Stuart Littlewood worked on jet fighters in the RAF then pursued a career in industrial marketing.

More recently he worked as a freelance and with innovation consultancies. Psychology degree Exeter University, Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Served as a Cambridgeshire county councillor 1993-7 and on the Police Authority. Associate of the Royal Photographic Society. Since retiring has been a newspaper columnist and produced two photo-documentary books. He is a regular contributor to a number of internet news magazines.

Stuart’s book Radio Free Palestine, with Foreword by Jeff Halper, tells the plight of the Palestinians under brutal occupation. It can now be read on the internet by visiting RadioFreePalestine.org.uk.


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Gaza, this uninhabitable planet… I want to run away from this madness

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by Stuart Littlewood

 

There is little joy in writing about the plight of the Palestinians, as I have done for the last 10 years. But one of the rewards is that, occasionally, I receive a letter from someone who’s living the nightmare and prepared to share their innermost fears.

So I was delighted to hear from Amal again but dreaded what she might be about to tell me.

Amal (means ‘hope’) is a young wife and mother of three in Gaza. She is university educated and her English is excellent. As I’ve said before, Palestinians – especially the ladies – are very keen on education and do their utmost to get the best they can in difficult circumstances. Her last message, nine months ago, described her little family’s situation in the wake of Israel’s genocidal assaults and surrounded by death, destruction, grief and chronic deprivation.

“My kids are in the 4th & 3rd primary grades and the youngest goes to KG [?kindergarten],” she wrote then. “They go to UNRWA schools as we are originally refugees. They receive education of quite good quality. But schools work in 2 or 3 shifts a day especially in areas where displaced people of the last war still shelter in UNRWA schools; they don’t have any other place to go.

“Hamas has its recent financial crisis after Al-Sisi became president in Egypt and destroyed all tunnels where they used to bring in money. Also its external relationships are not as before especially with Iran due to Hamas not supporting Al-Asaad in his civil war. Also Qatar seems not trusting anymore and its new prince decrease the fund.

“It is common here for people to talk, discuss and analyse the political issues; that [is] why I talk freely somewhat. When I have other free times I talk about football and I support Barcelona…. huhh.”

In her latest letter she apologises for not writing sooner.

“The situation here is depressing still and we don’t have electricity for more than 2-4 hours a day. I use it for things more useful than the internet such as laundry, cleaning, cooking, baking and other house duties. Especially we don’t have sufficient gas supplies. You will wait for months to receive 6 kilos of gas for cooking; otherwise, you can use wood fire and coal for cooking and other tasks to keep life going on. We are going back to the old days, even these commodities are relatively expensive in Gaza where most families still struggle to secure the basic necessities.

“The lack of electricity means people can go hours or days without water as power is needed to pump water into homes; as well, pumping the waste water is a big concern. Gaza; this uninhabitable planet, is still suffering in different ways. You can sit in the sun or use blankets to bring warm. But there are not many options in a region that has experienced an uncommonly cold winter. Heavy rains have already brought severe flooding and damages into homes and schools.

“It is even more tragic for people who still live in caravans, makeshift shelters with rainwater leaking through the ceiling every time it rains. There are thousands of houses that were destroyed in 2014 wars and were not built again; people can’t afford the rent for new places of course. Thousands are living in badly damaged homes. As long as the situation remains the same, there is not much hope in rebuilding what have been destroyed in Gaza. Reconstruction requires hundreds of thousands of truckloads of materials; yet few have entered Gaza monthly and it could take decades for reconstruction to happen. The blockade is still firm by the Israeli government. Also; Rafah crossing [into Egypt] is tightly closed and is opened for only 2-3 days every month for specific groups with high priority such as people with severe illnesses or foreign visa and students who study abroad. Others can’t even dream to leave Gaza.

“In Gaza; new taxes are imposed that leaves people fuming. Poverty rates are higher in a time [when] finding a job or any source of income is next to impossible. Hamas still send its crises to the lives and future of people here. We keep silent because we don’t have choices. The internal conflict is extreme despite the talks about near deal in Doha, Qatar to reunite Gaza Strip and the West Bank in one cabinet. Indeed, we lost trust in both parties many years ago. Many attempts before were not successful and left further frustration and defeat; expectations of near reconciliation this time are also not high.

“A fourth [Israeli] operation in the Gaza Strip is inevitable sooner than expected. It is the life ritual in Gaza either to live in war or to expect war. The coastal enclave population is trapped, traumatized, and descending ever deeper into despair, with suicide rates skyrocketing. Ten years of oppression and frustration have produced a generation of negative thoughts and distressed attitude. It is not easy for a young man whose family sold everything to complete his education to stay at home eventually.

“Youth in Gaza is helpless and hopeless, has no trust or faith in anything or any change. Yesterday a young man burnt himself and another one called Hamada ended his life by hanging. He wrote a few words that he is already dead and went away. Another young man also hanged himself three days ago. In Gaza; you may suicide or die suddenly. I knew tens of young men ageing between 20-30 died recently of heart attacks. Silent tears in their eyes are the worst type and even the prayers of their mothers can’t relieve their accumulated problems. It is new phenomena here that you go to bed at night and don’t get up again. Or you may die of chronic disease or cancer. Uncontrolled use of pesticides and the pollutants of weapons during the wars leave 130 new detection of cancer monthly and this is the tip of the iceberg.

“I want to run away from this madness. And I know that hundreds of thousands of Gazans want to leave as well. We are cold not only physically but also metaphorically. Actually; I’m not sure about the accuracy of my name Hope because I’m also hopeless. I sometimes ask why I wasn’t killed during one of the wars. If the heaven is the final abode, so it is the big reward for all the suffering that we have witnessed. If it is Hell, there is no big different from the hell of Gaza.

“This [is] what I could write in a hurry. I know I have lost my artistic ability and I’m telling just facts. I’m distressed and in bad mood; I can’t smile or draw smiles…. I hope that your home was not affected by the storm and that you are all safe. I wish that everything is going well with you and I wish to know where to follow your articles when I have time and electricity.”

The Gaza tragedy is the most disgraceful of the many outrages that our political leaders not only created but seek to perpetuate. What an insult to humanity these individuals are. One such is our Minister for the Cabinet Office, Matthew Hancock.

He is currently on a visit to Israel promoting business links with Britain and announcing details of the Government’s ban on all publicly funded institutions, including local councils and universities, from making ethical choices regarding pension investments and procurement. The aim is to stop public boycotting of goods and services supplied by companies complicit in the weapons trade, tobacco products or products from Israeli squatter colonies on stolen Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

A statement from the office of Prime Minister David Cameron says that boycotts “undermine good community relations, poisoning and polarising debate, weakening integration and fuelling anti-Semitism”, adding that locally imposed boycotts “can roll back integration as well as hinder Britain’s export trade and harm international relationships”.

The fact is, British people are sickened by some of the Cameron government’s “relationships”, especially its devotion to Israel.

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Posted by on February 19, 2016, With 2590 Reads Filed under Middle East, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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6 Responses to "Gaza, this uninhabitable planet… I want to run away from this madness"

  1. wjabbe  February 20, 2016 at 10:18 am

    All duped Americans are aiders and abettors of these horrible crimes against humanity over there. The whores in Congress and president should be forced to go and live among the victims they create by sending our money to aid and abet these despicable criminals engaged in this criminal rape of innocent people and theft of their lands. As the courageous former U.S. Marine stated yesterday in his frank statement about all these crimes Ken O’keefe, stated he was ashamed of the behavior of America in foreign lands and at home. Our country is a shameful disgrace to the world, having returned, after just over two centuries, to the barbaric former system of the King of England, our great Founders rejected. The more higher education American idiots receive, the dumber they become. All most of them care about is getting the car washed by others because they too lazy or incompetent to do it themselves, appearing at meaningless social events, and watching another porn movie from the Hollywood Perverts before bed time. Shame, shame, shame on us as Ken O’Keefe so eloquently stated. History repeats itself; the dark ages have returned.

    • wjabbe  February 20, 2016 at 10:33 am

      If Trump, Cruz, Hillary, .. or any of the other whores running for the next robot president were serious about any purported claims of compassion they have for innocent victims of Palestine, they could easily prove them by going over there and living this madness. None of them do do they? Therefore nothing they say can be believed; it is all lies everyone of these prostitutes, 100% as Ken O’Keefe so eloquently stated in his video from LAX. America is gone. It is only a matter of time now before we are the next Gaza Strip of the world. Americans are the most ignorant, insolent, stupid, totally unable to distinguish truth from fiction, arrogant fools on planet earth. They deserve their plight. By the way, observe the deafening silence of the Pope and the disgusting Catholic Church on all this. You don’t observe him making any propaganda trips over there do you? The Catholic Church is nothing but a world wide criminal racket. They should all be booted out of our country 100%.

  2. Howie  February 19, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    I simply don’t have the words to describe my disgust at the Israelis and their western minions, especially words i can use in a public forum.

    What comes around goes around, and for the Israelis that don’t hold dual citizenship, well you get the picture.

    And people say the Spanish inquisition was horrific. If these guys had any respect, moral compass, or brains, they would have got the hell out of Dodge a long time ago.

    Am i an anti-Semite, or just a “simple” man ?.

  3. QEornotQE  February 19, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Judaism is not an authentic religion. It is Talmudism, and therefore is a religion which is racist, anti-peace and anti-mankind. This is reflected in the Talmudic Jewish mentality, under which the Palestinian people are suffering. Clearly, these books teach a mentality of moral relativism, where it is tolerated to use lies and deception to get ahead. Primary examples include the Holohoax and the 9/11 False Flag operation.
    The ‘Chutzpah’ of the past 15 years (give or take 2,500 years) cannot continue in an Internet Age, where alternative, reliable, logical sources of information are so readily available. I believe THE primary problem of Judaism is it’s inability to reflect critically upon itself.

  4. davor  February 19, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Israel is certainly an A+ student of British colonial policies in North America and Australia.

    • Aziz Khalfan  February 20, 2016 at 5:27 am

      Israel is just a diversionary extension of it. The British Empire is alive and well and rampages the planet under disguise.

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