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TO SHOOT AN ELEPHANT

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This work has been registered under a Creative Commons license. You are free to download, redistribute, translate, and build upon this work non-commercially, as long as you credit it, and license your new creation under identical terms. So any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature. The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli occupation for the last four decades. Since January 2006 a total siege has been imposed on its 1.5 million inhabitants, depriving them of all basic human needs. On December 20th, 2008 a six month truce between Israel and Hamas ended. The Israeli government blocked access to Gaza for most of the international media and Human Rights Organisations. The Free Gaza and International Solidarity Movement established a group of human rights observers on the ground. This is only part of what they witnessed between December 25th 2008 and January 16th, 2009. TO SHOOT AN ELEPHANT THE SIEGE This UNRWA notice says: "They have stopped distribution from Tuesday the 8th". A week ago, and until an unknown date. There will only be distribution when the supplies are available. You see how long now? Since a week, and until an unknown date. This is due to the siege. Well for me it�s� I think the image speaking for itself is very important because we read, all the time about how there isn�t anything, there isn�t any gas, any food, the people queuing up for bread, that there isn�t even any flour, that there is a crisis. Gaza is on a drip feed from Israel. And to actually see this inactivity here, the frozen, suspended animation of this UN relief warehouse, I think... is a very powerful image. I'm asked my opinion all the time by people here and I feel like, the people that live here can speak much better than I can about anything.... FARMING UNDER FIRE 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... So we have to be visible to go to this area? It is better because, it is at the border and people have been shot here. Do you want to go? For sure. Our friends weren�t too happy to come with us there, but he�s agreed to show us. Look around, look what's happened to this area. So they can see us, the soldiers in the watch tower can definitely see us. They do a lot of surveillance on the border areas, and they see everything and everyone. 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? Haidar just called me, they are shelling the city near where he lives, there were F16�s, a lot of confusion, people running around. So he said wherever you are, stay where you are. But you know, we�ll see, we should get going. OPERATION CAST LEAD 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! What happened? Our worker was just here. Two rockets, one there, and the other one, on the other side, we were here in the container, and the others workers over there, two rockets hit us. We didn't finish that yet. This is for children, not for killing Israeli people. We were just working here. Our injured were over here, this is their blood, this is their blood. This is for children, not for killing people. 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! This is the impact on civilians. They talk about position bombing; they have no right to bomb anything here whatsoever, but they bombed a market. They bombed a children's playground. We don�t know the exact details of the casualties, but at least ten people have been taken to hospital with serious injuries. There are still planes in the air, there are still Apaches in the air, and Gaza city being bombed as we speak and this is only the beginning. and this is only the beginning. MOHAMMAD RUJAILAH, OUR FIXER I�m 24 years old, I�m just a normal guy just trying to live a normal life, here in the Gaza strip, which is very hard. So, I don�t know what else they want me to do, unless... I mean, I�m not Hamas, and most people are not. So, what about me? what about people like me? If you are saying that you are attacking Hamas, that you�re attacking the Palestinian factions here in Gaza strip, so what about normal people? What about my 9 year old brother and my sister? I think it�s just crazy. I�m not really trying to victimise myself. I think it�s just about being fair and being just in this world. It�s just about giving people the chance to live the way they want to and to elect and select the people who they want to represent them. I think it�s not Israel�s problem, or Spain�s problem or America�s problem or France�s problem. It�s our own, inside thing. So, I think people have to just stop accusing Palestinians and judging them according to stereotypes. There aren't more Drones. What do you call them? Sorry? What do you call them? We call them surveillance planes. n Gaza they call it Za�nana. Za�nana means zzzzzzzzz with the voice, like that. That�s why we call them Za�nana. THE HAMDAN FAMILY In the agricultural centre or something. They've hit an agricultural organization? Tell him to be ready and focus the camera on the gate. 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. You have the names and the ages of the dead children? the names and the ages. Lama, 4 years, and the other girl... Haya, 6 years. The boy, 10 years. What were they doing when they were killed? They were playing around their house. Just playing around the house. MAKE UP FOR THE DEAD? The brother was injured; he was only ten years old. He was just going to� Yeah, OK no problem� If you want, I�ll send you some photos that I took today. By the way, I didn�t send you all the photos. There are some clearer photos of the two sisters in the morgue today� So, maybe... Yes, don�t worry, I will try to send you... Like, I don�t know. This is big you know, they've killed people and you are trying to tell me not to send them to you, I don�t know... they're dead. These are dead people. Yes, I understand, I understand, it�s just frustrating that everybody's saying that all these pictures are too shocking. Yes they are shocking, but anyway... No it�s OK, no problem. I can just try to send you them, you know, you want me to? I don�t know, what do you want me to do? Make them up a bit or something? That'd be just crazy, but anyway, it's OK. Yes, I understand you. I can just see like... I don�t know if it�s like an Israeli boat or something... because today as you can see... Usually you can see some lights, of the Palestinian fishing boats. But of course, today you can see nothing, it�s totally� That's an Israeli boat for sure. Of course it is. I reckon that the only ones who can roam freely around here are the Israeli�s right now. The fishermen can�t go out and fish today. There�s no way I can film the boats. No, no way. That�s coming towards the city, of course. Yes, I believe so. WITNESSES But hopefully it can go out, hopefully yeah, I mean, I�d feel more comfortable doing it in English, but we could do it in Arabic as well. Yes, yes No, I haven't seen him yet. Why? Is he OK? Is he OK, your uncle? They killed him today? Oh, I'm sorry Sadiki. That was a friend from Cyprus, a Palestinian who left Gaza by boat. He told me: "when you go to Gaza, go and greet my uncle for me". Now he called me, and he said: �did you greet my uncle for me?�. I said, sorry, I had no time. And he died today. he said: "no problem, now he is a martyr and is in heaven" The uncle of Rafik... Rafik from Cyprus? It's awful because he told me: "when you go to Gaza, go and greet him". And I forgot, I had no time. I am doing well, we are just about to have a press conference, can I call you back in fifteen minutes or so? Aren't you scared that the Israelies may bombard the ambulances or medical teams again while you're out with them? We know that Israel targets medical staff, we've heard first hand accounts from paramedics and volunteers, who say that they have been shot at when exiting ambulances. We know that ambulances have been surrounded by tanks and fired upon in conflict situations. All sides need to protect the function and mobility of the medical services. The medical services need to function. We realise that we are taking a risk. We are all at risk just being in Gaza during this invasion and times of attack, nobody is safe here. But the medical services are sacred, they are evacuating the injured, both combatants and civilians. This is the rule of law, these are the rules of war and international law. and we are here as human rights activists and observers, and we are here to uphold international and humanitarian law. so we hope that all sides will respect that. So, do you think this is normal? Now, all the news... I�ll phone my wife to inform her that I have left the building because everybody will know that this building is being targeted. I am trying to phone her but there is no network service. No service I cannot call her. Do you think they want to close down the media? I think maybe they will try to... ...to paralyse the news agencies and radios, in order to prevent the world from seeing... to prevent us from broadcasting what is going on in Gaza. The real picture, which gives us the impression that they are going to intensify this more and more. That is what we are afraid of. I don�t know... Everything is expected, since they are targeting ambulances. It is very easy for them to target the journalists. There is no red line in this dirty Israeli war against the Palestinians. I am so worried... BLUE HELMETS OK, so we'll start again. We got a call to come to a house in the industrial area near a steel works. we were told it was near a red car, we couldn't see anything, any casualties. then we got to this house that was quite remote and tucked away. We saw this casualty, an old man, with an injury in his leg, lots of blood on the floor, and broken glass... and a mini van with mattresses and blankets and towels in it. And basically there had been a missile strike, they did not know if it was from an Apache or a drone but the impact was on their van while they were trying to leave. The casualty was the father, forty years old. He was saying... I need my children to come with me. �please take the children�. And they were completely distraught really distressed. It was just unbelievable, that this family was trying to leave, to seek refuge. A pepper? I'm doing a interview! It was awful, they're committing massacres, targeting families, who are just trying to save... You cannot have white beans without green chilli peppers. This one is dirty, bring me another one. Thanks. I love peppers a lot. Don't get pepper in your eyes... The pepper, don't get it in your eyes. OK, thanks. JANUARY 2ND, LAND INVASION It was an interesting night, because the roads are completely filled with smoke and dust from passing vehicles and the missile blasts. People are in panic, leaving their homes, trying to evacuate, especially in the northern areas. families walking down the street, like another Nakba, really. And apparently the news is that the tanks have entered. There is a ten metre deep hole from an F-16. We cannot take patients, they're bombing all over, we cannot even reach the injured. The Jews can't defeat the resistance, so they take revenge on 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. What�s that? 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... ...in 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. Where is Vik? 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. ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY We�re in and out. They will hit it again I think, because there are still a lot of buildings left standing. So let�s try to be quick. Go in, around and out. It is different. Something has come down. MARWAN HAMUDA, AMBULANCE DRIVER 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. Hab�a un jeep y lo han bombardeado. 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. I was looking at the three houses andI was thinking we are safe here and I think these people are going to be safe, I was thinking about that and suddenly I was just listening to the radio and "boom", the explosion and people just started to come here. By the way, since we've been evacuated from the Red Crescent in Jabalia camp, the ambulance centre will now be here. I was sitting there, it�s strange because 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... That part of the building! I saw the dust there, you can see the dust! What can we do? Nothing. I think it's what, one hundred and fifty metres from here? Less. I think it's less than a hundred and fifty metres from here? So what did your wife say? She said: "I know you'll get killed". Last night he was talking with his wife, he was telling her, just in case, that maybe he could be killed at any time, and she said: "I know it could happen any time, but we can do nothing" 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 hitting 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. WHY? Sir, why are you recording us on tape? Why are you filming, sir? EMBEDDED WITHIN AN AMBULANCE 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! Eva, Mohammad, come... So you have the names of the drivers and is this coordinated? It is coordinated through the International Red Cross. But there is no one going with them, it is just two per ambulance. They are going to a very, very dangerous area where there has been Israeli tanks and military. They say they have the right to access these areas and they should have under the Geneva Convention. But again there's no one to actually see if that happens. They did not really talk about Geneva Conventions, The Israelis know it's been coordinated, they went there and they got shot at. That�s why when we were taking their names Marwan was saying: �Oh, you are taking the names of the dead people?�. Oh, no, Come on... Really, he said that. So I don't know, we have the names of the drivers. We'll see them in ten minutes. Shall 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! 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. IN SEARCH OF EVIDENCE And he told me the same details that we had in the hospital, but also yes, we need to see them. You want to see them to film them. But he gave me the same details... Oh my goodness! Was it a sniper or not? Yes, but he didn�t want to shoot us, did he? No, he could have done, of course. I can ask� 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. I think it is dangerous. The same kind of testimony that everybody gives. 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. Yes, I am going to take a sample Eva, Eva, come here! What happened? did he just move it? Yes, he just moved it. This is from three days ago, right? How many days has it been like this? Three days now. This is the third or the fourth day? Yes, the third day. It's very fierce. Yes. So I am standing in the dust and it is really... Alberto!, when you pour some water...come and see. Pour water! Pour some water, please. You see? Pour a little bit more water. You see, do it again. Wow!, now it's gone out. No, it's hasn't, it's still burning. It is still burning. That�s something!, that's something... You can see, it burns from the inside. 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. Of course it's illegal, I am sure it's illegal. A NEW NAKBA "60th anniversary of the Nakba" 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. This was his brother's house. This was his other brother's house. 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. This is the bicycle of the three year old kid who was killed here. Here? In the other house, but they brought it here as you can see, they are just trying to save things. As you can see, rockets... As you can see, bullets... Vests, bullet proof vests, maps, these are military maps... As you can see. And this is some kind of... I don't know... and again, just like the father of the five girls, this is the tank of his three year old son. May Allah provide you with patience. I don�t really know what more I can say. May Allah give you health to see her grow to become a bride. A UN SCHOOL FUNERAL Please, tell us how many killings do you want, how many dead people, to stop this fighting? Tell us the number. How many? How many people do you want to be killed here?, in this country? Please! You have to say something! Tell them how many! I know you aren't responsible! You are not responsible for this, but you have to say something to Bush! To the U.N. you have to say something! Tell us the numbers needed to be killed here! I know you are not responsible for this! but you have to say something! He�s trying to say that� I know but, what kind of a question... 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... You see, this is a school! a UN school! what were they doing yesterday? They were playing, children like these! What were they doing?! 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, 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. What's happening? Let�s go to the wall. Or shall we stay here? No stay here. The snipers are operating in a square, one where they can see clearly. No, don�t film me. THE INTERNACIONAL COMMUNITY Go, straight on. It looks dangerous... 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. They don't wait. Keep going straight on, go! go! Can you see that bulldozer there? The one from the UN. Yes, they�re not going to attack all these ambulances. Yes, they�re not going to attack all these ambulances. 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 phosphoric 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! Do you want me to say something? Your opinion on this. This is a disaster! This is the result of direct firing into our compound, and all the thousands of tons of aid are going up in smoke here, not to talk about the damage, I mean it's just a disaster! And another reason why this conflict needed to have stopped yesterday. Needed to stop even before it started. Thank you. I just want to see how the international community and the United Nations is going to act after this. So this is money, from the international community and from the United Nations for the Palestinian people. People are paying money to send food to people here in the Gaza Strip, and the Israelis... ...are blowing it all up, with or without reason. I don�t really think they can have any kind of reason to do this. But I think that from now on I�m not going to blame Israel, I�m going to blame the international community because there are laws that you have put in place and the Israelis are breaking these laws all the time, and you are not doing anything. So I don�t really think we are going to blame Israel any more because that�s useless. I think I�m just going to blame the international community. So this is the warehouse of one of the biggest or the main international organizations in the whole world, and the Israelis don�t give a shit about that! EPILOGUE What about you? You are filming me, Why? Arafa Abdel Daim trained his colleagues to become paramedics. Arafa was killed by an Israeli tank on January 4th while evacuating casualties. He was only one of several medics killed. This film is especially dedicated to the ambulance crews of the Gaza Strip and the 1,412 Palestinian victims of operation '�Cast Lead� Unfortunately, they were not to be the last. �We fought for our lives. We were motivated out of determination and desperation, but we never turned our arms on defenceless civilians. We fought for the survival of the Jewish community in Warsaw, not for a territory or for a national identity. For me a Chosen People or a promised Land don't exist�. Marek Edelman, one of the leaders of the Warsaw ghetto uprising in 1943. He refused to emigrate to Israel.

Video Details

Duration: 1 hour, 53 minutes and 29 seconds
Year: 2009
Country: Spain
Language: English
Producer: Eguzki Bideoak
Director: Alberto Arce/ Mohammad Rujailah
Views: 83,827
Posted by: toshootanelephant on Jan 14, 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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