“My his oldest son, who’s 12, asked a difficult question the other day. The boy asked [me] ‘How it feels to be killed by a rocket. Is it painful, or painless?’ I never wanted him to ask such a question in all his life” [Abdel Kareem Shamali, Palestinian, Gaza City. 9 July 2014]

“My kids are very anxious, they refuse to go outside. They won’t go home to sleep, or shower, or eat. The toilet doesn’t work here, so every time we have to go home to use the bathroom they’re terrified. My 10-year-old son, Nehorai, says: ‘Things are not OK. I’m scared’” [Ofra Abulbul, a woman in Askhelon, Israel. 9 July, 2014]

“I had returned to my small seaside hotel around 4 p.m. to file photos to New York when I heard a loud explosion … I rushed to the window to see what had happened. A small shack atop a sea wall at the fishing port had been struck by an Israeli bomb or missile and was burning. A young boy emerged from the smoke, running toward the adjacent beach. I grabbed my cameras and was putting on body armor and a helmet when, about 30 seconds after the first blast, there was another. The boy I had seen running was now dead, lying motionless in the sand, along with three other boys who had been playing there …. If children are being killed, what is there to protect me, or anyone else?” [Reporter Tyler Hicks, NYT dispatch, on witnessing the killing of four boys by Gaza shore. 16 July, 2014]

“(Through translator) Is this a game Israel’s playing? We are not games. We are human. I hope one day they will become homeless” [Arij Abu Laban, a Palestinian woman refugee in a school in Jabalia, Gaza Strip. 20 July, 2014]

“How do you provide child-friendly spaces? If you look at the average six-year-old in Gaza, this is their third major conflict in their very brief life” [Scott Anderson, Deputy Director of the main UN agency in Gaza, alluding to this new operation and previous Israel’s massive assaults on the Gaza Strip in 2008-9 (Operation Cast Lead) and 2012 (Operation Pillar of Defence). 20 July, 2014]

“It was really a shock to us that somebody would’ve done this, put at risk our installations, put at risk our civilians, put at risk, you know, the trust that we’ve built up over 64 years of operation here” [Robert Turner, Head of the UN agency in Gaza, alluding to a stash of rockets being discovered that week in an empty school, bolstering Israel’s claim that militants hide among civilians. 20 July, 2014]

“I don’t know if there is ever been a precedent of this level for the use of human shields. Is tragedy any single time you are going to have civilian casualties. [Hamas’ militants] don’t care about their own people. Human shields is a systematic way to put pressure in Israel. We have the power of killing thousands of civilians and we don’t. It’s not our policy” [Ron Dermer, current Israeli ambassador to the United States. 22 July, 2014]

“My empathy for the suffering in Gaza does not make me anti-Semitic, nor does it make me pro-Hamas or anti-Israel. It makes me human” [Tweeter by journalist and writer David Harris-Gershon. 24 July, 2014]

“I agree with Israel they have to remove Hammas [sic] and the rockets completely. What did we do in Britain when rockets and bombs were dropped on us for 5 years? – Bomber Harris flattened Dresden, Cologne etc. How do we expect a democratic nation like Israel to tolerate bombs raining down on their towns and cities by a terrorist group for more than 5 years” [a blogger called John Gibbon, in blog discussion originated by NPR’s show On Point, “A Deeper Look At The Israel-Gaza Conflict.” 27 July, 2014]

“Israelis should get their walking papers in order. They are going to be the next refugees on the world stage as people move to shut down their immoral and outlaw state today. The IDF are the Barbarians at the Gate today with their use of military force against the civilian population of Gaza and their civil infrastructure. Israelis should pay a heavy price for their criminal aggression and barbarism against their defenseless neighbors by being suspended by the UN and sanctions and boycotts” [a blogger called Dee, in blog discussion originated by NPR’s show On Point, “Hashtags, Hamas And Israel-Gaza On Social Media.” 30 July, 2104]

“Not a single main stream Israeli view. The simple truth is missing in this program: Israel has no interest in Gaza, except one: don’t shoot rockets. Hamas’ interest in their charter: destruction of Israel and killing Jews. No country on Earth would tolerate thousands of rockets (more than 2000 just in the last 20 days) being shut into Israeli cities with the intent of killing civilians. Israel is doing what this country – or any country – would do: fight a vicious suicidal terrorist organization” [a blogger called Alex, in the same blog discussion. 30 July, 2014]

“As the 2009 Goldstone Report and other investigations have demonstrated, often in excruciating detail, the grass consists overwhelmingly of non-combatants Palestinian civilians, indiscriminately targeted by Israel’s precision weaponry” [Writer and political analyst Mouin Rabbani, on what Israeli military calls “mowing the lawn”: weakening Hamas and enhancing Israel’s powers of deterrence. London Review of Books. 31 July, 2014]

“A cease-fire in Gaza quickly collapsed on Friday as the Israeli military said that two soldiers had been killed and a third apparently captured. Gaza health officials said at least 70 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli airstrikes” [New York Times dispatch by Jodi Rudoren and Isabel Kershner. 1 August, 2014 – just 55 minutes ago]

2 thoughts on “The Gaza Strip (2) — The Voices

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