Note: Due to the sheer amount of evocative and telling photography coming out of Palestine, we have transitioned our weekly photograph features into daily photograph features and will continue uploading images on a daily basis until further notice.
Photo credit: Khalil Hamra
Date taken: August 5, 2014
Location: Rafah, Gaza Strip, Palestine
The Abu Louli family returned to their home in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah where they were greeted by a drawing of a menacing skull left by Israeli soldiers who had used their home as a base for many nights. Israel pulled its soldiers out of many areas in Gaza earlier in the week but has resumed its aerial bombardment of the coastal enclave.
As was the case in Israel’s 2008-09 assault, Israeli soldiers had been given instructions to repurpose homes in Gaza into command bases, advance bases, or rendezvous points. As one ex-Israeli soldier familiar with these instructions revealed, soldiers were then given the go-ahead to release their frustrations. Palestinians who crossed an imaginary and arbitrarily-placed red line were shot. It could very well be that many Palestinians were sniped while on or near the premises of their own home.
The driving force of Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip is sheer hatred. We are witnessing an invasion of a territory that is blockaded from every side and a people that physically cannot escape the air strikes and tank shells. Palestinians are even being blamed for their own deaths, whereas the governments directly responsible for the roughly $6 billion in damages that has befallen Gaza are touted as protectors.
Here is a similar photograph, taken by Marco Longari in a school for girls in Beit Hanoun also on August 5, that depicts the attitude and mentality of the soldiers sent to “protect” the people of Gaza.