Friday, 13 February 2009


Everyone in Gaza who speaks of the Israeli assault refers to war crimes. A commission has been established to collect documentation that can be used in prosecutions. They say they now have detailed reports of 100 cases.

We meet with surviving members of the Samouni family, talking in the open on the ruins of the house into which 97 members of an extended farming family, living in the countryside on the edge of Gaza CITY, were allegedly herded by Israeli troops.

The building ended up being bombed or shelled in the early hours of one morning. The attacks came one after another after another, at 8 minute intervals. Those who tried to get out were shot down in full view of their families and left bleeding to die outside. No ambulances were allowed in. Children were left amongst the dead for days and days. The case has been well reported in the media.

On the north side of Gaza we walked through the scorched and blackened rooms of a house hit by a shell of white phosphorous. Members of another family died here. Israeli ground troops had been very active here. Again, ambulances were not allowed in and those attempting to help the injured were shot. Bodies lay in the streets for weeks, attracting the attention of hungry dogs.

There are so many stories of this kind. They provide a sort of response to those who say: "But what could Israel do, with rockets being fired at it?"

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