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Call for action: Street campaign remembers Gaza's 'obliterated families'

There were 142 so-called ‘obliterated families’ in Gaza last summer — families that lost three or more members in Israeli attacks during the military offensive. Marking one year since the war, the Activestills photography collective wants your help to launch an international street exhibition to bring their faces and names to public spaces in cities around the world.

Activestills street exhibition #ObliteratedFamilies, on Gaza, Marseille, France, May 8, 2015.

Activestills street exhibition #ObliteratedFamilies, on Gaza, Marseille, France, May 8, 2015.

One year on, the Activestills photography collective is launching an international street campaign to the Israeli offensive in Gaza last summer. Activestills is calling on activists — with a downloadable street exhibition kit — to bring the faces and names of Gaza families killed last summer to the streets around the world.

The exhibition, #ObliteratedFamilies, features family photos of those killed and portraits of survivors. Activestills photographer Anne Paq visited more than 50 families in Gaza when putting together the project, which aims to shed light on these families and calls upon people of conscience to demand justice for the victims.

Read also: One year since Gaza: Why there’s no such thing as a ‘precision strike’

More than 2,200 Palestinians were killed in Gaza last summer by Israeli attacks, most of them civilians; more than 500 children were killed. According to the United Nations, 142 families lost three members or more. Some families were wiped out entirely. Some families lost loved ones from three generations — grandparents, parents, and grandchildren.

Siyam family, attacked by 2 missiles launched by drones, Rafah, Gaza Strip, 21.07.2014. 13 members killed. In the photo- Nabil (33), whose arm was amputated following his injuries, stands with his only child who survived, Bader, also seriously injured in the attack. Nabil lost his wife, and 4 of her 5 children. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

The Siyam family, attacked by two missiles launched from drones, Rafah, Gaza Strip, July 21, 2014. 13 members killed.
Pictured: Nabil, 33, whose arm was amputated following his injuries, stands with his only child who survived, Bader, also seriously injured in the attack. Nabil lost his wife, and 4 of her 5 children. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Al Louh Family , attacked by airstrike with bomb, Deir Al Balah, Gaza Strip, 20.08.2014. 8 members killed. In the photo- 7 of the 8 members killed. Photo taken in the room of Iman (17) ( left side on the photo) who was killed by a small block of concrete which flew through the window. Her house is located about 100 meters from the attack site. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Al Louh Family , attacked by airstrike with bomb, Deir Al Balah, Gaza Strip, August 20, 2014. Eight members killed.
Pictured: Seven of the eight family members killed. Photo taken in the room of Iman (17) ( left side on the photo) who was killed by a small block of concrete which flew through the window. Her house is located about 100 meters from the attack site. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Activestills has been staging street exhibitions for the past 10 years as part of its attempts to raise public awareness of issues ignored or distorted by the mainstream media. By using city walls as a platform to exhibit our work, we try to reach wider audiences in independent, unfiltered, and direct ways. We believe that the streets should be reclaimed for political discussion.

Read also: Street exhibition confronts Israelis on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day

The Activestills collective calls upon activists to spread these photos in their communities. A digital street exhibition kit is available online, accompanied by full instructions and ready-to-print photographs.

The collective asks participating activists to upload photos of the street exhibits to Twitter and Facebook, with their location and the hashtag #ObliteratedFamilies, or to send photos by email. Thanks for joining this global campaign to demand justice for these families, to call for end to the blockade on Gaza, and the dismantling of the military occupation and colonization of Palestine.

Al Ghoul Family, attacked by missile,  Rafah, Gaza Strip, 03.08.2014. 9 members killed, including 3 children and 3 women. Photo: Amal Mohammed Al Ghoul, 37, showing the photo of her daughter Malak. Amal lost three children and her husband, killed in the attack. She was injured and had to be treated in Turkey, and now has to take care of her three surviving children. One of them, 7-month-old Ibrahim still has shrapnel in his body and needs further medical treatment. (Anne Paq/Activestills)

Al Ghoul Family, attacked by missile, Rafah, Gaza Strip, August 3, 2014.
Nine family members killed, including three children and three women.
Pictured: Amal Mohammed Al Ghoul, 37, showing a photo of her daughter Malak. Amal lost three children and her husband, who were all killed in the attack. She was injured and had to be treated in Turkey. She now has to take care of her three surviving children. One of them, seventh-month-old Ibrahim still has shrapnel in his body and needs further medical treatment. (Anne Paq/Activestills)

Abu Zeid family, killed by Israeli missiles, Rafah, Gaza Strip, 29 July 2014.  9 members killed, including 3 children. In the photo- Survivor Nidal (3) in his destroyed home. Nidal, whose mother and twin brother were killed during the attack, was only found the next day under the rubble. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Abu Zeid family, killed by Israeli missiles, Rafah, Gaza Strip, 29 July 2014.
Nine family members killed, including three children.
Pictured: Survivor Nidal, 3, in his destroyed home. Nidal, whose mother and twin brother were killed during the attack, was only found the next day under the rubble. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Activestills street exhibition #ObliteratedFamilies, on Gaza, Marseille, France, May 8, 2015. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Activestills street exhibition #ObliteratedFamilies, on Gaza, Marseille, France, May 8, 2015. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

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    1. Pedro X

      Context

      Hamas located command and control centers in homes of civilians, along with arm depots and fighting platforms. Israel, as it is allowed to do, struck these military targets. Homes that Hamas turned into military targets were not immune from attack because there were civilians present. Will active stills post pictures of the Hamas commanders and terrorists who fought from civilian homes?

      Elder of Ziyon quoting a story form Haaretz gives the following examples:

      “One such case is the attack on the Abu Ghanem family in Khan Yunis. According to reports in the Palestinian media, 10 people were killed in the bombardment, two of them Islamic Jihad militants. The military inquiry found that the target of the attack was Danian Mansour – a commander in the organization with a rank parallel to brigade commander. He was responsible for the group’s activity in northern Gaza. In the army they assessed that there were civilians in the building in which Mansour was located but believed that there was only one residential apartment at the site.”

      “In another incident, in which the Al Najjar family home in Khan Yunis was bombed, eight people were killed, two of them Hamas members. The target of the attack, according to the army, were Hamas militants who were manning a war room that had been set up in the family home. Here too, in the army they thought there would be civilians there but it was decided to attack nevertheless, using precision weaponry in order to avoid hitting adjacent buildings. In this case, the air force decided not to warn the residents of the building “so as not to thwart the aim of the attack.”

      If people do not want to see more Gazans killed in the next war, they should put pressure on the Palestinians to disarm Hamas and other terrorist organizations. They could do so by showing how Hamas used its own civilians as human shields. It could show pictures of Palestinians executed in the street by Hamas or killed by rockets which misfired and killed Palestinians, including their children. They could show pictures of Hamas operating out of hospitals as command centers and arms depots. They could show pictures of Hamas tunnels and their caches of missiles in UN schools. Active Stills will not, because it is a pro-Palestinian propagandist organization more concerned in bashing Israel than helping Palestinians.

      Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        Here is an example of Israel’s targeting of a civilian house housing a weapons cache in the home of a senior Islamic Jihad Commander’s home in a residential district of Gaza. In the short video one can see the secondary explosions of the weapons stored in the house.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5KJ3WMxArk

        This was a legitimate military target. The munitions stored in the Islamic Jihad’s Commander’s home assured that there would be collateral damage to nearby homes.

        Israel does not have to refrain from striking military targets. If Israel refrained from hitting Hamas and Islamic Jihad Commanders homes used as weapons depots and command centers, the weapons and those directing the weapons at Israel would have immunity form attack. There is no such immunity.

        Hamas and Islamic Jihad could have operated and stored their weapons outside of urban areas, but instead they chose to embed them in urban areas among densely populated areas. By their choices they assured there would be significant civilian causalities collateral to the fighting.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Cowboy

      There is an innovative new autism diagnostic on the way thanks to Israeli scientists. “A group of Israeli scientists is hoping to use autistic children’s distinct sniffing habits to help doctors diagnose the condition at a much younger age than previously possible.” Of course, BDS so-called activists (most of whom are filthy antisemites) have a well-documented history of refusing Israeli developed medical treatments. Let’s see if those assholes will refuse. medical treatment for their won children. If so, these jerkoffs deserve to have their kids taken away. It’s,true, they hate Israelis more than they love,their own children. That is what their actions tell us. Sigh.

      Reply to Comment
      • Marnie

        “Made in Israel” comes at too high of a cost to Palestinians and the civilized world.

        Reply to Comment
        • Pedro X

          Marnie, it is interesting how you juxtapose the Palestinians and the civilized world. Have you joined the ranks of Pam Geller in the interpretation of the uncivilized Palestinians? This is what we call a Freudian slip on the part of Marnie.

          Reply to Comment
          • Marnie

            PedroX – that’s what I’d call your usual, talking loud and saying nothing.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Cowboy

      Hey, see the guy in the top photo?
      Someone should lend him a hand!

      Reply to Comment
      • Cowboy

        Or someone should call the arm-y

        Reply to Comment
    4. Maria

      This is great!! I will try to download amthe kit and see if i can get any help to out it together before July 8th or when we have our protetbhere in Toronto on Saturday

      Reply to Comment