Headline News


Unbreakable blood-ties in the shadow of Gaza warfare

Source: Xinhua | 01-12-2009 17:34

Special Report:   Israel airstrikes in Gaza

by Hossam Hamdan, Hua Chunyu

RAMALLAH, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Sara Ajrami, from the Gaza Strip, couldn't stop her tears every night when she sits in her daughter's home in the West Bank city of Ramallah, watching news about the embattled coastal enclave.

Sad TV stories from Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, where her home is located, keep enwrapping the 63-year-old Gazan and make her terribly grieved.

Sara traveled to Ramallah about four months ago to cure her eye disease, after getting permit from Israel allowing her to be treated in a specified hospital in Ramallah.

Though Sara's eyes have recovered, she could not return to her home in Jabaliya after Israel's massive military offensive on Gaza started more than two weeks ago.

"I want to go back to my home in Jabaliya, and go back to my families, but I couldn't," Sara told Xinhua, with tears rolling in her eyes.

"Since Israeli army invaded Gaza, I sit every day, from night till morning, watching TV, and keep calling my families to make sure that they are still alive," she added.

Sara has asked the Israelis, through the Palestinian National Authority, to issue her a permit to go back, but did not get any answer.

Palestinians cannot travel between the West Bank, where PNA Chairman and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds sway, and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip without a permit from Israel. Since the war started on Dec. 27, Israel did not allow anyone to enter Gaza.

On Saturday, bad news came, Israeli army arrested Sara's brother Mahmoud from his home in Jabaliya, and there is no message about what happened to his family.

"We kept watching TV, and kept calling my sister each hour until we get information that my brother was released after the army found that he was wounded," Sara said.

"I was terrified when I got the phone call from another daughter of mine, saying that my brother was wounded, and I couldn't sleep until I talked with him via phone, getting to know that he was treated and came back from Shifa hospital in Gaza City."