From Gaza, with Love

Friday, September 05, 2008

THis is how Palestinan patients are treated

Erez Crossing, by Donna Wallach:

"I along with others from Free Gaza Movement decided not to return withthe SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty to Cyprus and instead to remain in GazaStrip for a while to continue the work of breaking the siege. Throughoutthe time I am staying here I will participate with the others in variousactions in Rafah, Gaza City, and other areas throughout the Gaza Strip,including going out in fishing boats to challenge the Israeli Navypreventing the Palestinian fishermen from fishing more than 6 miles out.In addition, we are re-organizing ISM Rafah, to do Palestinian ledsolidarity work here."This past Friday a 64 year-old Palestinian woman from Beit Hanoun, GazaStrip arrived to the Erez crossing accompanied by all of the remainingmembers of the Free Gaza Movement. She has been suffering for sevenmonths with a tumor on her spine. Without the necessary surgery grantedher by St. Joseph Hospital in Jerusalem, she will become paralyzed andwill live in constant pain, from what I understand. We, FGM members,walked in front of her as a protection for her to not be shot by theIsraeli soldiers guarding their border. She was being pushed in awheelchair. Slowly we approached the Israeli side, holding our arms inthe air and many of us clutching our passports."A Palestinian man was the liaison between Dr. Mona El-Farra and theIsraeli "authorities". Dr. Mona El-Farra was the main organizer for thisaction of bringing this 64 year-old woman to cross the Erez checkpoint.The Palestinian man kept on telling us that we needed to stop becausethe Israelis told him they were going to shoot us. We decided it wasmore important to challenge the Crime Against Humanity of Israel notpermitting this woman to receive the urgent medical treatment sheneeded, so we continued to walk towards the Israeli gate with our armsup in the air. We finally reached the Israeli gate without a shot beingfired, not a bullet not a tear gas canister or a sound bomb. In the endthough, the Israelis heartlessly told the woman she had to go back home,but could return an 8th time."On Sunday 31st August, we from FGM arrived at about 9:00am from Rafah,the southernmost area in Gaza Strip, to Erez crossing, the northernmostarea in Gaza Strip. We came to continue standing in solidarity with thewoman from the village of Beit Hanoun. We arrived late and she and Dr.Mona El-Farra had already left for the border. We gathered inside thecrude fenced in area where all Palestinians and others wait forpermission to cross the dirt pathway to arrive to the Israeli gate. Wewaited hours, then we heard that the woman was turned back again, withridiculous excuse that a member of her family must accompany her intoIsrael to the hospital. This woman came back, yet was not defeated.Almost all the members of her family have been wrongfully blacklistedby Israel, meaning that they cannot enter the Apartheid State of Israel.Finally the woman's 75 year-old husband was granted permission to enterIsrael with her. After he arrived to Erez and the paper work for him wasfilled out, they went off to the Israeli side. We continued to wait inthe heat to hear that she had crossed and was inside the Israeliambulance that would take her to the hospital and to her surgery whichwas supposed to have started on Sunday. Dr. Mona El-Farra told us thatshe continued to tell the Israeli authorities that members of the FreeGaza Movement were waiting at Erez to ensure that the woman would enterthis time and that we were willing to die, we would walk again to theborder even if the soldiers would shoot and kill us, we would do what ittakes so that the Israelis would allow her to enter, which they finallydid. The 8th time was the charm for this very brave and courageous womansitting in a wheelchair who defied the Israelis with all of theirgunpower."31 August 2008Donna Wallach, Free Gaza Movement


  • It is too bad that you are letting others ghost-write your blogs.Now, instead of the refreshing and honest reports we have been reading, there are propaganda-like, biased reports that have nothing to do with you or your life. I am disappointed with you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/07/2008 10:37 PM  

  • Dr Mona what specific things can people do to help improve conditions for the people of Gaza?
    It seems that Israel closed all the border crossings when it disengaged from Gaza and removed it's soldiers and settlers from the Gaza strip back in 2005.
    Then after 2006 Hamas won a election victory after which sanctions were imposed on the Palestinians.
    What are the conditions under which those sanctions can be lifted?
    And what if anything can change if Israel simply keeps the people of the Gaza strip locked in?

    In other words what are the solutions and what are the ways out of this situation?
    Why does Egypt not allow Palestinians to travel across it's border?
    As I understand they also basically lock you inside?
    What is the Egyptian position in all this?

    It all just seems rather hopeless at the moment.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 9/10/2008 1:37 PM  

  • Peace,

    Thank you for your posting on what happens in Palestin. I am Malaysia Muslim and really interested in what happen there and try to understand the ongoing problem. Keep telling us your story, we will try our best to help Palestinian people.


    By Blogger Begitulah Adanya, at 9/14/2008 2:20 AM  

  • Bob - From the beginning HAMAS was presented with three conditions 1) Recognize Israel, 2) Denounce violence, and 3) Honor past Israeli/Palestinians agreements.

    HAMAS refused from the beginning.

    They have offered temporary breaks in violence, but nothing permanent. The only time they MAY have 'wavered' was when Jimmy Carter spoke to Meshaal in Syria, but that was either mis-reported or they changed their minds.

    While it is popular to show anger at Israel on this siege, I think HAMAS has the power to end this thing, rather then be a victim. I'm sure my opinion will not be popular on this BLOG.

    By Blogger Robby, at 9/14/2008 6:10 AM  

  • Mona,
    I was in two other hospitals recently, just a week ago, in Israel. It was part of my trip, to meet some victims of the terror bombings and their families. As an aside to this, you might like to hear something good and something not so good. [...]

    All right, back to the story. As I said, I went to two places to meet the terror victims. One was in Tel Aviv. I met an emergency room doctor, a woman, whose husband was killed a year ago in a bombing. She has two children. Had. Now she has one. She was on duty, weeks ago, in the middle of the night (Don't they call that the graveyard shift?), the night a disco was bombed. Maybe you heard about it. The victims were brought to her hospital. To her. Her daughter was one of them. Now the mother is a patient. "It was good of you to let her tell you her story," the head of the place told me. "It's therapeutic." Good of me? What do you say to that? "I'm glad I could help so much. Gotta go now. Soon I'll be back in the hotel room."

    Then we went to Hadassah Hospital, in Jerusalem. This is the hospital where they brought the victims of the bombing at Hebrew University. I met a woman who had been having lunch that day, in the Frank Sinatra Commissary (really) with her daughter, a student. An "A" student, the mother told me. It wasn't possible for the daughter to tell me, since they were still trying to put her back together. At this writing she's still alive, thank God. Just. An "A" student, the mother kept saying. She was the lucky one, whatever that means. Hey, what's that on the table? Oh, it's a cup with the nails they took out of me. Some are still inside. They can't take them out yet. Oh. Okay. Gotta go. Wait, go in there, here's someone else, the brother of someone else, the fiancee of someone else, the father of someone else. Thank you for letting them tell their stories. Yes, I know, it's therapeutic.

    Downstairs, before we left, the head of the hospital, an Israeli named Audrey, was showing me the children's waiting room. I couldn't help but notice, all around, an Arab woman with her son, an Arab family over there checking in, Arab children playing with the toys while waiting. The doctor saw the look on my face and laughed. "Oh, yes, we treat everyone." I guess I was astonished. She just shrugged. "We're Jews. This is how we live. It's also for the future. They're not going anywhere, and we're not going anywhere. There will eventually be peace. There has to be." When? A month? A year? A hundred years? More? She didn't know. I had to say it. You're incredible. You take everyone, you treat everyone, no one goes first, no one goes last, you just go in order of who needs help. That's, like, Mother Teresa stuff. "We're not saints, we're just doing our jobs. It's not easy, I admit. And it gets hard when they cheer when the bodies are brought in." I looked at her. What did you say? She sighed. "Yes, it gets hard when they cheer." This was one of the times during my trip when I held up my hands and said, "Stop. Wait." I turned and walked away to breathe deeply for a minute. I wonder if they've restocked that mini-bar. Yeah, probably. It's a good hotel.

    I didn't meet one Jew the whole trip who didn't think there would be peace, not one. "We can work it out. We have to. They're not going anywhere. Neither are we."

    Of course, it gets hard when they cheer.


    By Blogger bestonline323, at 10/02/2008 1:39 AM  

  • im glad she got across and that our ambulances have been at her service

    By Blogger Lirun, at 10/03/2008 8:53 AM  

  • eti ebannie zhidi zaslyzhhili xyjakost

    By Blogger vsegdagotov, at 10/07/2008 1:57 AM  

  • Thanks Dr Mona for the story you have posted. I wish you could post more news or story on what happen in Palestin and what the Zionist has unjustly done to the Palestinian people and i will try my best to convey this story to Malaysian people. Remmeber I and other Malaysians always support your struggle. Megat
    From Ipoh to Gaza.

    By Blogger Begitulah Adanya, at 10/09/2008 11:26 AM  

  • On further reflection - I wonder how you can see Israel as you want to, and remain blind to what you don't want to see?
    You Palestinians, who send rockets and suicide bombers into Israel, and won't recognize its existence as a sovereign state and member of the United Nations, you who hate every Jew, still expect them to accept your sick and injured into their hospitals!
    Have you ever heard of any country in the world, including your own, who would do this for their enemies?

    Your story had a happy ending after all - Israel accepted and treated your sick old woman, something you would never do for an Israeli. On the contrary - God help any Jew who accidentally falls into Palestinian hands!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/17/2008 6:49 PM  

  • Israel is an amazing country. What other country would let a woman in for treatment coming from an enemy land, a land where its citizens are relentlessly and shamelessly trying to destroy it (and itself)?

    By Blogger Shai, at 10/28/2008 8:04 AM  

  • Hamdulillah I found your Blog, very interessting!
    I ll visit your site more...

    By Blogger Hafez of Arabia, at 10/30/2008 12:28 AM  

  • Hi, this is very interesting. I hope you would continue this advocate to spread your good news. By the way, I have a site which offers Free E-Books for computers, programming, cooking lessons, sexy magazines and so much more. Please visit my Free E-Book Downloads website. Thanks.

    By Blogger roymanseras, at 11/13/2008 5:10 AM  

  • Another thank you for your great blogging and inspirational courage. Here is a website you may be interested in, it was launched in the US in response to the Obsession DVD and the recent bigotry and prejudice that surfaced in the media during the US presidential campaign. Check it out: - there are people from all faiths standing up against what is happening.

    By Blogger Rosa, at 11/25/2008 2:39 AM  

  • Dr. Mona, thank you very much for this blog. There are people out there who want to silently choke the Palestinian nation to death, and cover-up the Israeli atrocities and pretend they never happened, and even throw blame on the Palestinians. We need to join our voices together and tell those people that we are here to stay, that we have rights just like they do, and that we will do everything to get our rights back.

    I was happy to visit your blog.

    Thank you and take care.

    By Blogger Yosemite, at 11/28/2008 4:20 PM  

  • Dear Mona, I sincerely hope you are well.

    By Blogger José Alvarez, at 12/03/2008 9:27 PM  

  • Marhaba Mona!

    I have been reading all your writing in this blog and are very touched by your bravery, curage and love for Gaza.

    I have been thinking about working as a voluntary in Gaza for a long time. Maybe we can get in touch by mail?

    Love and Peace
    Jenny from Sweden

    By Blogger Jenny, at 12/03/2008 10:06 PM  

  • Marhaba Mona!

    I have been reading all your writing in this blog and are very touched by your bravery, curage and love for Gaza.

    I have been thinking about working as a voluntary in Gaza for a long time. Maybe we can get in touch by mail?

    Love and Peace
    Jenny from Sweden

    By Blogger Jenny, at 12/03/2008 10:12 PM  

  • Mona,

    I am so glad they let the freegaza boat into Gaza, even though it was symbolic more than anything else. I read of the continued suffering in Gaza, and I always ask myself how can the world sit back and let this injustice continue to go on. And it keeps going on and on, and I feel so bad for everyone there and I feel so ashamed of my country, the US.

    But I want to say to you that there are some of us out here who care about what is happening in Gaza, and we will speak out about it every chance we get until the injustice stops, and do what we can, as little as that so often seems to be. And we are praying for you and everyone in Gaza, and prayer matters. And God cares about your hurting and God cares about the children there and God loves you, every single person in Gaza, every man, woman, and child. Keep hope and faith and love alive in your hearts. Of this I am certain, there will be an end to all injustice one day.

    I was thinking about the ocean, I used to walk in the early mornings before my doctor appointments in Redondo Beach, California. It was a difficult time, a time of losing babies and praying for a child, but those walks along the ocean were so precious to me, it was just me and God and God's Presence filled me with a knowledge that anything was possible and revived me and gave me hope to carry on. I hope you have an opportunity to have similar experiences.

    Here is a verse of a song I wrote about my memories of nature and time shared with God.

    You Are My God, You Are My Everything Verse 1

    Peace like a river flowing through a valley
    Standing on a mountain top, watching the sun turn darkness into light
    Walking on the beach, barefoot, feeling the sand beneath my feet
    Hearing the crash of the waves against the shore,
    Playing in the rain in the summertime
    Feeling the power of the wind before a storm

    I'm so alive, and such memories come into my mind
    Such beauty you have shown me, such places you've taken me, my God
    You are my everything, the beginning, the end, and all that's in between
    I wake up in the morning with a gift of a song on my lips
    And I rush to write it all down
    And I will sing your praises for the rest of the day
    I will sing your praises every day of my life
    I will sing your praises forever and ever
    You are my God, you are my God


    By Blogger sherri, at 12/11/2008 9:13 AM  

  • Salam mona..

    Goog article, keep writing..

    and hopefully we can share each other. thank you… ;-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/17/2008 3:36 PM  

  • I have found your blog very interesting.

    I am a member of Beliefnet and post on the Middle East Board. I have been wondering why there aren't any Palestinians on our forum.

    The quality of the discussions is quite high and the moderators make sure that all posters are polite to each other and that we keep up this high standard.

    I am writing this here because I couldn't find an e-mail address to send it to.

    Please visit us at

    A person who is actually experiencing what Palestinians supporters are talking about would be priceless. It would provide us with so much information that we are unable to obtain.


    By Blogger E.Kombos, at 12/18/2008 8:44 AM  

  • Hi. I'm Ali from I.R.Iran. I and other friends in Iran work too much for Gaza. our student movement about Islam world, do some work. newest site that we design for Palestine and Gaza is this:
    we hope have good relation with you to help gaza ...
    nice to meet you
    hope to freedom of alaqsa and palestine people

    By Blogger Unknown, at 12/18/2008 2:16 PM  

  • Thank you, I really love your blog.

    chankom ar sp tech tv

    By Blogger Chankom, at 1/18/2009 9:09 PM  

  • By Blogger jorge, at 1/22/2009 12:23 PM  

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