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To Shoot an Elephant

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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . This UNRWA notice says: "They have stopped distribution from Tuesday the 8th". A week ago, and until an unknown date. There will only be when the supplies are available. You see how long now? Since a week, and until an unknown date. This is due to the siege. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You have to wear this to be visible. . OK, I'll give it to him. Don't give it to him. It is clear that he is a civilian, but you... . . . Do you want to go? For sure. . . Look around, look what's happened to this area. . . . . . So this place was all planted with olives and palm trees? It was all trees. Now they have completely erased it. Do you remember the Nakba? Are you a local or a refugee, sir? I am a refugee. Where from? >From Salama. Where is Salama? In Jaffa. It was a long time ago, my father was still alive. In which year were you expelled, sir? In 1948? Yes, in 1948. This is my place. I have two sons. Both of them working. What do they do? They farm parsley and spinach. It's like if I give you this piece of land to work on... But on other peoples property, not our property. Are your sons married? Yes. May Allah protect them for you. Thank you. Where is your wife? My wife is at home. What is wrong with her? This year she broke her hip. Only Allah knows, we will go there and meet her later. The army hit the houses and last year they also hit my sons house with a shell. They asked the baby to cover his ears and they made a big hole, even bigger than this tent. Really, they asked the baby to cover his ears? His mother told me that. He dug this hole to hide in when there's any shooting. I go down there, but it doesn't protect me... The bullets whistle over my head... If there's any shooting he goes and climbs in there to hide, in this hole in the ground. My wife is over there. How are you doing? How is your health? Oh, how are you cute little girl? How are you? I am fine. The Israeli army is shelling with F16's. Maybe they have hit the tunnels. We are living a very hard life. We just want the world to do something fair. This is the situation in Gaza Strip. Can you hear that? It's the same every day. Maybe this is an invasion of the whole of the Gaza Strip. We are normal people. What do you think about it? You can film it with your camera. Can you hear it? The surveillance plane will see us and fire at us. The situation is critical. I am sure this is an invasion of the whole of Gaza. This is a small example of our daily life We have no idea of what is going on. I think this is a complete invasion of the whole Gaza Strip. Go! Go! Get him out of here! Come on! Come this way! It's near here! I'ts near here! Film it, film it! It's here! We are in the buffer zone, near the border. The Israeli army began bombing. The children are now in terror and fear. We live in the buffer zone and here the situation is very difficult. The war has been resurrected, and the situation is critical. There is no food or drink, no flour or even milk for the children. They are terrified, what can we say more than this? Planes have hit many positions. What can we say? . . . . . . . . Here are the carpets from the mosque, let's try to find Abu Jamal. Have you found him? No, he hasn't appeared. Here are the carpets, let's try to find him. Be careful, don't come near this part. Please, get out from there. Don't go under the building. Please, one or two people should be there, not all of you. Quickly, quickly! Only one or two. Abu Jamal! His cellphone is ringing! His cellphone is ringing! Listen, listen! His phone is here. The sound is here, here! Listen, listen, please! Don't speak, listen! There are gas bottles over there. Brothers, please, don't make me have to give an order and get all of you out! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May Allah burn Israel and all the Jews in the fire of hell! Do you see the blood of the martyrs? Do you see our blood? How many casualties? At least ten. All around! Everywhere! May Allah curse the Jews and those who established their state. Britain and America, and the Arab world that is just watching. They should be hit with an old shoe like Bush was in Iraq. They deserve it, the Jews, the dogs! Move! Get out of here! There are planes in the air! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Be ready to be at the gate when they come in. Bring the stretchers! Run, run! For the sake of Allah! May Allah bring you another daughter! It's God's will, she will be in heaven. God is our only saviour and protector. You can film more. He's just a child. He is only eleven years old. What is his name? Saeid? No, no, Ismael. Ismael Hamdan. You can film more here. You can come. There is nothing more we can do. She's dead. She's dead. Bring me the nasal tube. Insert the nasal tube and clean her nose Is there any pulse? May Allah surround her soul with mercy. Bring me the tape to write her name. That's all. It's over. Cover her. These two girls were just to take the rubbish out from their house and the plane bombed, them and their brother The sticky tape. What is her name? Something Hamdan. The other one is Haya and this is Lama. A pen? A pen? Here. Lama what? Lama Talal Hamdan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Make them up a bit or something? . . . . . . . . That's an Israeli boat for sure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . during this invasion and times of attack, nobody is safe here. . they are evacuating the injured, both combatants and civilians. . . . . . . . . I�ll phone my wife to inform her that I have left the building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chlli peppers? I'm trying to make an interview . . . You can't eat beans without green chilli peppers. This one's dirty, pass me another one. Thanks. I like peppers a lot. Don't get pepper in your eyes... The pepper, don't get it in your eyes. OK, thanks. . . . . . . . . . . There is a ten metre deep hole from an F-16. We cannot take patients, they're bombing all over, we can't, we cannot even reach the injured. The Jews can't defeat the resistance, so they take revenge on the civilians. . In Jabalia they are attacking heavily, very heavily. What we know for sure is that they are attacking with tanks. They are attacking simultaneously from the sea, with helicopters, with F-16's. And the confirmed news is that they are also using tanks. . It's like lighting it all up so they can see everything. What are you saying? That it's for lighting up? Don't talk nonsense! A light comes down slowly on a parachute. and it burns. It is something that burns. Sorry, let's continue. In December no food entered. Full stop. What is the meaning of giving bread to those who've just been freshly baked in a cemetery question mark. the urgency lies in stopping the bombs, even before replacing supplies full stop. Dead bodies can't eat... comma, they just fertilize the land comma, that here in Gaza, has never been so fertile, full stop. Children's corpses... the morgue of the hospital should feed the feelings of guiltiness... ...of those who could do something, comma, but they are on holiday in Hawaii, having fun with friends, full stop. The image of a smiling Obama playing golf, has been broadcast on all the Arab satellite channels comma, but don't worry, comma, nobody here believed that a president's skin colour... ...would radically change US foreign policy, full stop. Yesterday, Israel opened the Eretz crossing to evacuate all foreign nationals from Gaza, comma, We, comma, internationals of the ISM, comma, are the only ones remaining, full stop. My back is killing me... Isn't there a proper pan? Is this a pan for boiling? This is for coffee. When it is crowded here we have to use it to make coffee. Resistance, resistance... How many spoons will you add? Listen, this needs at least 10 more spoonfuls. I will put three. Three? What's wrong with you? In the small pan, we do it with three spoons. Add another two, add much more. OK, I put four and a half. Come on, put more, I don't want weak coffee. The smell is great. They are shelling randomly. It sounds like it's getting really close. We are evaluating the situation. Do you think that they can see us? They are shelling homes in the west of Ezbet Abd Rabbo. If you want to come, come, but be careful. Take a good look when you reach Jabalia. It is OK, come. I wish you luck. Can you hear? It is all around us. May Allah end it well. We can't go out. They are bombing out there. I don't even have an ambulance here right now. If we had one we would escape. We don't have ambulances, the centre is surrounded. The bombs are falling all around. OK, I will see. My regards, bye. . Vik is not here. I think he left with one of the ambulances. Did you forget anything? Cellphones or anything? Should we bring all the equipment? Did you check the power switches? The phone that I gave you? Yes, it's here. The whole area, Abu Rame's house is on fire, the whole area, listen to me... OK, we will see, May Allah end it well. . . . . So let's try to be quick. . . . . The situation is all ablaze. They hit four of our ambulances with F-16's. When the resistance shoots a bullet they answer with one million missiles. A three year old boy was killed in the last attack. >From the Al Kourd family. There are no injuries, only martyrs in Al Attatra but they won't allow us to reach that far. We went three times with coordination, and they shot at us. The first time with a tank the second time with an F-16, then again with a tank so we could not bring them out. I will be at home in half an hour if it is Allah's will. It's not known if there are more martyrs. Maximum one hour and I will be home. Do you want me to bring something home? I am trying to call him but he is not answering. I am calling the hospital, but no one is answering. The communications have been cut. Please, don't film this! Guys, there are surveillance planes! Hi? Listen! A bomb has just fallen on the Al Awda hospital. There was a Jeep and they bombed it. A bomb came down in the courtyard of the hospital. Around ten metres away from where we are, there are injuries. No, no, I'm OK. Fuck! Sorry, sorry, bye. The guys are over there. Stand up, Jamal. Shrapnel has hit his face, let�s take him to this corner. Stay where you are! Where are you going? Move them like that, move them over to there, there may be flying shrapnel hitting. Hi? Who am I talking to, please? Listen to me: two bombs have just hit the hospital. I have it live on film now they are getting rid of the oxygen They're directly attacking a hospital, do you understand? I've recorded it, some of the paramedics are injured. No, but shit! I don't know what to say, but please report this, please. Hospital Al Awda, a-l-a-w-d-a! In Jabalia refugee camp. Two missiles have just come down in the courtyard of the hospital. . . . . . . . . . . Abu Jahy, get out of the square! Get over here! They have launched two rockets there. In Al Awda? Did they hit Al Awda? Yes, the Palestinian authority Jeep. But it's a hospital! Fuck them! They have no honour. Two rockets. three injured. Hi Youssef, where are you? I am at the hospital. These cellphones... Who do they belong to? Yes, we are at the hospital We can�t get in or out and we are waiting for them to hit again. They meant to target the hospital. But they hit the Jeep. They can justify it by saying it was a military vehicle. They can strike if a rocket was launched from here. But they can't strike without justification. What is that building close to here? It is the medicine warehouse. Maybe somebody will go there to get the medicine? If someone does he'll be walking to his death. Will you keep on going? Yes, but every time. I go out I lose two kilos. I know I will be killed. I swear to God, I swear to God... . . What can we do? Nothing. I think it's what, one hundred and fifty metres from here? Less. . So what did your wife say? . . . . . . Last night we were talking about Arafa, who was killed yesterday. She knows I am going to be killed. She says she is prepared for my death. And my kids, I only see them for 5 or 10 minutes, and the hour I went home yesterday they were sleeping. I couldn't see if they need anything. They have no food or gas, the water will run out soon. They only have Allah. They've already got used to the idea of my death, even my children. When I go home, they refuse to leave me. They tell me: "don't go out daddy", as all children do. They understand the situation. The children talk about my friend who died, they say: "Poor man". And I explain to them that all of us will die. The problem is that no one cares. The Jews think that extensive shelling and attacking us like this will bring the people down. On the contrary, it only encourages people. We would say: "I am dead anyway, why die in vane"? "I will launch a rocket blow myself up against them instead of dying in my home". It is better to die fighting them. So people are getting more mobilised. . Sir, why are you recording us on tape? Why are you filming, sir? . We need two more ambulances. I will get two more. Who belongs to the third crew? Who is there with you? Where is he? He's sleeping, write down his name. Do you remember your vehicle's plate number? Write it: Fayez al Ajramy. And the medic, Mohammad Salah. Do you have their ID numbers? I'll give you the number of their ambulance. 6-6915-90 Do you want a fourth crew or is that enough? A fourth crew. Naim, you will drive. Naim Rajab Khalil. Where are we going while all this shooting is going on? Do you want to go, Youssef? Youssef Abd El Hameid. The boss, he's the boss! Give me the number of the ambulance. 3-99 31 Bye, goodbye. Go in peace. Naim, let's go! Naim! Stay behind each other! Abed, you have my phone number, bye! Forgive us! Tell Al Ajrami to turn his siren on! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Woud we go with them? There is a martyr near the traffic lights! Where can the ambulances get to? He's there, lying on the ground! We want to rescue the corpse but they shoot at us! So we cannot reach it. We managed to drag the body to the roundabout. He's dead. We dragged him and they shot at us. There, there, they're over there! Go back both of you, get back! They will shoot at us! Get back! Go and get yourselves killed! Don't leave the vehicle! Stay inside! Keep your camera inside! . Bastards! Son of a bitch! It is only a bullet. Only a bullet. I have a bullet in my leg. Do you want to lay on the stretcher? Relax, relax. I'm fine Youseff, I'm fine. It's nothing. Don't worry man, it's OK. We were carrying the body. When they opened fire on us. So we left the body behind with the stretcher. Is your other leg OK? Yes, it's OK. Call Dr. Bashar and tell him it's a minor injury. Go to Al Awda Hospital. Is your head OK? Yes. Don't worry Abu Ali, it's OK. Dear Abu Ali! Hi, how are you? What happened? It's OK, thanks to God. We went to rescue a martyr near Zimmo, and they shot at us. Were you outside the vehicle? Yes, with my colleague. . . . . . . . . . Where is the sniper? Take care. He's over there in one of the houses. They opened fire on us and last night they completely destroyed us. Where do you live exactly? Behind the mosque, they destroyed the house, so now we are leaving, we are evacuating to a UN school. There is nothing left, we can't even find a sack of flour or anything. Were you here yesterday when they shelled with phosphorus? Yes, with phosphorus. There is a house there which we can't reach because of the snipers. We cannot take you there. There are unexploded shells inside the houses. Can you describe to me the phosphorus? This thing burns the clothes of every human being. When you try to get rid of it, you can't. If you breathe it, you will faint. So, how can you get rid of it? No, you can't get it off you, you have to put sand over your clothes. and we don't even have water in our houses... I am leaving, peace be upon you. . . How many people are leaving? Our whole neighbourhood is leaving! How far did the army reach? Netzarim and around. There are only 300 metres between us and them. Are there snipers? It's all tanks and snipers. Special forces and planes, even the mosque was hit. Everyday it is like this. We take our children out when they say there is a truce for eating. We are staying at other family's houses, we don't know what to do. Allah is our only saviour. When we find a car, we'll leave. In the house we are staying there are 50 people and it's 100 square metres or less. We can't sleep because of the bombing and the planes they fall on top of us. Our houses are full of holes. Do you see the mosque? Our houses are like that. Madam, I don't know what to say. Only Allah can protect us. He's the only one taking care of us. At any moment we could be killed. We are waiting to die. When we walk, eat or drink, we are waiting for death. We don't want anything else from this life. Only to die and rest in peace. Could you speak one at the time? So this is this phosphorus thing? Yes, Yes. When you move it, it sets on fire again. It'll ignite if we move it? Get back to make space for the cameraman! See the writing, see the writing. This is illegal according to international regulations. Phosphorous, can you see? Don't touch it with your hands, it will burn you. Where did this hit? Here, in this house. These are burnt parts from the house. Could you please put it in the back of the car? Can you see the ceiling of the house? So this is the missile that hit the roof. . . . . . How many days has it been like this? Three days now. . . . . . . . Pour some water, please. . Pour a little bit more water. You see, do it again. . . . . Thank you so much may Allah reward you. Pardon me, but there's no gas to make you any food. Thank you very much, really. We haven't had water for almost 14 days now. Wash your hands two or three times. These are very toxic materials. . - - Slaughterhouse, an Israeli butchery. How much blood does Israel need to stop this? You are good at nothing but making tapes. Act for us! Are you escaping from the occupying forces? The occupation has destroyed us! We are escaping from our houses. They destroy us with shells, missiles and planes, they are killing us. Have mercy on us, you foreigners! Have you had to leave your homes? We already left. We have taken refuge in a school. We are going back home to take a shower and to change our clothes. Can we follow you? Of course. Were there any injured? Here a boy was killed. His name was Adam Maamoun Al Kourd. How old was he? He was three years old. This was my brother's house, two floors with four flats. - . And this one is my house. These are some of the remains from the other house. Welcome. Are there any old people at the school who lived the first Nakba? Yes, many. What do they think about being forced to evacuate for the second time? Does it bring back memories? Yes, for sure. At the school we speak about it. They used to tell us about it and now we are living it. But this Nakba is much harder than the first one. In the first Nakba they were not destroying the people this way. Now shells are falling on people's heads. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May Allah give you patience. I don't really know what more I can say. May Allah give you health to see her grow to become a bride. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sir, I understand, listen to me. She understands me too. They are doing their best, telling the world what is going on... That people were sheltering... . . . . . Allah is the greatest. He who thanks Allah will be rewarded. Oh Allah, loosen your power and strength on the Jews. Amen. Please Allah, kill them all... And don't leave any of them alive. Amen. Oh Allah, with your great power. Allah! We are asking you with your infinite power, dear Allah. Allah! Please dear Allah, take revenge for our martyrs blood. Allah! Please Allah, get rid of the Jews. Bring them down. They are not as powerful as you. Please Allah, make the earth shake and destroy the pillars of their civilization. Please Allah, cast fear and terror into their hearts. Oh Allah, disperse them so they become lost once again. Oh Allah, show us a sign. Oh Allah, surprise them in a way they don't expect. Oh Allah, cast fear and terror into their hearts. Oh Allah. Bring the flags, not the poles. . . . No stay here. The snipers are operating in a square, one where they can see clearly. No, don't film me. . Go, straight on. . Is that a tank in that hole over there? Are we going to stop to film a tank? Are you crazy? Turn off near that street, the Islamic University is there. Keep going and don't stop at all. We don't want to see if there's a tank or not. The tank will directly target us and kill us. Ez dute itxoiten. They don't wait. Keep going straight on, go, go! Can you see that bulldozer there? The one from the UN. . . The wood is going to burn! The warehouse is full! Is there anyone inside? We don't know... They started to shoot from planes and from the sea. These are phosphorous bombs. This is the warehouse. Spare parts and medicine. What is burning here is all our medicine and flour. This is a huge mistake! An horrific mistake! This is a crime! Is that flour over there? Yes, flour, medicine... Everything! Not only flour. Also blankets! This is the aid we received from the international community. Everything we had. It's gone, it's finished. This is the central warehouse which distributes to the whole Gaza Strip. >From Beit Hanoun to Rafah! This is the centre! How many people does this warehouse feed? A million! The whole population! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . eta israeldarrek ez dute horren alde deus egiten. . . What about you? Are you filming me? Why? . . He was only one of several medics killed. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .

Video Details

Duration: 1 hour, 53 minutes and 28 seconds
Year: 2009
Country: Palestine
Language: Basque
Producer: Eguzki Bideoak
Director: Alberto Arce / Mohammad Rujailah
Views: 855
Posted by: basquefreekit on Jan 13, 2010

"To shoot an elephant" is an eye witness account from The Gaza Strip. December 27th, 2008, Operation Cast Lead. 21 days shooting elephants. Urgent, insomniac, dirty, shuddering images from the only foreigners who decided and managed to stay embedded inside Gaza strip ambulances, with Palestinian civilians.

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