From Gaza, with Love

Friday, February 02, 2007

Situation Update

The situation over the past few days has been very bad, we have no electricity now and I have dictated this post to my son in the UK for distribution.

The infighting has escalated and shattered the truce. Hamas ambushed a fatah convoy bringing some sort of supplies to the Presidential guard (either logistical supplies or arms?? no one can know for sure), they have also been attacking the presidential compound overnight with a variety of weapons (including mortars and rockets) This is just outside my flat and has caused me great distress (, Some of the explosives have been falling a few feet from my doorstep. Presidential forces on the other hand stormed the Islamic University in an alleged search for arms and they claim to have arrested seven Iranian "military experts".

It looks very bleak. I am worried that the western powers want to support a coup This can only take Palestine back to a peace process similar to Oslo that serves Isreal and the west more than it serves Palestinian liberation.

On a personal level, the past 24 hours have been disturbing because I have been separated from my daughter Sondos by the fighting. She was visiting her sister half a mile away and I have no way of reaching her safely. I am stuck in my flat with my sister, a friend of mine and her 10 year old niece. We were coming back from Khanyounis where we were visiting my mother for her 85th birthday.

From Gaza with love



  • You say that Gaza Strip is occupied by the Israelis. But didn't they completely withdraw from Gaza last year?

    By Blogger Unknown, at 2/02/2007 4:59 PM  

  • Salam Alaikum,
    I am a fellow Palestinian Muslim who lives in the united states and heard your commentary on National Public Radio, which i listen to often to keep up on the world, and i find your blog to be terrific in updating us over here on the situation there.I read it constantly, but all it does is add anger. I hope to visit Jerusalem this summer insha''s been 3 years since i've been home. My prayers go to all the Muslims around the world. Jazaki Allah khair and please keep focus on your iman.

    By Blogger samer, at 2/03/2007 3:33 AM  

  • May you soon be able to rejoin your daughter. It is troubling to hear what is happening these days, but I so appreciate your continuing to tell the world.
    I pray for the safety of your family, and peace throughout this troubled world.

    By Blogger jarvenpa, at 2/03/2007 12:07 PM  

  • Thanks for your post.
    The situation is very very bleak,indeed.
    I am not just thinking about the palestinian infighting. I am thinking about the Iran , Israel conflict. In case that conflict does take place( and I believe it will ) the situation will be very very very very bad.
    The palestinians and Israelis are neighbours and if there is a war , Israel, the west bank..,or Gaza might be hit by Iranian missiles.
    I am not optimistic.

    By Blogger Obseervador, at 2/03/2007 6:44 PM  

  • >This can only take Palestine back to
    >a peace process similar to Oslo that
    >serves Isreal and the west more than
    >it serves Palestinian liberation.

    Dear Mona Elfarra, although it is you who live in the area, and I don't, I must say feel quite shocked with this interpretation (as well as to what you wrote before that the israeli Gaza disengagement was against Palestinians). To my eyes it sounds like reverting factography. In 1993 PLO agreed to recognize Israel, and Israel truly, not on paper, ceded for Palestinians the 'A' areas. And this is always some progress! In 2000 it could end up in complete return of Gaza and West Bank-and Barak wasted the position of PM for giving more than the israeli society was eager to give-that's why I believe it was not a mistification,but true.With all respect to residents of Gaza,one shouldn't be surprised by the blockade,when the complete disengagement from Gaza did not result in positive steps from the Palestinian official side...Instead qassam rockets, and 3 months after, the elected Palestinian government abolished all the agreements between Palestinian Autonomy and Israel signed till then.

    I also have no idea what could mean "Oslo served the West"? The West cares more about the lack of conflict in some place X,that the place X itself.The West does not care.I cannot figure out any reason for which the West would be interested in maintaining the Palestinians under occupation-rather the contrary:it was Clinton who was brokering the most advanced talks on Palestinian independence.

    Best wishes,
    Chris from Warsaw (Poland)

    By Blogger MichaƂ, at 2/03/2007 7:07 PM  

  • awesome reports on the sad life of your people being bullied left and right Hope you all find peace one day

    By Blogger Rippin Frog , at 2/03/2007 11:01 PM  

  • dear Mona,
    I work for ITV News in London - one of Britain's biggest news providers. I am very keen to talk to you about your blog, and the possibility of using it.
    Please could you contact me at
    Many thanks

    By Blogger Unknown, at 2/05/2007 8:02 PM  

  • I struggle for words ... it pains me so awfully what's happening in Gaza. I can't comprehend why these people don't understand it is their solemn obligation to GOVERN .. and NOT to fight in order to prove who's #1 and who#2!
    Their duty is to care about the people's well-being and NOT about intern quarrels! As if this miserable occupation is not bad enough already ...
    I wish to GOD things will improve and the vortex of hatred and violence will reverse direction! You ALL are in my prayers every day ... LOVE YOU ALL!!

    By Blogger Karin, at 2/06/2007 5:59 PM  

  • I note in today's news that Fatah and Hamas have agreed to a treaty or something--this sounds like a hopeful step; at least Palestinians can work together..and maybe new steps towards peace will come also between Palestine and Israel.

    Or am I simply naive to retain such hope?

    By Blogger jarvenpa, at 2/09/2007 8:15 AM  

  • dear Mona,
    I expected some other reading, but what I have found out is your writing is immensely touchy and valuable to generate some consciousness.
    Thanks a lot for informing us about the scenario you are facing.
    Love greeting cards

    By Blogger Emmie, at 2/09/2007 1:34 PM  

  • Mona my thoughts are with you. HOpefully the recent news from the talks in Mecca will turn a corner in the lives of all Palestinians toward a brighter future. Your persistence buoys the spirits of those around you and many of us far away are grateful that you share your experiences, you inspire us to continue to speak out in the name of a peaceful Palestine...ENOUGH!

    Peace and good wishes to you.

    By Blogger Amelopsis, at 2/09/2007 3:51 PM  

  • I have followed and studied this conflict for decades. After all that time we are still stuck in a zero - sum situation that just continously revolves around itself. We always end up back at square one where the only thing that everybody can agree on is how much they hate each other. Perhaps we expect too much. Maybe this conflict with its terrible history of suffering cannot be solved by the current generation, given the bitter memories on both sides. But maybe, just maybe, they might agree to put off any final settlement for say 50 years, thereby excluding ourselves (I am of the "baby boom generation, 57 y.o.) and in the meantime at least agree on a framework to avoid inflicting further misery to either side. In this way the parties might at least have the opportunity to look after the needs of their respective populations and in so doing sow the seeds of progress instead of hatred, the most destructive and nonproductive emotion of mankind. This is not to say that the past can ever be, or should be, forgotten. But perhaps it could be addressed through the prism of reconciliation, possibly along the lines of the South African Truth & Reconcilation Commision.

    I believe we need to think outside the square and stop revisiting old and disproven strategies in attempting to solve this awful conflict. Short of Divine intervention I can't think of anything else.

    By Blogger David, at 2/21/2007 9:45 AM  

  • Hello Mona,
    I am glad you find my ideas of worthy of publication! I write from a town called Alice Springs, in the middle of Australia. This either places me too far away from the scene to have any understanding of the situation or conversely far enough away to bring a measure of objectivity to the discussion depending on your point of view I guess. I do know that I live in a country where I can get in my car and travel 3000km in any direction and there is nobody to tell me I can't do it. We take this freedom for granted and so it is hard to imagine anything else.

    Further to my earlier ideas I am also aware of the rising influence of the internet on M.E. politics and I think this is probably the most encouraging development for progresss we have seen. Blogs like yours cut the politicians out altogether (although I note that they take a great interest in what is said in these forums) and allow for honest and unrestricted communication among the people themselves. May I say now that I admire your dedication to the principles of free speech evident on your blog, even allowing some extreme expressions of prejudice. I am reminded of Voltaire's defence of free speech, you know the one: "I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

    The idea behind my postponment of final negotations is that perhaps it could buy time; time that could be usefully put to work to lay the foundations for a situation in the future where both parties have more to gain by maintaining the peace and working cooperatively than a return to conflict. Of course that puts an enormous obligation on the current actors to commit to good faith. My position is basically that as we seem unable to resolve the issue of Israel vs. Palestine maybe our childred can make a better job of it, as long as both sides can at least agree to stop perpetuating the mutual distrust and hatred by their actions. This means that Palestinian children must be able to grow up in security and peace with access to education and health services and definitely not living in refugee camps. Of course, Israelis have every right not to be attacked with Qassam rockets and suicide bombers. These actions only serve to perpetuate the status quo. I have long felt that the Palestinian resistance would promote its cause much more effectively if it where to learn something from Ghandian passive resistance especially if it established a useful alliance with the international media. I am therefore highly critical of Hamas' stance while I can understand the deep frustration that gives rise to such extremism. What else can we in the west expect in the absence of any real progress? We should at least learn from the free election of Hamas. I also think that shutting them out and marginalising them will only prove counter-productive. We also need to understand that the act of talking to an adversary need not imply agreement with their value system.

    I do not take sides in this war. There has been terrible suffering by everyone touched by it. That is why I say we must own the past, speak to it and hopefully learn from it.

    By Blogger David, at 2/22/2007 2:43 AM  

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