Israel terrorizing Gazans with sonic booms

From Electronic Intifada, Palestinian psychiatrist Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj describes the effect of sonic booms from Israeli war planes on Gaza:

28 September 2005 — During the last few days, Gaza was awakened from its dreams of liberation with horrible explosions which have shattered our skies, shaken our buildings, broken our windows, and threw the place into panic.

We have been bombed since Friday 23 September, day and night. Usually between 2:00-4:00am, between 6:30 – 8:00 in the morning during the time children go to school, and in the afternoon or early evening.

The explosions are heard and felt all over the Gaza Strip with the same intensity. These explosions were used alongside the usual routine of killing and destruction which the Israelis forces are familiar with.

This new cycle of terror started with Israel assassinating four people in the West Bank town of Tulkarem. On the same day, Islamic Jihad retaliated from Gaza by sending rockets to Israeli village of Sdirot. On the same day, 19 people were killed during a military parade of Hamas. Apparently the cause was mishandling of explosive, but Hamas blamed Israel and joined Islamic Jihad in sending rockets to Sdirot, where five people were injured.

Hamas quickly retracted and announced that it will stop all military operation from Gaza. Islamic Jihad followed with assertion that it will abide by the truce. Israel’s campaign of bombing continues. Last night I, together with all Gazans, was awakened by the horrible noise twice, at 3:30am and at 7:15am. I hardly was able to sleep in-between. Five more explosions were directed at us in the last four hours, one has shaken my desk while I am writing.

Gaza is in a state of panic, children are restless, crying, frightened and many are wetting their beds. Some children are afraid to leave home and refuse to go to school. Many are dazed, pale, insomniac and have a poor appetite.

Some pregnant women reported colics and some were admitted to hospital with precipitated labour. Many people complain of ear pressure. All are stunned.

Israel’s new method of creating intentional sonic booms in our skies was never used before the disengagement, so as not to alarm or hurt the Israeli settlers and their children.

Israel is inducing learned helplessness to the Palestinians in Gaza with the aim of making the whole population captive to fear and paralysis. This is a war crime and this is a racist crime. Israel must be stopped.

Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj is the founder and director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP). He is also the Commissioner-General of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens’ Rights. He was born in Beersheva, Palestine, and currently lives in Gaza. He is married and has two children, Sayf & Wasseem.


See our last post on Gaza.

  1. Rosh H’Shanah Statement
    Rosh H’Shanah Statement
    European Jews for a Just Peace
    Jewish New Year 5766

    It is both tragic and shameful that, on the Eve of Rosh H’Shanah, the
    Jewish New Year, the beginning of the High Holidays, the period of
    remembrance, spiritual self-examination, and repentance by Jewish people
    everywhere, destruction and new acts of terror were brought to the Gaza
    Strip by the Israeli Army.

    We remember that it was on the Eve of the High Holidays 2000 when Ariel
    Sharon caused increased humiliation, oppression, and death for the
    occupied Palestinian people. This memory has not paled, indeed it has
    been intensified by the continual, new crimes carried out by the Sharon

    The European Jews for a Just Peace wish to express their unreserved
    condemnation of the inexcusable military air attacks on the Gaza Strip,
    including innumerable sound attacks by F-16 fighter jets.

    These unbearable sound explosions have terrifying effects, including
    physical consequences, hearing problems, colics, trauma, etc., on the
    entire population of the Gaza Strip, a population of approximately
    1.300,000 Palestinians. They are of particular harm to babies, children,
    and pregnant women. Many of these air attacks have been carried out at

    The Israeli Army is thus terrorising a largely unarmed population with
    its military war machine. Many question the recent withdrawal of
    settlers from the Gaza Strip, asking whether this was done to give the
    Israeli Army a free hand in Gaza. Judging by the reprehensible acts of
    the last days, this seems to be the case.

    The European Jews for a Just Peace urgently call on the Government of
    Israel to cease its targeted, extrajudicial killings, of which at least
    11 have occurred in the last 10 days. There can be no justification for
    the illegitimacy of these murders. Moreover, other than the illegality
    of such criminal actions it should be obvious to the Government of
    Israel, which claims to act in the interests of its people, and, indeed,
    to any objective observer, that this will only result in an escalation
    of violence, retaliation and pain for the civilian Israeli population.

    The European Jews for a Just Peace also condemn the arrests of hundreds
    of Palestinians on mere suspicion, which is in contravention of
    international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. The legitimation of
    such arrests would mean that any Palestinian can be taken prisoner by
    the Israeli Army on the grounds that he is a terrorist, without giving
    any proof whatsoever of his guilt.

    The European Jews for a Just Peace call on the international community,
    the United Nations and the European Union, to finally accept their
    responsibility and to put an end to the bloodshed in Palestine. We call
    on all peace loving forces to act in every way possible against the
    collective punishment meted out against the entire Palestinian
    population of almost 4,000,000 people.

    The injustice of the 38-year military occupation by Israel over East
    Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which is now largely being
    annexed to Israel by its so-called “separation barrier”, must end.
    It is totally unacceptable that the United Nations Charter,
    international law and innumerable United Nations resolutions and
    agreements have been treated with disrespect and are being ignored by
    the Israeli Government. Consequently, the international community, the
    United Nations and the European Union are urgently requested, in defence
    of international law, to take concrete action against the aggressive
    policies of the Government of Israel.

    On the Eve of Rosh H’Shanah, the Jewish New Year, The European Jews
    for a Just Peace declare that the many dead and wounded victims,
    destruction, hate and immeasurable pain of the last decades confirm that
    peace can never be based on military power and occupation.

    We hope that the New Year will give the international community and
    above all, the people and Government of Israel the strength and wisdom
    to take honest and confidence-building measures to achieve a just and
    lasting peace for both peoples.

    EJJP, 3 October 2005

    1. Israeli sonic booms
      Well said ! If only Israelis could understand what harm they are doing and what hatred they are creating by their inhumane actions against ordinary Palestinians. Under it’s current leadership Israel is behaving like an incipient Fascist state and its human rights record is appalling. There seems little difference between the early days of Nazism and Israeli actions today. Israel should be ashamed for its disgraceful behaviour towards helpless people. Nobody condones bombings but that applies to Israeli actions as well.