“Suddenly, at 2:30 am, in the early hours of Saturday 24, 2005, I woke up rashly from my sleep, finding my three little kids, Ghadir (9), Rawan (6) and Fadi (4), crying fearfully in my room, saying Dad, Dad”.

The time I saw my kids that way, Israeli jetfighters were making a sonic boom in the sky of the Gaza Strip, middle refugee camp of Maghazi, as a horrible sound was ripping through the ears of tens of thousands of local Palestinians living in the area and in the surroundings”, with these words, Abu Ghadir 30, from the Maghazi refugee camp started to talk about his ‘new-old’ experience with the Israeli raids.

Ghadir, his eldest daughter spoke in a hush worried voice about her shock at that night, saying: “as I was sleeping in my room along with my sister and brother, I heard a very terrific sound; I thought it was a bomb. Suddenly me, Rawan and Fadi got up together and rushed fearfully to our parents’ bed”.

“I wonder why the Israeli planes do this to us! Haven’t they gone? My teacher in school told us that the Jews have gone from our lands, so we got very happy. Haven’t they (the Israelis) gone from our land?”, Ghadir raised the question.

Rawan spoke with cute, babble-natured words about her reaction to the Israeli jetfighters’ sonic booms over Maghazi that night, saying “I was very frightened when the bomb sound roared, so I stuck to my mother and father.”

Fadi (4), the eldest son of Abu Ghadir, with his small mostly understood words, said:”the planes, the planes…. I was frightened”.

Abu Ghadir, the father, went onto saying that “let me ask a question, suppose the Israeli settlers were not evacuated, would the Israeli warplanes ripped through Gaza air that repeatedly and at most sensitive times, the time where every man, women and child happens to be sleeping deeply.”

“When the Israeli settlers were surrounding the Palestinian areas in Gaza, such Israeli heavy raids, were much fewer than those of today, as Gaza is free of settlers now”, he explained.

“ It is racism that Israel is practicing against us; I wonder as to the way Israel is punishing the Palestinian people’s children, women and men, what the children have to do with such bombs? Are they terrorists that need to be terrified?

For how long our children will remain to be obsessed by the roaring of Israeli fighters which continue to hover in the Palestinian sky? Abu Ghadir questioned at the end of his witness to the latest Israeli raids.

Israeli jetfighters, mainly F-16s, continue to air-strike many areas in the ‘recently-evacuated’ Gaza Strip, in which several Palestinians have been killed, dozens others wounded, severe damages inflicted to buildings and a great deal of panic caused to men, women and children.

Rami Almeghari, 31 years old Palestinian, living in the Maghazi Refugee Camp, Middle of the Gaza Strip and working  as deputy-director of the Translation Department of the Gaza-based State Information Service (SIS) and former  editor in chief of the SIS-linked International Press Center’s English website.