PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES - ISRAEL

Is the Israeli intervention justified?

The Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip, launched this weekend, has already killed over 300 Palestinians - some of them members of Hamas, others, civilians. Our Observers, from Gaza to Jerusalem, tell us about the escalating violence and question the legitimacy of the attack. Read more and see the amateur images...

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The Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip, launched this weekend, has already killed over 300 Palestinians - some of them members of Hamas, others, civilians. Our Observers, from Gaza to Jerusalem, tell us about the escalating violence and question the legitimacy of the attack.

 What do you think about the intervention? Give your opinion (insulting or hateful comments will be deleted).

 

This footage was shot by the International Solidarity Movement, who reported that a pharmacy in the Hi Alijnina district of Rafah, south Gaza, was bombed at 7am on Saturday morning.

"Most people are inside glued to their televisions and going to the hospital to donate blood"

Ghassan Abdullah is computer specialist from Ramallah.

The demonstrations here are a good representation of the situation in Palestine in general. They're not organised at all and groups go in different directions and squabble over which flag to raise. I saw one guy raised on someone's shoulders, chanting about national unity, and holding up the Fatah, Hamas and Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] flags. Then somebody handed him a Palestinian flag, which he'd forgotten...

Here in Ramallah there are lots of Palestinian security forces around, and in the small streets now, rather than the boulevards. That's strange. Everything's been closed - while usually shops keep their doors ajar, they were all shut over the weekend. Most people are inside glued to their televisions and going to the hospital to donate blood."

"This could easily explode into a third intifada"

Lisa Goldman is a journalist and blogger from Tel Aviv.

I am against the attacks on Gaza because they won't work. Neither air force bombardments nor a ground invasion will stop the Qassams. In fact, the IAF and IDF attacks will make life more dangerous and disturbing for the residents of Sderot and the western Negev, because Hamas and Islamic Jihad will respond by increasing their rocket barrages. (...) Meanwhile, the home front command has absolutely no plan to provide protection for civilians living in the western Negev. (...). Palestinians are demonstrating all over the West Bank - and they are directing their fury at Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, branding them as collaborators with Israel for not speaking out forcefully against the attacks on Gaza. This could easily explode into a third intifada."

Read Lisa's post in full here.

"After the failure in Lebanon, they really want to finish this job"

Eyad El Sarraej is a psychiatrist and human rights activist from Gaza City.

Gaza City looks like a ghost town. No one goes out, the streets are empty. I went out to buy some groceries for my children from a shop that was still open and came back immediately. They bombed the police station not far from here. My friend phoned to tell me they also destroyed my boat last night, which is docked in the Port of Gaza.

Hamas is only sending a few rockets in retaliation because it's simply no match. I think they're waiting to score some targets when Israel sends the infantrymen in on foot. The situation will escalate and the Israelis will have to kill a lot of people. After the failure in Lebanon [in 2006] they really want to finish this job - I think this will go on for four to six weeks. They'll occupy Gaza until the Security Council is called on to send an international force. I'm interested in how Obama will react to this - if he doesn't agree with the Bush administration it could have a grand impact."

 

Eyad says that people are being treated in hospital corridors in Al-Shifa hospital, pictured here. Photo posted with accounts of the chaos on the ISM website.

"Things will calm down and Hamas will lose support"

Ariel Woolf is a rabbinical school teacher from Efrat, near Hebron.

I'm personally very impressed with the Israeli attack. It's a well planned strategy; they're attacking specific targets, so it will be over in a week or two. And the vast majority of casualties are Hamas - at least that's what's reported. The message needs to be sent. Just today someone was killed by a Hamas rocket. It can't go on. My guess is that, afterwards, everyone will be angry at first, of course, but things will calm down and Hamas will lose support. Israel will attack until they achieve their goal."

"He fell in front of my eyes (…), he died later"

Seventeen-year-old Salam Jamal Kanaan lives in Naalin, a Palestinian village cut off from its farming fields by the Israel wall.

Yesterday we all got together, along with others from surrounding towns, for a demonstration. Towards the Israeli wall, the soldiers started using teargas to try to get rid of the protestors, who responded by throwing rocks. The Israelis then went on to fire rubber bullets, and then real bullets ones; first into the air, and then at the crowd. Three were hit: Mohammed Srour in the foot, Mohammed Khawaja in the head, and Arafat Khawaja in the chest. He fell down in front of my eyes. He was taken to hospital in an ambulance, which the Israelis shot at with voice bombs. He died later. He was 22 and studied at the American University in Jenin. Mohammed Khawaja, who was 19 and still at school, is clinically dead. He's got one brother and six sisters and his mother and father had already been killed.

Since this morning his family has tried to move move his body to somewhere they can proceed with funeral arrangements, but in vain. The Israeli soldiers have banned residents from going out and the press from coming in. It would be very complicated to get the body to the cemetery. We're all destroyed."

 

This footage, shot by the International Solidarity Movement, was taken when Arafat Hawadja was shot and rushed to hospital. The following photos of the incident were taken by Keren Manor at Activestills.org