Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Behind the scenes in Gaza

Some truth comes out in a BBC article from Monday:
On the northern outskirts of Gaza, I was taken on Monday to see one of the latest bomb sites.

A four-storey house had been completely destroyed. Its roof had collapsed inwards; tables and chairs, bedclothes and children's toys spilled out of its squashed floors like shopping from a torn plastic bag.

The ground around the house was charred black and smelled of burning.

Back at the bomb site, I met the man who owned the pile of rubble that was - until last night - his home.

Amazingly no-one was killed in the explosion, despite the complete devastation.

On first inspection it looked like one of Israel's missiles must have gone astray, a case of collateral damage.

But on closer questioning the picture changes.

"I have already lost one son to the struggle for liberation," the man told me. "I have two more, and I am willing to sacrifice them too."

One of his sons is in the al-Qassam brigades, he says, the other in Islamic Jihad.

"After the attack last night (Sunday) the Israeli Shin Bet (Internal Security) called me on the phone to tell me it was because of my son's activities," he says.

I asked another local how it was that so many people could have escaped relatively unscathed from a building that was so completely destroyed.

"Sometimes the Israelis call up the person beforehand and warn them that they have 10 minutes to leave the house, then they strike."

..."What do you mean when you say you are struggling against the occupation?" I asked one Gazan. "After all Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005?"

"We mean the occupation of Jerusalem, and Jaffa and Haifa and all the other places that belong to us," he said without hesitation.

(h/t Ian)