The Human Cost of Drone Warfare

Monday 31 May 2021 by Rania

Very expressive and depressing stories, written by the children of IBBY libraries in Gaza, about their traumatic experience with the horrific Drones that do not leave their sky!

The Drone is An Industry to Hurt Humanity

Abla (Librarian of al Ata’a Library

The size of the drone cannot be ascertained with the naked eye, but it hurts in every sense of the word, mostly psychologically. I am aware of the danger closing in, and the heart beats faster as the noise becomes nearer and louder. It causes a crisis in my work. We close the doors and windows to block out the intrusive sound and in order to be able to communicate with one another.

The hardest moment is when you want to sleep and you find it has imposed itself on you, stealing your comfort and your dreams, like a parasite. It looks small when we see it hanging in the air, but the damage it brings enables us to feel how great is its intrusion. The drone is the product of a western industry intended to hurt humanity in time of war. The louder and higher the sound becomes, the more we are aware of a targeted and planned assassination. We cannot trust the Zionists – each person feels they are a target. Many of those targeted by the drone have been civilians, or of no threat, as has been claimed. Others have been killed because they were near a targeted position or person.

My four-year old son tells me, Mom, make them stop, it is giving me a headache.

The drone has psychological, health and social effects at every level; it is the destroyer of calm and tranquillity.

Salsabeel Sehwail

9 years

When I Hear its Sound, I am Scared

When I’m playing in the street and hear the drone, I’m not scared. But when I feel it is nearby as its sound gets higher, I hide in the room. I don’t know why, but I feel that if something happens, I will be protected in the house. When I was five years old and the Israelis bombed the mosque close to our house, I was playing in the street when the first rocket fell. Ever since then, whenever I hear its sound, I am much more scared than before and I hide. My cousin Suad also hides and we talk to each other with signs through the closed windows so that the drone doesn’t see us.

Malak Hamdan

10 years

I am afraid we will all Fall Martyrs

In the war of 2014 I was still small. My father and mother told me about my three cousins, Lama, Hia and Ismail who were martyred when they were bombed by the drone while standing at the door of their house. They were young. Ismail was 10 years old, Lama 4, and Hia 3. The Israelis deprived them of life in less than minutes. In seconds they turned the lives of my uncle and his wife to sorrow. My mother says that the whole country mourned them. After hearing this story, every time I hear the sound of a drone, always above our heads, my heart shivers. I am afraid that what happened to my cousins will happen to me. Even going to school I don’t go with my brothers if I hear its loud sound. I am afraid that if it hits us we will all be martyred and they would be sad for us.

Malik Abu Suleiman

11 years

May We not Forget

I thought it was a pigeon to which they had attached a sound system, like the vegetable seller’s. When acting in drama class at school with my friends, I would always choose the role of the drone. Some of my friends chose to be the resisters. I really liked the role of drone because it made me feel the strongest. When I fired the rocket they would all die – but after they had died I would be very sad. I wish the drone had feelings so that it would know how sad it makes us feel when it bombs those we love.

They also use the drone to make people leave their homes and become displaced without taking anything with them, even leaving behind books and toys – they take only their children. Then they bomb the whole house giving barely enough time for people to leave. This is what happened to uncle Hareth’s house. They fired a rocket from a drone and then an F16 and the house was totally destroyed. My uncle’s house became rubble, and we took them to live in our little house. They lived with us for more than 2 years. Thank God not one of them was hurt. We remember those days and repeat the saying, ‘may we not forget, and may it not happen again’.

Aya Abu Awdeh

10 years

A Kind of Chronic Disease

The electricity goes off a lot and the drone cuts off the tv signal, so we cannot watch tv or play outside. Even there is no quiet.

The drone doesn’t scare me as much as it makes me nervous. When I want to do my work, I get a headache and I cannot concentrate. What makes it more difficult is that I need it to be quiet so that I can hear the education video on my cell phone.

The name ‘drone’ is too small for it. It should be classified as a kind of chronic disease – I wish they would find a treatment for it!

Hala Al Zaaneen

12 years

The Rocket Became Roses

One day as I was sleeping, I dreamt that I was riding in the drone and the driver told me to fire a rocket at the house of Abu Mohammed. So I started fighting with him and he hit me and threatened to throw me off the plane if I refused. I saw them sitting on the balcony watching the candy-floss seller. I had so much pain from being hit and was afraid of the Israeli, so I fired one rocket - but it turned into roses before reaching the house of Abu Mohammed. Ola, Samah and Mahmoud would look at the sky and at the drone and laugh; each one would gather roses and cheer happily. That day, much as I felt afraid, I was happy with the dream. However, I wanted to know if the drone had a pilot. When I asked my father, he said it works through technology and is controlled from a distance. It’s called a pilot-less plane.

Mohammed Sehwail

10 years

The Drone Does Not Leave Our Sky

My sister is in secondary school and every day we try to provide quiet for her so that she can study. My father cannot pay for private lessons, as he doesn’t have a job and our economic situation is difficult. Corona has made the situation worse as now she cannot go to school. Because the drone doesn’t leave our sky, my sister is nervous and can’t concentrate on her studies. She cries because of her headache and the frightening sound of the drone.

The Cursed Drone

Hala El Hissi
12 years

Every day brings the terrible sound of the cursed drones. It follows us everywhere like a shadow, giving us headaches. It pollutes the environment, turning a land that was once green into a barren waste soaked in the blood of martyrs, into a volcano spewing forth dead bodies, making orphans of the children of Palestine.

The drone terrorises children, preventing them from leaving their homes, destroying houses and turning streets that were once beautiful, full of trees and gardens, into ugly streets.

The children of Palestine are the children of the future, but because of the drone they became the children of incapacity and terror, like a candle that has become black ash, their innocent laughter turned to sadness and fear. I cannot forget the assassination of Baha’ Abu el-Ata by this cursed drone, his house turned to ash, the whole place became ugly.

Every Palestinian child has the right to live in safety in a beautiful homeland, without drones. One day we will return to our occupied land and be free of the drones. Our beautiful homeland will be full of quiet, calm and happiness. There will be no noise, no disturbance, no fear or terror.

Noise in the Ear and Terror in the Heart

May Abu Sunayma

12 Years

The drone is a noise in the ear that creates terror in the heart. Our heartbeats become faster with fear, even when we just think about it – and we say we won’t think about it. They [the Israelis] kill anyone on sight – even a little child. When the occupation forces come, we run away from our homes, from the evil force that has no mercy.

I am telling you, the Zionists send the drones to spy on us; they carry rockets to kill us. We call the drone ‘Zanana’ because it creates a very disturbing noise in our heads and kidnaps our souls like some terrorizing monster.

I will tell you a story about the drone. One day I and my friends were having fun and playing hide and seek, when suddenly a rocket was fired from the drone near where we were playing. We were terrified and ran home crying with fear. My mother told me not to cry because we will overcome the occupation, destroy the drones, and take back our rights.

The Crow of the Sky

Khitam el Hissi

14 years

In the sky over Gaza there is a drone bearing the rockets of death. The intensive flights of the Zionist reconnaissance planes over Gaza city, with the high sound they make in the early morning, carry the rockets whose splinters tear off limbs and distort bodies. Not satisfied with their victims alone, they also create havoc by interfering with TV stations that are transmitted on digital satellites, prevent us watching the news, and cut off the internet.

The drones come night and day. At night they steal the sleep from the eyes of children, and in the daytime they terrorise them and hurt their heads. Though the drone may be a mystery, the Palestinians of Gaza know it well. We call it the annoying crow of the sky because it pollutes the environment and keeps children in a state of terror, imposing danger on those who would be the bright candles of the future.

It is the right of every child to live in peace and security in a free homeland far from the sound of the drones.

It Interrupts the Most Beautiful Moment

Mohammad Ahmed el Hissi

12 Years

I will tell you about the ugly thing that frightens me night and day. When I am watching the television the drone comes and interrupts the best moment of the episode of the beautiful series that I wait for every day. It cuts off the broadcast and the electricity and stops me enjoying life. I am a child who lives with the drone that takes away the souls of my friends’ fathers.

It Takes Away Life

Oudeh Abu Snieymeh

12 Years

The drone means death and is the living nightmare that accompanies me day and night. It is the one who took from me my brothers and my support who cared for me. It is the one who kidnapped my two brothers* before my very eyes when I was only 5 years old. Every time I hear the sound of it in the sky, there is hellfire, pain and suffering in my heart. It ignites the pain caused by parting with loved ones and its existence in the sky terrifies me. It is the black cloud above our heads that brings upheaval, suffering and killing. I wish that God would stop me hearing the sound of this murderous ghost.

His two martyr brothers
Khalil Abu Snieymeh, 16 years old
Khairy Abu Snieymeh, 14 years old

28 March 2021

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