A Palestinian child holds the photograph of another child, killed in an Israeli attack, during a protest in the West Bank village of Nilin, near Ramallah, yesterday. The protesters demanded an immediate halt to Israeli offensive against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. At least 40 people were killed in an Israeli airstrike near a UN school in the northern Gaza Strip yesterday. Reuters
She is one of the tens of thousands of mothers battling with life, and death. With Israeli shells and mortars raining day and night, she and her children face the worst crisis of their lives in the Gaza Strip.
Qu Yang is reportedly the only Chinese in Gaza, and has not left her home in days. Though unlike many Palestinians in the territory, she has stocked some food at home, she fears it will run out soon.
Perhaps her greatest predicament is that the person for whom she moved to Gaza 13 years ago is in Shanghai. Qu met her husband, a Gaza-based Lebanese businessman, during his trip to Beijing in 1994.
He was in Shanghai on one of his business trips to China when Israel launched the attack on Gaza 11 days ago. He is stuck there because he cannot return home.
Qu spoke to China Radio International from her home in Gaza earlier. "I've not seen attacks of such scale," she was quoted as having said. "We underestimated the situation because Israel had been threatening to attack but it didn't do so earlier."
Her deadliest experience was when she was walking back home after picking up her 5-year-old child from school on December 27 and a bomb hit a building a few hundred meters away, the Legal Evening News reported. "The building collapsed in seconds and I ran" blindly toward home thinking about the other two children.
Qu could not be contacted yesterday because communication channels had collapsed.
"No one dares to go out after the air raids," Beijing News quoted Qu as having said earlier. "Most of the shops are closed. We cannot get anything "
Qu has moved from the second floor to the ground floor of her house for safety, and has been using her generator for electricity for the past six days after power supply was disrupted.
Yang Weiguo, head of the Office of the People's Republic of China to the Palestinian National Authority, said they were in regular touch with Qu and had advised her not to leave the house.
(China Daily 01/07/2009 page1)