3 Palestinians killed in Israeli air strike
Three Palestinian militants including the local head of an armed group were killed in an Israeli air strike on a refugee camp of Gaza City, medics and security sources said. They said an air-to-ground missile struck their car in Shati camp, killing Nidal al-Amudi, a head of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which is loosely linked to the Fatah group of moderate Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.
Maher al-Mabhuh, belonging to another group, was also killed along with a third militant who died of his injuries.
An Israeli military spokesman confirmed the raid, without specifying what type of aircraft was used, and said it targeted militants involved in rocket or other attacks on Israel. Earlier, eight mortar shells crashed onto Netiv Haassara village on the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip, without causing casualties, the spokesman said. The latest deaths raised to 6,049 the number of people killed since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in 2000, the vast majority of them Palestinian.—The Nation, January 14, 2008
As if in a dream, I was falling asleep in my warm bed in Gaza around midnight when I heard a loud boom—an explosion near my home. What was it? Gas explosion? From Israel? A rocket? Bomb? Missile? A bomb planted by Palestinians to punish other Palestinians? How long would this last? Gunshots followed—rat a tat tat. From whom? About what? Would Ibrahem who was sleeping overnight with me for protection tell me we had to evacuate?
The phone rang. Ibrahem answered. I listened for the quality of his voice since I can’t understand Arabic. Would he sound alarmed? Excited? Fearful? Or would he sound calm, secure, pleasant—maybe just a call from a friend?
Ah, his voice was low and soft, delicate. I relaxed and finally slipped into a dreamless sleep.
Next morning I asked him, “Ibrahem, what was that boom?”
The helicopter and rockets were made in my country, the United States, with my tax money, murdering people without any judicial process. No trial, no evidence, no plea-bargaining, no publicity, and no appeal process. No accountability. The world barely noticed.
Where did this happen, Ibrahem?” I asked.
“In Shati, the Beach camp for refugees, 3 km from here, where you were photographing just a few days ago.”
I’d been in Shati photographing kids playing marbles. Were they among the dead?
And the call, Ibrahem, who was that?”
“My brother, to make sure I was alright.”
Two days later Israel attacked again, this time a section of the old city of Gaza City, killing 18 and injuring over 40 others. Some call it a massacre. Palestinians fire Qassam rockets into Israel, occasionally injuring and killing civilians. Israel claims it is protecting itself. Is it? Are the Palestinians ending the occupation by armed resistance? To what end? How stop the cycle of violence and foster justice?
Woman who had witnessed the killing at the site shown above, her car had been near the destroyed car
The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.