The Israeli general who commanded the destruction of the only Jewish
settlement in the Sinai before it was returned to Egypt recently offered
Ariel Sharon advice on how to carry out his pledge to remove settlers from
the Gaza strip.
"Evicting someone from the home they've lived in for 20 years isn't a
simple matter," wrote Brigadier General Obed Tira. "To remove a family from
its home is embarrassing and difficult, and that is why the removal needs
to be done with a lot of love and a lot of wisdom."
The soldiers who arrived outside the home of Ghalia Abu Radwan, her
octogenarian parents, blind siblings and assortment of children in Khan
Yunis in the middle of the night showed no love, and, if they were
embarrassed, there was no way to know it because they were hidden behind
the armour of their bulldozers and tanks.
As the loudspeakers on the tanks ordered the families out, and bursts of
gunfire sharpened the terror, Mrs Abu Radwan shepherded her blind brother
and sister to safety.
"I grabbed them by the hand and shouted to my mother to follow us," said
Mrs Abu Radwan. "Think of it - 25 children, two blind adults and my parents
who cannot run. My sister-in-law left her three year-old behind in the
chaos and had to go back to get him. When we came back they had destroyed
all the houses."
Mrs Abu Radwan's mother, Ommuhammed, said she thought she would also die.
"I kept imagining a piece of shrapnel hitting my head. I was so exhausted I
had to crawl in the sand sometimes or put my hand on Ghalia's shoulder and
let her pull me," she said.
"Since 1948, the Israelis have demolished three of my homes. This is the
most difficult because before others helped us rebuild but now everyone
needs help and I don't know who will help us...