A psychologist described the initial Israeli attack in Gaza City as "like an earthquake on top of your head," the London Guardian said.[1]  --  In the London Independent on Sunday, wrote:  "I am safe, and yet I feel like a walking dead person.  Everything around me shows it.  It is hard to write something of any coherence while exposed to cold winter air and to the smell that lingers after the detonation of Israeli bombs."[2] ...

1.

World news

Israel and the Palestinian territories

'AN EARTHQUAKE ON TOP OF YOUR HEAD'
By Dr. Eyad Al Serraj

** A practicing psychologist in Gaza City describes his family's terror as the Israeli attack begins **

Guardian (London)
December 27, 2008

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/27/gaza-attack-eyewitness

The bombing went on for about 10 minutes. It was like an earthquake on top of your head. The windows were shaking and squeaking. My 10-year-old was terrified, he was jumping from one place to another trying to hide. I held him tight to my chest and tried to give him some security and reassure him. My 12-year-old was panicking and began laughing hysterically, it's not normal. I held her hand and calmed her and told her she would be safe. My wife was panicking. She was running around the apartment looking for somewhere to hide.

We live on the ground floor so we headed to the basement.

Not very far from our home is the headquarters of the police and there was a massive bomb. The chief of police was killed. Two streets away there was another bomb and more people were killed. The office of the president is about one kilometer from our house and it was also bombed.

We went downstairs to the basement and tried to hide ourselves from the shelling. The child of one of our relatives, who lives in our building, finally came home from school. We hadn't been able to find her. All the phone connections were jammed. She came home and she was in a very serious state of shock. She was pale and trembling and she was describing dead bodies in the streets. On her way home she passed Hamas people in uniform and they were dead.

I had been very apprehensive when I woke up this morning. I had some bread, some cheese, and a glass of tea. Like all the people in Gaza I felt that something was going on and something very serious. When Israel allowed the delivery of food and fuel [when it ended the blockade of Gaza yesterday] I said to myself and my friends that Israel is really planning a massive strike. They don't want to be blamed for starving the people.

I was sitting in the living room with my family trying to figure out what to do today for lunch, it's our main meal. What to cook and how to cook, whether we have enough to eat. There was no rice so I wanted to have lentil soup and my wife said: "No, there's no lentils in the market." I said: "What else can we do?" She said: "I bought some cans of food." We were discussing this when suddenly the whole thing erupted. Suddenly there was a big explosion.

Right now I feel very anxious about what's going to happen. I'm worried about how many more people are going to die.

2.

World

Middle East

INSIDE GAZA: 'THE HOSPITAL MORGUES WERE ALREADY FULL. THE DEAD WERE PILED ON TOP OF EACH OTHER OUTSIDE.'
By Sami Abdel-Shafi

Independent on Sunday (London)
December 28, 2008

Original source: Independent on Sunday (London)

GAZA CITY -- I am safe, and yet I feel like a walking dead person. Everything around me shows it. It is hard to write something of any coherence while exposed to cold winter air and to the smell that lingers after the detonation of Israeli bombs. They must have been massive. During the bombing I opened all the windows around my apartment to avoid them imploding as a result of the vacuum shocks sweeping through Gaza City after each enormous bang. While the bombing continued, I jumped down two flights of stairs to my father's house, to make sure he was O.K. Should I open up all his windows too? That would expose the old man to the risk of illness. We have no medical care or medication. However, the risk from shattering glass was greater, so I opened them all.

Mobile phones did not work, because of electricity outages and the flood of attempted calls. I flipped the electricity generator on so that we could watch the news. We wanted to understand what was going on in our own neighborhood. However, this was impossible. Israeli surveillance drones flew overhead, scrambling the reception. All I could do was step outside, where I found crowds of frantic people, lines of rising smoke, and the smell of charred buildings and bodies that lay around targeted sites nearby. Somebody said the bombs had been launched in parallel raids over the entire Gaza Strip. What was the target here? Perhaps a police station about 200 meters away. Other bombs annihilated blocks less than a kilometer away, where one of the main police training centers stood. When the strikes began, a graduation ceremony for more than 100 recruits in a civil law enforcement program was under way. These were the young men trained to organize traffic, instill civil safety, and maintain law and order. Many of them were killed, it is said, in addition to the Gaza Strip's police chief.

News came by word of mouth. There had been more than 150 deaths and more than 200 people were injured or missing under rubble after the first two hours of bombing. Israel had said it would continue the offensive and deepen it if necessary. Likewise, it was said that Hamas had launched more rockets at southern Israeli towns, causing one death and four injuries. Gaza had never seen anything like the numbers of dead bodies lying on its streets. Hospital morgues were already full. The dead were piled on top of each other outside.

Bombs targeting a Hamas security force building badly damaged an adjacent school, and several children were injured. We heard of many other targets around the Gaza Strip. It reminds me of the "shock and awe" campaign the Allies launched over Baghdad in 2003. But shock and awe did not bring stability or peace.

These bombs were launched by Israel, as we had known they would be. The world watched the situation simmer then boil over, but did nothing. There are some who believe that hell is divided into different classes. The ordinary people of Gaza have long been caught in the tormenting underworld. Now, if the world does not heed what has happened here, our situation will worsen. We will be trapped in the first class of hell.