22 Jul 2014

Last night was hellish’ – trapped in Gaza’s fire zone

“Good morning my dear,” Adeem’s first message read. “Last night was hellish.”

My friend is trapped in the middle of the fire zone. For four days and four nights now she’s been under non-stop bombardment.


Adeem Middain is in her parent’s farm house, half a mile from the Israeli border with them, her uncle and brother and two tiny children.

They are running out of food and water. They have no power. They can hear Israeli tanks around them, but dare not even look out the window.

I was relieved to hear from her. I hadn’t been able to reach her by phone last night. I couldn’t stop thinking about them cowering in the darkness all night.

It was now 7am and there had just been three F16 strikes around our hotel, the last one of which had shaken our building like an earthquake.

Live updates from Gaza: read Jonathan Miller’s blog

But there were already rumours that a ceasefire was due to come into effect at 10. I messaged Adeem to say that if this happened we’d try to reach her.

“Do u know your way to here?” she asked. “My dad is still refusing to leave but my mum gets panic attacks and high blood pressure.”

10am came and went and all we could hear was more airstrikes. Then word came through that the Israelis had rejected the five-hour ceasefire.

“Yes, I noticed that there is no ceasefire since the shelling here intensified,” Adeem replied, when I told her.

I said that there had been an astonishing response to my story of her plight. That it had been shared around widely on Twitter.

Then she wrote: “Thank everyone one on my behalf. “Tell them their support and prayers make us much stronger.”

That’s you, by the way. You, who are reading this.

A couple of hours went by. Then this: “I am so sick and disgusted by the silence of the so-called international community. They react to what’s happening here as though Gaza not part of this planet.”

It’s a sentiment shared by many here.

When we filmed people flooding out of Shajaiyah the other day – the eastern suburb of Gaza city that has been bombarded in recent days – one man said to me: “Those who are doing this are not human. It is as if they come from some other planet.”

The comment prompted me to wonder what Martians would make of all this, were they to suddenly drop in.

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13 reader comments

  1. janet says:

    ‘/Why do we not learn from history?.War never benefits anyone only the arm’s dealers.It breaks my heart to see all this inhumanity.

  2. Emmet says:

    Dear Adeem,we have not forgot about you or Gaza,I was at a demonstration in London on Saturday and there were over a hundred thousand people there,all marching in solidarity with the Gazan people.This is happening all over eurupe and beyond.I have to admit it is frustrating that our political leaders are so silent on the issue.They had better be careful,lest peaceful demonstrations turn into something far uglier.Stay safe my friend and take heart that millions care for you

  3. Athena Polydorou says:

    I have just heard the press statement by Ban Ki-moon as he stood next to the criminal Netanyahu. After Netanyahu inverted the truth yet again by posing as the victim in this carnage and blaming the death toll on Hamas who ‘began this conflict’, the cue was given to Ban Ki-moon who said that he stood there with ‘a heavy heart’ and is ‘appalled by the aggression of the Hamas rockets that are endangering Israeli lives’. And on and on it went. Making me feel sick with sheer rage.

    These pathological liars are psychopaths let loose and are not going to shift an inch on this, not now not in the future. The vested interests are not negotiable and will not be jeopardized for the sake of the Palestinians. On the contrary, the Palestinian people have given them their raison d’etre – it is an ideal place for testing their arms and keeping the arms industry flourishing. And the whole Western world, not to say the entire world, is implicated in one way or another. Whether through their arms trade, other trade agreements, or their silence, which is collusion in another form.

    It is this ‘democratic world’ this ‘international community’ that is giving the Israelis the license to murder an entire people with impunity. As for the children: they simply do not want them to grow into adulthood. It is and has been since 1948 genocide.

    As for the Israeli argument of the Palestinian authority being the wrong one – it makes not the slightest difference who is in power, as the Israeli policy is one of annihilation. And if god himself ruled over Palestine, they would find ways to corrupt and sabotage him in order to continue their war. This is a war without end – that is what defines Israel.

    Meanwhile, those of us who are politically conscious are at the side of the Palestinian people and active in every way that we can be – yet how impotent we are made to feel in the face of so much consolidated, collusive and aggressive power. Because in the end, something much more consolidated on our part has to take place in order to stop once and for all this barbaric elite that rules the world and sees people as targets of one kind or another, and not as people with the right to live in the full sense.

    I am an atheist, so I cannot pray for Adeem, but with all my heart I hope that she and her family survive this nightmare inflicted on them by the world leaders and the Israelis first and foremost.
    Adeem is right to be angry and to wonder at the silence of the ‘international community’ – it is though the silence of those who rule and their collusive institutions.

    The voices Adeem should be listening out for are the thousands and millions of people who have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate against these crimes worldwide.

    If the mainstream media distorts and inverts the truth it is because they are an extension of a political and economic system that causes these crimes in the first place. And change will not come from these sources, but from the millions they are trying to silence every day.

    Jonathan Miller, can I also take this opportunity to say that the humanity you have expressed these past few days is the mark of courageous reporting, which, in the end, is simply about being a thinking and feeling human being.

    With very best wishes
    Athena Polydorou

  4. swollen eyes says:

    I grew up watching movies and reading books about how the world slept while a beast was unleashed on mankind, annialing Jews. I cried as the teenager reading Anne frank’s diaries and the poignant final scene of schindlers list when Mr. Schindler is distraught at the sight of his car; “if only I had sold this I could have saved 10 more people”.

    I reassured my myslef that it could never happen again, not in a world who has learned its lesson
    Not in a world who has seen how heinous unchecked evil can be,
    Not in a world where we fight for animal rights,
    Not in a world where we learned about propaganda posters.

    Dear humans the world belongs to us, the inhumane need our help to stop them commiting crimes their grandchildren will still be apologising for. I raise my voice for humanity with a tear in my eye, a repeat offender cannot be expected to conttol itself. I have made my donations I have seen the eyewitness accounts and documentaries, please tell me how else I can help?

    What are you going to tell your grandchildren? What world did we make for them.

    Swollen eyes

  5. SAJID TALATI says:

    I am so happy that channel 4 is showing the truth…it’s makes me so sad to see so many civilians getting slaughtered just to get hold of the whole Gaza, I’ve heard Israel and Cameron and British Gas had signed a contract for 1 trillion cubic feet of gas in the fields, if this is the case then these people are not humans.

  6. Yannis the Greek says:

    I am helpless to help.

    My heart aches and I feel anger and confusion

    Why is ‘my government!’ in my name supporting the massacre of innocent defenceless Palestinians

    thank you Jonathan for telling the world what atrocities are happening in Gaza and I wish Adeem and her family and ALL Palestinians safety from massacre
    I pray the criminals will be brought to book asap

  7. Vivian Kaufman says:

    Our hearts are bleeding for the Gaza Genocide. We feel so helpless. Once again everyone is crying for seize fire. And I ask myself, for what end. What has been accomplished. Another enforcement of the occupation. Occupation needs to end. The occupiers are the terrorists. The Palestinians are fighting for their independence. Israel stop your occupation of the Palestinians. Stop your control of their lands, their commerce, their movement, their financial institutions. Moving out of Gaza and bordering the area like a large open prison is Isreals biggest lie. Israel NEVER stopped its occupation of Gaza or the West Bank.

  8. Rabia Khan says:

    Thank you C4 for covering the crisis in so much detail & bringing us unbiased reporting! Our thoughts and prayers are with Adeem, the Press, who are risking their lives to give us the truth & all of our Palestinian brothers and sisters who are being mercilessly targeted by an inhumane nation. May God grant you peace, strength and patience. Don’t give up, our prayers will be answered, this bloodshed will stop… InshaAllah…

  9. Peter Moonan says:

    Channel 4 News should be asking British politicians when they are going to demand that very serious
    economic and cultural sanctions be imposed on The State of Israel. The carnage and destruction currently being inflicted on Gaza is utterly disgusting. Israel is in constant breach of
    International Law and has been for decades.The reason they get away with this is that the E.U.
    and U.S. governments sit back and do nothing about it. In deliberately so doing, they are actively
    colluding with The State of Israel in its criminal activities. It is the duty of responsible journalists to take the lead in asking why no action is ever taken against Israel despite its continuous killing of innocent civilians, its collective punishments, its continuous illegal annexations and occupation of Palestinian lands etc. etc. etc.

  10. Tasneem Eshki says:

    We are here praying for you Adeem and everyone in Gaza. And thank you Jonathon for sharing this with everyone…

  11. Karen says:

    Our prayers are with you sent on angel wings.. bless you all and I hope you get out soon.

  12. mike plant says:

    If Hamas disarmed and stopped trying to wipe Israel from the map then the problems of bombs and tanks would instantly stop.

  13. Sad for humankind says:

    I pray for you Adeem and pray you will survive this nightmare. It is so awful words fail me. Thankyou Jonathan Miller for daring to be a journalist and reporting as you see it. I cannot imagine life in an open prison and living in fear. All our governments need to stop this injustice as we are all powerless without our leaders.
    So sad at our impotence.

Comments are closed.