Monday, 29 December 2008

Israel bombs Gaza and kills more than 300 people.

Israel has bombed Gaza and killed about 300 people.

Al-Jazeera's coverage made the blood in my veins pulsate. The BBC's coverage made me want to never watch again its sanitised nonsense.

Al-Jazeera showed live coverage of men strewn on the grounds. Most of them were dead. One guy had blood underneath him and looked dead but was blinking. Another guy was reciting his shahada (Muslim article of faith), clearly worried he might be dying. Random men were running around trying to help those on the ground. When cars and ambulances arrived, they helped put the injured inside. Occasionally, there were shouts of Allahu Akbar (God is Great). I knew if I was there, I'd be doing the same. I could smell death coming out of the TV screen.

The BBC coverage stated that Israel had bombed selected targets in the Gaza strip, killing an estimated 200, and then went to say that Hamas militants had already taken revenge by sending their rockets into Israeli territory. They showed an Israeli flat that had a hole in its wall because one of the rockets had hit it. They said an Israeli had lost his life. Then they said that the Israeli defense minister had warned his people that more violence was coming their way, and that Israel was not finished with Hamas. The sense I got from the BBC coverage was: this is a violent match between two equal - or perhaps slightly mismatched - rivals.

The thing is this is not a match between rivals. Hamas was popularly elected by the Palestinian people, but because they won't recognise Israel, they have been confined to Gaza and Gaza has been laid siege to in a manner that years from now will be acknowledged as Israeli war crimes. There was a six months ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. During this time, the Israelis continued assassinating Hamas leaders. Hamas did not hit Israel. When the ceasefire expired, Hamas started shelling Israeli land with cheap rockets. Israel's response: 300 dead. So far.

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