Photo of the Week: Subtle aftermath of the Zeitoun District Massacre

Photo credit: Jessie Boylan
Date taken: March 13, 2009
Location: Al-Zeitoun, Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Palestine

Two members of the Samouni family stand beside Hebrew graffiti on their walls. When soldiers from Israel’s notorious Givati Brigade occupied the family’s home during the 2008-2009 Gaza invasion, they scribbled “Death to Arabs!” and “We are legends!” all along the walls. The numbers “6.1.09” marks the date the Givati Brigade completed its mission: January 6, 2009.

The Samouni family suffered some of the most tragic losses during Operation Cast Lead. At least 29 members of the family were killed after Israeli soldiers ordered the large family out of their homes and into a a nearby structure that was then demolished, shelled, and shot at on January 5. The boy and the woman in the photograph are among the few survivors. At least 19 other Palestinians were killed in what is now known as the Zeitoun District Massacre.

Although the graffiti pales in comparison to the actual demolition and shelling of a building with defenseless human beings inside of it, let it serve as a subtle reminder of the physical and psychological pain Palestinians must endure under Israel’s occupation.

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