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"The amount of death and destruction is inconceivable"
It was just before noon when I heard the first explosion. I rushed to my window and barely did I get there and look out when I was pushed back by the force and air pressure of another explosion. For a few moments I didn't understand but then I realized that Israeli promises of a wide-scale offensive against the Gaza Strip had materialized. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzpi Livni's statements following a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak the day before yesterday had not been empty threats after all.
What followed seems pretty much surreal at this point. Never had we imagined anything like this. It all happened so fast but the amount of death and destruction is inconceivable, even to me and I'm in the middle of it and a few hours have passed already passed.
Six locations were hit during the air raid on Gaza City. The images are probably not broadcasted on US news channels. There were piles and piles of bodies in the locations that were hit. As you looked at them you could see that a few of the young men were still alive, someone lifts a hand, and another raises his head. They probably died within moments because their bodies were burned, most had lost limbs, some of their guts were hanging out and they were all lying in pools of blood. Outside my home which is close to the two largest universities in Gaza, a missile fell on a large group of young men, university students. They'd been warned not to stand in groups as it makes them an easy target, but they were waiting for buses to take them home. Seven were killed, four students and three of our neighbors' kids, young men who were from the Rayes family and were best friends. As I'm writing this I can hear a funeral procession go by outside; I looked out the window a moment ago and it was the three Rayes boys. They spent all their time together when they were alive, they died together and now they are sharing the same funeral together. Nothing could stop my 14-year-old brother from rushing out to see the bodies of his friends laying in the street after they were killed. He hasn't spoken a word since.
Saturday, December 27, 2008 : At least 225 Gazans killed in Israel's deadliest attack on Palestinians for decades.
Israeli warplanes have resumed their air strikes on Gaza Strip, hitting targets all over the territory, including a mosque and a TV station.
In the first attack early on Sunday, Palestinians said Israeli aircraft bombed a mosque near Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.
Another target early on Sunday was the Al Aqsa TV station used by Hamas. Its studio building was destroyed, but the station remained on air with a mobile unit.
Palestinians counted about 20 attacks in the first hours of Sunday.
Israel launched Operation Cast Lead on Saturday and threatened that the operation would widen if necessary.
Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, rejected calls for a new truce, saying Israel "cannot really accept" a ceasefire with Hamas.
"For us to be asked to have a ceasefire with Hamas is like asking you to have a ceasefire with al Qaeda. It's something we cannot really accept," Barak told Fox News from Tel Aviv.
Asked whether Israel would follow up the air strikes with a ground offensive, Barak said: "If boots on the ground will be needed, they will be there.Read More