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Life in Gaza

Reporting from the Middle East seems just to be about numbers these days. In your typical short newscast, you hear a report about 2 dead here, 5 dead somewhere else, and occasionally -- and all too often -- a larger atrocity in which the numbers climb into the double digits. But little is reported on the day-to-day horrors that must be endured by the innocents trapped in the war zone. In Gaza, where two flavours of Islamic fascists are fighting it out for supremacy, life is miserable:

But in Gaza, night and day, the city is a ghost town. Hardly anyone dares step outside. There are rumours Fateh gunmen are simply shooting at anything that moves, and some families have been trapped in their homes for four days. Electricity supplies are low, and fuel shipments were cut off following Tuesday's violence at the Karni checkpoint, Gaza's only supply line.

Following a strike by the municipality over unpaid wages, rubbish is piled high in the streets. It's set alight every night, filling the air with an acrid smoke. Now, even if the city's cleaners wanted to return to work, the streets are too dangerous.

Dr. Musa El-Haddad - a retired doctor living in Gaza City - went on to the streets yesterday to buy enough bread for three days. His family have already run out of coffee. All but a few shops selling essentials are closed in the strip's capital city after masked gunmen - on a rampage through the streets and shooting into the air - harassed most shopkeepers into locking their doors.

...

We hear reports that residents of several high-rise residential towers in Western Gaza City are trapped inside, their buildings taken over by unidentified gunmen. They've set fire to some of the buildings, burning residents' cars and firing at ambulances. Gunmen are searching every flat for suspects. It's impossible to evacuate any of the wounded.

We manage to contact a woman named Um Muntaser in Borj El-Saleh, a residential tower in the west of the city. She tells us over the phone that some children in the building are wounded, and her son passed out from smoke inhalation. Nobody can move, and gunmen are paying no attention to the innocents around them.

"We have been living in our kitchen for the past two days," says the 42-year-old mother of seven. "Eleven or 12 apartments have been burned... There are snipers everywhere... We are human beings. What's our fault in all this?"

Well, you possibly shouldn't have elected these guys. But I think with the money, arms and rhetoric Iran has been sending in, this probably would have happened anyway. What a nightmare.

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Comments

You shouldn't have such contempt for innocent civilians.

Sorry, I don't see any contempt in my comments. I think what's going on is terrible and I feel sorry for those caught in the crossfire. But I did mention that I think Palestinians bear some responsibility for their situation. Suggesting they don't is more contemptuous, I think.

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