Archive for February, 2014

Risking their lives to save lives: Gaza’s Civil Defence First Responders

February 24, 2014

from Joe Catron, The Electronic Intifada, Gaza City, 16th April 2013

Firefighters aim hose at building billowing with smoke

Palestinian firefighters extinguish a blaze after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, 18 November 2012.(Ashraf Amra / APA images)“When thousands of Palestinians poured into the streets of the Gaza Strip after the announcement of a ceasefire with Israel on the night of 21 November last year, they found many of them flooded.Celebrants in areas hard-hit by eight days of Israeli airstrikes, artillery fire and naval shelling were particularly likely to find themselves wading through rivers of water. Firefighters had sprayed it to extinguish blazes at nearby bomb sites as missiles fell hours earlier.“If we — if anyone — thinks of this as his job, he will not work,” said Yousef Khaled Zahar, general manager of the Civil Defense Directorate in Gaza.“But because we believe in our people and our country, because we belong to this people, we work without ever thinking of the dangers. We are only concerned with serving our people.” (more…)