The attached photo was published in Jerusalem's Al-Quds Newspaper (Jan 4, 2009) - the caption reads:
Gaza - During her funeral in the Latin Patriarchate Church, a citizen kisses the forehead of the martyred Christine Turok (14 yrs old) who was martyred due to a heart attack from fear of the Israeli bombardment. (Reuters).
In a phone conversation today, from Gaza the Latin Patriarchate Church priest, Father Manaweil Musallam, clearly shaken, said, "her name is Christine, a tenth grade student. Her father is a doctor and she lived near the YMCA in Al-Remal area. She died of fear. Since the war started she felt apprehensive of the danger. She suffered from neurotic disorder and a hysteric situation just as many children are suffering. On Friday, during the shooting of F-16 missiles, she fell on the ground due to the dreadful sound. Her father tried to help, but he couldn't. Then he held her in his arms hoping to rescue her in the hospital, but she died before reaching there."
He continued, "the Latin Patriarchate school [where Christine attended] did not face any damages, however, the Rosary Sisters School did face physical damages, since it is located near to the Preventive Security building. Today, no one attended Sunday Mass, no one was able to reach the church...we tried to find an alternative place in the school to do the prayers...I tried to gather the nuns with my own car. Today, the area in which the church is located was shelled, we cannot go there."
Being part of the Greek Orthodox Church, the other congregation in Gaza, means that Christine and her family were looking forward to celebrating their Christmas on January 7th. Instead, they will bury Christine at a time where funerals are a rare commodity, for Gazans cannot keep pace with the mounting dead.
This is one child. One story. There are hundreds more and yet hundreds more about to happen tonight, and tomorrow, and the next day...until this madness ends. When the dust settles and the all the dead are buried, some in mass graves, Gazan's children will return to their overly crowded classrooms to find many empty seats. Another Palestinian generation is being destroyed by Israel's killing machine. The US cares less. The UN cares less. The EU care less. The Arab League cares less.
Palestinians are depending on themselves and all those grassroots solidarity communities around the world to weather this madness.
Christine, farewell. I never met you but love you like I love my 14-yr old daughter Areen nevertheless. Christine you lived 14 years in constant fear. I apologize that I, and the world, could not act swiftly enough to bring you a normal life, a dignified life.
Christine dear, you are one of the older ones to be killed and we need you to be brave to look after all those young children and infants being sent your way by US-supplied Israeli weaponry.
May you rest in peace and find yourself in good company with all those other children. Please look after them and yourself.
You will never be forgotten. Never!
P.S. More words below...words that are starting to feel less and less important as we learn of the massive loss of life.
The Reality In Gaza
4 Minute Video
A doctor from Norway [now in Gaza] details the reality of Israeli attacks on Gaza (Posted January 02, 2009)
Israel's righteous fury and its victims in Gaza (A MUST READ)
Ilan Pappe, The Electronic Intifada, 2 January 2009
American School in Gaza ( http://www.aisgaza.com/ )
"Thanks to two Israeli airstrikes, the American School in Gaza, previously known as "an oasis of learning", became just another pile of rubble and ashes, an ordinary scene in today's Gaza. The only guard of the school was killed in the attack. So much for American/Israeli values of education. How was the AMERICAN school in Gaza of any help to Hamas or any other faction? These pictures are evidence that Israel's war on Gaza is not only aimed at defeating a certain party, but its aimed at making the Palestinians go years back instead of advancing. So much for creating moderate Palestinians! To see pictures of the school before the attack, check http://www.aisgaza.com/" - Yasmeen El-Khoudary (studied at the American School in Gaza)
"Today they flattened the American school which I was the chairman of for seven years and was the best school in Gaza and best playgrounds and design in Palestine. Its graduates went to MIT, Harvard and Princeton. Something the Israelis share with the Islamic fundamentalists (who attacked the school several times because it teaches the American curriculum); they want to keep us backward." - Eyad el Sarrraj
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