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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:48 PM
Original message
Amnesty Int'l: Houses in a shocking state

"This morning, Thursday, as each morning, Israeli gunboats began firing towards Gazas coastline at around 7am. Although there is supposed to be a ceasefire in force, weve heard an assortment of weapons being fired on each of the five days since it began. Yesterday, we were informed that nine people had been injured by shelling from an Israeli gunboat.

Today, we visited several families whose homes were taken over and used as military positions by Israeli soldiers during the three-week military campaign. In most cases, the families had fled or were expelled by the soldiers. In some cases, however, the soldiers prevented the families from leaving, using them as human shields.

In the Zeitoun neighbourhood of Gaza City, members of the Sammouni family told us that 46 of them, mostly children, were held captive in their home for two days in early January.

According to one member of the family we interviewed:

A large number of soldiers came into the house and put all of us in one room on the ground floor. They confiscated our mobile phones, and handcuffed and blindfolded the men and older boys. For two days we could not move; they only allowed us to get a bit of food to the children. We knew that another group of relatives had been killed by Israeli soldiers in the house across the road and we were screaming in fear. Eventually, at the end of the second day, they let us go but kept two of the men and threatened to kill them if the Qassam (Hamas armed wing) attacked them.

Every single room in the house had been extensively vandalized. In the houses, we saw Israeli army supplies, sleeping bags, medical kits, empty boxes of munitions and spent cartridges of Israeli bullets, providing incontrovertible evidence of the soldiers stay in these houses.

Every one of these houses we visited was in a shocking state. All the rooms had been ransacked, with furniture overturned and/or smashed. The families clothing, documents and other personal items were strewn all over the floors and soiled and, in one case, urinated on. In one house in the Sayafa area in north Gaza, several cardboard boxes full of excrement were left in the house although there was a functioning toilet which the soldiers could have used.

Walls were defaced with crude threats written in Hebrew, such as next time it will hurt more and, in one house, a drawing of a naked woman. As well, in every case, the soldiers had smashed holes in the outer walls of the houses to use as lookout and sniper positions."

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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 05:01 PM
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1. Gazan Family Opens What's Left Of A Home
Reporter's Notebook: As The Al-Ajramis Try To Rebuild Their House, They Do Not Forget Their Hospitality


"By its very definition, war would seem to negate civility. Why would people who have no reason to be anything other than angry, bitter and infused with a desire for vengeance offer hospitality to strangers intruding upon their suffering?

And yet, in this reporters experience at least, more often than not they do.

The ordinary Palestinians of Gaza take it to new levels.

Bumping our way through the devastation of an area that had been repeatedly pulverized by air strikes and tank shelling, we came across the men of the al-Ajrami family hammering a two-by-four across a gaping space in what was once (by Gaza standards) an upper-middle-class home.

They were trying, with a few nails, a hammer and a pair of pliers, to fix what for most of us would have been written off as an insurance claim. The difference is that here there is no insurance, and the home owners have nowhere else to go.

The Palestinians trapped in Gaza hold it as a truism that every bomb, rocket, mortar, tank and artillery shell that explodes among them is either made in or paid for by America. But even though we identified ourselves as being from a U.S. television network, they invited us into what remained of the house, into which they had sunk their savings barely a year ago.

Not a pane of glass remained. Holes had been smashed through walls by shells - and the occupiers making entrances and sniping positions. Doors were broken, furniture wrecked. Everything was covered with dust, broken masonry and plaster.

One had to wonder what kind of a reception a TV crew from an Arabic network - al-Jazeera, for example - would find if they crossed the property line of an American home blown apart by an Islamic faction.

Family patriarch Abdel Nasser al-Ajrami said the entire family had been sheltering in the room he was trying to close off when an Israeli soldier burst into the adjacent room, tossed a grenade, and closed the door. The carpet is seared. A pit has been blown in the floor, and the walls and ceiling are peppered with holes from small, sharp-edged, arrow-shaped projectiles called flechettes, a weapon designed to clear enemy positions like bunkers, not family living rooms.

The al-Ajramis were ordered to leave, and their home became an Israeli base.

When the fighting was over, the family came back to chaos.

They even destroyed our personal memories, Abdel Nassers wife Samaia said as she swept dirt, while her three-year-old granddaughter Saly, dressed in a pink jump suit, collected stray bits of debris. They broke everything. Is this the culture of Israel? I dont know how those people could come into a well-organized house and leave it destroyed. With no reason.

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Howardx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. "Is this the culture of Israel?"
apparently it is.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Nothing but pro-Israel propaganda from the US media!
If only CBS would run a story about the Palestinian perspective on the conflict instead of only showing the Israeli side.
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Howardx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. and of course
you begrudge the one story out of ten that shows the palestinian side of things.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Did you watch 60 Minutes?
CAIR Thanks CBS for 'Powerful' Report on Mistreatment of Palestinians

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today thanked CBS for last night's "60 Minutes" program that outlined in detail the injustices suffered by the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israelis.
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Howardx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-28-09 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. so?
im sorry the publicity stranglehold israel once enjoyed is weakened, perhaps now americans will see what we have been paying for all the years and demand a more honest brokerage.
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