, friends and colleagues of Egyptian feminist and researcher Mai Gamal announced that she was killed along with her Palestinian husband and all his family in an Israeli strike in Sheikh Radwan district.

May Gamal of Gaza victims
Late May Gamal 

The 1988-born moved to Gaza with her Palestinian husband in August 2021.

The “Tadwein” for Gender Studies NGO member continued to write about moving to the besieged strip. She also helped in launching the “Women under the Shelling” initiative dedicated to the women of Gaza and their needs under a war like no other.

She was a member of the Edraak Foundation for Development & Equality where she was the Director of the Support and Advocacy Unit and the founding researcher of the Observatory for Crimes of Violence against Women and Girls.

Mai Gamal is not the only Egyptian Citizen to be killed in the current Gaza war.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Gaza War 2023 : It is a textbook genocide that has been taking place for decades

Just as news, videos, and photos emerged from Gaza’s Jabalia Refugee Camp, showing a true war crime before our eyes, another piece of news circulated within the realm of human rights defenders.

Craig Mokhiber, the director of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), announced his resignation due to the United Nations' failure to protect civilians in Gaza.

His resignation letter sent to the High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk found its way to Twitter. It is a must-read.

Mokhiber, who joined the UN in 1992, has also served as the UN's Senior Human Rights Advisor in both Palestine and Afghanistan, leading a team of human rights specialists attached to the High-Level Mission on Darfur, among other roles. 

I encourage you to read this resignation letter, as it is essential

Dear High Commissioner,

This will be my last official communication to you as Director of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

I write at a moment of great anguish for the world, including for many of our colleagues. Once again, we are seeing a genocide unfolding before our eyes, and the Organization that we serve appears powerless to stop it.

As someone who has investigated human rights in Palestine since the 1980s, lived in Gaza as a UN human rights advisor in the 1990s and carried out several human rights missions to the country before and since this is deeply personal to me.

I also worked in these halls through the genocides against the Tutsis, Bosnian Muslims, the Yazidi, and the Rohingya. In each case, when the dust settled on the horrors that had been perpetrated against defenseless civilian populations, it became painfully clear that we had failed in our duty to meet the imperatives of prevention of mass atrocities, of protection of the vulnerable, and of accountability for perpetrators.

Survivor from Gaza's Jabalia Refugee Camp children on Tuesday
Survivors from Gaza's Jabalia Refugee Camp children on Tuesday 

And so, it has been with successive waves of murder and persecution against the Palestinians throughout the entire life of the UN.

High Commissioner, we are failing again. As a human rights lawyer with more than three decades of experience in the field, I know well that the concept of genocide has often been subject to political abuse.

But the current wholesale slaughter of the Palestinian people, rooted in an ethno-nationalist settler-colonial ideology, in continuation of decades of their systematic persecution and purging, based entirely upon their status as Arabs, and coupled with explicit statements of intent by leaders in the Israeli government and military, leaves no room for doubt or debate.

In Gaza, civilian homes, schools, churches, mosques, and medical institutions are wantonly attacked as thousands of civilians are massacred. In the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, homes are seized and reassigned based entirely on race, and violent settler pogroms are accompanied by Israeli military units.

Across the land, Apartheid rules. This is a textbook case of genocide.

Monday, October 30, 2023

#LateHumansofGaza: The Abu Sadas or how Israeli airstrikes hit the same family in the same spot twice in Palestine

The story began with the tragic killing of 24-year-old Hadeel Abu Sada in an Israeli airstrike on Jabalia Refugee Camp on October 16. This devastating event occurred on the very day of her wedding, which was postponed indefinitely.

I wanted to add her face and story to the #LateHumansofGaza post, to give her a voice and try to tell the world that she is not a number, she is a human.

Hadeel Abu Sada of Gaza
Late Hadeel was supposed to marry the cheerful young man behind her on 
16 October but fate had another plan and the wedding was called off to be
replaced with a funeral 

However, it evolved into another narrative, unveiling a broader background story that mirrors the plight of numerous Palestinians, be it in Gaza or the West Bank. No one prepared me for what I found.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

#NotNumbers : Late Humans of Gaza “Updated- Graphic material”

"And if they ask you about Gaza... Tell them:  In it, there is a martyr  nursed by a martyr  photographed by a martyr sent off by a martyr  and prayed for by a martyr"

----------------------------------------------------- Mahmoud Darwish on Gaza

With over 6500 people including over 1800 children killed and over 16,000 others injured as the medical care in the city of Gaza is on the verge of total collapse, this blog post is an attempt to give those numbers especially the killed ones a face and a name.

Angels in Gaza by Doaa El-Adl
Angels in Gaza by Egyptian illustrator and cartoonist 
Doaa El-Adl 

The victims of the Israeli attack on Gaza are not numbers, they were humans who had names, lives and dreams.

This blog post is dedicated to the humans of Gaza who are not numbers. 

It is updated.

On Thursday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza released a full report with the names of the victims from 7-26 October to fire back at the claims of US President Joe Biden that he did not trust the "Hamas" Health Ministry. 

Here is a link to the full report in Arabic with the information on the victims including full name, ages and gender. In the first two pages, you will find a whole family lost 88 people, a whole bloodline and generations !! 

According to the info released in the period from 7-26 October, 7028 people were killed including 2,193 children 

Warning: Readers’ discretion is advised.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Handala in the Pitch: How Naji al-Ali’s Palestinian National symbol took Egypt’s football world by storm

On Saturday, Zamalek SC faced off against Smouha SC in the Egyptian Premiere. In a powerful act of solidarity with the Palestinian people, the Zamalek players ensured that Palestine was front and centre in the game.

Handala and Egyptian footballers

They made their entrance into the stadium donning the Palestinian Kufiyah, although some have claimed it wasn’t the original design.

Zamalek SC's Fatouh wearing the Palestinian Kufiyeh "Photo: Zamalek SC"
Zamalek SC's Fatouh wearing the Palestinian Kufiyeh "Photo: Zamalek SC" 

During their warm-up session before the game, the players sported the official jersey of the Palestine team.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Gaza war 2023: The Baptist Hospital Massacre

For the past 72 hours, the world's attention shifted away from the ongoing situation in Gaza, marked by countless war crimes against its citizens, including the enduring inhuman siege. 

Instead, the focus turned to the defense of the Israeli army against allegations of bombing  Al-Ahli Al-Arabi Hospital, known among Palestinians simply as the Baptist Hospital.

Ahli Al-Arabi Hospital commonly known as the Baptist Hospital

Established in 1882, the Baptist Al-Ahli Al-Arabi Hospital, or the Baptist National Arab Hospital, stands as one of Gaza's oldest medical institutions. Managed by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, this institution is a unique complex encompassing both a church and hospital buildings.

The Dean of Jerusalem's St. George's College, Reverend Richard Sewell, who supervises the hospital, informed the BBC on Tuesday that, by the end of the previous week, approximately 6,000 displaced individuals, mostly Muslims, had sought refuge in the hospital's courtyard.

Gaza's Baptist Hospital in the early 19th century
Gaza's Baptist Hospital in the early 19th century 

In the preceding week, an Israeli airstrike caused damage to a section of the hospital complex. 

However, a heartwarming video shortly before the bombardment revealed that the courtyard had been transformed into a playground, offering a glimmer of solace to Palestinian children amid the relentless turmoil of war by volunteers like late artist Mohammed Sami. “A painter, Sami who recorded the video was killed in the bombing. It was his last video”

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Gaza War 2023: Why do those Gaza toddlers and babies shake like that? “Warning : Extreme Graphic”

In recent days, I've lost count of the distressing scenes I've witnessed in Gaza—lifeless bodies of children and women.

The countless instances of injured women and children have become a daily, agonizing ritual.

It's a heart-wrenching reality, and you can never become desensitized to it, given the relentless stream of horrifying images that flood in hour by hour.

Surviving an airstrike in Gaza
Baby girl holding on it her father with all force in Gaza after 
surviving an Israeli  airstrike 

However, certain videos have left me utterly shaken.

They depict heart-wrenching and shocking moments involving children, toddlers, and babies, unlike anything I've seen before, whether in this conflict or any other war."

Again warning: Extreme graphic material

Sunday, October 15, 2023

A Guide to Middle East Conflict: Why Egypt Opposes Resettlement or Hosting of Gaza's Palestinians in Sinai

I'm writing this post early on a Saturday morning, feeling truly exhausted, whether from the demands of news coverage or the emotional toll that the news itself takes on a person. "P.S. I am publishing this on Sunday morning; that's how drained I am."

It all started early Friday morning when we awoke to an Israeli ultimatum directed at the Palestinians residing in North Gaza, instructing them to move to the South due to an impending Israeli military operation despite the local and international rejection of such an order.

Rafah crossing from Egypt's side
Rafah crossing from Egypt's side 

Approximately 1.1 million people call North Gaza home. Many made the difficult decision to stay, driven by the desire not to repeat the mistakes of their forebears in 1948. Around 70% of Gaza's residents, particularly in the North, are descendants of Palestinian refugees who were displaced during the Nakba by Zionist terrorist gangs.

Their grandparents were promised they could return to their homes in cities like Yafa soon after defeating the Zionist gangs, but this promise turned out to be empty. Some believe that leaving their homes and land without putting up a fight was not a mistake, but a grave sin.

Now, some of their grandchildren and their families have chosen not to leave their homes in North Gaza and to remain. 

This decision was not influenced by claims that "Hamas stopped them," as falsely stated by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during his recent Mideast-Arab tour. How do we know this? Well, Palestinians in North Gaza still have access to the internet, and some have shared their last wishes.

While some Palestinians have managed to leave the area, others have embarked on a perilous journey to the unknown, once again becoming refugees in their own land.

Tragically, a convoy of cars carrying North Gaza residents was struck by an Israeli airstrike, resulting in the loss of at least 70 lives and leaving 200 others injured. We have received verified photos and videos, and the scenes are nothing short of horrifying.

Now, everything I mentioned above is directly tied to the central question posed in the title of this post: "Why does Egypt reject the resettlement/displacement/hosting of Palestinian refugees in Sinai as a means to shield them from this military operation? And why do the Palestinians also reject this proposal?"

This post helps clarify the situation. It is your guide. 

Thursday, October 12, 2023

October war 2023 : Reshaping the Middle East again

Why can't I write anything about the war in Palestine? Because it is so damn big, dangerous and changing to the level that I can say that it is from the events that can change the course of life in the Middle East. We are on the verge of a new Middle East

Also, I do not have time like in the past to cover what is happening there especially with the misinformation flood taking social media by storm, especially on Twitter. 

I found videos from Syria, Libya and even Palestine shared as videos from the Hamas attack and Israeli attack. I found rumours and crazy conspiracy theories that reached the level that the whole matter was a charade and Psyop !! Yes, a psyop. People are dead and dying and it is a psyop !! 

I found out that Russians and Ukrainians got involved along with the huge numbers of Hindutva trolls in India. 

Also, the war came at the time we were in Egypt getting for the Presidential elections and its circus, economic crisis with no end and other issues. Hell, I just want to write something about Presidential Hopeful Ahmed Tantawy before he gets into legal trouble for real.

It was like the last thing we expected or wanted in this critical time. It is unlike your usual Israel X Gaza’s militant groups fight that erupts annually. This is a full-swing war I can’t remember something like that. It is like those wars with Hezbollah in Lebanon. 

It also came at the same time Egypt was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 6 October 1973 war. “I prepared some posts, but I do not think I will be able to share anything now.”

Now let me share with you some Egyptian wisdom without any arrangement for real I compile what I think through the week. This is what I think.  "Professionally speaking, I cover this war from the Egyptian perspective in my work as a journalist."

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

“A quieter Middle East”: The other Middle East in parallel Universe

Two weeks ago, US President Joe Biden's National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said confidently in a public think tank meeting in Washington that the Middle East is quieter today than it has been in two decades.

Jake Sullivan

I do not know if he was serious, in denial, or demonstrating the US's true intent to leave the Middle East to deal with "its own shit." Whatever the case may be, I know that the Middle East is not quieter today than it has been in two decades. In fact, things are getting from bad to worse.

Let’s see the Middle East’s map and I will exclude the Palestinian territories.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Egypt in the past 10 days (Vol.2)

I could not update or write anything on the blog for ten days or something because whenever I started on something, another huge thing happened that needed attention.

At the same time, I battled some cold or the flu or that variant and it already weakened me as I realized firsthand how due to the economic crisis, the effective material in Egyptian medicines “once a top product of Egypt highly demanded in the Arab world” was reduced due to importation woes.

In fact, I do not know if they are ten days or more, but I know I was starting an attempt to do something about Egypt’s victims in Libya’s Derna Deluge tragedy. If my calculations are right, we have the biggest human loss for Egyptian expats across the borders.

Nevertheless, nobody is ready to speak about it or hear it.

Busy ten days 

I hate to say it, but I am trying to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the October War but the shadow of what is happening whether the elections circus or rather that battle of proxies on one side and the economic developments in the past 48 hours from another side do not give me a chance.

Needless to say, I feel that this is the quietest anniversary Egypt has seen so far despite all knowing that there are huge preparations for big celebrations involving air shows and so on because it is the jubilee. Maybe the airshows will be held on the Egyptians Air Forces Day.

Now here is a terrible summary of what is happening in Egypt and outside and you tell me how I can deal with all that.

The Menendez Halal’s bribe allegations

On 22 September, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams and the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation “FBI” James Smith unsealed the indictment charging US Senator Robert Menendez, his wife Nadine Arslanian Menendez and three other men including Egyptian-American Wael Hana aka Will Hana with federal bribery charges.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Kodak Agfa Presents: Moulid El-Nabi Dollies and Horses at El-Sayeda Zeinab 2023

Happy Moulid El-Nabi to all Muslims around the globe

Tonight, nearly one billion and a half Muslims around the world celebrate the birthday anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). This holiday is commonly known in Arabic as "El-Moulid El-Nabawy" and in Egyptian Arabic colloquial as "Moulid El-Nabi."

El-Moulid El-Nabawy is observed on the 12th of Rabi Al-Awwal in the Islamic calendar, which falls on September 27th this year. In Egypt, we will not have Wednesday off because the government declared Thursday a day off since 2020 whenever a public holiday falls on a weekday, exempting Eid Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha, and Coptic Christmas.

El-Moulid sweets boxes and dollies at Cairo's El-Sayeda Zeinab
Moulid Sweet's empty cartoon boxes 

To celebrate Moulid El-Nabi, I visited a makeshift market in El-Sayeda Zeinab, a popular neighbourhood in Cairo. I was originally planning to visit Bab El-Bahr, the centre point of making El-Moulid sweets, to see how the centuries-old authentic Egyptian sweets are still handmade today. However, due to work pressure, I found El-Sayeda Zeinab's market to be a quick refuge, and I am glad that I did.

I found a whole stand dedicated to the original Egyptian sugary Arouset and Housan, also known as sugary dollie and horse in Arabic.

Sugary Moulid horse and dollie at El-Sayeda Zeinab's El-Moulid El-Nabawy Market in Cairo
The Moulid dollies and horses stand at El-Sayeda Zeinab

It is widely accepted among historians that the origins of the current Moulid sweets in Egypt, especially Arouset El-Moulid (the "dollie") and Housan El-Moulid (the "horse"), can be traced back to the Fatimid era.

According to legend, in commemoration of the Prophet Mohamed's (PBUH) birthday, the Fatimid Sultan would lead a procession through the streets atop his horse, accompanied by one of his wives dressed in a white gown and adorned with an intricately decorated crown.

Sugary Moulid horse and dollie at El-Sayeda Zeinab's El-Moulid El-Nabawy Market in Cairo
The Moulid Housan or Horse with all its decoration

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Egyptian Presidential Race: Let the games begin

We are now on the road to the Presidential race, as Egypt’s National Elections Authority “NEA” announced the roadmap for the Egyptian Presidential elections on Monday.

According to the NEA, the presidential election race will kick off officially on 5 October and will end on 18 December, in case there are no runoffs.

Here is the roadmap for the 2023 Egyptian presidential election, as announced by (NEA):

September 25-October 4: Presidential hopefuls must secure endorsements from 20 MPs or 25,000 proxies from registered voters across at least 15 governorates, with a minimum of 1,000 proxies from each governorate.

October 5-14: The NEA will receive requests for candidacy from the presidential hopefuls.

October 16: The NEA will announce the official initial list of presidential candidates.

October 22: The NEA will announce the reason for any disqualifications.

November 9: The NEA will issue the final list of presidential candidates.

November 29: Electoral silence will begin abroad.

December 1-3: Egyptians abroad will vote outside Egypt.

December 8: Electoral silence will begin in Egypt.

Monday, September 25, 2023

New iOS Critical iPhone Update Sponsored by Egypt’s Presidential Race

If you are an iPhone user, you probably received a notification in the past few hours that you must update your iOS. In fact, if you have an iPhone, iPad, or iWatch, you must update your OS immediately with an important critical security update.

This critical security update is related to the Egyptian Presidential race, and the world owes its thanks to Egyptian Presidential hopeful Ahmed El-Tantawy for this update.

Ahmed El-Tantawy
Ahmed El-Tantawy

That's right.

Apple owes its thanks to El-Tantawy, the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab, and Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) for discovering a zero-day exploit chain for the iPhone.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Bibi and his new Middle East Map: No Place for a Palestinian State

There is a lot happening in Egypt and the world right now.

On Wednesday, two respectable veteran politicians declared their intention to run for the Egyptian presidency, surprising everyone considering that we all know the results in advance.

On Friday, Egypt was back in the US media for all the wrong reasons, with the story of Bob Menendez's "Hala Gate."

The day wasn't over before we found out that millions of iPhone users must update their iOS due to a security breach discovered by Citizen Lab, which found out that someone hacked presidential hopeful Ahmed Tantawy's iPhone!

There is too much to discuss and think about, but then I found Benjamin Netanyahu giving another speech at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, and I couldn't let it go.

I am already so tired and exhausted from covering the boring UNGA, the biggest annual international talking marathon, but...

Carrying a map to a semi-empty UNGA hall, Bibi presented the new Middle East he wishes to see, in which Israel and Saudi Arabia have official relations. As you can see, there is no mention of the Palestinian territories on the map.

Bibi's Middle East Map
Bibi's New Middle East map at the UNGA 78 in New York 

There is no place in the new Middle East for a Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967 borders. Bibi is sending a direct message that he rejects the two-state solution.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Road to Egypt’s Presidential Elections: Who was Sadat's Presidential Candidate-X? Open the Post to Find Out – It's Egypt-Level Crazy!

Do you remember that Presidential candidate who Mohamed Sadat spoke about several months ago!?

Do you remember how he said that this presidential candidate is from a military background and the civilian political powers as well as the Civil Democratic Movement had talks about him?

Mohamed Sadat stated that this presidential candidate X was having a thought about whether to run in Egypt’s upcoming presidential elections in 2024 or in 2023 according to Bloomberg.

People guessed names but he refused to confirm or deny. There was one single name floating around, but people did not believe it because it is unbelievable when you think about it. Belal Fadl said the name on his hit YouTube show on his popular YT channel, but I could not believe it because it was crazy.

Hisham Kassem , Emad Gad and Candidate X 

Prominent Egyptian political Emad Gad published on his official Facebook account on Thursday a post calling President Abdel El-Fattah El-Sisi not to run for another presidential period thanking him for what he has done in the past year.

"The upcoming president will be a transitional leader, followed by a civilian president after opening up the public sphere, allowing freedom for political parties, and abolishing parties based on religious grounds according to the constitution. Then, the trust between civilian political leaders and state institutions and their agencies will be built.” Gad said.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Death in Derna: After the 9/11 Deluge

If you think there is a disaster in Derna, think again. This is not just a disaster, it is a catastrophe. A deluge has wiped out nearly 25% of the city, making the rest uninhabitable.

This is a deluge of biblical proportions, and it happened on September 11, marking the day that Libya will forever remember as its worst natural disaster in modern history.

Derna after storm Daniel
A photo from Derna on Tuesday after Storm Daniel by PIX 

Photos from Planet Live Satellite show the before and after of Derna City, and they speak for themselves about the scale of the catastrophe that Libyans have had to endure alone so far.

Derna on 2/9 and on 12/9 
Benjanim Strick and Planet 

According to the latest official numbers from Libya, over 3,000 people have died while 10,000 are missing.

Egyptians Lost in the Floods

The first batch of bodies of Egyptians who died in Derna began to cross the borders and return home on Tuesday.

The first batch was 150 Egyptians who were identified and transferred to the Tobruk Health Center's morgue in food trucks, as the morgues in Derna's hospitals had no space.