The war in Gaza hits home in LA

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People hold signs at an anti-Israel protest on July 20, 2014. (Photo: Benjamin Gottlieb)

Hani Jamah is dentist based in San Jose. His  parents are from Gaza and Jamah still has family in the region. He’s been following the war closely, but while recently watching Al Jazeera America, he learned that members of his family had become casualties of the war. On Which Way, LA?  Warren talked to him about the news.

Here’s an edited excerpt from the interview:

I  woke up this morning and I turned on Al Jazeera news to find out that 27 members of my family, well they are distant family, they are my cousins. But 27 of them were killed yesterday when an F 16 missile directly hit their home around the sunset time. So I rushed to the phone.

One person survived out of the four families. They were basically brothers and sisters living in a four story building, so each one has a floor of the building and basically they were fasting. They were waiting to break their fast when the missile hit their house.

We heard through the media that Israel warned people by bombing their house – first a small bomb, and after after 30 seconds they leveled their house. My cousin’s house was bombed seven days ago. They called his cell phone and said, ‘we are going to bomb your house you have 40 seconds to leave,’ so they have to rush. Literally they have to run outside the house and hide by a neighboring wall before the building is destroyed.

It is absolutely terrible to hear. You’re not seeing a war with the conventional term where an army is fighting an army. What you can see now was an extremely dirty way of war, where civilians are the targeted.

Gaza is actually six miles wide by 25 miles long and you have the highest population in the world, so you have 2 million people living in an area which is between Orange County and Los Angeles. That’s Gaza. And on this on this small piece of land you have 25000 people living per square mile. So if you are flying your airplane and you threw a rock on Gaza it is going to hit someone’s head. When you bomb a house or an area, you are 100 percent going to target civilians and this is what exactly happening.

For more from Hani Jamah, and to hear how the war is coming home to both the Israeli and Palestinian community in Los Angeles, listen here: Which Way, LA?.