web analytics
September 24, 2014 / 29 Elul, 5774
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
NY rally against Met Opera's 'Death of Klinghoffer' opera. Sept. 22, 2014.
New York City Site of Huge Rally Against Met’s Klinghoffer Opera
Latest Indepth Stories
William Safire

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Particularly galling was the complaint by one Jo Anne Simon about Judge Dear’s supposed “mobilizing on behalf of apartheid and his insensitivity to minority communities.”

Whatever one has to say about Iran, it does have clout in the Middle East and the Gulf region and could play a key role in addressing the ISIS threat.

Rav Shlomo Wolbe states that every member of Klal Yisrael is dependent on the entire nation just as a leaf depends on the tree from which it grows.

“Israel must prepare for waves of immigrants from Arab countries, which may endanger its existence”

“I pray that fellow Jews open their eyes & connect themselves to the national side of being a Jew”

The big service ISIS is doing the West right now is checking Iranian power, just as the Sunni rebels inside Syria are keeping the Iranian agent Hezbollah in check, and just as the PLO is keeping Hamas in check, at least to some degree.

Research shows that high doses of marijuana can produce acute psychotic reactions, lower IQ in teens

The current missionary problem in Samaria is still relatively unknown throughout Israel&to most Jews

Rosh Hashanah is a universal, stock-taking, renewal and hopeful holiday,

No mutual clash between parties, it was Jews repeatedly attacked by Arabs, not the other way around.

Israel would love to be in the coalition,but it’s never going to happen, because, in the end, most of America’s allies would walk away if Israel were on board officially.

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

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: