Shell-Shocked: on the ground under Israel’s Gaza assault
What was it like to live under Israel’s assault on the Gaza strip last summer? In these pages, journalist Mohammed Omer, a resident of Gaza who experienced the terror with his wife and three-month-old son, provides a first-hand account of life on-the-ground. The images he records in this extraordinary chronicle are a literary equivalent of Goya’s ‘disasters of war’ : children’s corpses stuffed into vegetable refrigerators, pointlessly because the electricity is off; a family rushing out of their home after a phone call from the Israeli military informs them that the building will be obliterated by an f-16 missile in three minutes; donkeys machine-gunned by Israeli soldiers under instructions to shoot anything that moves; graveyards targeted with shells so that mourners can no longer tell where their relatives are buried; fishing boats ablaze in the harbour. Throughout this carnage, Omer maintains the cool detachment of the professional journalist, determined to create a precise record of what is occurring in front of him. But between his lines the outrage boils, and we are left to wonder how a society such as Israel, widely-praised in the west as democratic and civilized, can visit such monstrosities on a trapped and helpless population.