East Texan reflects on time in the Gaza conflict - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/6/09-Tyler

East Texan reflects on time in the Gaza conflict

John Raasoch recounts the images he saw while working in Gaza in 1992.

He recalls, "tire burning in the middle of the road, while soldiers fired their weapons and protests in the streets. "

He also tells us, "Back then, there was an Israeli occupation, there was a curfew," and people  caught out past 8 o'clock at night would be "shot on the street."

Raasoch would spend the next three months in Gaza, practicing psychiatry at the Palestinian Mental Health Center.

When he first arrived, he says *he even tried to forge some solidarity with the two sides, but knew it was easier said than done.

He remembers thinking, "maybe if I go build a basketball court. Then i can get the Israeli soldiers and the Palestinian kids to play basketball together and everything will be fine. It was totally naïve to think the soldiers and the kids were going to play basketball together."

Seeing that the violence still exists nearly 17 years later, Raasoch says it's unfortunate Israelis and Palestinians cannot find peace with each other.

"I worry about my friends that are over there. It really just makes me sad that these people are living in terror. Some of my friends may not be alive anymore."

Raasoch" says he has yet to hear from some of his friends since the fighting began 11 days ago, and it could be longer with each day that passes without a cease fire.

Christine Nelson, Reporting cnelson@kltv.com

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