The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

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The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

The death of thousands in Rafah and Gaza

As of May 21, 2024, there has been a death toll of over 37,000 civilians. This includes helpless and innocent children, proud men and hard working women. 

And for those of you who don’t think this is a big problem, I want you to close your eyes and imagine yourself going out to get groceries. You’re going to Target or Walmart to get some flour, eggs, sugar and maybe some cinnamon. You want to surprise your family by making homemade cinnamon rolls or whatever your favorite dessert is.

You’re wandering through the store, thinking about how excited you are to eat nice and sticky cinnamon rolls. You can’t wait to share it with your family and spend a comfortable night sitting together. 

As you check out at the register, however, you hear air raid sirens. They’re deadening and haunting all at the same time. Your heart is pounding so fast as you watch everyone in the grocery store panic and start running for cover. You notice the employees huddling you all into a safe area. 

And then you hear it. The loudest sound in the world that sends children screaming, makes hearts explode and even makes the devil himself lower his head in sadness. You hear the sound of bombs being dropped all around you on innocent people who just wanted to get groceries. 

However, after you hear multiple bombs being dropped, you insist on running home to see if your family is okay. You run as fast as you can until you can barely breathe. You ask yourself all these questions about the safety of your family and disregard your own. As you run down streets that have been bombed, you realize that everyone is dead.

You finally reach home and stop immediately. You look at the rubble that used to be your home. Where you lost your tooth on the front porch when you fell, where you used to race down the stairs with your siblings to get the remote to the television and where you used to run to your parents’ room when you had a nightmare.

And inside that rubble, along with memories, are the dead bodies of your family. Your mother, father, sister and brother. Their bodies are inside, but not the people you once knew and loved. 

All you wanted was to get flour, eggs, sugar and cinnamon. 

That, dear reader, is why the death toll of over 37,000 innocent people in Rafah and Gaza is a problem. It’s a reflection on humanity and our inability to take ownership for supplying this genocide and ignoring the deaths of thousands of people. 

On May 26, 2024, a displacement camp on the Gaza Strip was bombarded by Israeli airstrikes that ended up killing at least 45 human beings and injuring more than 200 others. This camp was meant to be a “safe place” for Palestinian women, men and children. 

That night, innocent Palestinian people were brutally and inhumanely murdered. There is a video on social media that has gone viral and been verified by Palestinian photojournalist Motaz Azaiza. The video consists of a man holding up a dead infant who is decapitated. He shows the baby to the people around him as you can hear the cries and screams from those around him. 

I was scrolling through social media when I came upon the viral video. After watching it, I can say that I am embarrassed and ashamed to be an American.

According to a CNN analysis with explosive weapons experts, “Munitions made in the United Stated were used in the deadly Israeli strike.”

Once the air strike with American-produced weapons was dropped on mostly women and children, a fire broke out and lit up the sky. The scene didn’t look like the forest fires we see in California or Arizona. No, this fire looked apocalyptic as people ran to find their loved ones, as people screamed when they found out their child was brutally mutilated and as people collapsed to the ground in pure grief. Children were burning to death as all their parents could do was watch. I wasn’t even there, but after watching the many videos of the massacre, I can feel their hopelessness and sorrow.

After the airstrike, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from an article by The Times of Israel, “The fire was a result of a ‘tragic mishap.’” 

Personally, I find it to be completely offensive, insensitive and outrageous to just call the death of so many innocents to be a “mishap.” A mishap is when you accidentally break a glass cup, not when you decapitate a child all in the name of pride. 

Even though this is the newest thing going viral all over the world, we tend to forget all the other times people have died in Gaza and Rafah.

According to a United Nations infographic, as of March 12, 2024, there have been at least 31,184 fatalities, including at least 9,000 women and 13,000 children. Ever since this data was collected, these numbers are increasing at an alarming rate. There is currently no way to count the approximate number of casualties as of today due to the lack of bodily remains from bombings and fires, the starvation due to famine in private homes and the number of displaced persons who have yet to be accounted for. 

According to the same infographic, there are at least 1.7 million people displaced, 17,000 children separated from their parents, 2.2 million people facing crisis and/or high levels of food insecurity, 1.17 million people facing alarmingly high levels of food insecurity and less than 0.5 million people facing deadly levels of food insecurity. There have also been reported deaths of at least 125 journalists and media workers.

People are dying from famine, illness, shootings, bombing, stabbings and so much more. But I want to go back and talk about America’s hand in this. 

“Israel has been the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign aid since its founding, receiving about $300 billion in total economic and military assistance,” according to an article by the Council on Foreign Relations. “The United States has [also] provisionally agreed (via a memorandum of understanding) to provide Israel with nearly $4 billion a year through 2028.”

Today, nearly all U.S. aid is going to support the Ukrainian military in their ongoing war with Russia, but there is still a chunk of money going to Israel as well. The United States of America, the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, is supplying the genocide of children, women and men. 

Yet, no one is talking about it. Here in America, we tend to worry about whether Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce are going to get engaged and what the season three ending of the romantic, drama-filled Netflix show Bridgerton will be like.

Instead of paying attention to all this useless and meaningless information, you need to start paying attention to the largest genocide of the century. You need to stop watching Bridgerton and obsessing over a pop singer and start realizing that a child may be getting killed at this very moment.

You need to imagine walking to the grocery store to get flour, eggs, sugar and cinnamon and losing everything you love.

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About the Contributor
Sophie Ponce de Leon
Sophie Ponce de Leon, Co-Editor-in- Chief of Print and Co-Copyeditor
Name: Sophie Ponce de Leon   Position: Co-Editor-in-Chief of Print and Co-Copy Editor   Graduation year: 2025   A few sentences about me: I love politics and will definitely always say a woman would make the best president. I love reading, writing, eating and sleeping. Also, I’m a hopeless romantic so… hit me up please.   My favorite…   Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Show: Lucifer Animal: Red fox Hobby: Crying Book: Once upon a broken heart by Stephanie Garber Food: French fries Song: I wish I was the moon by Neko Case Band / Artist: Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, and Fiona Apple