Gaza: While The World Looked Elsewhere

Gaza: While the world looked elsewhere, another week of death and misery
By Donald Macintyre In Beit Hanoun
Published: 11 November 2006

Majdi Saad Athamneh couldn’t easily explain why he had come back after Friday prayers yesterday to the now empty, four-storey breeze-block building where it had all happened two days earlier. “I don’t know,” he said in hesitant English. “It’s the house where I was born and lived all my life. What can I say?”

It was also, he didn’t need to remind anybody, the house outside which he had passed the most hellish 15 minutes he will ever live through.

Forty-eight hours earlier he had been in the morgue at Kamal Adwan hospital distraught and weeping as he wrote down the names on a cigarette packet while the refrigeration trays were opened in turn to reveal the bodies of his 10-year-old son, Saad, three of his brothers and nine of his other close relatives, lost as they tried to flee through the choking smoke and dust from the barrage of shells fired by an Israeli artillery battery. [read on]


Two Palestinian militants are killed and several injured in an Israeli missile strike near Jabalya.


Israeli missile aimed at a group of militants lands near a Palestinian kindergarten, killing a teenage boy, critically wounding a teacher and seriously wounding eight children. A female Palestinian suicide bomber blows herself up near Israeli troops in Beit Hanoun, injuring one soldier.


Eight Palestinians are killed by Israeli soldiers in separate incidents. Hamas fires six rockets into Israeli town of Ashkelon. Israel says it has completed its week-long Gaza operation in Beit Hanoun which killed 60 gunmen and civilians.


Nineteen civilians killed in artillery barrage in Beit Hanoun, including 13 members of a single Palestinian family.


Two Palestinians reported missing after Israeli missile attack on home of a militant leader. Israeli drones buzz funeral of victims of Beit Hanoun attack.


The death toll from Beit Hanoun rises as Israeli hospital officials confirm that one of the wounded transferred to Israel, has died.


The US has vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution condemning an Israeli attack in the Gaza Strip that killed 19 Palestinian civilians.

An interesting account from BBC correspondent Matthew Price:

On one pavement I saw a trickle of dried blood, where a woman had fallen, shot in the head. And on a quiet residential street, the faces told me everything I needed to know. The sides of the road were lined with people. Some stood, others sat. They stared into space, at one another, at the ground. Some put an arm around a neighbour. One man grieved alone, tears on his face. All had the same look in their eyes.

I noticed it because it was not the look you see so often, one of hatred, of revenge. This was a look of sheer disbelief. I noticed someone I had met before. A taxi driver who once picked me up at the Erez crossing into Gaza. Raed had the same look. Not quite crying. But you knew something was deeply, deeply wrong.

How many of your family have you lost, I asked? “All of them. They all had the same grandfather.”

“I feel hate,” he added. He did not spit it out like people so often do. He just said it. “I hate George W Bush. I hate Israel of course. I hate the Arab world. I hate Europe.” His eyes, though, did not say hate. They said pain.

Lastly: something you won’t see on CNN. [h/t Haitham]

Autumn Clouds


  • What about the rockets?The Rockets, the Rockets!

    Yeah the rockets that the Pales launch on Israel?You know those steel pipes that are 1 meter long, and .5 meter in diameter, which Pales fill with gun powder and make it fly to Israel? Don’t they have better ways of transporting steel pipes? (For morons who didn’t get it, the rockets that Pales send don’t do any significant thing, just imagine a steel pipe flying in the air and falling at a very low speed, think of the “destruction”

  • Firas: stop with the sarcasm…you and I both know that all the Palestinian’s weapons of mass destruction are in Iraq. In the north, south, east and west. 😉

  • So you are now exposing the secret locations? Anyways won’t do good unless we get Powell or Rummy to do one of those fancy presentations with all the satellites images and stuff. Rummy is free btw.

    PS (TOP SECRET) : The space under my bed is getting crammed up could you please hide the extra nerve gas bombs for me while I clear the rockets in my garage?

  • Yesterday,they had a girl from Beit Hanoun on TV. She was crying hysterically in disbelief, screaming that her whole family was killed: her two grandmothers,uncles, mother, cousins. They were all dead. I sat there, staring at the screen, with goosebumps all over, because I imagined how she, a 14-year old, will have to take care of her 5-year old brother and 8-year old sister. Yet, I took it all in with the glazed feeling of someone watching tragedy through a tube.And the amount of rage I felt at that moment dissolved almost the instant I got up to do domething else. It still lingers, though, that anger. And I constantly hate myself for not truly feeling. Then I watched how the U.S. of freaking A vetoed against condemnation of Israeli atrocities in Beit Hanoun, and the cycle of goosebump-rage-dissolution started again. When the hell will that cycle stop and become something more?

Your Two Piasters: