web analytics
October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Family Ordeal Underscores Need For Gaza Blockade


Iris Twito, the mother of two sons injured by Kassam rockets in the city of Sderot, granted an exclusive interview with Sderot Media Center following the Gaza aid flotilla fiasco.

“The entire world hates us,” said Iris, “but they don’t know what we’ve been through.”

The Twito family is a living testament for why there is a naval blockade on Gaza. “It’s not just Sderot that is under threat today, but the whole country,” said Iris. “It is vital that we stop these flotilla boats because we cannot allow Hamas to terrorize our Israeli children.”

Sitting on her patio in Ashdod, Iris recalls the most horrifying experience a mother can go through. Three years ago, Iris’s sons Osher and Rami, then eight and 19 respectively, were walking to an ATM machine in Sderot when the rocket alarm went off. As the brothers frantically attempted to locate a shelter in the middle of one of Sderot’s main streets, a Kassam rocket struck just meters away.

The exploded shrapnel sliced through the boys’ legs. Residents raced into the street to help but another rocket alert went off, forcing everyone to flee to shelter again. Moments later, the ambulances arrived to transport the boys to the closest hospital, Barzilai, located 20 minutes away from Sderot in Ashkelon.

Amid the flashing cameras at what was one of Sderot’s goriest scenes resulting from a rocket attack, Iris collapsed from the shock of seeing of her two sons lying next to each other, surrounded by a pool of their own blood.

The rocket attack left Osher in a coma for two weeks. The young boy had to go through intensive surgeries; his left leg was amputated and doctors operated on a hole in his chest and his injured lungs. Older brother Rami’s legs were also badly damaged and operated on.

After a year in the hospital, Osher was released in a bright red wheelchair. His right leg was still badly damaged, but a new artificial limb was fitted on his left.

“Osher goes to intensive therapy every week to this day to help adjust to walking again,” said Iris.

Osher, with big brown eyes and a freckled face, walks over, slowly limping. He sits by his mother and murmurs hello.

Iris and her husband decided it would be best to move the family from the heart of Hamas’s target city, Sderot, to Ashdod, Israel’s fifth largest city, which, located 40 kilometers (24 miles) away from the Gaza Strip, was not under missile threat.

“But the rockets can reach Ashdod now too,” Iris remarked fretfully. During Operation Cast Lead, Grad missiles, which are smuggled into Gaza from Iran, struck Ashdod playgrounds, kindergartens and homes, killing one Israeli woman at a bus stop and seriously injuring many more.

“Ashdod is not sheltered like Sderot,” Rami explained. “Even our home doesn’t have a bomb shelter yet.”

Rami, now 21 and married with two young daughters, a toddler and a baby, talked about how hard recent events had been on the family.

“When we heard that the flotilla from Turkey was heading to the Gaza port, we were very scared because we had no idea what kind of weapons could be on the ships.”

Iris emphasized the necessity of the Gaza naval blockade as a means of protecting innocent Israeli civilians like her family from future missile warfare.

“The government of Israel needs to ensure security for all Israelis and make sure that other Israelis are protected from the kind of tragedy that struck our family,” she said.

“Even Barack Obama at one time agreed with us,” she added. “Osher met Obama two years ago.” According to Iris, then-presidential candidate Obama, after hearing the young boy’s harrowing story, told him, “I would do everything to defend my daughters from rocket attacks, if they were in your position.”

The Gaza flotilla was clearly a provocation, carrying merely 10,000 tons of aid, while in 2009 alone Israel sent over 738,000 tons of aid into Gaza. The violent political stunt was aimed purely at weakening Israel’s security and strengthening Hamas’s ability to put more families like the Twitos under threat.

Three years ago, Iris’s maternal instincts led her to remove her children from the daily horror of the Sderot rocket reality to what was a safer city. Today, under a larger missile threat, Iris’s maternal instincts are standing up against immense international pressure to lift the Gaza naval blockade implemented to protect Israeli children from going through what her two boys were forced to endure.

About the Author: Jacob Shrybman is assistant director and Anav Silverman is international correspondent of the Sderot Media Center (www.sderotmedia.org.il).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Family Ordeal Underscores Need For Gaza Blockade”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Facebook post from man believed to be Canadian convert to Islam who rammed soldiers with his car in possible terrorist attack, Oct. 20, 2014.
‘Radicalized’ Convert to Islam Attempted to Murder Canadian Soldiers [video]
Latest Indepth Stories
Map of Syria-Turkish border area, pinpointing Kurdish border town of Kobani, just taken by ISIS terror forces Oct 7, 2014.

Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory

The Rosenstrasse area of Berlin, where Jewish husbands of non-Jewish German wives were held.

Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.

NY rally against Met Opera's 'Death of Klinghoffer' opera. Sept. 22, 2014.

Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”

Guess who's behind the door?

Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?

Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!

Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.

A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.

Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.

Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”

If Hamas is ISIS, the world asks, why didn’t Israel destroy it given justification and opportunity?

That key is the disarming of Hamas and the demilitarization of Gaza – as the U.S., EU, and others agreed to in principle at the end of Operation Protective Edge.

We have no doubt there are those who deeply desire to present themselves as being of a gender that is not consistent with their anatomy, and we take no joy in the pain and embarrassment they suffer.

More Articles from Jacob Shrybman and Anav Silverman

Iris Twito, the mother of two sons injured by Kassam rockets in the city of Sderot, granted an exclusive interview with Sderot Media Center following the Gaza aid flotilla fiasco.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/family-ordeal-underscores-need-for-gaza-blockade/2010/06/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: