Sabah herself has suffered terrible burns on her arms, legs and torso and is considerable pain.
“There was fire, and so much white smoke,” she says. “The missile melted my children. My daughter-in-law melted in front of my eyes.”
After initially denying that white phosphorus shells were fired in Gaza, some Israeli military officials have now acknowledged its use.
The army says it has started an internal investigation, the insistence being until now that no weapons were used illegally.
Israel’s democratic polity will at least debate this. But it is worth thinking about for those who have been eager defenders of the Olmert government’s policies. Was it justified to unleash such a horror on the civilian population? And they should also ask whether creating such fear — and such animosity — will be in the long-run interests of the Israeli people. They need to do some deep thinking and soul searching about the suffering imposed on the innocents in Gaza. And the apologists for Hamas, who deliberately provoked such a horrifying response with their rockets, should also ask whether it was all worth it. They should talk to the mother who saw her children melt before her eyes and justify their rockets to her. Unfortunately for the decent population of Israel and for the decent population of Gaza, now that the response has come and the children have been killed, that mother’s grief may turn into a thirst for revenge. And then Hamas will have won another round of death for the Palestinian people. There is so much grief, and so much shame, to be shared in the region.