GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – Kia Ora Gaza visit to Gaza 2010


Memories of Gaza

In 2010 Kia Ora Gaza as part of the Viva Palestina mission to break the siege of Gaza, after staring down the Egyptian Mubarak regime, (which was already on the ropes), in defiance of the Zionist occupiers we were able to get through the Rafah Crossing from Egypt into Gaza.

The guy in the video is Ismail Haniyeh. I heard Ismail Haniyeh speak at the reception given for us on our successful arrival in Gaza City. I remember it well.

The Palestinians had set up a couple of white gazebos on a small stretch of green grass about half the size of a tennis court. This small grassed area was on a small rise overlooking the beach and the Mediterranean. This was the only green grass I ever saw in Gaza. I am guessing that it must have been specially watered and cared for, for this very purpose, the hosting visiting delegations.

Under the Gazebo tables had been set up for us and a lunch laid out. As we were eating, Ismael Haniyeh was standing giving a speech in English welcoming us.

Pat in Gaza 2010

As Ismael Haniyel finished speaking a small queue formed of people from our group wanting to shake his hand and exchange a few words. I am sorry that I never took the opportunity, I was too busy stuffing my face. The food was good but simple, some sort of mince and rice. But I felt a little guilty eating it, knowing how little the people of Gaza had to spare for themselves let alone visiting guests. (Of which they don’t get many) After eating we followed Ismail Haniyeh and his group as he went and met his people. I witnessed the genuine affection the people in the street seemed to have for him. Ismail Haniyeh entered a Mosque to address to his people. We were asked to wait outside. Everything was low key and modest. After all the adult locals had entered the Mosque for prayers, while us visiting foreigners were gathered outside the mosque. A lot of children gathered around us and tried to talk to us in broken English. They were surprised and exited that obvious foreigners had turned up in their midst. It is hard to describe, the lack of ceremony, the narrow dusty streets, the crowds of children, the old buildings, the funny little mosque about the size of the average large church or marae in Auckland. I was wearing a Warriors football Jersey that my friend Steve Phillips from Ngati Whatua had given to me and made me promise to wear it when I was in Gaza. The children asked me if I was a footballer. I had to explain that the shirt was a gift. They were a bit disappointed.

These children would all be young adults now.

Where are they now. My thoughts go out to them.

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Patrick O’Dea is a staunch Unionist and human rights activist


  1. Pat – You are openly supporting the Senior Leadership of Hamas based in Qatar, and Iran…not in Gaza…Start supporting Gazans to get rid of that cancer called Hamas

    • Neihana, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, come on dude get another vocabulary like I said you’re an amatuer when discussing apartheid Israel

  2. Go Pat!

    We need to get thousands more out on the street apparently.

    The lack of reporting on the thousands in the streets in Aotearoa is disgusting.

  3. Quick question for the Hammas leader, was the electronic music festival on October 7th a military target?

  4. I have a similar photo taken of children crowding around me in a town in Syria. My memories of the Middle East are of friendliness, curiosity, generosity, and street-wise wisdom. I have to keep reminding myself of this every time I see the news.

    I, too, wonder what those children are doing now.

  5. I too experience Israel and the ME, living on a kibbutz’s as a volunteer, I found kibbutzem to be very peaceful, socialist and incredibly resourceful in turning the desert green Many of the elderly were survivors from the holocaust. These people did not deserve the barbarity thst came down on them, nor do the Palestinians deserve Hamas as their protector( sic ) Hamas needs to go before any form of reconciliation and solution can be found. Leftist boat trips and making the Israel argument in the form of a colonial trope is bs. Half of Israel Jews are of Arab descent, their ancestors banished from Arab lands in the last 100 years, 20 pc are Israeli arabs

    • So what happen before 1986 before Hamas began??? That right your venerated apartheid state was still murdering, kidnapping, raping, the indigenous Palestinians.

  6. Ismail Haniyeh?

    Here he is today:
    “I have said this before, and I say it time again: The blood of the women, children, and elderly… I am not saying that this blood is calling for your [help]. We are the ones who need this blood, so it awakens within us the revolutionary spirit, so it awakens within us resolve, so it awakens within us the spirit of challenge, and [pushes us] to move forward.“

    Actually there’s another one who is even worse:Ghazi Hamad
    We Will Repeat the October 7 Attack Time and Again Until Israel Is Annihilated.

    So it looks like you’re supporting only two war criminals. But there are more to come.

  7. When the US and co bomb civilians in Gaza they are bad.

    When the US and co bomb civilians in Donetsk they are good.

    This does not compute

        • A lot of disgusting liars on this page, O’Dea, especially you. gaby

          Seriously? an unsubstantiated accusation by an anonymous troll?
          It goes without saying that this troll doesn’t point to anywhere where I have lied. Because they can’t. But that doesn’t stop them.
          Where I stand by my record as a trade unionist, political activist and commentator. Trolls, have no such standing. With no verifiable identity, with no personal reputation at stake, trolls can and do, spout all sorts of outlandish accusations never citing any proofs.. Anonymity affords trolls ever having to face consequence for lying.
          .This raises an interesting point. Accusations made by real people with identities and names against other real identified people have to be taken seriously, because their reputations, and sometimes even their careers are on the line when they comment.

          When it comes to named identified liars, Nobody could beat Mark Regev, the Israeli government’s official spokesperson and senior advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
          There are lots of videos on youtube, facebook and other content sharing platforms of White Phosphorous falling on Gaza.
          A Palestinian Dr in Gaza has given testimony to Channel 4 of treating white phosphorous wounds.
          Mark Regev, speaking for the Israeli government to Channel 4, stares straight down the barrel of the camera and calls the Palestinian surgeon a liar.
          Rarely, not since Joseph Goebbels broadcast to the German masses on the radio, has there been such outrageous bullshit spoken with a straight face by a named person on a mass media channel expecting millions of people to believe him.

          Channel 4 News

          @6:50 minutes – Earlier I spoke to Dr Ghassan Abu-Sittah, the British Palestinian surgeon currently in Gaza….

          @10:37 minutes – Tell us about the kind of injuries you are dealing with.

          “These blast injuries cause massive wounds, which literally rip the flesh off the body, [and] cause multiple fractures. In addition we are seeing lots of thermal burns from the flame of the blast.”
          “Recently we have been seeing more and more phosphorous, White Phosphorous burns.”

          @11:09 minutes – So you have seen evidence of White Phosphorous?

          “In 2009 I was in Gaza at work, when the Israelis widely used White Phosphorous, and its a very typical pattern.”
          “White Phosphorous, because it is a chemical burn, burns in a very different way….
          When White Phosphorous lands on the body it burns and burns right to the deepest part of the body, the bones and sometimes the internal organs.”

          @20:33 Well let’s talk now to Mark Regev, Senior Advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom.
          Mark Regev, good to have you back on the program.

          “Thank you for having me”

          I just want to put to you something that was put to me by Dr Abu-Sittah, a palestinian Dr who told us from Gaza a few minutes ago, he said he was treating patients that he said had clear evidence of wounds caused by White Phosphorous.
          Is the IDF using White Phosphorous in Gaza?

          “No. The allegation was raised at the beginning of this conflict and the IDF said unequivocally that is just not true.

          But he said unequivocally that the wounds he has been treating could only have been caused by White Phosphorous.

          “I can’t speak directly to this person. I don’t know who they are. I can only say this; Drs in Gaza are very limited on what they can say, we had earlier today on a rival network we had the head of the Shifa Hospital in Gaza. He was asked point blank, ‘How do you feel about having a Gaza military installation under your hospital. And he said ‘No, there is no military command installation under my hospital. Well everyone knows there is. The people of Gaza know there is. But ‘these people’ when they are interviewed by the international media have to follow the party line, that’s the Hamas line and they will repeat what Hamas tells them to say. And if they don’t they face violent retribution. That’s the truth Matt.”

          There is absolutely just no evidence of that happening, certainly not in the case of this Dr…..

          Dr Ghassan Abu-Sittah who has a highly successful practice in Harly Street London, is not a coward, Dr Abu-Sittah has put his practice on hold to risk his life in Gaza. Dr. Abu-Sittah is not someone likely to be cowed by threats from Hamas, or anybody. His reputation as a professional surgeon his successful practice would be at risk if it was believed he is a liar.
          His job is to save lives.

          Mark Regev on the other hand is a paid mouthpiece of the Israeli state. His job is to lie

  8. Haniyeh’s a billionaire now O’Dea. And of course he’s far too grand to live in Gaza. But that’s elitism for you. Don’t feel too guilty about stuffing your face.

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