Tuesday, December 30, 2008

4150 people per sq. kilometer

Getty image

Imagine this: 4,150 people per sq. kilometre. Frankly, I can't. I'm so spoiled by the expanses I walk through each day here in Thunder Bay that I can't even imagine what 4150 people squeezed into 1 sq. k would look like. I look out my window as I type and I see a huge empty yard, my garden under its winter blanket. The snow is untouched except for squirrel steps crisscrossing the place. I don't see my neighbours.

In Gaza, you can't escape your neighbours.

"You can tell those moving about Gaza City by the mattresses on the car roofs. The streets are mostly deserted but some people are shifting from one house to another, trying to guess where the bombs might land and put distance between themselves and possible targets," writes Mohammed Dawwas. He tells us that like his 9 yr old son, Ibrahim, The Gazan Children [are] too scared to go outside."

Last night on Democracy Now Dr. Mustafa Barghouti explained that:

"Gaza Strip is the highest densely populated area in the world, with almost 4,150 people in each square kilometer. When you start bombing the place with bombs that are one to two tons heavy, then you’re determined to kill people and kill civilians and innocent people. I’ve just heard Tzipi Livni, the Foreign Minister of Israel, saying that Palestinians should go away from Hamas and Gaza. Where should they go away? In which place? Where? Which place they can go to, when Israel is putting Gaza for two years under total blockade, by sea, by air, by land."

My husband and I looked at each other and wondered, to which corner of the kilometer should the Gazans go to hide?

Family Warned But Nowhere to Run by Sherine Tadros, Al Jazeera English


Merche Pallarés said...

I can't fathom so many people in such a short strip of land. Gaza is smaller than Ibiza!! and we have 125,000 inhabitants in the whole island and I find it crowded... They really have no way to escape. It's a cruel and terrible genocide. Happy New Year, anyway. Much love, M.

Ari said...

Why are the Palestinian war heroes hiding behind their women and children and shooting their missiles behind them. Women and children are very good shields. It would be a much better thing ?? for those brave warriors to lease boats from Somalian pirates and shoot their missiles from the middle of the Mediterranean towards Israeli women and children . If Finnish soldiers would have been acting similarly in the II World War, they would have been shot by own men.
It is a very contemptible way to beg for sympathy by offering lifes of their own wifes and children.
There are many hells in the world nowadays : Iraq, Afghanistan, Georgia, Sudan, Gaza, Kongo etc.
Christians may say that Satan is conquering the world.

In spite of that; Happy and Better New Year 2009. A.

northshorewoman said...


Hamas is not just a military organization. Hamas, like Hezbollah in Lebanon, is a government and it is the social welfare state. So, to say that Hamas hides behind women and children is a simplification. Hamas--not that I support some of their ideologies--provides the social services to the people, and a very important point for Westerners seeking to spread so-called democracy to "backward" places, Hamas was democratically elected. Hamas is not hiding behind civilians; Hamas, as the government, is part of the society. I am sure in Finland many people live close to police stations, government buildings and institutions.

But the most important thing to keep in mind is that Hamas is not the problem. Hamas is the outcome of
OCCUPATION, of the racist policies of the state of Israel. The problem is Israel. The problem is Israel's unending support from US ($3 billion every year just for military) and European countries as well as Canadian government's support of this racist regime. Without the world community enforcing the implementation of the UN resolutions that have already been made and which Israel refuses to abide by, the problem will continue.

The deaths in Gaza are the result of Israeli colonialism, racism, arrogant refusal of abiding by world law, AND the world's acceptance of that.

Also, remember 80% of Gazans are refugees. That includes Hamas people. Most of the Palestinians living in Gaza are not originally from Gaza. Gaza is packed with 1.5 m people today because they were pushed out and their neighbours ethnically cleansed from villages like Sderdot, Ashkelon and many more in what is now called Israel. Until the question of land for Palestinians is settled--and their right of return-- and the question of Israel's refusal to do that continues, well there will only be more Hamas-type resistance.

Hamas is not the problem. Turn your eyes to Israel.

Ari said...

No one can understand this kind of insane bombing what Israel is doing. Shooting back means only bigger massmurder of poor Palestinian people and more money to American war industry to develop more deadly weapons.