Your thoughts please.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Wailing in grief, Salah Samouni banged his head against a wall inside the hospital morgue where the bodies of his three young nephews lay on the floor Monday.

After 10 days of a relentless Israeli assault, Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest, is overwhelmed. Bodies were crowded two to a morgue drawer, and some — like 3-year-old Issa, 4-year-old Mohammed and 5-year-old Ahmad — were on the floor.

Shifa’s shabby halls echoed Monday with the sounds of people screaming and the wail of ambulance sirens. Many of the wounded were being treated in hallways by harried doctors and nurses running on little sleep. The hospital was powered by emergency generators after shelling damaged power lines.

Since Israel began a ground offensive Saturday, most of the dead and wounded arriving at Shifa are civilians, as Israel’s offensive shifts from airstrikes to artillery shelling and fighting close to densely populated areas.

Israel says it is targeting only the Hamas militants who control Gaza in an attempt to halt seven years of rocket fire at Israeli communities. But the 550 Palestinians who have been killed include at least 200 civilians, according to Dr. Moaiya Hassanein of the Gaza Health Ministry.

On Monday, 20 children between the ages of 2 and 15 were killed, he said. Since the military offensive began Dec. 27, three Israeli civilians and two soldiers have been killed.

Nurse Ahmad Abdul Salam, 34, red-eyed and smelling of sweat, his clothes stained with blood, said he couldn’t sleep. “When my shift ends, I help my colleagues. These are our brothers and friends who are being harmed,” he said.

The hospital’s most gruesome scene was in its morgue, where blood pooled on the floor and refrigerators meant to hold 35 bodies were crammed with 70, laid side-by-side in drawers.

Lying on a gray mat on the floor, the three Samouni brothers appeared baby-faced and almost as though they were asleep, except for a large bandage wrapped around Issa’s head.

The children’s father was also killed in what relatives said was an Israeli strike on a house in eastern Gaza City where the family had fled to escape fighting nearby.

Relatives wept Monday and one man screamed for help for other family members he said were buried under the rubble of the house. “For God’s sake, rescue them!” he pleaded.

No militants were seen at Shifa. Israel says its forces have killed dozens of Palestinian gunmen, but Hamas has not listed its casualties and it is unclear where militants are being treated or where their bodies were taken.

Shifa has been powered by generators since power completely cut out in Gaza City three days ago. Israel has not replenished Gaza’s power station with industrial fuel since fighting began, and airstrikes have badly damaged power lines.

U.N. health official Mahmoud Daher said the generators were meant only as an emergency backup and he feared they would break down with the constant use, imperiling some 70 people hooked up to lifesaving equipment.

Throughout the day, exhausted medics rushed in with the wounded and the bodies of the dead.

Mohammed Salman, 26, a volunteer medic washing blood from the inside of an ambulance, said he had treated people with horrific injuries, including headless children and a woman whose stomach had been torn open.

The woman screamed, “Leave me and save my children,” he said, and burst into tears.

Israeli aircraft have hit three ambulances in Gaza since the campaign began, killing seven medics, according to Gaza health officials.

A medical building owned by a relief organization not connected to Hamas was also bombed, said Daher. He said the building was destroyed, along with an ambulance, three mobile clinics and donated medicines.

The Israeli army says it has no records of any of those strikes.

Raed Arini, a Shifa hospital official, said he has stopped filling out the space on death certificates that says “reason for death.”

“The reason for death is the Israeli army,” he said, as medics rushed in with more wounded people.

Associated Press writer Diaa Hadid reported from Jerusalem.

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4 Responses to “Your thoughts please.”

  1. johnherberger Says:

    I continually remained horrified by the lengths we go to as humans to hurt, mame and kill in order to prove a point.

    I have no great insight into this most recent conflict. I cannot imagine what is going through the president elect’s head – to look at this along with national issues, let alone family issues. It must all be so overwhelming. It is for me as an armchair diplomat. Both sides of this conflict are out of control

    All I am reminded of is being a teenager and remembering President Carter going into the Middle East to broker peace between Isreal and Egypt. Most people I knew said this task was impossible. I believed them. I am happy to say I was proven wrong.

    Somewhere within me, beyond my shock, there exists a part of me that holds a place for peace. If we are moving from a nation that engages in conflict towards a nation who helps negotiate resolution, this new administration will need all the support it can get from us “armchair diplomats”.

    Just as in Carter’s day there will be plenty of naysayers who will say peace is impossible and that we need to take a side in the conflict.

    Let’s hold out for something greater

  2. I couldn’t read the whole article without getting knots in my stomache; however, I do have a thought to share.
    “Israel says it is targeting only the Hamas militants who control Gaza in an attempt to halt seven years of rocket fire at Israeli communities. But the 550 Palestinians who have been killed include at least 200 civilians, according to Dr. Moaiya Hassanein of the Gaza Health Ministry.”
    People need to remember that the palestinians are pretty much trapped in Gaza. What good does it do for the israelis to “warn” them prior to attack when they have nowhere to go? The israelis may be trying to kill only hamas , that may be fact. But picture this: a 10 gallon fishtank filled with 200 goldfish and 10 guppies. Now, grab a net and try to only target the guppies. Hamas is the guppies and the rest are the rest of the palestinians with no place to run. It’s f’ed up. But, do you honestly think it will ever stop?

  3. Ever stop? I really don’t know. I want to say yes. But, right now I can’t. I posted the blog mainly to entice conversation. Plus, I was a little fed up after catching some of cable news and hearing nothing but the death of John Travolta’s son. Which is a sad thing to happen to any family. But, cable news? I don’t think so. But, then again, I should have already learned my lesson. I always have the option to turn it off and quit bitchin’ about it.

    Back to my point. I have my opinions on all of this and to echo John I also have no great insight. I would like to hear different views. Well thought out, intelligent, non-reactive ideas. Thank you both for giving me that.

  4. william f mcdonagh 3 Says:

    just wanted to be the first to congratulate hamas on their victory over israel keep up the good work your doing a hell of a job dig your trenches deep i think they should make “easy going”
    ‘ a saint . he truly was married to palestine irish americans are with you ! god bless you free america free ireland free palestine

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