Walid al Nassasra and two of his daughters stand staring into the pit where his brothers sheet-metal roofed, cinder-block home stood until it was hit in a pin-point strike with a precision guided bomb from an F-16 fighter jet (provided by the United States) on 19 Nov 2012 at 10 pm as the family slept. If not for the clothes and bedding strewn about, it would be difficult to tell that a home once stood here. His brother Taqwfiq, like Walid, is a farmer. Their family has been farming in the Rafah area for 35 years. They are poor people, scratching out a living on a small plot of land. As we sat and talked with Walid, Israeli F-16’s roared across the sky.
His brother as well as a 12 year old nephew remains hospitalized, the nephew is in the ICU with skull and hip fractures. His sister-in-law is blind after her head and upper body was severely burned. His 4 year-old niece suffers severe burns and a fractured leg stabilized by an external fixation device. In this kind of reduction, holes are drilled into uninjured areas of bones around the fracture and special bolts or wires are screwed into the holes. Outside the body, a rod or a curved piece of metal with special ball-and-socket joints joins the bolts to make a rigid support. The fracture can be set in the proper anatomical configuration by adjusting the ball-and-socket joints. Since the bolts pierce the skin, proper cleaning to prevent infection at the site of surgery must be performed. Yes, i said his niece is 4 years old. She has been released to the home. They bring her to us to show us her damaged body, her face covered in burns, her leg with eight metal screws holding it together. She is crying. All 9 surviving members of the family were injured in the blast.
2 nephews, Ahmed and Mohamed, were killed. (Yes, every Martyr, innocent civilian, and resistance fighter here has a name. Everyone killed here has family left behind who grieves for them. Everyone.)
There was no warning given. No calls, no leaflets, no roof tapping. Just an enormous explosion in the night that made Walid think his house was bombed, eighty meters away, as all the windows exploded and the walls rattled.
When Walid was asked what he would say to the people of the U.S., he said, “The American people already received our message. During Cast Lead the American people saw that the majority of the martyrs and injuries were civilians, and they didn’t do anything. They deal with Israel as if it is a state in America.”
President Obama said, “There’s no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.” We supply the planes, we supply the bombs, we supply the vetoes at the UN Security Council that gives cover to these crimes. We as Americans are complicit. The question is, “How much longer will we tolerate it?”