Photo of the Week: Portrait of a survivor

Photo credit: Hatem Moussa
Date taken: August 11, 2014
Location: Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, Palestine

A Palestinian boy wraps a bandolier of spent bullet casings left over by Israeli soldiers over his head. The bullet casings were picked up near his home which was destroyed in the onslaught. Israel launched a 50-day military offensive dubbed “Operation Protective Edge” against the Gaza Strip, killing at least 2,140 Palestinians, injuring thousands more, and displacing an estimated 500,000 people.

Israeli aggression in Gaza is most commonly justified by individuals who depict Palestinians as culturally-backward, war-loving militants who swear by the bullet and who pray for death. Juxtapose this bigotry with reality: Israel used or prepared to use enough bullets to shoot every Palestinian in Gaza twice with enough left over to shoot more than half of them one more time to make sure they’re down. That’s 4.8 million bullets.

This, coupled with 39,000 tank shells, 34,00 artillery shells, and thousands of air strikes, was designed to take Gaza back to the stone age.

The boy wears the bandolier defiantly. It’s the loudest possible statement. You threw all you could at me. I’m still standing.

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