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Laila al-Ghandour – the Unfortu...

Laila al-Ghandour – the Unfortunate Poster Child of Palestine’s Suffering

After the launch of the US embassy in Jerusalem earlier this week, Israeli forces attacked a group of Palestinian protestor along the Gaza Strip. The resulting bloodbath claimed at least 58 lives and injured 1000’s others. The Israel-Palestine conflict started in 1948 and has led to innumerable deaths, with each event more tragic than the one before. However, these recent events have left not just the residents of Gaza but people across the globe, completely shook. Laila Anwar al-Ghandour is an eight-month-old victim of the never-ending bloodshed. She has become the symbol of Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian people. Just like Alyan Kurdi became the symbol of the Syrian plight.

The toddler died after inhaling an excessive amount of tear gas that was bombarded on the surrounding area.

Laila is the youngest victim of the torture inducing attack that unfolded on Monday.

Laila lived under the care of her family in the Al-Shati district of Western Gaza.

After the attacks on Monday, Laila fought the gas that had penetrated her lungs but breathed her last the following day. She was amongst 20 more youngsters who lost their lives the same day. Her grandmother recalled the story of how Laila had “stopped crying,” making them want to believe she was asleep. However, upon arrival at the hospital, her family learned that Laila had passed away.

16-year-old Talal succumbed to several injuries the same day.

For several weeks now the people of Palestine have protested, demanding back the land they were forced to flee from when the Jews sought protection in their land in 1948. For more than 12 years, the Gaza strip has been cut off from the world leaving the residents of the area completely penurious. As a result of this war, an approximate sum of 10,000 Palestinians have either been left handicapped or have died.

The irony and the ignorance of the events is palpable – where several continue to die at the hands of the Israeli’s, Ivanka Trump inaugurated the US embassy in Jerusalem, not just at the same day, but the same hour. Where the inauguration was being conducted in full swing, Abu Salah fought for his life from his wheelchair, one last time.

This young amputee lost both his legs 10 years ago as a result of the war. However, this fateful Monday took his life as well.

 

Reports claim that since 2014, the extent of torture inflicted on Gaza has not been as severe as it was on May 14th. More than 2000 people lost their lives, reportedly 500 of them were children. As a result and in tragic honor of these horrendous losses, West Bank held a general strike. Turkey condemned the deaths calling the mass killings nothing short of genocide and declared 3 days of mourning as well.

Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, both, strongly condemned these violent attacks. Several of the social activists also claimed that the blood being lost in Gaza will not be in vain and they will be avenged.
On the other hand, Donald Trump, the one who tends to word vomit on Twitter the first chance he gets, has held complete silence over the matter.

On the contrary, he congratulated Israeli’s on attaining the embassy, calling it a “big day.”

Conclusively, it only makes us wonder what the world has come to. Where innumerable kids are dropping dead like flies, the incentive and prerogative of the world seem amiss. Palestinian kids, women, men, children, and everyone inclusive continue to yelp and plea the world to help them reclaim their land. Laila, is a representation of that voice being repeatedly lost in the white noise. The world continues to stay silent.

We do not need to pray for Gaza, we need to act for the people suffering there.

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An English Literature graduate with a passion for Psychology. An avid reader, writer, poet (self-proclaimed) and part-time fitness trainer. Currently working with NIC, Lahore. I spin words to make my narcissistic wit sound like diffident profundity. The above feels a lot like braggadocio, meh!

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