Sunday, February 1, 2009

'What strikes me is how deliberate this was'

Life in Gaza is not 
'back to normal'
Amira Hass, Haaretz: 'Only aerial photographs of the Gaza Strip will make it possible to show and to comprehend the extent of the destruction,' a number of Western civilians said this week. They added: 'But there isn't a chance that Israel will allow anyone to come with a light plane and to aerial photography.'...

The data, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, as of January 22, are as follows: 1,285 dead, of whom 1,062 were non-combatants (895 civilians and 167 civilian police). Of these, 281 were children (21.8 percent) and 111 women. There are 4,336 wounded, among them 1,133 children. The 6-year-old girl who we saw in the Zeytun neighborhood, who holds her hands up in the air in fear every time the photographer brings his camera near her, is not included in the list of the casualties.

MSNBC: Not long ago, Yaser Alwadeya's factory was the largest food maker in the Gaza Strip... Today, the sprawling 47-acre complex lies in ruins... 'What hadn't been destroyed by the siege (Israeli sanctions) was finished off by bombs and tanks,' Hamad said, adding that 60 percent of Gaza's cement plants are now inoperable and a third of all metal workshops were destroyed. Airstrikes also targeted the territory's largest flour mill, wiping out 10,000 tons of wheat... 

UN humanitarian chief John Holmes said the extent of the wreckage was 'shocking,' especially the 'very systematic' destruction of industry... 'What strikes me is how deliberate this was,' Alwadeya said, pointing at the earth dug up next to one of his assembly plants by an Israeli army bulldozer, apparently to create a ramp so it could then roll onto the factory. Bulldozer or tank tracks were still visible on the collapsed roof...

At Gaza's largest private fish farm, owner Sohail Kehel was in tears as he sifted through some of the 20,000 dead fish now rotting in the six destroyed artificial ponds where he once raised red snapper... Both Alwadeya and Kehel vowed to rebuilt their businesses, despite the difficulty of finding financing or even securing building materials. 
'The only sure thing is that I'll rebuild my ponds,' said Kehel. 'I just don't know how.'

Image: Yaser Alwadeya points to the tracks left by a bulldozer or tank that he says drove onto his food factory's roof, causing it to collapse, in Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip. Source here.