I received a message from the photojournalist and peace activist Sameh Habeeb from Gaza while I was looking at the news in the Austrian TV, which pierced my ears with talk about the rockets which Hamas supposedly shoots at the "innocent Israeli occupation" which has jailed one and half million in Gaza since before Al-Aqsa Intifada broke out.
The rockets shown on Austrian TV looked to me like the fancy Bengala Rockets which are shot here while celebrating new year, and the clips shown on TV raise many questions:
- The picture published at the ORF website is credited to "MOHAMED SABER/EPA". Those are two first names and no family name. Who is this person? Why does he not present himself with a family name as any Arab would do? Does he exist at all or is he a fabrication?
- The rockets depicted in that picture (and on the video) look more like the fancy bengalas which can be bought in many shops all over the world before festivities than any known weapon.
- These so-called "rockets" appear to not have place for fuel or an engine, but they are supposed to fly 10-15Km ? How do they accomplish this miracle?
- How did ORF and other western media come into possession of this video which supposedly shows "Hamas fighters" shooting rockets from between fruit trees? Was it distributed by the Israeli embassy? Neither Austrian nor other western journalists are known to go to Gaza, so they can only have received them from the Israeli government, and that is what a link to exactly there from the ORF page suggests.
- If the firing of these rockets from Gaza can be doubted, from where else could they have been fired? From within Israeli territory perhaps? Could it be that the firing of these rockets is a propaganda campaign implemented by the IDF in order to "justify" a long-planned massacre against the people of Gaza?
- Could it be that the IDF is using the inhabitants of Sderot, Asqelon and other places around Gaza in order to construct a justification for genocide against a people who are already half hungered to death?
- Why did nobody ask these questions before showing the clip at several European TV stations? If western media are not sloppy in their research and their checking of sources but still publish material which is obvious propaganda, is it possible to say that this irresponsible and less than professional attitude, the wholesale regurgitation of Israeli propaganda, is tantamount to complicity in the genocide against the Palestinian people?
Even in the unlikely case that these rockets are "real", they would be an understandable yet lamentable reaction to years of illegal siege and murderous mayhem perpetrated by the Israeli regime. In this case they would be "rockets of hunger", wholly justified under international law, which allows an invaded people to defend itself with anything at their disposal.
The Israeli occupational regime is preparing to slaughter the besieged people of Gaza, and it is known that they are currently running a strong propaganda campaign around the world, controlling the international public opinion and turning their own crimes against humanity into "reactions" of the Gaza rockets.
The less than objective international media has adopted the Israeli propaganda wholesale, and continues repeating their falsified stories as a preparation for destroying Gaza over the heads of one and a half million mostly defenseless people, of whom about half are children.
Non of the European media has shown an objective picture about the real situation in Gaza, which is in fact and effect a concentration camp. Even during the previous truce between Israel and Gaza, the criminal state of Israel continued its blockade to hunger out and destroy to the Palestinians in Gaza.
I would ask the well-paid international dispensers of propaganda and the world governments some simple questions:
If somebody jails you in a ghetto for over six years, or even six days, denying you the most basic of human rights, continues blockading the ghetto, killing the sick people, occupying the sky, shelling, and killing people for no discernible reason, will you stay a peaceful people for even a second?
Is there any peace under the continued hunger and blockade?
This is the story of Gaza and of these useless rockets which you are using to justify the Israeli genocide, murdering, and jailing and starving people.
The message from the hungry people of Gaza, a voice lost under western propaganda and which more people should hear, follows. And here are more photos of the hungry Palestinians of Gaza.
Sameh Habeeb writes:
My Misery in Gaza pushed me to report on the Hunger of my people. I stopped by al shanty bakery mid of Gaza City. It is one of the biggest bakeries across Gaza which provides tens of thousands with bread. Hundreds of people crowded outside the bakery in a very long long row waiting for bag of bread. Children, women and men were awaiting the chance to have the bread which is totally running out in Gaza.
Abed Mas’od, 24, is a labour working in Al shanty bakery. I spoke to him whilst he was very busy preparing bread for thousands. I managed to get some information out of him.
Before the deadly crisis of bread which started 2 days ago; this bakery was preparing 30 bags of flour. But with today it makes around 100 each bag weights 60 Kilograms. Abed refers to this rise of bread-making quantity to the unrecorded request of population for bread which came after Israel ban flour into Gaza and closed borders.
"Our bakery is out of bread since days and what we have is only for another 24 hours. In fact, we have stopped our work yesterday as we ran out of flour. Now, we use grain (fodder) used for animals which will finish in hours." Bakery labor said.
Amongst the crowd a woman’s voice arose above all people in the row. She started to scream and appealed for God requesting a salvation and easing for life conditions. I came closer to the woman, then introduced myself and then started to ask her some questions. The woman, Om Ali Shoman,45, with a pale bleak face draws the suffering of entire populations.
She said, "This is our destiny. It’s a conspiracy machinated against us. What’s the fault of my children at home to stay with no bread. Did they fire rockets? Did they kill Israelis? Are they holding guns?
The number of Gaza bakeries is 47 but now the working ones are 14 only.
Normally, Gaza needs 450 tons of flour; 100 goes for bakeries and 300 for house use. Part of the house share flour is being provided by UNRWA which halted its work lately. The remaining flour and wheat quantities would be covering the needs of people except for few days.
Sameh A. Habeeb, B.A.
Gaza Strip, Palestine
Kawther Salam is a Palestinian journalist. She had a career of over 20 years working for various newspapers and TV stations in Palestine. She forced to live in the Exile in Vienna since 2002.
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