I wake to the thud of bombings which I’d incorporated into my dreams, dividing the thuds into small and bigger explosions. In consciousness I hear more bombing and realize it’s probably the tunnels region, where people still live very close by, being bombed again.
A friend will try to leave Gaza today via Rafah crossing, and among the myriad of legitimate worries a Palestinian must have when trying to leave Gaza, having the area where you hope to cross over bombed is a fairly large one.
Her father, our host, and brother walk through the room where we’d been sleeping, asking whether we’d heard the bombing. “It’s either from the sea or on the tunnels along the border,” he says. But I say it must be the tunnels, because when they bomb from the sea there’s an echo, so you hear the explosion twice.
“Yes,” OJ adds, “like thud thud,… thud, thud.”
“Sahie, you’re right,” the father concedes.
A quick search on Google brings up articles on tunnels and bombings, among them ignorant propaganda which refer to them as ‘terror tunnels’, or which repeat the bleating of Israeli spokespeople that Gaza residents are told in advance to leave their homes near the tunnels. During Israel’s war on Gaza, this ‘advance notice,’ could be as little as 5 minutes.
And in a Strip like Gaza, where 5,000 houses were destroyed, and another 20,000 buildings, and cement is still banned (along with certain medicines, shoes, clothing…), where are these families supposed to move to when their house is damaged in the bombing.
When I go to shops to buy something, a soda, for example, I frequently see the store owner dusting off the can, wiping off the rim. This isn’t because their shop is dirty, but because the cans, along with much of the store’s stock, have come through the tunnels.
Small or large bombings, I counted over ten in my sleepy haze, and another handful as I sat up.