Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Innocence Lost

Al Ahram Weekly, February 12-18, 2009 - Habeeb is a 23-year-old journalist based in the Gaza Strip, active to bring out the word of his people's suffering. Zimmerman is a 21- year-old journalist and American citizen, determined to help after seeing the crimes perpetrated in Gaza by Israel. They became friends united in the struggle to open the eyes of the world to agonies before which they are often closed. One story that has caught their attention is the personal catastrophe of Khaled Abd Rabbo.

We began our journey and were barely able to reach Abd Rabbo's town. As we drove along, our car dipped to the right and to the left. The ground was rutted from the holes that the Israelis tore into the streets with their bombs, their bulldozing, and their fires. The land was also wounded. A once lush and tranquil neighbourhood had been transformed into hell on earth. Our eyes were filled with nothing but devastation, and masses of people covered the place like flies.

Our car came to a halt and we walked down the street to Abd Rabbo's shattered home. And there was Abd Rabbo himself, sitting in the rubble of happier times.

"This house used to have four floors, and a nice garden. It brought us peace and tranquillity," he began to tell us. "The Israeli army came to this house many times before, but the last was in March of 2008."

He explains how they invaded his home and investigated him and his family. "They found nothing. I am a police officer in the Ramallah government; I have nothing to do with Hamas."....

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