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Permanent victims of war: Who remembers Gaza's children?

The Israeli public’s indifference to the effects of war on Palestinian children does not result in passivity — it is an integral component of the violence Gaza’s population faces.

Ali Al-Awour, 10, pictured on the left with his youngest sister, died on 15 June 2014 of wounds he sustained from an Israeli airstrike. Photo credit: Defense for Children International-Palestine

Ali Al-Awour, 10, pictured on the left with his youngest sister, died on 14 June 2014 of wounds he sustained from an Israeli airstrike. (photo: Defense for Children International-Palestine)

Ali al-Awour (pictured above on the left) was a 10-year-old boy from Gaza who loved to play soccer. On June 11, 2014, Ali was riding on the back of his uncle’s motorcycle when an Israeli missile targeting his uncle, a suspected member of a militant group, struck the vehicle. He found himself on a hospital bed in intensive care for three days before dying of his wounds.

Ali was the first child from Gaza to be killed during last summer’s hostilities, just several weeks before Operation Protective Edge was officially launched. But as the weeks went by, his name was quickly forgotten in the flood of dead children that followed him:

“I threw myself on the rubble and started to remove it away and call for my family members. They were all gone, 19 of them, nine children, killed and I do not know why. They left me with so much pain.” — Hameeda, aunt of nine children killed by the bombing of the Dheer family home (testimony collected by Al Mezan and Save the Children)

“They were deformed and turned into pieces. I could not recognize my children, except Ahmad, 7, whose injury was in the head; Razan, 14, whose injury was in the head and abdomen; and Aya, 10, whose injury was in the head…I could not recognize the rest of my children, or my nephews or my nieces…They are all gone. I wish I had gone too and did not have to see such scene.” — Tawfiq Abu Jami, who lost 24 family members including 18 children from an airstrike on their home (testimony collected by DCI-Palestine)

“Bader Qdeih, aged 6, was seen pleading for help from people fleeing Khuza’a while holding his intestines, which were coming out of his abdomen, ‘I don’t want to die. Don’t leave me.’ He died soon afterwards, after his medical evacuation was delayed.” — UN Commission of Inquiry’s Report on the 2014 Gaza Conflict

A photo of Abdallah Abdel Hadi Al Majdalawi amid the ruins of his home, Gaza Strip, March 19, 2015. Abdallah (13) was killed alongside his brother Abdelrazek (19) and his cousins Rawan (9) and Mahmoud (8), by an Israeli attack which took place without any warning on August 3, 2014. The attack also destroyed the adjacent home of Ahmed Al Majdalawi.

A photo of Abdallah Abdel Hadi Al Majdalawi amid the ruins of his home, Gaza Strip, March 19, 2015. Abdallah (13) was killed alongside his brother Abdelrazek (19) and his cousins Rawan (9) and Mahmoud (8), by an Israeli attack which took place without any warning on August 3, 2014. (photo: Activestills.org)

People have an odd tendency to forget that the wounds of war do not end after the guns have stopped blazing. One year may have passed since Operation Protective Edge, but there has been no rest to the suffering of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children living in Gaza. Families and communities remain torn apart by the loss of the 551 children who were killed, while also struggling to restore the lives of the 1,500 children who were made orphans. Approximately 100,000 people, more than half of them children, still have no homes to return to due to the total destruction or severe damage of their buildings — none of which have been rebuilt because of the severe lack of construction materials allowed into the territory.

Nearly 3,500 children are also recovering from physical injuries incurred during the war, with tens of thousands more suffering from psychological trauma; a statistic that is difficult to write when you realize what that entails. A girl whose arms were blown off by a nearby airstrike can never hug her parents or pick up her toys to play. A boy whose legs were pierced by shrapnel may never walk or kick a ball with his friends. A girl hearing the sound of drones above her head fears she might be killed on her way to school. A boy who watched his family crushed by a collapsing building cannot sleep as he stares at his bedroom ceiling in horror every night.

These stories from Gaza have been almost completely absent from the Israeli public’s discussions of the military operation. Far from questioning the scale of last year’s deaths and destruction, many simply remark that Palestinian child casualties were “regretful” but unavoidable during times of war. Others turn to victim-blaming to ignore or justify their deaths, claiming that Palestinian children are raised in a “culture of hatred” or that they were used as “human shields.” Few of those people consider those remarks to be as generalizing and insidious as saying that Israeli children are tolerable casualties of war, simply because their relatives are combatants living among civilians, or because the children themselves would have grown up to become soldiers of the occupation.

A Palestinian family sits in their destroyed home in a quarter in At-Tuffah district of Gaza city, which was heavily attacked during last Israeli offensive, Gaza city, September 21, 2014. During the seven-week Israeli military offensive, 2,131 Palestinians were killed, including 501 children, and an estimated 18,000 housing units have been either destroyed or severely damaged, leaving more than 108,000 people homeless. By: Anne Paq/Activestills.org

A Palestinian family sits in their destroyed home in a quarter in At-Tuffah district of Gaza city, which was heavily attacked during last Israeli offensive, Gaza city, September 21, 2014. (Photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

The absence of these stories is facilitated in part by the Israeli authorities’ refusal to identify and punish those responsible for the killing of Palestinian children, thereby marginalizing these events from the Israeli public’s attention and maintaining their view of the IDF as the “most moral army in the world.” The most prominent example of this is the case of the four Bakr boys who were killed by an IAF missile while playing soccer on the beach. The Israeli Military Advocate General (MAG) simply dismissed their deaths as a “tragic incident.” Adalah and Al Mezan, two human rights organizations that filed a complaint on the case, rejected the MAG’s excuses for closing its investigation, saying: “Can it be that the Israeli army, with all of its technologically advanced weapons, cannot distinguish between armed combatants and children playing at the seaside?… [this case has shown] that the Israeli army has no willingness to uncover the truth of the incident.”

The demand for justice in the Bakr case, like in every other case, is not just about holding the military to account for war crimes and deterring future crimes. It is about recognizing the pain felt by other children affected by the incident in order to confront the wrongs that were caused. For example, Montaser, aged 11, has been unable to recover from the loss of his brothers and cousins who were killed that day. “I have hated the sea and the beach since then,” he told DCI-P. “I do not go to school any longer because I keep remembering them. My father takes me to a psychologist because I get these cramps. I am scared what happened to them may happen to me. I am scared I may die the way they did.” Just as heartbreakingly, Montaser’s younger brother Mu’tasem, aged 10, is haunted by the guilt that he was the one who proposed to his brothers and cousins to play on the beach that day. “I wish I never suggested we go there…we were just playing football and nothing was wrong on the beach. I don’t know what we did wrong.”

Smoke rises from Gaza shore after missiles launched by the Israeli navy. 4 children from the Bakr family were killed while they were playing on the beach. The names of those killed: Ahed Atef Bakr, 10; Zakaria Ahed Bakr, 10; Mohamed Ramez Bakr, 11 and Ismael Mohamed Bakr, 9. Eye witnesses said that three of the children where hit while escaping. Following the incident, the army spokesman announced that an investigation of the incident will be opened. On June 2015, the Israeli investigation into the case was closed with Israel’s Advocate General’s office saying the attack, was a “tragic accident”. The attack occurred in front of many international media crew and was extensively documented. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Smoke rises from Gaza shore after missiles launched by the Israeli navy. Four children from the Bakr family were killed while they were playing on the beach. The names of those killed: Ahed Atef Bakr, 10; Zakaria Ahed Bakr, 10; Mohamed Ramez Bakr, 11 and Ismael Mohamed Bakr, 9. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

These stories are reflections of the daily realities faced by the children of Gaza. But despite the mountains of information that shed light on these realities, the Israeli public continues to be completely impervious to the consequences of the war waged in its name. This indifference does not result in passivity; on the contrary, it is an active and integral component to the structural violence that dominates Gaza’s population, and which turns Gaza’s children into permanent victims long after the wars are over. The fact that Palestinian leaders and militias also play a part in the suffering of Palestinian children is not lost on most families in Gaza; but it is still nowhere near the devastation caused by Israel’s military apparatus, nor does it justify Israelis’ denial of their state’s responsibility for Gaza’s inescapable turmoil.

With three wars in six years, an eight-year blockade, and 48 years of military occupation, Israelis will need to understand that their denial and avoidance of the suffering of “the other side” does not prevent future conflict — it assures it. Some may cite Assata Shakur’s claim that “Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.” But in a fight for human rights among divided people living on the same land, it is one of our most crucial and necessary weapons.

So how do we overcome this indifference? By recognizing, for starters, that this article would have been received very differently if it began with this child’s story instead of Ali al-Awour’s:

Daniel Tragerman, 4, from Kibbutz Nahal Oz, was killed by a mortar shell fired from Gaza on 22 August 2014 . He was the first and only child out of Israel's six civilian casualties.

Daniel Tragerman, 4, from Kibbutz Nahal Oz, was killed by a mortar shell during a barrage of rocket fire from Gaza on August 22, 2014. He was the first and only child out of Israel’s six civilian casualties during Operation Protective Edge.

Daniel Tragerman (pictured above) was a four-year-old boy from Kibbutz Nahal Oz in the south of Israel. As shown by his photo wearing Lionel Messi’s Argentina jersey, Daniel loved to play soccer — just like Ali and the Bakr boys. On August 22, 2014 Daniel was killed by shrapnel from a mortar shell during a barrage of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. He was the first and only child out of Israel’s six civilian casualties. “From the moment of the siren to the explosion, only three seconds passed,” said his mother Gila last year. “We didn’t have time to get the children and go into the protected room.” Hundreds of people including state officials attended his funeral, and his photo went viral across Israeli social media.

For Israelis to begin to understand what happened to children in Gaza, take Daniel Tragerman. Now multiply him by 551.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Whiplash

      Why does war have to be so sad? Why cannot war be happy and a joyous occasion? Why do bombs have to kill children as well as terrorists operating command and control centers, weapons and rocket depots and missile firing stations in their homes? Why do we even have war? Why cannot we all hold hands and sing Kumbaya until all wars in the world stop?

      Because that is not reality. The reality is that Fatah, the PLO, Hamas and Islamic Jihad were established to destroy Israel. The Arabs have waged war and terrorism on Israel. So war continues until the Arabs give up their dream of destroying Israel and eradicating the Jewish people.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Pedro X

      Crocodile Tears for Tawfiq Abu Jami (Jame)

      What the article above does not tell you about Tawfiq Abu Jami is that her home housed a non-related male named Ahmad Sahmoud. Ahmad Sahmoud was the head Hamas commander for the Khan Younis district. He was in charge of Hamas’ military operations in this area.

      He was not a family member of the Tawfiq Abu Jami family. The Tawfiq Abu Jami family were allowing Sahmoud to use their home as a command and control center to plan and carry out attacks against Israeli targets. They were sheltering him and using themselves, including their children, as human shields for Hamas’ military assets.

      By killing Sahmoud Israel gained a significant military advantage which permitted them to destroy the Tawfiq Abu Jami house and those in it who willingly made themselves military targets to give Hamas a military advantage.

      So, Tawfiq Abu Jami should blame herself for causing the deaths of her family members. She is responsible for making her house and children targets during a war initiated by Hamas.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Let’s return to author focus, shall we Whiplash and Pedro:

      “People have an odd tendency to forget that the wounds of war do not end after the guns have stopped blazing. One year may have passed since Operation Protective Edge, but there has been no rest to the suffering of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children living in Gaza. Families and communities remain torn apart by the loss of the 551 children who were killed, while also struggling to restore the lives of the 1,500 children who were made orphans. Approximately 100,000 people, more than half of them children, still have no homes to return to due to the total destruction or severe damage of their buildings — none of which have been rebuilt because of the severe lack of construction materials allowed into the territory.

      “Nearly 3,500 children are also recovering from physical injuries incurred during the war, with tens of thousands more suffering from psychological trauma; a statistic that is difficult to write when you realize what that entails. A girl whose arms were blown off by a nearby airstrike can never hug her parents or pick up her toys to play. A boy whose legs were pierced by shrapnel may never walk or kick a ball with his friends. A girl hearing the sound of drones above her head fears she might be killed on her way to school. A boy who watched his family crushed by a collapsing building cannot sleep as he stares at his bedroom ceiling in horror every night.

      “These stories from Gaza have been almost completely absent from the Israeli public’s discussions of the military operation”

      Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        Greg, does parroting Palestinian lies make them true? Greg quoted:

        “Approximately 100,000 people, more than half of them children, still have no homes to return to due to the total destruction or severe damage of their buildings — none of which have been rebuilt because of the severe lack of construction materials allowed into the territory.”

        Israel has allowed over 1.3 million tons of building supplies into Gaza, enough for 90,000 homes. These building supplies if used for their intended purpose was enough for repairing 90,000 homes and new infrastructure projects. Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel on July 5, 2015:

        “According to statistics of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Israel has brought 1.3 million tons of construction materials into the Gaza Strip since the end of the war — certainly a respectable amount. The material was intended for repairing homes that had been partially damaged and for rebuilding infrastructure.

        So why has construction not begun on those 16,000 to 20,000 homes that were completely destroyed? That is due mainly to lack of funds, which were supposed to arrive from the donor countries.”

        “Most of the money that did arrive came from Qatar, the United States and Germany. It was earmarked for the reconstruction of the partially damaged homes and for the rebuilding of ruined infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and roads.

        But the delay in transferring the rest of the donated funds is making it difficult to move forward with the large residential projects intended to replace the homes that were completely destroyed.

        To date, the construction of 14 residential buildings in Gaza has begun thanks to the money that has arrived so far.”

        Much of the problem is that donors do not want to give money to Hamas which would be used to rebuild its armaments. They want to give the money to the PA. The PA is inoperative in Gaza and has no intention in helping out Hamas rehabilitate Gaza. Hamas refuses to hand control of Gaza to the PA so that rehabilitation can take place. Hamas is using its resources to prepare for the next war, and is not clearing away the rubble from the 2014 war. Hamas has been trying to import materials hidden in the supplies which are shipped to Gaza. These materials are to be used in preparing for the next war in the production of rockets and tunnels.

        So, Israel has allowed through the building materials already paid for by countries for rebuilding 90,000 homes. The other construction materials have not materialized to be shipped to Gaza. This is not Israel’s doing but the doing of Hamas, the PA and donor countries.

        One must also ask why Hamas does not give up its military and function solely as a political party and focus on the rehabilitation of Gaza? Would not this be the best treatment for the homeless of Gaza? This would also provide peace for the children and civilians of Gaza to begin to heal from the ravages of war. Hamas promising and preparing for never ending war with the Jews, is not a coherent treatment plan for those suffering the effects of last year’s war.

        The way for Gaza to move forward is for Hamas and Islamic Jihad to declare total defeat and to disband their armies and securities services and to allow for a civil society to arise in Gaza.

        Reply to Comment
        • An automatic refresh booted me out of a reply to you. When I began again I submitted as an independent comment, not as a reply, as mistake. So, such as it is, my reply is downstream.

          Reply to Comment
    4. Roubzee

      Whiplash & Pedro, using your logic, Palestinians can assassinate all your leaders, even while sleeping in their homes with their children in the house (used as human shields).

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Oh, believe me, they would if they could!

        As it is, since they can’t, they just assassinate ordinary Israeli civilians and children whenever they can. That is why the Gaza operation was necessary. To stop them.

        It is them or us, Roubzee. We would rather there would be peace so that no one needs to die. But since Hamas does not see it that way cos they still dream of river to the sea. Things are the way they are…

        Reply to Comment
    5. Ah, Pedro of single mind, let’s play favorite statistics. Mine, alas, are brief, and by memory. I’ve read that the UN reports 80% of Gazans are on some relief, relief supplied not by Israel but the UN, probably about the only agency able to reliably get supplies into Gaza. Well over 50% of the economy is barter. Before Protective Edge, the last relief percentage I recall was 40%. The economy has been so strangled that simple upkeep is swamping all else out. The question is not why donors have not come through, but what their money could be used for given the continuing blockade. Israel has worked resolutely long at dismantling the Gazan economy by attrition and, with the accelerant of PE, do chortle success.

      As to demanding that Hamas (and their sometimes enemy Islamic Jihad) stand down their authority, coercion, patronage, and graft, it is perhaps worth recalling that a split Hamas moved toward unity before even the kidnap/murder of the three Israeli youth. Before that event, Bibi declared Hamas would never sit in a unity government, threatening to arrest any running for future election in the WB, as well as once again withholding tax transfers (which he then did for slightly other reason). Now, after the battering of Gaza, you expect the winning faction of the unity split, those saying it would never work, to stand down. Did not Nelson Mandela allow white militia to enter the army under his coming probable election–militia known to be behind many rather recent bombings designed to derail the peace process toward majority rule? How, as other example, did the US’s decision to disband the Iraqi army turn out? You do not disband your enemy unless you can handle total territorial control, control which will have to be brutal to succeed. Even now we see Bennett willing to consider an accommodation with Hamas, the same Bennett who raged against IDF command for advising not to fully enter Gaza. And, do I dare ask, would the settlers stand down in the West Bank for the “good of Israel.” Of course, the question is internally inconsistent–the settlers are the good of Israel. So too shall Hamas members say.

      The question at hand, as I read the author Iraqi, is how do we remove some of burden of the truncated lives, the memories, of children and families. No one wins when that becomes the question. Demanding Hamas stand down may make you feel good, but it goes nowhere. Why, instead, not this: an island port, controlled by the UN, maybe even NATO, but not by Israel. This you will never allow. For you must have iron control. Disband Hamas! Capitulate to your knees! Acknowledge our suffering caused by you! We have never done anything to you at all! It’s silly. Even Jeff Goldberg has a more nuanced view of Hamas that this.

      You say Iraqi gives “Palestinian lies.” He went to Gaza during the bombardment. He lived with residents of Gaza, not with Hamas. To say he is a Hamas puppet, which is all I can take from your “Palestinian lies,” although you do allow the PA somehow less “Palestinian” than this, is an affront to what he has done and what he writes. He is, in my reading, saying look at the children:

      “With three wars in six years, an eight-year blockade, and 48 years of military occupation, Israelis will need to understand that their denial and avoidance of the suffering of “the other side” does not prevent future conflict — it assures it. Some may cite Assata Shakur’s claim that “Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.” But in a fight for human rights among divided people living on the same land, it is one of our most crucial and necessary weapons.”

      This is hardly a use of lie demonizing all of Israel. Stop demonizing all of Hamas. Not even Jeff Goldberg does that. But he says, perhaps rightly, that those for PA unity are now in disarrayed minority.

      You are a good soldier, Pedro. Soldiers will lie when ordered to. When winning is all that matters, the truth is an early causality. Members of Hamas will lie. So will you. Which flag shall we give the children to wave while we all lie to one another?

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Yes Greg, all your long post adds up to is the suffering of Gazans.

        But we have been through this before. Everyone suffers in wars. The weaker side suffers more.

        My solution is peace. Hamas says that peace will only come with the collapse of Israel. I am afraid that us Israelis can’t agree to that. So there you have it. It is war and people continue to suffer.

        So what is your solution, Greg? Please try a more concise answer. Your posts are very long, convoluted and you don’t seem to do no more than lament. We need solutions, not sob stories!

        Reply to Comment
        • Ah, team tag wrestling.

          As I said, a port, under direct control of the UN or NATO, inspector for both in and out going shipments. Pretty direct recommendation. As I said last:

          “You do not disband your enemy unless you can handle total territorial control, control which will have to be brutal to succeed. Even now we see Bennett willing to consider an accommodation with Hamas, the same Bennett who raged against IDF command for advising not to fully enter Gaza.”

          Give Hamas a positive incentive to change. Yes, there is risk. Asking it to hobble itself into nonexistence will go nowhere. “You” may see yourself as the stronger, but they are still there. As Jimmy Carter said a decade ago, talk to Hamas–which is not identical to agreeing with all of Hamas.

          One does not reply to thought by saying “long” and “convoluted.” One thinks. You replied in no word at all. Which is why I tend to stay out of the sandbox. But this piece’s focus on children had me enter.

          Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            What a laugh, a port under UN control. We have seen Southern Lebanon under UN peacekeepers’ supervision completely rearmed with Hezbollah weapons and rockets. In Gaza during the war, missiles were discovered in UN schools and UN handed these missiles back to Hamas to fire at Israel.

            Members of Nato operating as part of the UN team in Lebanon have shown a lack of will to prevent Hezbollah from rearming. They simply turned a blind eye to what Hezbollah was doing in bringing in arms.

            To give Hamas a port, is to give it an incentive to import larger amounts of military supplies and to plan future wars. When Hamas and Islamic Jihad disarm, then a port can be established.

            Reply to Comment
    6. Ben

      @Roubzee

      For a needed perspective that subverts the narrative that “that is why the operation was necessary” I suggest you read this from one year ago, by Idan Landau:

      http://972mag.com/the-unfolding-lie-of-operation-protective-edge/93605/

      By +972 Blog

      Published July 15, 2014
      The unfolding lie of Operation Protective Edge

      An Israeli leadership truly interested in a peace agreement would not have driven its partner to the point of lacking any leadership authority among his people. But that is exactly the point. Israel is not really interested in peace or in a partner who can bring about peace.

      By Idan Landau (Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman)

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Let’s drag out the good old BS meter and see who is shovelling BS, shall we?

        …a week after the launching of Protective Shield, Egypt put forth a ceasefire proposal. Israel accepted it, Hamas and their cronies REJECTED the ceasfire proposal.

        …now let’s see what all this might have meant…

        Hypothesis 1:
        Israel launched the operation in response to Hamas terrorist acts such as the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers and rocket fire from Gaza. They wanted this operation to be a warning and to induce Hamas to respect the cease fire.

        Sounds plausible and consistent to any non biased bystander. Doesn’t it? Of course it DOES!

        Hypothesis 2:
        Israel launched the operation to scuttle the newly agreed unity arrangement between Hamas and the PA.

        Does that sound plausible? Had Israel achieved such an objective after the first week? Nah!!!

        So why did Israel agree to the ceasefire? And why didn’t Hamas agree to it?!

        ANSWER:
        Hypothesis 1 is the more plausible of the two hypotheses. Because…

        Israel wanted a REAL cease fire. That is why they agreed to the Egyptian proposal.

        Hamas on the other hand wanted the lifting of the blockade so they could import more advanced weapons to be used against Israel. But the Egyptian proposal did not include the lifting of the blockade. That is why Hamas did NOT agree to the cease fire and in fact that is why they broke the ceasefire in the first place. They wanted to harass Israel into agreeing to lift the blockade!

        CONCLUSION:
        The idea that Israel launched Operation Protective Shield in order to scuttle unity arrangements between Hamas and the PA, is a red herring. Or one might say BS. Put it another way, it is mere PROPAGANDA and myth…

        Next… I can’t wait to see the next bit of BS post from one of the usual suspects who constantly disparage Israel and whitewash the Palestinian Arabs on these pages…

        Reply to Comment
    7. Ben

      @Pedro X

      Not a word of what Greg said is a lie and to say it is a lie is a lie. Nor does anything else you said negate one thing Greg said. Your post amounts to a piece of anti-hasbara, illustrative of exactly the Israeli indifference and effort to distract from what is happening to people that Greg meant to return our focus to.

      Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        Greg quoted Iraqi:

        “Approximately 100,000 people, more than half of them children, still have no homes to return to due to the total destruction or severe damage of their buildings — none of which have been rebuilt because of the severe lack of construction materials allowed into the territory.”

        This paragraph contained multiple lies. The allegation that there is a severe lack of construction materials is a lie. It is also a lie that Israel is responsible for any lack of supply of building materials. Israel has allowed in 1.3 million tons of construction materials into Gaza, in accordance with the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM). Under the GRM 60,474 Palestinians in Gaza have received all of the materials approved for reconstruction or repair of their homes. 28,518 have received some of the materials approved, with the remainder of the materials available to them. 3,036 claims for construction materials have been approved but the Palestinians have yet to take delivery of their materials. 4,072 new applications are waiting for review and approval of material. 2,622 applications are under review which have not yet been declared eligible. A total of 98995 beneficiaries are enrolled in the program.

        A number of homes which were completely destroyed have not been rebuilt not because Israel has not let in materials which are available, but because donors have not paid for and provided the materials due Hamas and Hamas and PA inter faction disagreements.

        Greg also lies when he quotes Iraqi:

        “These stories from Gaza have been almost completely absent from the Israeli public’s discussions of the military operation”

        The destruction and death was well reported in the Israeli press which on their websites had blogs covering all aspects of the Gaza war. You can still read on Israeli news web sites new stories about the loss of lives and difficulties Gazans face. The fact is that Israelis know the cost of war up close and accept that Palestinians are responsible for their own losses. Palestinians die because they engage in war and terrorism on an ongoing basis. Wars cause collateral damage to civilians, including children. In Gaza, Hamas also used children as child soldiers, tunnel diggers, suicide bombers, human shields, scouts, mules, and messengers increasing greatly the number children killed. In Gaza Hamas operated its battlefield among its children and civilian population. It built its military into and under civilian homes and public infrastructure and operated from these positions without regard to the collateral damage which would result to the civilian population, including children.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          I’ll tell you something. If I took your posts here as a CV I’d never hire you as a city planner or developer. From the looks of it, your apparent limitations, you’d miss half the factors that go into a project actually happening and then stand around and blame the people actually trying to get something done. And you’d call any attempt at grappling with the true complexity of a situation “a lie.” And you’d be a master of obfuscation. Boy would you be a negative force. Your true calling is as a bureaucrat for whatever planning council spends its time crafting road blocks to Arab persons building in Jerusalem. You’re a natural. Just submit your blog posts to them as your CV and they’ll snap you up. You’ll go far.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            @Greg Pollock

            Talk to Hamas? Talk about what? The method and timing of our destruction?

            Oh… and you forgot a small practical detail. Hamas is unwilling to talk to us directly face to face. Ya know why? Because they say, it would mean that they recognize us.

            Talking about sandboxes…

            @Benny

            Yea, we start all the wars against poor innocent Hamas. Pull the other leg, Benny.

            Have you read what is in the Hamas charter which was written in 1988? Here is a small section of it…

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas_Covenant

            “The charter states that “our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious” and calls for the eventual creation of an Islamic state in Palestine, in place of Israel and the Palestinian Territories,[2] and the obliteration or dissolution of Israel.[3][4] It emphasizes the importance of jihad stating in article 13, “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad.”

            Reply to Comment