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Photo by Maor Moravia

Photo by Maor Moravia

Photo by Maor Moravia

Photo by Maor Moravia



By Noam Bedein, Director Sderot Media Center, March 9, 2011

On Wednesday the 9th of March 2011, an unprecedented video conference was convened at the Sderot City Hall, between representatives and residents from Sderot and Ashkelon, on one side of the screen, while, on the other side, there were 'new' judges in Geneva from the UN Human Rights Commission - among them a leading US Judge Mary Davis, who has been placed in charge of investigating thousands of law suits against Israel's military response to the attacks from Gaza, which  took place in December 08/January 09. This commission is still examining the results of the IDF military operation in Gaza two years later, while hardly anyone is examining the results of the Gazan aerial attacks on Sderot and the Western Negev region of Israel.

Two years ago, SMC, The Sderot Media Center,, was asked by the UN Human Rights Commission to help facilitate Israeli victims of the Gaza attacks to come to Geneva.  SMC was  asked this time as well to assist  the  commission in learning about the human side of the story on the ground in Sderot, something that no UN body has done during at any time during the past 10 years of Gaza attacks on this city -the only city whose civilian population in the Western world has been under sustained aerial attacks from a radical Islamic-controlled entity.

 On Thursday, the Sderot municipality hosted representatives of  the International Jewish association of lawyers, who presented three members of a panel to testify on the video conference: The mayor of Sderot,  David Boskila, The head of the Sderot Parents Association, Mrs. Hava Gad, a representative of the Ashkelon Municipality,  Anat Barkovitz and the  spokesperson of Ashkelon's Barzilai hospital- Lea Malol.
Each panelist had only a few to tell their side of the story, beginning with Mrs. Malol, who described the work at the hospital which was not protected against the Iranian-manufactured Grad missiles. She described what it was like to treated over 500 Israeli and Palestinian patients from Gaza.. "What other hospital in the world  would allow itself to function under 10 years of rocket threat - with no vacations, doctors and nurses worrying about their own children, with thousands of children with PTSD symptoms, not including the deaths and over 1,000 injuries which resulted from rocket attacks over  the past few years"
Hava Gad, who also helps out at the Sderot Media Center, told what it meant to be officially diagnosed as a trauma victim, commenced with her first sentence of her testimony:

"We're sitting in the municipality at the moment, and you (judges) should know there is no protection or bomb shelter to protect this building.. I don't go anywhere in this town unless there's a shelter near by"…
Mrs. Gad described how she stopped functioning as a  mother, and that she was not the woman that she once was, and talked about her fears the 24 hour medication that she is on.,.

I thought back to the time when Hava collapsed on way in her home, after Shabbat dinner, after seven sirens went off. After  every explosion, she would start shaking until she completely collapsed. Each time,  having her 9 year old comforting her and petting her head, saying:  " It's OK Ima, the Qassams fell far from here…"
The last one who spoke was the Sderot Mayor, David Buskilla who slowly recited  the names of children who were murdered by the Gaza missiles. These slain Sderot children  had been born to immigrants from around the world, from Morocco, Ethiopia and the former Soviet Untion.

Buskilla went on to describe the thousands of children who are had lost their childhood and told the UN that he spoke in the name of the 25,000 Sderot residents who cannot understand why no human rights committee in the UN has ever stood up for them.
The legal panelists on the other side of the video conference, at the UN in Geneva, only asked how many attacks there had been since the IDF  operation in Gaza. The accurate number: The Hamas regime in Gaza has launched 535 aerial attacks since Israel unilaterally ceased fire on the day before President Obama's inauguration on  January 19th, 2009, giving new meaning to Israel's situation: We cease, they fire. .
Noam Bedein
Sderot Media Center


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