Nowhere to Hide As Israelis Destroy Gaza Site : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Sunday October 8 6:08 AM ET Nowhere to Hide As Israelis Destroy Gaza Site

By Christine Hauser

NETZARIM JUNCTION, Gaza Strip (Reuters) - The blue and white Israeli flag flew from the army outpost at Netzarim junction on Sunday, surrounded by destruction after Israeli forces blasted homes and factories before dawn.

Nearby, the green and white flag of the militant Hamas group flew from the remains of a ruined apartment block.

The symbols of the stand-off in more than a week of violence between Israelis and Palestinians were very much in evidence at the volatile junction, where Israeli demolition crews blasted a factory, apartment, an office and homes.

Israeli tanks rolled through groves, crushing orange trees underneath their treads, and gouged the sidewalks and paving stones of the intersection where more than a dozen Palestinians fighting with petrol bombs and rocks have been shot dead.

One of two apartment blocks next to the outpost, scorched black and scarred, was reduced to a mound of rubble. The second looked as if it had been shortened a story by having its bottom floor wiped out.

A factory adjacent to the outpost was destroyed, as were a small office and shops across the street from the post.

No one was reported killed in the operation.

It effectively left almost nowhere to hide for the Palestinian gunmen and youths who had taken cover in the fighting, shooting from around the corner of the factory walls, from the rooftops and windows at the outpost below.

Now the post, just a single story structure with three small outlook perches and fortified with concrete barriers and sandbags, stands almost completely exposed.

At least 83 people -- mostly Palestinians -- have been killed in 11 days of violence throughout Gaza and the West Bank.

At the junction, 83-year old Kamal Ashram, head covered in the black and white checked Palestinian scarf and wearing a Bedouin-style robe, wobbled unsteadily on his cane as he climbed over the rubble of what was his home and shop near the post.

``Look at what they did to my water well!'' he said, standing at the edge of a pit and water wheel.

Nearby, a deaf and mute Palestinian man stood gesturing erratically, his face etched with wrinkles from years of trying to convey with facial expression what he could not say in words.

Catching the eye of a reporter, he pointed at Ashram's ruined home, held his hands to his chest and then touched his fingers to his cheeks as he traced the path of his tears.

``Amma, Amma,'' he stuttered, trying desperately to speak.

Grabbing the reporter's notebook, he printed three letters: ''U.S.A.''

-- Martin Thompson (, October 08, 2000

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