P B B Y

Testimony of al Shawka Librarian

Sunday 31 August 2014 by admin

Testimony of Mahmoud Al Hissi

(pictures of destruction near the library area (where he also lives)

On Wednesday morning after my wife prepared the food for the last meal before day break, and half an hour before the call to prayer, and as we started eating, shells started falling like rain and maybe more. My parents and brothers started screaming with voices higher than the sound of the shelling. We forgot about the food and that we are in the month of Ramadan.
Fear and terror were on all faces, screaming from everywhere, smoke covering the whole of the Shawka area, fire everywhere. My father’s mobile rang and there was a voice screaming asking my father to help. ”we are burning with our home. We will die. My brothers and I are under ruins. Help us (come to our help). We started calling the civil defense and ambulance. The civil defense and the medical teams entered from the beginning of the street the Saladin way, and went back to where they came from. I was waiting at the western side of the house. I saw them and called them. I told them to come forward but he said “sorry death will catch up with me. There is a shell in front of the car. I cannot come forward. It is death my brother, I cannot. I need coordination”. After at least two hours a Red Cross car approached the house but stood in front of it. It was afraid to come forward because the situation was really tragic, destruction everywhere.
At six o’clock or before, with the sunrise, we heard a voice calling out in the street, “ah dad, dad, mom, mom.” They entered our house and the women and children were screaming. Screaming here and there. About five families entered our house. Women were crying and the children scarred and in horror. A shell every second. fear and crying. Children atop their mothers and women holding on to their men. A painful situation. I cried over the children. The women are shouting “They slaughtered us, help us, where are the Arabs”? Their faces turned yellow and green. I swear the children’s faces changed to many colors by the minute as if it is a clock that does not work. When will the ten o’clock truce come? Oh please God make it closer. Finally it came and the bombing stopped. A quarter of an hour later coming out of our houses like the day of marching. Some people were leaving the village and some going to check on their homes.
Another neighbor had a shell on his bed. He told us that he was sleeping on the bed when the house was bombed but managed to run from his bed. God gave me a new life, he said. His room was on fire.
From my fear I could not put out the fire or even call the civil defense teams. Fear, death, everyone was repeating these words. Another neighbor says “run away”; there is a shell over the window. I understood and ran to the ground floor. Thank God until now the losses are material ones. I reached the man who called my father. He was saying “there were five shells. The building has two floors and it was all on fire. I ran with my family to every room in my house. The house is all burnt. I swear I saw it all smoke. God is great”.
They now have a new life. The house glass is all over the floor. The blankets, the mattresses and the television are on fire. The doors, the curtains, the couches, the whole house from the other side is falling apart. We helped him put off the fire in the house. At one o’clock the truce was violated. They have two hours. They all ran away, nobody in the house. A minute after the shelling stopped I remembered the migration of my forefathers. Everybody is leaving their house and running away. Oh God, all the residents are leaving, it is a catastrophe. Our neighborhood remained united, they don’t want to leave. Oh, what happened that day, I wish I had run away with the rest. The truce ended at three o’clock. I will tell you in the memoirs of the next day about our neighborhood’s exit from the area under shelling and fire.

On Wednesday morning after my wife prepared the food for the last meal before day break, and half an hour before the call to prayer, and as we started eating, shells started falling like rain and maybe more. My parents and brothers started screaming with voices higher than the sound of the shelling. We forgot about the food and that we are in the month of Ramadan.
Fear and terror were on all faces, screaming from everywhere, smoke covering the whole of the Shawka area, fire everywhere. My father’s mobile rang and there was a voice screaming asking my father to help. ”we are burning with our home. We will die. My brothers and I are under ruins. Help us (come to our help). We started calling the civil defense and ambulance. The civil defense and the medical teams entered from the beginning of the street the Saladin way, and went back to where they came from. I was waiting at the western side of the house. I saw them and called them. I told them to come forward but he said “sorry death will catch up with me. There is a shell in front of the car. I cannot come forward. It is death my brother, I cannot. I need coordination”. After at least two hours a Red Cross car approached the house but stood in front of it. It was afraid to come forward because the situation was really tragic, destruction everywhere.
At six o’clock or before, with the sunrise, we heard a voice calling out in the street, “ah dad, dad, mom, mom.” They entered our house and the women and children were screaming. Screaming here and there. About five families entered our house. Women were crying and the children scarred and in horror. A shell every second. fear and crying. Children atop their mothers and women holding on to their men. A painful situation. I cried over the children. The women are shouting “They slaughtered us, help us, where are the Arabs”? Their faces turned yellow and green. I swear the children’s faces changed to many colors by the minute as if it is a clock that does not work. When will the ten o’clock truce come? Oh please God make it closer. Finally it came and the bombing stopped. A quarter of an hour later coming out of our houses like the day of marching. Some people were leaving the village and some going to check on their homes.
Another neighbor had a shell on his bed. He told us that he was sleeping on the bed when the house was bombed but managed to run from his bed. God gave me a new life, he said. His room was on fire.
From my fear I could not put out the fire or even call the civil defense teams. Fear, death, everyone was repeating these words. Another neighbor says “run away”; there is a shell over the window. I understood and ran to the ground floor. Thank God until now the losses are material ones. I reached the man who called my father. He was saying “there were five shells. The building has two floors and it was all on fire. I ran with my family to every room in my house. The house is all burnt. I swear I saw it all smoke. God is great”.
They now have a new life. The house glass is all over the floor. The blankets, the mattresses and the television are on fire. The doors, the curtains, the couches, the whole house from the other side is falling apart. We helped him put off the fire in the house. At one o’clock the truce was violated. They have two hours. They all ran away, nobody in the house. A minute after the shelling stopped I remembered the migration of my forefathers. Everybody is leaving their house and running away. Oh God, all the residents are leaving, it is a catastrophe. Our neighborhood remained united, they don’t want to leave. Oh, what happened that day, I wish I had run away with the rest. The truce ended at three o’clock. I will tell you in the memoirs of the next day about our neighborhood’s exit from the area under shelling and fire.

The suffering and fear are back as the truce ended at four o’clock, after many violations. The Zionist military aircrafts are resuming their aggression on the eastern village of Rafah area. People are running away, only a few are left in Al Shawka area. Fear fills the hearts and hour after hour the fear and worry increase.

The Al Shawka residents are still steadfast. Their fearful eyes say the occupation and death will not get to us!! Fear and terror are on the faces of the old and the young. Where do we go? Large families, everyone wants to run away. Where to and when? We don’t know.

Sunset and deep darkness quickly came to our skies. Scary quietness awaiting the verdict of death. Children ask difficult questions. Questions with no answers. “What? they want to kill us all? I saw them on television torn into pieces. They want to do the same to us? Is the rocket big? Why can’t we play like the other children in the world?!”

I cannot express the tragedy we had from nine o’clock at night until the morning Heavy firing started from the southern side, the airport area. Shells are falling. Planes are shelling. Tanks are shelling The F16 military planes terrorize us all. We do not know where they are shelling. All I know is that in the southern area there is scary and terrorizing shelling. I hear children screaming in the adjacent building louder than the sound of shelling. Everyone is shouting. Tanks are getting closer and closer!

My father called on us to go to the ground floor of the library (my wife and I, my brother and his wife, my father and my eight brothers). We all sat in the kitchen of the Center in the ground floor, everyone is afraid and crying. The night brought all colors of shell lights! Oh please God we pray to you to make it easy for us and show us a new morning in which we are all well and alive.

Our neighbors cannot reach us, and we cannot reach them except by telephone. “Where have they reached? The sound of tanks is becoming closer. It is one o’clock in the morning. The shelling stopped for moments and there was complete silence. Electricity went off and there was deep darkness. This is real fear.

The shelling was so intense. We thought it was on our home. Where is it? We do not know. The shelling started from the east side. Shells and firing. The same as the attack on the southern side. Then there was a bad smell like the smell of gas. The swelling faces and the red eyes seemed strange. We called the ambulance and they explained that this is the smell of the shells fired by the occupation. We got very worried and scared as if we are going to die in minutes. Oh God, are we dying slow death?

We asked for the ambulance and the Red Cross. But they said we cannot reach you. Every time we move we are shelled by the occupation. They said: There are tens and tens of injured people in the Al Shawka school area and no one can reach them.

We lost hope. We thought we are going to die. We prayed to God to get us out of here safely. No sound of the dawn call for prayers, no last meal before daybreak fasting. No sound except for the sound of shelling and shells, oh God! No one had the early meal before daybreak fasting. Fear and the sound of shells were the bitterest last meal before fasting I have ever tasted. The sun started coming up at five o’clock. My father’s phone rang, it was our neighbor telling him “the Israelis have reached us, they are close to us and I want to get out of the house”. My father said: “no, be patient or else they will kill us. We will go out together with every man holding the hand of a woman and a white flag.

We got out of the house holding each other’s hands, our neighbors did the same. Men with their wives and brothers with their sisters. We walked a distance of 100 meters under firing and falling shells …!

We all went down on the floor screaming and crying. Children hid under the safety of their fathers and brothers, and wives near their husbands on the floor. Oh God! After a moment we got up and continued walking. Walking around a kilometer away we saw a foot, a head and scattered flesh in the middle of the road. We all said oh God we are sure we are going to fall dead over these human pieces! We were so afraid to stop and pick the dead bodies that were lying on the side of the road.

We kept on walking until we reached Kherbet Al Adas, nearly 3 kilometers away where we have some relatives. When they saw us they fell to the floor crying without any sound and tears. No one could stand up again from our fear.

We took some rest for almost five hours at our relatives’, and then went on to seek refuge in schools or at some relatives.

This is part of my/our endless sufferings!

Click in image to enlarge it!


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