Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

A family in Gaza recounts their experience

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Israel is strongly resisting any war-crimes investigation, for obvious reasons: they seem clearly to have committed quite a few. The LA Times recounts this story:

There were 14 of them huddled under the stairs. Israeli shells and airstrikes had long since shattered every window of the Helw family’s three-story home. But underneath the concrete staircase, they said, they felt relatively safe — until the soldiers came early in the morning on Jan. 4.

There was pounding on the courtyard door, they recalled last week, and voices in accented Arabic shouted, “Who’s in there?”

As the troops burst inside, family members said Fuad Helw, 55, jumped up with his arms in the air.

“We all put our hands up and yelled, ‘We’re women and children. We’re not the resistance,’ ” recalled Sherine Helw, Fuad’s daughter-in-law.

The soldiers opened fire on Fuad, said Sherine, and he died in front of his family.

There are no independent accounts of what happened that day, when Israeli tanks rolled into the Zeitoun neighborhood on the outskirts of Gaza City at the beginning of the land offensive. The Israeli army, which staged its offensive after years of rocket attacks against southern Israel emanating from the Gaza Strip, refuses to discuss individual charges in detail.

“As a matter of policy, we do not target civilians,” an army spokesman said on condition that his name not be published. “These situations are very complex and our soldiers do the best they can.”

But interviews across this devastated neighborhood in the aftermath of Israel’s 22-day offensive reveal a stream of accounts of violence, anger, loss and defiance. One of those stories is that of the Helw family, who say the Israeli tank columns charged in from the border fence between 7 and 8 a.m. on Jan. 4…

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

26 January 2009 at 7:57 am

Posted in Daily life, Mideast Conflict

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