Kathy Kelly from Pax Christi USA writes:
Jehad Abusalim, a Palestinian now living in the United States, grew up in Gaza. In Chicago last week, addressing activists committed to breaking the siege of Gaza, he held up a stack of 31 papers. On each page were names of 1,254 Palestinians living in Gaza who had been killed in just one month of Israel's "Operation Protective Edge" attacks five years ago.
"I felt shaky and uneasy all day preparing for this talk," he told the group. He described his dismay when, looking through the list of names, he recognized one of a young man from his small town.
"He was always friendly to me," Abusalim said. "I remember how he would greet me on the way to the mosque. His family and friends loved him, respected him."
Abusalim recalled the intensity of losing loved ones and homes; of seeing livelihoods and infrastructure destroyed by aerial attacks; of being unable to protect the most vulnerable. He said it often takes ten years or more before Palestinian families traumatized by Israeli attacks can begin talking about what happened. Noting Israel's major aerial attacks in 2009, 2013, and 2014, along with more recent attacks killing participants in the "Great March of Return," he spoke of ongoing dread about what might befall Gaza's children the next time an attack happens.
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