July 2014
A letter from Ahmed, son of a friend of mine from Gaza.
This letter came to me from Ahmed that lives in Gaza.

I knew Ahmed’s father, Mussah, who worked many years ago at a metalworking shop in south Tel-Aviv district.
He was a very nice man who used to leave every morning from Gaza at 4:00 am and start working at 6:30am at the metalworking shop in Tel Aviv.
Mussah worked hard in order to provide for his family, to buy an apartment in the city of Gaza.
Ahmed, Mussah’s son used to come once in a while to help his father with his work.
Today Ahmed, a 30 year old father writes about his history:
“Many years ago, when my father had to leave his job in Tel Aviv, he started to work in a small metalworking shop in Gaza.
Economy was hard and I used to help him work, in order to provide for our family.
Only a minute after Israel had to leave the Gaza strip in 2006, Pickup trucks started driving around the city with thugs from Hamas, raging the streets of the city, They were shooting everywhere and hit every person who looked like he was against their agenda, people were afraid to walk in the streets, my father forbad my family to leave the house for a few days.
After a few days, only my father and I went outside to the metalworking shop in order to provide for our family, every time we heard a vehicle, we would be afraid and look for a hideout at the shop.
One day, a pickup truck, filled with Hamas thugs, stopped by the shop. They went in and took the owner. Two days later, he came back with his face down and talked to my father, I sat to the side and listened.
I understood that Hamas notified him that from today on, his shop will work for Hamas, and Hamas only.
They set the prices and the demand, that was ordered from the shop.
Since that day, every morning an armed Hamas member would come to the shop and give us orders to make winged metal pipes and straight ahead. I understood that they were used to launch rockets.

One day, a pickup truck drove by and stopped, the Hamas members came down and took my father from the shop, we never saw him again. Later, I understood that they killed him and threw his body in a pit.
Life became harder and harder. Work wasn’t easy. We got a small allowance that barely was enough for bread and milk.
One day, a friend of mine offered me to come with him, to do some work. Since I needed the money, I went with him.
We came to an apartment in Gaza, there were six of us. They put us in the back of a truck. We sat in the dark and couldn’t see where were going. We drove for an hour and finally they stopped and we came out of the truck standing in a closed building, we didn’t know where we were.

They showed us a hole in the ground and told us to go down, the slope was scary and we found ourselves inside a tunnel, we walked for a few hundred meters and we got to the end, where two Hamas members were waiting for us, they gave us working tools and explained to us what to do in order to make the tunnel longer.
Work was hard, we were suffocating from lack of air. We worked 8 hour shifts and then rested for 4 hours; we stayed in the tunnel for 10 days.
The Hamas members changed every day, they used to shout at us and hit us when they thought the supply of work was low. After 10 days, they took us out, put us in a truck, gave us little money and drove us back to someplace in Gaza.

We didn’t know where we’ve been, what tunnel we dug, the pay was low but they did pay. I never went back to do that work.
I went back to try to get some work at the metalworking shop but I found that it was closed. I asked the neighbors what happened and they answered with fear that Hamas moved the shop to another location and nobody knew where. They told me that every morning a truck with Hamas members comes, picks up the workers, puts them at the closed back of the truck and drives them away and brings them back late at night.
I found myself working in temporary jobs in order to provide for my family.
We live in constant fear, once in a while a truck full with armed Hamas members comes by and attacks civilians.
We see in Gaza, the rich Hamas members, living in glamorous houses, driving new cars, sending their children to universities abroad while most of Gaza’s citizens live in fear and poverty, without the ability to work.
Sometimes the kids tell us that Hamas is giving away free candy in different locations around Gaza, the kids go to get the sweets and right after, we hear that rockets were launched from that same location.
Israel retaliates to that same location and kids get hurt.

I write you this letter because the situation is very bad.
Luckily for us, we are living in the city of Gaza but we have families that live in other parts of the Gaza strip, Hamas runs a war against Israel, shooting rockets constantly on your communities and we the people of Gaza suffer the consequences, we just have no place to hide.
The members of Hamas are hiding in their bunkers under ground, some of them are not even in the Gaza strip, they are protected and they have no problem to continue to fight.
There were many families that rented Hamas rooms and yards at the back of their homes, Hamas gave them money to put food on the table and now they fire rockets on Israel from those people’s homes, many of the homes get blown up by your air force strikes.
We suffer so much, we’re afraid of the Hamas, we’re afraid of your bombings, there are huge explosions all the time, we hear the sound of Hamas launching their rockets and we know that in a minute there will be another sound of explosion from your rockets.
We heard about the tunnels that Hamas dug and I understood that I helped them, what I don’t understand is why Hamas is doing everything possible to hurt Israel instead of developing the Gaza strip to make the peoples’ lives better.

I hope everything will end and my family and I will survive, but I’m losing hope. I know that Hamas will take all the money that the world gives to restore Gaza and use it to build more tunnels, buy more weapons and build more villas for the leaders of Hamas.
Hamas’s thugs will continue to drive in the streets and hurt the civilians.
The only thing I can say is that some of Hamas leaders are hiding in bunkers under hospitals and schools because they know Israel won’t hurt them there and that’s a shame.
We pray that the world will help to free us from the fearful and cruel Hamas rule in the Gaza strip.
I’m sure that if you’ll spread this letter, you won’t expose my father’s real name who was your friend and neither my name.
I pray for death to all Hamas members and that we will get freedom and have a chance to live a normal life for our children in Gaza.
I wish we can go back to the days when my father worked in Tel Aviv with his good friends in Israel.
Inshalla! مرحبا

Nisan Ayallon

Corrected by Orenu.co.il

Hebrew translation from Arabic (Original)

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