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> First communion on Nakba Day
> Bethlehem Blog: Recreating life
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> The Shoes (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra's boyhood in Bethlehem)
> No Time to Say Goodbye, Gaza
> Hope for Palestine's hills
> Letter from refugee Aida Camp, Bethlehem, 2008
> Salt of this Sea: Important announcement
From: Communication DePART
No Time for Loved Ones to Say Goodbye
It was 4:00 PM, on January 3, in Beit Lahiya when Marwan Al- Ghoul and his nephew Basel Al- Ghoul, the son of Akram Al- Ghoul were out filming for their news agency the missiles of an F-16 fighter-bombing, an area close to their home.
Akram al-Ghoul, the father of Basel was in his farm house that day working on his crops, located just a few kilometers from the closest area to the northern border with Israel. Akrem al-Ghoul, lived in his two story building beside his farm. He was a lawyer and a judge who worked for the Palestinian Authority but after Hamas took over, he quit and turned to agriculture.
Basel filmed the fighter plane with no clue that they were filming the same planes that would kill his father. Basel was scared and he felt that the strike was too close to home. Then after a few minutes they received a phone call from his sister telling them that the missiles have hit the farm house of Akram and they have to come with an ambulance immediately. Unfortunately, there was no hope of getting an ambulance up to the farm because the roads were cut off by the Israelis.
Marwan sadly explained: “All the residents of this area are known by the Israeli soldiers. The residents had to enter the area using their magnetic identification cards because they lived in between a settlement,” then he added: “After the pull-out this area has been under constant surveillance from all sides and non- residents are unable to enter.”
Then with fear Marwan decided to drive with Basel to the farm to search for Akram. Basel was hoping to save his father but with a phone ring all his hope of finding his father alive was destroyed. When Marwan arrived he saw that the house was not destroyed but the farm house was reduced to rubble.
As he walked around the ruble he found a mutated body torn apart, the peace of that place was shattered and his father's life extinguished at the age of 48. Aguishly he said, “My father was a peaceful man. He had no enemies. He was preparing for his doctorate but I guess now he has a higher degree.” They carried the body wrapped in a mantle in search for the other relative. Mohamad was found lying 300 meters away from Akram.
Unable to speak, Basel tried to hold back tears as he spoke about the incident that left him fatherless. “I knew that with these planes that something must have happened to my father.” Tears flowing down his checks, he said: “I found my father just a pile of flesh and I could not save him.”
Then his uncle continued to express how he felt and said: “In my twelve years, as a journalist covering many war crimes I have never seen anything so brutal.” Choking as his eyes filled with tears, he said: “Akram loved taking care of the flowers. He mentioned that his soul is attached to this place and that he feels restful here.”