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Gruesome tales surface of Israeli massacres against families in Gaza’s Shujaiya neighborhood

Israel/Palestine
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Khalil Atash with his grandson in the ruins of his home in Shujaiya. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

Khalil Atash with his grandson in the ruins of his home in Shujaiya. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

As the five-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas took hold on August 15, residents of Shujaiya returned to the shattered remains of their homes. They pitched tents and erected signs asserting their claim to their property, sorting determinedly through the ruins of their lives.

Those who managed to survive the Israeli bombardment have come home to bedrooms obliterated by tank shells, kitchens pierced by Hellfire missiles, and boudoirs looted by soldiers who used their homes as bases of operations before embarking on a series of massacres. Once a solidly middle-class suburb of Gaza City comprised of multi-family apartments and stately homes, the neighborhood of Shujaiya was transformed into a gigantic crime scene.

The attack on Shujaiya began at 11pm on July 19, with a combined Israeli bombardment from F-16s, tanks and mortar launchers. It was a night of hell which more than 100 did not survive and that none have recovered from. Inside the ruins of what used to be homes, returning locals related stories of survival and selflessness, detailing a harrowing night of death and destruction.

Outside a barely intact four-level, multi-family home that was hardly distinguishable from the other mangled structures lining the dusty roads of Shujaiya, I met members of the Atash family reclining on mats beside a makeshift stove. Khalil Atash, the 63-year-old patriarch of the family, motioned to his son heating a teapot above a few logs and muttered, “They’ve set us back a hundred years. Look at us, we’re now burning wood to survive.”

Khalil Atash led me inside the home to see the damage. The walls of the second floor that was to have been home to two of his newly married children had been blown off by tank shells. All that was left of the bathroom were the hot and cold knobs on the shower. On the next floor, four small children scampered barefoot across shattered glass and jagged shards of concrete. A bunk bed and crib were badly singed in the attack. But the damage could have been far worse.

As the attack on Shujaiya began, the Israeli army attempted to evacuate the Atash family, according to Khalil Atash, phoning them and ordering them out in Arabic. But the family was sure the call was a prank. When the army called again, a soldier exclaimed, “You think this is a joke? You have five minutes.” Three minutes later, an F-16 sent a missile through the roof. In an incredible stroke of luck, the missile did not explode. It remained lodged in the ceiling until a day prior to my visit, when a bomb detonation crew dismantled it.

I asked why the family remained in ruins when the army could attack again at any time.

“We have nowhere else to go now,” Khalil Atash explained. “You only die once and we’re not afraid after what we’ve been through. So we just decided to live in our house.”

The Atash family was among only a small handful willing to brave the nights in an area that was comprehensively flattened. Shujaiya stood within the long swath of Gaza Strip towns and cities that had been rendered uninhabitable by Israeli bombardment. All of these areas had one thing in common: They abutted the vast buffer zone the Israeli military had established between its border and the Gaza Strip. By pounding neighborhoods like Shujiaya and cities like Beit Hanoun until nearly all of their residents were forced to flee west for shelter, Israel was tightening the cage on the entire population.

Sprint for Survival

Khalil Atash’s son, 30-year-old Tamer, related his story of survival.

“The missiles started getting closer and began to hit everywhere so randomly,” he recalled, detailing how the strikes on Shujaiya gradually intensified after the first hour. “So I just lost it. I was watching my neighbors die and I was so close to them, I felt like I was dead too. I had two choices: Either I die doing nothing at that house or do something about it. So I chose to do something.”

Tamer called an ambulance crew and begged the driver to help transport his family out of the attack. “All I can do is pray for you,” the driver told him. But other first responders rushed headlong into the maelstrom, risking their lives to save as many of the fleeing residents as they could. By this time, the neighborhood was engulfed in flames and shrouded in darkness — Israeli forces had bombed all of its electricity towers. He and his family decided to make a run for it in the street. Neighbors followed closely behind them, embarking on a desperate sprint for survival as homes went up in flames around them.

Relying on cellphone flashlights to illuminate their path, the fleeing residents rushed ahead under withering shelling. Tens of people fell every few hundred meters, Tamer told me. But they continued anyway, sprinting for a full kilometer until they reached safety close to Gaza City.

As soon as he reached sanctuary, Tamer said he was overcome with guilt. Friends and neighbors were stuck in the neighborhood with no one to evacuate them. He decided to return to help anyone he could. “I’m from Shujaiyia, I have no other place to go, and we don’t own land,” he explained. “This is our only place here. So of course I came back.”

It was well past midnight, Shujaiya was in flames, and the Qassam Brigades — Hamas’ armed wing — was beginning to mobilize for a counterattack. “The situation outside was literally hell,” Tamer said.

In previous assaults on Gaza, Israeli forces met only light resistance. During Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09, when the army attacked Gaza’s civilian population with indiscriminate firepower, most Israeli casualties were the result of fratricide. But this time was different. With little more than light weapons at their disposal, uniformed Qassam fighters engaged the Israelis at close distances, sometimes just a few meters away, exposing a glaring weakness of the Middle East’s most heavily equipped, technologically advanced armies. During the battle, Qassam fighters scored a hit on an Israeli armored personnel carrier, killing five soldiers inside, then momentarily captured the fatally wounded Lt. Shaul Oron.

The loss of soldiers and the possible capture of Oron — a situation that raised the specter of a politically devastating prisoner swap — sent Israeli forces into a vengeful frenzy. “The F-16s were no longer up in the sky bombing us, they were flying just above the houses,” Tamer recalled. “It felt like an atomic bomb with four F-16s coming one way and another four from the opposite direction, weaving between the houses. At this point, we realized we were not surviving. We said our last prayers, and that was it. Because we know that when the Israelis lose one of their soldiers they become lunatics. We just knew they had suffered something, we could sense it.”

Tamer watched some of his neighbors jump from fourth-floor windows as their homes burst into flames. Others rushed out in their night clothes, nearly nude, prompting him and other men to hand over their shirts and even their trousers to women scurrying half exposed through the darkened streets. After giving the shirt off his back to one woman, he gave his sandals to another who had sliced her feet open on rubble.

“Sure, I was crazy and stupid, but I just wanted for them to survive,” he said. “If I had to die, then fine, but someone had to make a sacrifice.”

By dawn, waves of survivors poured from Shujaiya into Gaza City. Sons had carried their fathers on their backs; mothers had hoisted children into lorries and ambulances; others searched frantically for missing family when they arrived, only to learn that they had fallen under the shelling. For many, it was another Nakba, a hellish reincarnation of the fateful days of 1948 when Zionist militias forcibly expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their land. This time, however, there was almost nowhere for the refugees to flee.

Evidence of Chilling Plans

Back in Shujaiya, the shelling momentarily subsided for a one-hour ceasefire. But the International Committee of the Red Cross proved unable to evacuate those trapped in the area, possibly because of the Israeli army’s refusal to coordinate with its first responders or because the army had targeted its ambulances in airstrikes. Thus the stragglers and wounded were at the mercy of Israel’s Golani Brigade special forces troops, which had taken up positions at the edge of Shujaiya, occupying homes just east of the area’s main mosque.

I visited almost a dozen homes occupied by Israeli soldiers in eastern Shujaiya, wading through rubble and piles of shattered furniture in search of clues into the Israeli plans of operation. I found floors littered with bullet casings, sandbags used as foundations for heavy machine guns, sniper holes punched into walls just inches above floors, and piles of empty Israeli snack food containers.

In the stairwell at the entrance to one home I visited, soldiers had engraved a Star of David. In another, soldiers used markers to scrawl in mangled Arabic, “We did not want to enter Gaza but terrorist Hamas made us enter. Damn terrorist Hamas and their supporters.”

Graffiti by Israeli soldiers in a home in Shujaiya reads, "Price Tag." (Photo: Max Blumenthal)

Graffiti by Israeli soldiers in a home in Shujaiya reads, “Price Tag.” (Photo: Max Blumenthal)

I found a wall in another home vandalized with the symbol of Beitar Jerusalem, the Jerusalem-based football club popular among the hardcore cadres of Israel’s right-wing. Below the Beitar logo was the slogan, “Price Tag,” referring to the vigilante terror attacks carried out by Jewish settlers against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

In each home the soldiers occupied, I found walls etched with crude maps of the immediate vicinity. Each house was assigned a number, possibly to enable commanders to call in air and artillery strikes ahead of their forward positions. Names of soldiers, including those wounded or missing, were listed on several walls, but they were concealed with spray paint upon the troops’ departure.

In the ruins of a second-floor bedroom, in an empty ammo box under a tattered bed, a colleague discovered two laminated maps of Shujaiya. They were photographed by satellite at 10:32am on July 17, just days before the neighborhood was flattened. The date in the upper-right-hand corner of one map was written American-style, with the month before the day, raising the question of whether a US or Israeli satellite had captured the image. Outlined in orange was a row of homes numbered between 16 and 29; the homes immediately to their west were labeled with arrows indicating forward troop movements.

A map of Israeli army operations discovered in a destroyed home in Shujaiya. (Photo: Max Blumenthal)

A map of Israeli army operations discovered in a destroyed home in Shujaiya. (Photo: Max Blumenthal)

A local man who had accompanied us into the house pointed at the homes on the map outlined in orange, then motioned out the window to where they once stood. Every single house in that row had been obliterated by airstrikes. I looked back at the map and noticed that the dusty field we faced was labeled in Hebrew, “Soccer Field.” Two areas just west of the field were marked, “T.A. South” and “T.A. North,” perhaps a cryptic reference to Tel Aviv. Devised at least two days before the assault, the map sectioned Shujaiya into various areas of operation, with color-coded delineations that were impossible to decipher but suggested disturbing intentions.

Eran Efrati, a former Israeli combat soldier turned anti-occupation activist, interviewed several soldiers who participated in the assault on Shujaiya. “I can report that the official command that was handed down to the soldiers in Shujaiya was to capture Palestinian homes as outposts,” Efrati wrote. “From these posts, the soldiers drew an imaginary red line, and amongst themselves decided to shoot to death anyone who crosses it. Anyone crossing the line was defined as a threat to their outposts, and was thus deemed a legitimate target. This was the official reasoning inside the units.”

In the area occupied by Israeli soldiers, the killing that had previously taken place by air and distant artillery assaults took on a gruesomely intimate quality. It was there, in the ruins of their homes, that returning locals told me of the cold-blooded execution of their family members.

Massacres in Broad Daylight

At the eastern edge of the “Soccer Field” now occupied by tents and surrounded by demolished five-story apartment complexes, I met Mohammed Fathi Al Areer. A middle-aged man wearing an eyepatch, he led me through the first floor of his home, which was now a virtual cave furnished with a single sofa, then into what used to be his backyard, where the interior of his bedroom had been exposed by a tank shell. It was here, Al Areer told me, that four of his brothers were executed in cold blood. One of them, Hassan Al Areer, was mentally disabled and had little idea he was about to be killed. Mohammed Al Areer said he found bullet casings next to their heads when he discovered their decomposing bodies.

Just next door was the Shamaly family, one of the hardest hit in Shujaiya. Hesham Naser Shamaly, 25, described to me what happened when five members of his family decided to stay in their home to guard the thousands of dollars of clothing stocks they planned to sell through their family business. When soldiers approached the home with weapons drawn, Shamaly said his father emerged from the home with his hands up and attempted to address them in Hebrew.

“He couldn’t even finish the sentence before they shot him,” Shamaly told me. “He was only injured and fainted, but they thought he was dead so they left him there and moved on to the others. They shot the rest — my uncle, my uncle’s wife, and my two cousins — they shot them dead.”

Miraculously, Shamaly’s father managed to revive himself after laying bleeding for almost three days. He walked on his own strength toward Gaza City and found medical help. “Someone called me to tell me he was alive,” Shamaly said, “and I thought it was a joke.”

Hesham Shamaly’s 22-year-old cousin, Salem, was also executed by the Israeli soldiers who had taken up positions in the neighborhood. When Salem Shamaly returned to his neighborhood during the temporary ceasefire at 3:30pm on July 20 to search for missing family members alongside members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), he apparently crossed the imaginary red line drawn by the soldiers. When he waded into a pile of rubble, a single shot rang out from a nearby sniper, sending his body crumpling to the ground. As he attempted to get up, another shot struck him in the chest. A third shot left his body limp.

The incident was captured on camera by a local activist named Muhammad Abedullah, then disseminated across the world by the ISM. Israeli military spokespeople were strangely silent. Back in Gaza City, where survivors of the Shamaly family had taken shelter in a relative’s apartment, Salem Shamaly’s sister and cousin received an emailed link to the video.

Over the next three minutes, they watched Salem die. They knew it was him because they recognized the sound of his voice as he cried out for help.

Despair and Resistance 

In an apartment on Remad Street in Gaza City, I met the parents, siblings and cousins of Salem Shamaly. They had been forced to relocate here after their home was completely obliterated by Israeli tank shells and drone strikes in Shujaiya. The apartment was crowded but impeccably clean. It was a more desirable arrangement than one of the UN schools where most of their neighbors lodged in squalid conditions with little to no privacy, though no less an indignity.

Salem Shamaly’s father, 62-year-old Khalil, said the family evacuated Shujaiya at 8am. As soon as they reached safety, they realized Salem was missing. “It’s impossible to put into words how difficult it was,” Khalil Shamaly said. “We waited for two or three days not knowing and when we found out, it was too difficult to handle. I have had to call on God and he helped me.”

The attacks on Shujaiya continued for days, making it impossible for the Shamaly family to retrieve Salem’s body. They beseeched the ICRC for help but after so many attacks on their vehicles from the Israeli army, which had declared all of Shujaiya a “closed military zone,” they were unwilling to approach the area. Salem’s father, Khalil, still believes his son might have been saved if he was evacuated right away.

When Salem’s family finally retrieved his body, they found it badly burned, almost unrecognizable, and tossed dozens of meters from the location where he had been killed by subsequent bombardments. The death toll had reached such unbearable levels he could not be buried in Shujaiya, where the cemetery was overfull. When Shamaly’s finally found a place to bury him, they had to open a pre-existing grave because that cemetery was also full. This was just one of many stories I heard this week of a rushed burial, a family thrown into chaos, and a young life truncated and denied dignity in death.

Salem’s cousin, Hind Al Qattawi, whipped out a laptop and played for me a clip of a report on the killing by NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin. Al Qattawi had wanted to demonstrate for me the international impact the incident made, but instead, she summoned barely submerged emotions back to the surface. As soon as the video of Salem’s murder began to play, his mother, Amina, sobbed openly.

“The real problem is not just losing your home in the bombardment,” Muhammad Al Qattawi, the brother of Hind, told me. “The problem is you have lost your future, you lose your hope, and you can even lose your mind. Two million people here are on the verge of losing their minds.”

He handed me a packet of pills that had been prescribed to various family members. Deprived of justice, they had been given antidepressants to numb their despair.

Among those suffering most was Salem’s younger brother. The slightly built 14-year-old recalled his brother as a bright accounting student who paid for his education by working in his father’s corner store. He was one of his best friends.

“We used to go out with him whenever we were bored and he used to take us places,” Waseem said, fighting back tears. “Now, he’s gone, and there’s no one else to fill his place.”

When Waseem recovered, I asked him what he wanted to be when he came of age. He replied without pause that he planned to join the resistance. A look of intentness had replaced his sorrow. He said he had not considered becoming a fighter until the war came down on Shujaiya.

A version of this post originally appeared in Alternet

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About Max Blumenthal

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author.

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39 Responses

  1. seafoid
    seafoid
    August 18, 2014, 10:29 am

    “It was here, Al Areer told me, that four of his brothers were executed in cold blood. One of them, Hassan Al Areer, was mentally disabled and had little idea he was about to be killed. Mohammed Al Areer said he found bullet casings next to their heads when he discovered their decomposing bodies”

    Doesn’t surprise me. Gazans have been so dehumanized by Israel and the IDF had 95% Israeli Jewish support.
    No wonder the bots won’t let Amnesty and HRW in. All the bromides about most moral army in the world are hopeless against the indoctrination and bloodlust.

    I still wonder by how much the Israeli domestic violence rate rose while the killing went on.

  2. seafoid
    seafoid
    August 18, 2014, 10:33 am

    This is going to be a big hit in Zionist dance clubs in the next few years

    • annie
      annie
      August 18, 2014, 10:46 am

      seafoid, i can’t believe you can make me crack up at a time like this!

      • just
        just
        August 18, 2014, 10:53 am

        That’s seafoid, and I hope he’s right!

        Isolate.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        August 18, 2014, 10:57 am

        Isolate and drain of cashflow. The Zionist detox is going to be far worse than methadone.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 18, 2014, 11:03 am

        They will be isolated ONLY if their banker and arms supplier, stops the nurturing and protecting. Cutting them off will show them tough love, and make them feel the isolation – something they ask for very badly.

      • Pixel
        Pixel
        August 18, 2014, 10:46 pm

        .
        +1

      • Pixel
        Pixel
        August 18, 2014, 11:06 pm

        .
        +1 is @annie

  3. Boomer
    Boomer
    August 18, 2014, 10:35 am

    Thank you for this report. The American networks I see have moved on. Not surprisingly: it is so hard, so emotionally-draining, for any decent American to know what our taxes and diplomatic and military support for Israel have enabled. We are complicit.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      August 18, 2014, 11:06 am

      Maybe the networks have moved on but on campus the bots are going to struggle.
      That is reality whereas the networks are more money driven.
      And in case anyone brings up Gaza the local bot chapter plans to respond by pointing to the sky and saying “look at the birdie”.

      http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/.premium-1.610949

      “The ICC wants to shift the Israel conversation away from defensiveness. “In the past people have tried to win an argument with the other side. Given the context we face this fall it will be most important to bolster the confidence of the pro-Israel side,” said Baime. “We want not to let Israel’s detractors define the agenda. There’s an impulse we all have to respond. Let’s define our own agenda on campus.” ”

      Only so many times they’ll be able to say how awesome bar refaeli is.

      • ckg
        ckg
        August 18, 2014, 1:21 pm

        But seafoid, I think it would be amusing to watch the reactions of female university students when the awesomeness of a supermodel is extolled.

      • Pixel
        Pixel
        August 18, 2014, 11:15 pm

        @seafoid

        IMHO what’s going to happen on US campuses this year is going to be something beautiful to behold …not unlike the Vietnam protests of the late 60’s early 70’s.

        I’m counting down the days until fall classes here begin: 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9 …

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        August 19, 2014, 6:08 am

        pixel- I don’t know what it will be like on campus this year, but I can guarantee you that no one will compare it to the Vietnam era, that’s just plain deluded thinking. Between 1/5 and 1/20th the size and intensity of the Vietnam era.

  4. just
    just
    August 18, 2014, 10:46 am

    Max, that you are there documenting this horror with pictures and interviews is invaluable and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Since Israel has denied entry of humanitarian rights groups into Gaza, it is especially important that someone of your impeccable character is there to capture this oral/visual history. So much stood out in your article and the toll on human life and minds is evident. I started to go back to search your article for the bits that struck me most forcefully, and gave up. It all does…

    ‘ “You only die once and we’re not afraid after what we’ve been through.” ‘

    Shame on Israel. Shame on America.

    • MRW
      MRW
      August 18, 2014, 3:32 pm

      I feel the same way, just. Great report, Max.

      @Phil/Scott, a suggestion:
      Get an articulate Christian Zionist to comment on their love and acceptance for Israel’s wars. Have one post an article here explaining why he supports what Israel just did in Gaza. [The MW audience/readership can be convinced to be respectful.]

      You know, how about asking others the same? Especially before the Nov election. Has Eliot Engel ever written down how his great love for Israel supersedes his constituents?

  5. annie
    annie
    August 18, 2014, 10:47 am

    They abutted the vast buffer zone the Israeli military had established between its border and the Gaza Strip. By pounding neighborhoods like Shujiaya and cities like Beit Hanoun until nearly all of their residents were forced to flee west for shelter, Israel was tightening the cage on the entire population.

    i’m in shock, you mean it wasn’t because there were terroristas there?

  6. Citizen
    Citizen
    August 18, 2014, 10:50 am

    Panel discussion on the I-P conflict now running live on Cspan, sponsored by Foundation For Defense of Democracies. Jonathan Schanzer Research VP FDD, Elie Lake, Arron David Miller (Wilson Center ME Program), Hussein Ibish (ATFP), others.

  7. JeffB
    JeffB
    August 18, 2014, 10:52 am

    Two very interesting comments in Max’s piece.

    The first is the map corresponding to on the ground damage. The claim frequently gets made by the human rights community that the damage to Gaza was indiscriminate. If the damage corresponds to what had been preplanned via. a map then the damage was quite discriminate. Max is finding evidence refuting a major anti-Israeli claim. The month before the day is also quite interesting, he’s right to draw attention to that.

    The second is his comments about the deployment in eastern Shujaiya. Immediately clearing the area of all civilians and enforcing a perimeter is an odd action. It implies the Israelis were going to be doing something that would leave them very vulnerable to attack. I’m thinking they were looking for tunnels and needed to be essentially unarmed and not effectively mobile.

    So Max’s report if fully believed presents evidence for war crimes (deliberately killing civilians rather than trying to peaceably clear them, for example) but helps refute two of the main charges against Israel.

  8. RobertB
    RobertB
    August 18, 2014, 10:55 am

    The proud and humble people of Gaza have seen & experienced so many holocausts inflicted upon them by Apartheid Israel and its nazi IDF killers.

    Their daily suffering, their brutal occupation and their massacres should be the headlines for all unbiased news networks…websites…for all truth seekers to see…and evaluate!

    Israel’s crimes need to be exposed…day after day!

  9. Kay24
    Kay24
    August 18, 2014, 11:14 am

    These poor people have been deliberately made to suffer for years, in the most sadistic and inhumane ways. Here is an old video of how food is brought into Gaza, and you can see how cruel the Israelis are by habit and nature.
    No amount of justification by Israel or their hasbara here, can convince anyone that there is any compassion in the way they treat these civilians. They are truly monsters with a cruel streak in their treatment of totally helpless people. Ugly.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      August 18, 2014, 11:19 am

      They do not accept the right of the people of Gaza to live in Gaza. That is the bottom line.
      And they will kill them as necessary to get them out.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 18, 2014, 11:52 am

        They do the work of the devil. They were homeless unwanted people once, and now that they have been able to wield power over the indigenous people who lived there before, with the disgusting help of the US, they are shrinking the Palestinian territories, by ethnically cleansing, brutal occupying, and making life utterly miserable.
        The entire world simply makes disapproving noises and does nothing.

  10. seafoid
    seafoid
    August 18, 2014, 11:43 am

    The pretext for this orgy of killing was the 3 Israelis who were killed. And there was an outpouring of bilge about how savage the Palestinians, meaning of course ALL Palestinians are, that these 3 Jews could have been killed. And now it’s 2000 Gazans but they are all terrorists and even though some were shot at the head execution style all deaths are deeply regretted. It doesn’t tally.

  11. Walid
    Walid
    August 18, 2014, 12:46 pm

    “When Waseem recovered, I asked him what he wanted to be when he came of age. He replied without pause that he planned to join the resistance. ” (Max)

    During the 2006 war, Hizbullah had something like 3,000 pro-fighters and about 5,000 part timers and between the 2 groups, they held off an Israeli land army of 30,000.

    It was said that immediately after the war, (since Hizbullah never tells), over 100,000 young men whose homes and villages had been destroyed came forward and volunteered to sign up for training to become professional fighters. I suspect that after Israel’s vicious assault on Gaza this time, an equal number of young Waseems in Gaza will also be enlisting to become future fighters. Between so many pro-fighters to the north and south of it, Israel’s chances of survival will be even bleaker.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      August 18, 2014, 1:26 pm

      Israel’s massacre of Gaza this time, will change the dynamics in this struggle, which Israel will not like, but it will be the result of their own actions and brutality.
      This will lead to many young Palestinians wanting to join the resistance, take revenge for the slaughter of their families, in front of their own eyes, the destruction of their homes, and the collective punishment they have all got to endure. The next generation too who were terrified of the 500 pound bombs and who were traumatized by the scenes of death and destruction, will grow up with an anger no one will be able to take away.
      No one can fault them. They have lost so much. Israel’s massacre of civilians will have far reaching consequences, that will devastate them in the near future, and the occupier will realize that what goes around, comes around. They truly deserve it.

      • gracie fr
        gracie fr
        August 19, 2014, 6:25 am

        “Five years after the presentation of the Goldstone Report, there is no real accountability and the recommendations remain unimplemented. Neither Israel nor the Gaza authorities have taken any meaningful measures for accountability for gross violations resulting in killing of civilians, deliberate targeting and destruction of UN buildings and other places protected under the Geneva Conventions, and destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza. As far as Israel is concerned, the record shows its contempt for real accountability in the manner it has dealt with incidents during the 2009 offensive, about which the Mission had given findings of serious human rights and humanitarian law violations.”
        https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/resources/interviews/13563-exclusive-former-goldstone-report-member-tells-memo-israels-record-qshows-its-contempt-for-real-accountabilityq

    • concernedhuman
      concernedhuman
      August 18, 2014, 4:09 pm

      Walid that will change nothing even if whole of gaza is ready to fight israel, israel will crush them. Because israel is heavily armed.

      Its just history repeating it self israel did it in Cast Lead israel got away with it, isreal now has done 4 times more than what it did earlier israel will again get away with it .

      Palestinians alone cant fight, they are unarmed no help from any arab country. It is really shameful, arab countries like Saudi jump to give millions after israel has bombed gaza to hell but they ever arm palestinians or try to stop israel from bombing gaza.

      Palestinians cant fight a diplomatic battle, ICC is funded by UK and France and these countries are pressuring ICC not to get involved in to this conflict and pressuring PA not to approach ICC.
      http://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/aug/18/hague-court-western-pressure-gaza-inquiry

  12. RobertB
    RobertB
    August 18, 2014, 3:21 pm

    Just wondering what happened to my comment/post of 10:55 am… on this thread … today?

  13. concernedhuman
    concernedhuman
    August 18, 2014, 3:49 pm

    Hamas in West Bank ‘planned to topple Palestinian Authority’

    Shin Bet, IDF say plot was orchestrated by Hamas overseas headquarters located in Turkey, and centered on a string of mass casualty terror attacks.

    According to the investigation, the plot began in 2010, as Al-Aruri was driven to the Allenby Border Crossing after agreeing to leave, following his release from prison.

    http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Massive-Hamas-infrastructure-in-West-Bank-planned-to-topple-the-Palestinian-Authority-371409
    Some anonymous in ShinBet said. So the plot was hatched in 2010 and never executed till date?

    Again a cooked up story like “3 settlers were kidnapped by Hamas “—Only to delegitimize Hamas-PA unity and Turkey. Because Turkey has spoken against Operation Protective Edge .
    Soon they will come up with something to blame Qatar !!
    Any thing that stands against israel will be demonized and delegtimized .

  14. ritzl
    ritzl
    August 18, 2014, 4:33 pm

    At some point the families of the Gaza dead and executed are going to realize that the people who committed this slaughter have families outside of Israel and this death spiral is going to broaden.

    Hopefully families of the people that committed this slaughter will realize that simultaneously and rethink their Rob Reiner-like eliminationist and/or celebretory outlooks.

    I’d hate for the first scenario to play out, but it’s just not normal for it not to in some form or other. Human beings will do anything to make the pain stop, especially when the pain is intense, chronic, and without any alternative relief (i. e. Gaza).

    I don’t know if this is over the line or not, but I can’t help examining what my options would be in this situation. If it is over the line, please delete.

    • just
      just
      August 18, 2014, 4:42 pm

      I don’t think you’ll see that happen, ritzl. If it hasn’t broadened in these many decades, it won’t now. Palestinians aren’t a vengeful people. Palestinians only want to be free to live and for the Occupation to end. End it must, and it is up to us to make sure that Israel ends it.

      Perhaps you might read Allison’s newest post for an update…maybe it will help.
      http://mondoweiss.net/2014/08/ceasefire-palestinians-ramallah.html

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        August 18, 2014, 5:03 pm

        I agree with you about vengeance, just. But this time it’s different, imho. Just my sense of it of course, but Israel made it personal this go. Also the third time shows a pattern of behavior – an unrepentant and unrelenting pattern.

        Who knows how all that affects some small segment of a people who otherwise would prefer to rebuild and move forward.

    • JeffB
      JeffB
      August 19, 2014, 12:02 am

      @Ritzl

      Absolutely many Israelis have relatives in the USA and visa versa. You could attack Jews at random in the USA and have a fairly good shot at hitting Israeli relatives.

      But in your hypothetical / prediction you would be talking about Hamas allies or Hamas itself committing acts of terrorism on USA soil against USA targets. The degree of blowback from that would range from pretty bad for Hamas to truly awe inspiring in its level of destruction. I don’t think they will cross that line but could happen, might happen. I do find it hard to imagine much the Palestinians could do that would be more harmful to their cause than that.

      But let’s play with numbers. There are 5.4m Jews in America. Jewish fertility is low, depending on how you want to count between 1.65 and 1.8. So let’s ballpark at around 335 Jewish births per day. Do they in your hypothetical even knock off one day’s worth before hell rains down on them? How many do they get in your theory?

      As an aside this has been tried. Rashid Baz tried to avenge Israel by attacking USA Jews. I don’t think he had any actual association with Hamas (for one thing he was Druze) but Hamas at the time tried to link themselves: “With great pride the movement embraced his act and bestowed upon him the title of mujahid, a holy warrior and ibn Islam, a son of Islam, meaning one who serves as a role model and inspiration to others: We will retain the cry of condemnation on your heads and our hand is backed by millions of Muslim hands that are ready to carry out their execution role against Jews.” Hezbollah to whom had Baz had stronger but still very weak ties distanced themselves immediately the same way that Chechnyan resistance groups did regarding the more recent Boston bombing.

      I’m sure Hamas today regrets those words regarding Baz.

  15. Pixel
    Pixel
    August 18, 2014, 10:44 pm

    .
    yet, amidst it all, Max B. found his mini-doppleganger!

  16. jon s
    jon s
    August 19, 2014, 3:52 am

    I doubt that ” T.A ” refers to Tel Aviv. If the Hebrew letters are indeed Tav, Alef it could mean “tatslum avir” (= aerial photograph). But it’s possible that the letters are Het, Alef , in which case it could mean “heyl avir ” (=air force).

    In any case, losing a map is a serious screw-up and the officer responsible could conceivably be prosecuted.

  17. heartbeatt
    heartbeatt
    August 19, 2014, 4:28 pm

    Thank you for this report. It is very important to know more and know more and more, every detail. And then never forget, because when the most blatant killings are no longer in the news the other killings and oppression and daily humiliation will continue unless we stand up for Palestinian rights….and against the cold cruelty of Israel’s leaders who are taking Israeli citizens into a very dark place.

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