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In Israel, a burial under rocket fire and a call to spare Gaza

Tan KW
Publish date: Sat, 14 Oct 2023, 11:24 PM
Tan KW
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KIBBUTZ NAAN, Israel: In Kibbutz Na'an, near Israel's commercial hub Tel Aviv, Yaakov Godo stood in front of the coffin of his son, Tom, who was shot dead in front of his family by Hamas fighters.

On the 72-year-old Israeli's t-shirt is a famous peace slogan in both Hebrew and Arabic: "Looking the occupation in the eye."

"I'm a human rights activist," said the retired vet who helps Palestinian patients access health care.

"I'm fighting the occupation. I take care of the passage of Palestinians to Jordan, or from Gaza to Israel - and I won't stop. I'll continue. And I'll support the Palestinians," he said as his son's body was buried.

An Israeli soldier, sent from cemetery to cemetery, reminds the 200 mourners what to do in case of rocket attack - a growing risk in this past week.

"You have 90 seconds to scatter and get down on the ground," he tells them.

Even before the funeral is over, the siren wails, forcing the crowd to take cover, hands on heads, among the freshly dug graves.

Then two sharp but recognisable sounds of rockets being intercepted are heard, and the mourners sigh with relief.

At the kibbutz, south of Tel Aviv, the peace activists bury their comrade against the backdrop of the sound and fury of war.

Throughout the ceremony, Israeli fighter jets criss-cross the sky, the noise of their engines drowning out hymns and prayer.

"What is happening in Gaza is horrific," said Godo.

"I'm asking our pilots to drop the bombs they are being asked to drop on the people of Gaza into the sea, instead of on people.

"Enough is enough. And yes, I'm saying it today."

The Godo family is part of a left-wing, secular, pro-peace activist group opposed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

They may be a minority in Israel but are historically well-represented in the kibbutz.

Tom Godo, 52, an engineer with a passion for theatre and Italy, decided to move to Kissufim, in the Negev desert next to the Gaza Strip this year.

He planned to begin "a new chapter" in his life, in line with his political convictions.

Last Saturday, hundreds of Hamas fighters broke through the heavily fortified border, raining a barrage of rockets and fear on Israel.

More than 1,300 Israelis, most of them civilians, were killed in the street, in their homes and at a music festival.

At Kissufim, the Godo family's nightmare lasted 25 hours.

Tom Godo used his body to block the door of the safe room that separated him, his wife and their three daughters from the Hamas fighters outside.

The door to the shelter could be opened from the outside. He spent all day Saturday and into the night against it, despite the grenades and gunfire outside.

"At about 7.30am the next day (Sunday), two bullets passed through the armour plating on the door, hitting him in the body," his father said.

"He fell and died almost instantly. His wife, in a desperate move, opened the shelter window and let their daughters out, not knowing what was there.

"She jumped out and saved their lives," he added.

The two little girls, four-year-old Tsuf and Geffen, aged 6, were in a state of "absolute trauma", their grandfather said.

They did not attend the funeral.

The couple's eldest child, Romy, 11, insisted on coming, however. In a sweatshirt despite the heat, she stared at the red earth covering her father's coffin.

Tom Godo's widow, Limor, wearing jeans and sandals, took the microphone briefly.

"The last moments in the shelter, I had time to tell you, that I know that you will always do all that is in your means, never giving up," she said, her voice breaking.

"And I am pledging in front of you now, to take what you gave me, our life, the one of our three lovely daughters, and to put together all these shattered parts of our life, one by one.

"I love you."

 - AFP

Discussions
Be the first to like this. Showing 5 of 5 comments

Sohailau

God bless Israel. I love Israel from malaysia

2023-10-15 00:35

EngineeringProfit

Israeli vs palacetinians

Solution would begin only when the next gen are provided with proper education that makes them see any other human as their distant evolutionary cousin.

People will continue to be divided by falsehood doctrination, prophetic fiction and bigotry dogma

2023-10-15 05:34

EngineeringProfit

Quote: "the way of the Dao.

the weak must submit the strong must lead by kindness.


since none of that is present, every thing that happened is very natural"

If kids learn and internalize the philosophy of Ethanian Universalism and Taoish Selflessness, whence come wars, cruelty and discrimination.

2023-10-15 09:34

stockraider

Hamas operation has definitely improve, as they are able to mount a James Bond type of operations against Israel the most technological advance nation on earth, without them knowing loh!

But what is the use leh !
Bcos the Hamas govern GAZA......that means Israel can go after them....relentlessly & wipe them out mah!

Hamas, should immediately tell United Nation that, it will release the Israel hostage & get UN to put in the peace keeper to assist them as a barrier to prevent war n facilitate the hostage release back to israel loh!

This way this will cushion some of Israel ground attacks & put them in a better outlook in the eye of the world.....if Israel attack despite release of hostages loh!

2023-10-15 10:24

treasurehunt

You support Russia invading Ukraine, support China, support Palatine, support Iran, you support the team opposite to US. You would probably support PAS in future. What is the consequences of Msia and RM? Prepare to run road ke?

2023-10-20 13:28

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