Sunday, July 17, 2005

Last Night in Gaza City

This from Laila El-Haddad's excellent blog (see permanent link to Raising Yousuf in the list at right)--the view from her kitchen window in Gaza City last night:

Lawlessness at Midnight

A quick post on the situation before I head to bed: Its a bit crazy here, Fateh people, from what I can tell shabab with nothing better to do, are out on the main city streets in a show of force banging their rifles every which way.

I'm crawling into bed and suddenly I hear the all-too-familiar darts of bullets spraying into the air. I look out the kitchen window (note to self: never look out glass window when Fateh men are firing haphazourdly) and see several hundred Fateh men marching down the street, chanting "kata'ib", in reference to the Fateh-linked Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

Ok, now the rundown: No idea why: 1) they chose midnight to do this; 2) why they are endangering innocent bystanders lives with their emotions run wild (though perhaps hey may argue that is why they chose midnight...) 3) why the police, under the auspices of the Ministery of the Interior, is not doing anything abou this, but all-too-anxious to shoot at Hamas folks.

Just today, a spokesperson for the Ministry assured me that "no one is above the law", which they would enforce equally, without discrimination or hesitation. My take on it is that there are simply WAY too many unlicensed weapons on Gaza's streets. I mean, anyone whose no necessarily anyone can get a hold of a gun, which are often used to settle personal vendettas. There's something rather unsettling about a lot of fed-up, stressed out people, locked in a 350sq mile open-air prison with a bunch of guns in their hands. Let's not even talk about road rage. And by the way, all of these real psycho-social implications of the occupation, according to a Gaza psychiatrist I interviewed last year.


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