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They killed Akram and now they’re destroying the few belongings he left behind
independent minds
The sound of explosions and clashes boomed all night and into the early hours and we guessed that Israeli foot soldiers were trying to press on deeper into the city from the south. Whenever the firing salvoes paused for few seconds, we could hear the tank engines. The Gaza Strip was already pretty small before this conflict began, but it has got even smaller after being divided into three isolated sections by the Israeli army.
In the past 17 days of the onslaught, there hasn’t been a night without heavy strikes on Gaza, but last night, the shelling never stopped for more than a few seconds and aircraft, artillery cannons and gunboats fired their missiles into Gaza all at the same time.
It’s OK, it’s still a long way from us, I said to Alaa, who is 9 months pregnant and due in hospital in the morning (Wednesday) when the doctors are planning to induce the birth of our first baby. We’ve been taking refuge at my in laws’ place in the middle of Gaza City
But to the north, where our evacuated apartment building is located, missiles had also been landing.
Alaa fretted and it was difficult to comfort her since there were reports that the al-Andalous tower, a 14-story residential complex that is only 30 from our home had been struck.
When the darkness lifted, I hurried to check on the family home.
Turning right into our street, I saw scores of people gathering under what remained of the al-Andalous tower. The road was filled with stones, dust and smashed glass . One look at our own building from the outside was enough to let us imagine how things would be on the inside. There were no windows left.
Residents of the tower were bringing down what they could save of their damaged pieces of furniture and belongings. The staircase was gone, so they dropped down everything from mattresses and bedcovers to televisions using a rope.
In our building, the doors of the lift had been blown away due to the strong air concussion, the timber doors of my uncles' apartments were blown open and everything was covered in dust and broken glass.
I found my mother at her apartment which is next door to my own; she was showing the local media the destruction and the window frames  that had crashed down on my father's bed. "They killed Akram and now they’re destroying the few belongings he left behind” she was saying. It’s just 10 days since my Dad, Akram, was killed by an Israeli airstrike on the day the ground offensive began.
Inside, I retrieved all the baby clothes that we’ve bought for my daughter. It seems we’re going to be away from our home for longer than we imagined.
Later Alaa looked sadly through the photos I took of the destruction at the apartment where we’ve lived for less than a year. She never expected, she told me, that our baby would spend the first days of her life outside of our home moving from shelter to a shelter.

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r u kidding me? u have to be? its not that i am with Hamas, no not at all, i knew that the Plestenians made the mistake of their lives by electing them, but its easy to fool pple in the name of religion..look all over the world including Israel!!! what is Israel? i wont even go there, because its a fact of life now , just pls. dont say Israel was compelled? just dont...Israel had a choice..what about before the attack? terrible conditions unhuman?!! was it compelled then too?? oh this is way too much. Hamas dont care & Israel is happily getting rid of everyone & the civilians r paying the price! how unfair & sad is that?

Israel is the place worths visiting. Of course, religion is the fact of life here, but Israel is a secular state.

Now, what do you mean "before the attack". These attacks go on for eight years, meanwhile Israel pulled out of Gaza, removed all its soldiers and all its civilians from there. There is no justification whatsoever for the Hamas terrorist and indiscriminate aggression against Israeli civilians, there is absolutely no justification for kiddnapping of our soldier from Israel's territory and keeping him in captivity somewhere in Gaza without even letting the Red Cross visiting.

The conditions in Gaza are indeed hard: the place is overcrowded and impoverished. I think, many people in Gaza think with nostalgia today about the years of the Israeli occupation, when Gazans worked in Israel and in the Israeli settlements and when the life standards in Gaza where much higher, than today.

But the occupation is not normal situation. The future of Gaza, of course, is in the framework of the future Palestinian state. The Hamas regime in Gaza is a huge obstacle for the Palestinian state. Not only it's the second government, so that Israel cannot make deal with the PA government in regard of Gaza (and Gaza is inseparable part of the Palestinian Authority), but also what message does it send to Israel?

It sends very wrong message. It says: "every territory, which you vacate, will become a base of terrorism against your citizens. You left Gaza - and received rockets in your face."

Of course, Israel had no choice other than to defend its people. The security of Israelis is the primary and most importaint commitment of the Israeli government. Israel did all it could to avoid this war, it erupted when it became absolutely unavoidable.

My heart is with the people of Gaza and with the Israeli soldiers. I hope, that the horror and hell in Gaza will not last long. It is now obvious, that Israel delivered very hard blow to the terrorists and the end of the operation is nearing. It's now time for the Gazans to say their word and to topple the criminal regime. I hope, that my son and Fares' children and my children will live in peace, friendship, cooperation, prosperity. I hope, that the Palestinians will have a leadership, which leads the people to decent life rather than to martyr death. I hope, that this war will ultimately make peace closer.


You say:
'there is absolutely no justification for kiddnapping of our soldier from Israel's territory and keeping him in captivity somewhere in Gaza without even letting the Red Cross visiting.'

You don't see any irony in that statement whatsoever?

One Israeli soldier, in captivity in Gaza, without access to the Red Cross.

One and a half million people in captivity in Gaza, under attack, unable to escape; many dying and dead without access to the Red Cross.

Or can you somehow justify the fact that the Red Cross has accused Israel of 'shocking' (their word not mine) war crimes in preventing aid workers get access to the injured and dying?

Don't bother answering.

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