a Shattered Gaza celebrates cease-fire, Hamas claims victory

Celebratory gunfire crackled across the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night as Palestinians hailed what they called a victory by Hamas in forcing an end to Israeli attacks.

But the hum of Israeli drone aircraft lingered overheard, underscoring a sense of uncertainty about whether a week of violence that has killed more than 130 Palestinians had come to more than a temporary end.

While cries of “God is great’’ echoed from Gaza’s mosques Wednesday, the shards of glass and other scenes of destruction evident across the crowded enclave conveyed an image that was less a triumphant. A final Israeli onslaught had turned dozens of homes, shops and offices into rubble, in attacks that seemed to intensify in the final 24 hours before the cease-fire announcement from Cairo.

For the most part, the targets struck by Israeli war planes and ships during the conflict — government complexes, bridges, farms, smuggling tunnels, paramilitary training facilities and residences of suspected militants — had been connected in some way to Gaza’s Hamas-led government.

But the 24 hours before the cease-fire was announced saw a major escalation by Israel, and Palestinians, who had hoped for an earlier end to the fighting, saw their expectations crumble overnight Tuesday amid the thunder of fresh strikes that sent balls of flame hundreds of feet into the sky.

Many Gaza residents said they believed the signal was clear, even if negotiations in Cairo might bring the strikes to a halt. “We’re going to target all of your buildings, and you have no place here,” a Palestinian bystander who would not give his name said Wednesday morning, characterizing the Israeli message.

As he spoke, an Israeli F-16 suddenly roared overhead, releasing a deafening explosion on a building 100 meters away. It was immediately followed by another blast, and then another, and another. Panic erupted, and a crowd of spectators stampeded over a rubble-strewn landscape as the buildings behind them seemed to erupt in a series of apocalyptic fireballs, smoke and dust filling the air.

In what were among the final strikes, Israel targeted two bridges, including one that connected northern and southern Gaza over a valley used to funnel the strip’s sewage into the sea.

Other overnight airstrikes ripped through homes and farmland, and reduced a major Interior Ministry complex to a sprawling wasteland of rubble the size of a football field. Known as Abu Khadra, the complex had been evacuated a week ago, and it contained military and police headquarters, but also the government offices for passports and other travel documents.

There were no casualties in the strike, employees said.

Among other targets was a villa that residents said belonged to Azzam al-Showa, the president of al-Quds bank, an institution with no obvious ties to Hamas. On Wednesday, it was a mountain of concrete shards strewn with torn rugs, broken flower pots and the pages of books.

No one was home when an Israeli F-16 struck late Tuesday night, and neighbors said they were mystified by the target.

Showa was a former energy minister under the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Now he is the general manager of al-Quds, but Hamas has its own bank, neighbors said — the Islamic National Bank, also destroyed Tuesday in an Israeli strike.

“We have no idea. He’s a peaceful man, a businessman. He has nothing to do with anything,” said Basil Milad, one of the neighbors.

The only thing about Showa that might have drawn the Israelis’ attention, Gaza City residents said, was that his bank had recently started granting loans to Palestinians, whereas most other banks had stopped, afraid they would not be paid back.

The destruction from the week’s fighting added new layers to destruction from years’ past in a territory that has never gotten on its feet.

Most of the strip’s 1.7 million people are refugees — the descendants of those who fled ancestral homes on the land that is now Israel during the war over the Jewish state’s creation in 1948.

The United Nations said Wednesday that 10,000 Gazans have been displaced within the strip in the past week of war, many Tuesday night after the Israel Defense Forces urged residents of the north to evacuate their homes.

The most recent previous Israeli assault, an invasion of Gaza in 2008 and 2009, displaced thousands more. Many of them have struggled since to rebuild homes while contending with an Israeli blockade on construction materials.

Over the past week, many Gazans said, much of the infrastructure that has been rebuilt since that last war has again been systematically destroyed.

 

Washington Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Patience2

    It must be noted, that among terrorists, few surpass the Israelis themselves.

  • Patience2

    It must be noted, that among terrorists, few surpass the Israelis themselves.

  • http://yalibnan.com/ geo metro

    victory my skinny white ass,

     more than 80 precious lives GONE!  greiving mothers,fathers, brothers, sisters,children and hundreds of buildings turned to rubble and you call this victory? if so why could you not call it victory a week a go and save your citizens from the agony and hardship they will face for years while the news and the world moves on to another story next monday  as the palestinian commoners suffering continues.

    how about this for a victory,

    every 4 years hamas and the idf surrenders miltiant members to match the casualty from the  last victory for public suicide or execution and leave civilians and homes on both sides intact? hamas can still claim a victory  and show true love for their citizens by sparing them the pain and suffering and loss of housing…..or could it be that hamas can only get sympathy when they deliver their citizens to the altar for the so called martyrdom everytime they poke the  hornests nest with nothing to show for it……. that is as effective as giving a tic tac to an elephant!

    congratulations! more than 60 years of horrible results and horrible quality of life  for generation after generation. very sad represantion of the majority who pay the price of hoplessness.

  • http://yalibnan.com geo metro

    victory my skinny white ass,

     more than 80 precious lives GONE!  greiving mothers,fathers, brothers, sisters,children and hundreds of buildings turned to rubble and you call this victory? if so why could you not call it victory a week a go and save your citizens from the agony and hardship they will face for years while the news and the world moves on to another story next monday  as the palestinian commoners suffering continues.

    how about this for a victory,

    every 4 years hamas and the idf surrenders miltiant members to match the casualty from the  last victory for public suicide or execution and leave civilians and homes on both sides intact? hamas can still claim a victory  and show true love for their citizens by sparing them the pain and suffering and loss of housing…..or could it be that hamas can only get sympathy when they deliver their citizens to the altar for the so called martyrdom everytime they poke the  hornests nest with nothing to show for it……. that is as effective as giving a tic tac to an elephant!

    congratulations! more than 60 years of horrible results and horrible quality of life  for generation after generation. very sad represantion of the majority who pay the price of hoplessness.

  • nagy_michael2

    Divine victory meaning the leaders of Hamas get more money from Arabs and Iran.. otherwise they could careless about the people they should be responsible and held accountable for letting Iran and hezbollah lead them by the nose.

  • nagy_michael2

    Divine victory meaning the leaders of Hamas get more money from Arabs and Iran.. otherwise they could careless about the people they should be responsible and held accountable for letting Iran and hezbollah lead them by the nose.

  • Prophettttt

    Not sure it is a victory,but definitely a survival. One has to remember that Israel ,as usual,started this round of violence by its assassination of a Hamas leader.Hamas had no choice but to retaliate.
    Non of the mistakes(plenty of them) Palestinian leaders made justifies bombing Gaza and its citizens. No people on earth should be subjected to the unjust and inhumane treatment  Israel subjected the Palestinians.No people on earth should be bound by moral rules invented by their occupiers .Israel never needed an excuse to wage wars, it is a country created through violence ,occupation, and ethnic cleansing.The basic principle of which it was created upon, is a very twisted  philosophy of some ancient prophets, and we’re supposed to accepted because they claim god promised them a piece of land because they are the chosen ones. For some reason, God “forgot” to tell everyone else his “promise”. I’ve always wondered about this claim that God promised something over 6000 years ago, yet It took him that long to deliver.What took him so long? The answer is that this silly claim was attributed falsely to God by people who are willing to tell lies about God and in the name of God. Yes that sounds like a typical Zionist mentality.Lie,and keep lying until some people start believing.

    • 5thDrawer

      No Prophet .. they were sending rockets at Israel before that assassination. Go to beginnings of time if you like, but to even declare ‘victory’ in this shows the insanity of the Hamasies … I even heard a commentator reminding us that Hamas was elected democratically … while failing to also mention that they went around killing the opponents after their big ‘win’ – and have done so since then with any who ‘democratically say’ something against them in Gaza.
      (let alone have music at a wedding)
      Don’t get trapped into the idiocy, please.

      Dragging summarily executed bodies around the streets behind motorcycles isn’t exactly civilized either, by the way.

      • Prophettttt

        Having grown up within eyesight of the border, no one is going to convince me of Israel’s innocence. From beginning of time, Israel is an illegitimate entity which was created through violence ,massacres, ethnic cleaning.and occupation.
        Putting millions of people under siege for years is an act of war by itself. When they used to shell south Lebanon in the forties and fifties, they claimed that they were attacked.I won’t go further because you know where I stand on this subject. 
        I even heard commentators claim that Nitinyahu talks to god every day,and gets orders directly from him, exactly like Bin laden claimed.

        • 5thDrawer

          Yes, yes … fine … but it’s still ALL idiocy.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

          Maybe you should provide proof where either netanyahu or bin laden claimed to speak with god.
          Incredible how people on this blog make ludicrous claims without any proof.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

         5th you “don’t get trapped into the idiocy, PLEASE”!
        The jews occupying Palestine and BLOCKADING over a million people are the instigators of any violence because RESISTANCE is enshrined in the Geneva conventions. Maybe you should read them.

        • 5thDrawer

          ‘Resistance’ does not translate as ‘killing’. Not anywhere sanity exists, at least. Maybe using words properly could be a start.
          The Geneva conventions were formulated for the humane treatment of humans in war zones. And not everyone has signed up, have they? It’s a ‘fair-play’ concept – why beat on a defeated human? But what it comes down to is ‘choice’. Look at Syria, for example. Even Hitler allowed the Red Cross to access prisoners – who were not Jewish. Israel allows the same for Gazans, don’t they? What they stop at the border is the things Hamas WILL use against them.
          Not all Gazans are throwing rockets – but the ones who do, throw them at all Israelis. And state they will always do that – because they hate Jews. Idiocy. Enshrined indeed – and trapped by it.

        • Prophettttt

          Preview, You missed the point I was trying to make.Just to clarify that part of my comment; I never claimed – and my bad if it sounded that I did – that He does speak to God.I was simply responding to 5th’s reference ,as to what He had heard from a commentator . The idea was that not everything commentators say or write should be taking seriously without any prove. And anyone could make an argument using a reference to a commentator or media reports.
          But it is no secret that extremists and fanatic religious people from all faiths and sects claim divine connections somehow.They all claim to implement God’s wishes on earth.
          In Nitinyahu’s case, his entire state is built on a false philosophy of ancient prophets that claims God to be in the real estate business , and that He Had promised his chosen people some piece of land.That is wrong
          No doubt that some Muslim people from all sects have made some divine claims here and there,and many of them kill in the name of God,and that is wrong too.
          Even in christian history, there are many cases where Christians fanatics (George bush claimed that God spoke to him,lol) have fought and killed others in the name of God. My conclusion is that radicals are dangerous no matter how they pray.
          the funny part is that some people expect the Palestinians to resist by throwing roses and flowers instead of fighting with weapons that are designed to kill. I hate killing and fighting,but I understand that in life you need to defend yourself,and the chances of getting killed or killing someone else are inevitable.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

         “a state which forcibly subjugates a people to colonial or alien
        domination is committing an unlawful act as defined by international
        law, and the subject people, in the exercise of its inherent right of
        self-defense, may fight to defend and attain its right to
        self-determination.”

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

         ” What they stop at the border is the things Hamas WILL use against them.”

        Yes i can see hamas using hospital medications against the jews occupying Palestine.. Geez why didn’t i think of that before 5th pointed it out. Btw medications are just SOME of the things israelis don’t allow.

        “Israel also maintained a list of foods that were permitted and banned from Gaza.”

        Yes again, hell who knows hamas might start throwing tomatoes at the israelis instead of eating them.

        5th on this one you are wrong.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

         “…And state they will always do that – because they hate Jews..”

        Really? or is it because they are OCCUPIED???

        • 5thDrawer

          Watch Gaza Children’s cartoons.

  • Prophettttt

    Not sure it is a victory,but definitely a survival. One has to remember that Israel ,as usual,started this round of violence by its assassination of a Hamas leader.Hamas had no choice but to retaliate.
    Non of the mistakes(plenty of them) Palestinian leaders made justifies bombing Gaza and its citizens. No people on earth should be subjected to the unjust and inhumane treatment  Israel subjected the Palestinians.No people on earth should be bound by moral rules invented by their occupiers .Israel never needed an excuse to wage wars, it is a country created through violence ,occupation, and ethnic cleansing.The basic principle of which it was created upon, is a very twisted  philosophy of some ancient prophets, and we’re supposed to accepted because they claim god promised them a piece of land because they are the chosen ones. For some reason, God “forgot” to tell everyone else his “promise”. I’ve always wondered about this claim that God promised something over 6000 years ago, yet It took him that long to deliver.What took him so long? The answer is that this silly claim was attributed falsely to God by people who are willing to tell lies about God and in the name of God. Yes that sounds like a typical Zionist mentality.Lie,and keep lying until some people start believing.

    • 5thDrawer

      No Prophet .. they were sending rockets at Israel before that assassination. Go to beginnings of time if you like, but to even declare ‘victory’ in this shows the insanity of the Hamasies … I even heard a commentator reminding us that Hamas was elected democratically … while failing to also mention that they went around killing the opponents after their big ‘win’ – and have done so since then with any who ‘democratically say’ something against them in Gaza.
      (let alone have music at a wedding)
      Don’t get trapped into the idiocy, please.

      Dragging summarily executed bodies around the streets behind motorcycles isn’t exactly civilized either, by the way.

      • Prophettttt

        Having grown up within eyesight of the border, no one is going to convince me of Israel’s innocence. From beginning of time, Israel is an illegitimate entity which was created through violence ,massacres, ethnic cleaning.and occupation.
        Putting millions of people under siege for years is an act of way by itself. When they used to shell south Lebanon in the forties and fifties, they claimed that they were attacked.I won’t go further because you know where I stand on this subject. 
        I even heard commentators claim that Nitinyahu talks to god every day,and gets orders directly from him, exactly like Bin laden claimed.

        • 5thDrawer

          Yes, yes … fine … but it’s still ALL idiocy.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

          Maybe you should provide proof where either netanyahu or bin laden claimed to speak with god.
          Incredible how people on this blog make ludicrous claims without any proof.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

         5th you “don’t get trapped into the idiocy, PLEASE”!
        The jews occupying Palestine and BLOCKADING over a million people are the instigators of any violence because RESISTANCE is enshrined in the Geneva conventions. Maybe you should read them.

        • 5thDrawer

          ‘Resistance’ does not translate as ‘killing’. Not anywhere sanity exists, at least. Maybe using words properly could be a start.
          The Geneva conventions were formulated for the humane treatment of humans in war zones. And not everyone has signed up, have they? It’s a ‘fair-play’ concept – why beat on a defeated human? But what it comes down to is ‘choice’. Look at Syria, for example. Even Hitler allowed the Red Cross to access prisoners – who were not Jewish. Israel allows the same for Gazans, don’t they? What they stop at the border is the things Hamas WILL use against them.
          Not all Gazans are throwing rockets – but the ones who do, throw them at all Israelis. And state they will always do that – because they hate Jews. Idiocy. Enshrined indeed – and trapped by it.

        • Prophettttt

          Preview, You misunderstood the message ,and missed the point I was trying to make. I never claimed that He does,I was simply responding to 5th’s reference to what He had heard from a commentator . The idea was that not everything commentators say or write should be taking seriously without any prove. 
          But it is no secret that extremists and fanatic religious people from all faiths and sects claim divine connections somehow.They all claim to implement God’s wishes on earth.
          In Nitinyahu’s case, his entire state is built on a false philosophy of ancient prophets that claims God to be in the real estate business , and that He Had promised his chosen people a some piece of land.That is wrong
          No doubt that some Muslim people from all sects have made some divine claims here and there,and many of them kill in the name of God,and that is wrong too.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

         “a state which forcibly subjugates a people to colonial or alien
        domination is committing an unlawful act as defined by international
        law, and the subject people, in the exercise of its inherent right of
        self-defense, may fight to defend and attain its right to
        self-determination.”

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

         ” What they stop at the border is the things Hamas WILL use against them.”

        Yes i can see hamas using hospital medications against the jews occupying Palestine.. Geez why didn’t i think of that before 5th pointed it out. Btw medications are just SOME of the things israelis don’t allow.

        “Israel also maintained a list of foods that were permitted and banned from Gaza.”

        Yes again, hell who knows hamas might start throwing tomatoes at the israelis instead of eating them.

        5th on this one you are wrong.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

         “…And state they will always do that – because they hate Jews..”

        Really? or is it because they are OCCUPIED???

        • 5thDrawer

          Watch Gaza Children’s cartoons.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zubi-Ganubi/100001929974686 Zubi Ganubi

    The Pals Terminology:
    Defeat: No such thing…See the Term Victory
    Victory: 100-10000 dead, all official buildings down, 50% of the leaders dead, all amunition gone, more money from Iran, more kids volenteer to become shaide.

    BTW, Hizballa use the same dictionary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zubi-Ganubi/100001929974686 Zubi Ganubi

    The Pals Terminology:
    Defeat: No such thing…See the Term Victory
    Victory: 100-10000 dead, all official buildings down, 50% of the leaders dead, all amunition gone, more money from Iran, more kids volenteer to become shaide.

    BTW, Hizballa use the same dictionary.

  • ghzayel

    hamas claims victory????????????
    what kind of victory are we talking about here?????
    perhaps the same victory that late yasser arafat claimed when leaving lebanon?????
    as long as they refuse to call a spade a spade hamas folks are bound to repeat the same deadly mistakes over and over again.
    what kind of outcome do you expect  when hamas emboldened and blinded by their home made  fire work rockets gets hezballah and iran as cheerleaders??? simply nothing but absurd wars, sorrow and destruction.

  • ghzayel

    hamas claims victory????????????
    what victory are we talking about here?????
    perhaps the same victory that late yasser arafat claimed when leaving lebanon?????
    as long as they refuse to call a spade a spade they are bound to repeat the same deadly mistakes over and over again.
    what do you expect  when hamas emboldened and blinded by their home made  fire work rockets gets hezballah and iran as chearleaders??? nothing but absurd wars, sorrow and destruction.     

  • Constantin7

    It reminds me with the “Godly Victory” of the 2006 war in Lebanon that HA claimed. These people they cannot see or what. They have destruction everywhere, 150 people killed and who knows how many injured and permanently handicapped, and still they claim VICTORY ! Wow ! This is the logic of the illogic, or the logic of presenting something bad as something good. These are not celebration of a VICTORY these are celebrations of a cease fire where everyone can walk out without fearing a rocket is going to fall near by. This is a celebration of LIFE over DEATH, of PEACE over WAR, of SECURITY over INSECURITY, but definitely NOT a CELEBRATION OF VICTORY.

    • 5thDrawer

      No, they can’t see … trained not to. ‘God’ might be great, but Hamas, Zionists, Tlibanis, etc, are not.
      It’s a great farce.

    • master09

      Keep the people UNEDUCATED, tell the people to die for nothing and they will do it. This is why the ME will be like this for ever…..a gun in an Arabs hand feels better than hugging or kissing for peace…..  

  • Constantin7

    It reminds me with the “Godly Victory” of the 2006 war in Lebanon that HA claimed. These people they cannot see or what. They have destruction everywhere, 150 people killed and who knows how many injured and permanently handicapped, and still they claim VICTORY ! Wow ! This is the logic of the illogic, or the logic of presenting something bad as something good. These are not celebration of a VICTORY these are celebrations of a cease fire where everyone can walk out without fearing a rocket is going to fall near by. This is a celebration of LIFE over DEATH, of PEACE over WAR, of SECURITY over INSECURITY, but definitely NOT a CELEBRATION OF VICTORY.

    • 5thDrawer

      No, they can’t see … trained not to. ‘God’ might be great, but Hamas, Zionists, Tlibanis, etc, are not.
      It’s a great farce.

    • master09

      Keep the people UNEDUCATED, tell the people to die for nothing and they will do it. This is why the ME will be like this for ever…..a gun in an Arabs hand feels better than hugging or kissing for peace…..  

  • Constantin7

    Isn’t it time for a PERMANENT PEACE ? Aren’t people tired of wars one after the other ? Is there not a courageous leader to ask for peace once and for all ? Isn’t time for Lebanon to make peace with our southern, educated, rich, civilized, “ennemy-neighbour” ? Or we cannot think (or allowed to think) out of the box, immediately we are labeled as a traitor. Can you imagine how much benefits would come with a peace treatry between Lebanon and Israel ? Tens of billions of dollars year after year….just to give a number, without counting people who will be able to return to the South and plan their futures securely without fear of another expected war. Just visualize my friends, it is bound to happen, because human beings by nature want to live in peace, and not in war…..I cannot believe other than it is bound to happen, hopefully sooner than later….  

  • Constantin7

    Isn’t it time for a PERMANENT PEACE ? Aren’t people tired of wars one after the other ? Is there not a courageous leader to ask for peace once and for all ? Isn’t time for Lebanon to make peace with our southern, educated, rich, civilized, “ennemy-neighbour” ? Or we cannot think (or allowed to think) out of the box, immediately we are labeled as a traitor. Can you imagine how much benefits would come with a peace treatry between Lebanon and Israel ? Tens of billions of dollars year after year….just to give a number, without counting people who will be able to return to the South and plan their futures securely without fear of another expected war. Just visualize my friends, it is bound to happen, because human beings by nature want to live in peace, and not in war…..I cannot believe other than it is bound to happen, hopefully sooner than later….  

  • Fauzia45

    Let them celebrate!Enough of destruction and loss of lives!I think no war is ¨worth the bloodshed it costs ¨!However let them not be the victims again and again of the political mistakes and interests of their own leaders,of ideologies,of regional leaders and regimes that are using them to serve their own interest!!It is sad and tragic to see more and more Palestinians die as the struggle of power of the Middle East continues!

    • 5thDrawer

      They were celebrating the ‘Gaza Victory’ in south Lebanon too. Hamas creeping in alongside Hezzys ….

  • Fauzia45

    Let them celebrate!Enough of destruction and loss of lives!I think no war is ¨worth the bloodshed it costs ¨!However let them not be the victims again and again of the political mistakes and interests of their own leaders,of ideologies,of regional leaders and regimes that are using them to serve their own interest!!It is sad and tragic to see more and more Palestinians die as the struggle of power of the Middle East continues!

    • 5thDrawer

      They were celebrating the ‘Gaza Victory’ in south Lebanon too. Hamas creeping in alongside Hezzys ….