Gaza War (2008-2009)Legacy
International institutions Survey the Damage
Israel's aggressive tactics in Gaza predate by decades Hamas' election in 2006 as the leading Party in the Palestinian Authority. Before Hamas controlled Gaza, Israeli military destroyed the area's airport, factories, fisheries, agriculture, and constantly attacked its civilian population. Despite the fact that militants had fired rockets to Israel since 2001, during the many years when Fatah controlled the Palestinian territory, Israel blamed almost harmless rocket attacks on its soil for the 2008 Gaza war. Also note that the attacks on Gaza, although more devastating, are similar to the attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank. All of these events prove that Hamas is not the cause, and has no reason to be the cause of Israel's blockade and its aggressive tactics. Israel is only using Hamas as an excuse for devastating Gaza.
And let us not forget, that Hamas was criticized for not entering the democratic process. After entering the electoral arena and winning a democratic election, the Palestinian Authority citizens under Hamas rule have been rewarded by being unfairly subjected to bombings, war and a crippling blockade. 'Heads I win, 'tail'you lose' is what they found. And the United States learned that Israel makes a mockery of the U.S. mission for bringing democracy to the Middle East. America is now perceived as a hypocrite and charlatan, has lost credibility with the Arab world and made to appear subservient to Israel's endeavors. How can any patriotic American allow that?
The 2007 Siege or Blockade of Gaza started in June 2007 when Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza. This has had support from Egypt and the USA, among other nations. The blockade consists of a land blockade along Gaza's borders with Egypt and Israel and a sea blockade maintained by the Israeli navy from three nautical miles offshore. It immediately followed the 2006-2007 economic sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority following the election of Hamas to the Palestinian government.
A September 2009 United Nations fact-finding mission found that the blockade of Gaza "amounted to collective punishment," was likely a war crime and a crime against humanity and recommended that the matter be referred to the International Criminal Court.
From Amnesty International:
Israel claims that the ongoing blockade of Gaza, in force since June 2007, is a response to the indiscriminate rocket attacks launched from Gaza into southern Israel by Palestinian armed groups. The reality is that the blockade does not target armed groups but rather punishes Gaza's entire population by restricting the entry of food, medical supplies, educational equipment and building materials.
The blockade constitutes collective punishment under international law and must be lifted immediately. As the occupying power, Israel has a duty under international law to ensure the welfare of Gaza's inhabitants, including their rights to health, education, food and adequate housing.
During Operation "Cast Lead", from 27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009, 13 Israelis were killed, including three civilians in southern Israel, where dozens more were injured in indiscriminate rocket attacks by Palestinian armed groups. In Gaza, Israeli attacks damaged or destroyed civilian buildings and infrastructure, including hospitals and schools, the water and electricity systems. Thousands of Palestinian homes were destroyed or severely damaged. An estimated 280 of the 641 schools in Gaza were damaged and 18 were destroyed. More than half of Gaza's population is under the age of 18 and the disruption to their education, due to the damage caused during Operation "Cast Lead" and as a result of the continuing Israeli boycott, is having a devastating impact.
Hospitals have also been badly affected by the military offensive and the blockade. Trucks of medical aid provided by the World Health Organization have been repeatedly refused entry to Gaza without explanation by Israeli officials. Patients with serious medical conditions that cannot be treated in Gaza continue to be prevented or delayed from leaving Gaza by the Israeli authorities - since the closure of crossings leading into and out of Gaza, patients have been made to apply for permits, but these permits are frequently denied. On 1 November 2009, Samir al-Nadim, a father of three children, died after his exit from Gaza for a heart operation was delayed.
The documented evidence on the devastation to Gaza is overwhelming. However, since those protecting Israel always criticize the accuracy of the reports, it is necessary to assure the credibility of the report author. The following commentary uses only recognized international sources for the information, which is documented up to the about the third quarter of 2009 (analysis of Gaza war damage). Undoubtedly some of the damage has been lessened by reconstruction efforts. Two observations emerge:
(1) The attacks on Gaza, combined with the embargo, attempted to destroy Palestinian life. A photo of tank tracks criss-crossing agricultural fields shows the carefully planned destruction of Gazan agriculture.
(2) The almost harmless rocket attacks from Gaza, perpetrated by renegade Palestinian militias, did not even mildly warrant the devastation inflicted upon the Gaza citizens.
From Architects and Planners in Palestine summarizing UNITED NATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs occupied Palestinian territory
The reported number of Palestinian fatalities during "Cast Lead" ranges from 1,116 (IDF) to 1,455 (Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza). Based on the cross-checking of multiple fatality lists, OCHA has identified the records of 1,383 Palestinians, including 333 children whose death was confirmed by at least two independent sources; a significant proportion of these fatalities were civilians not involved in the hostilities.
More than 20,000 displaced people are forced to continue living in rented apartments, in the houses of relatives and in tents next to their damaged houses. Additionally a small number of families continue to live in tented camps. The lives of these displaced families have been disrupted with children being among the worst affected.
Ninety percent of the population currently experience scheduled electricity power cuts of 4-8 hours a day. The remaining 10 percent have no electricity supply due to the lack of construction materials needed to maintain and repair the network.
In the extreme heat of summer, families are forced to leave food without refrigeration for hours; public institutions have to rely extensively on backup generators, causing problems as a result of the inconsistent supply of spare parts.
Some 10,000 people in northern Gaza still do not have access to running water due a lack of available building materials to maintain and upgrade the wastewater infrastructure.
The devastation of livelihoods
The lack of essential imports, including raw materials, coupled with the ban on exports, has decimated economic activity in the private sector and resulted in the loss of approximately 120,000 jobs. Over 40 percent of Gaza's workforce, or more than 140,000 people, are currently unemployed.
The local market has been saturated with previously exported agricultural products (mainly cut flowers, strawberries and cherry tomatoes), reducing the income of producers. Approximately 3,500 households were negatively impacted by Israeli-imposed restrictions on fishing in the sea of Gaza. Such restrictions significantly reduced the volume of the fishing catch and subsequent income of fishermen in Gaza.
Inability to reconstruct
The ban on the import of building materials has prevented the reconstruction of most of the 3,540homes destroyed and the 2,870 homes severely damaged during the last military offensive. No new construction for 7,500 planned housing units to cater for Gaza's rapidly expanding population has been possible due to the lack of building materials available in Gaza.
A protracted energy crisis
The reduction in the amounts of industrial fuel allowed entry has forced Gaza's sole power plant to reduce its level of production, creating a 15-20 percent electricity deficit.
From Electronic Intifada
Ninety-five percent of Gaza's industry has been decimated by the combination of the siege -- imposed shortly after Hamas was elected in 2006, and tightened in June 2007 -- and by Israel's winter 2008-2009 war on Gaza which destroyed or badly damaged 700 factories and businesses, according to Oxfam.
The nearly 4,000 industrial establishments which formerly operated in Gaza have ground to a halt, leaving a mere five percent of factories operating, reports the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), noting that even those operating do so at greatly reduced levels of activity.
The combination of siege and the war on Gaza led to a loss of roughly 120,000 private sector jobs since mid-2007, according to OCHA.
According to OCHA, one ton of cement now costs 3,400 shekels ($900) versus the 350 shekels ($92) it cost prior June 2007.
Even if there were enough cement, 20 of 29 concrete factories were damaged in the Israeli war on Gaza, along with 39 other factories related to construction, reports OCHA. With more than 6,400 houses destroyed or severely damaged, and nearly 53,000 with lesser damages, the need for these materials is great. And the wait has been long.
From New Scientist
Effect on Gaza fishing industry
The sea blockade has caused the "near collapse" of the Gaza fishing industry. Israel allows fishermen to travel only 3 nautical miles off shore, reduced from 6 nm in 2007. One fisherman who went outside these limits was forced to strip down to his underwear and swim to the naval vessel. He was blindfolded, handcuffed and taken in for questioning. B'Tselem has released a report documenting the "continual shooting at, abuse of, and humiliation of" Palestinian fishermen. The Israeli Navy's response was that it was checking for smuggled weapons. The Navy reports they intercepted the craft entering Gaza from Egypt. B'Tselem has released a report documenting the "continual shooting at, abuse of, and humiliation of" Palestinian fishermen.
Israel claims to have further reduced the fishing zone to 3 nautical miles, but in fact is attacking Palestinian fishermen and other civilians even on shore
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has estimated that Gaza fishermen need to journey at least 12-15 nautical miles from shore to catch larger shoals, and sardines in particular are 6 nm offshore. Shoals closer to shore have been depleted. The total catch in 1999 was nearly 4,000 tons in pre-blockade 1999. This was reduced to 2,700 tons in 2008. In the 90s, the Gaza fishing industry was worth $10 million annually or 4% of the total Palestinian economy; this was halved between 2001 and 2006. 45,000 Palestinians were employed in the fishing industry, employed in jobs such as catching fish, repairing nets and selling fish. Fish also provided much-needed animal protein to Gazans diet.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization announced that nearly all 10,000 small farms in Gaza have been damaged and many completely destroyed following attacks by Israel that started on 27 December. Some 27,500 people that depend on farming or fishing have lost land, crops, equipment, or animals.
The FAO's Luigi Damiani, who has surveyed the damage, told New Scientist from Jerusalem that a lot of the damage was done by Israeli tanks, and the bulldozers that went with them. "On land used to run tanks, cultivation has been wiped out, including the strawberry fields in the north," he says.
Tanks also damaged irrigation pipes and wells. "We had just distributed small containers for crop storage," says Damiani. "They're all destroyed."
Meanwhile an FAO brief says shelling destroyed greenhouses, poultry barns, feed stores and animals (pdf format).
The tiny fishing harbour near Gaza City was "devastated" by naval barrages, says Damiani, while even in places untouched by tanks or shelling, crops and animals left untended have suffered.
From Food and Agruculture Organization of the United Nations
30 January 2008, Rome - Almost all of Gaza's 13 000 families who depend on farming, herding and fishing have suffered damage to their assets during the recent conflict and many farms have been completely destroyed, FAO said today.
Destruction caused to the agricultural sector has worsened ongoing problems of food production caused by 18 months of border closure: agricultural inputs are either too costly or simply not available; access to land and sea has been restricted; and the import and export of goods has been severely curtailed. Owing to limited agricultural production, people in Gaza are facing an acute shortage of nutritious, locally-produced and affordable food. Meat and animal protein is generally unavailable. (FAO brief on Gaza, 23 January 2009.)
FAO is expecting a rise in food insecurity, as an increasing number of Gazan families are relying on food aid or are switching to cheaper and less nutritious food.
"Farmers already struggling to make a profit before the outbreak of the conflict are now facing the possible irreversible loss of their livelihoods, as they are unable to replace or repair destroyed equipment, land and livestock," said Luigi Damiani, FAO Senior Project Coordinator in Jerusalem. "For many women whose husbands were killed or injured during the conflict it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide food for their families.
From the BBC News
The blockade of the Gaza Strip is putting residents' health at risk, the UN and aid groups have warned. Medical facilities and equipment are in disrepair, many damaged in Israel's military operation a year ago have not been rebuilt, they said.
Some 27 patients died last year waiting to be referred out of Gaza, they said.
Israel and Egypt deny entry to all but basic humanitarian supplies, in order to prevent Gaza's Hamas rulers firing rockets at Israel, they say.
UN agencies and the Association for International Development Agencies (AIDA), which represents more than 80 humanitarian organisations, said the Israeli restrictions were "undermining the functioning of the health care system and putting at risk the health of 1.4 million people in Gaza".
The World Health Organization says 88 people have died while waiting for permits since November 2007.
On average 20% of essential drugs were out of stock in Gaza between March and November 2009, according to WHO figures.
Israel allows most medicines into Gaza, but there have been problems with the supply chain.
Most Gazans are not allowed to leave the territory, and the agencies also said medical staff had generally been unable to travel out of Gaza to update their expertise.
Fifteen hospitals and 43 clinics were damaged or destroyed in Israel's operation in Gaza a year ago and most had not been rebuilt because constructions materials have not been allowed in, the agencies said.
From The Guardian
The health of 1.4 million people is being put at risk by the ongoing Israeli and Egyptian blockade of Gaza, a report by more than 80 humanitarian organisations warned today.
The aid groups, including the World Health Organisation and UN agencies, said more than one-fifth of sick Palestinians who needed to leave the territory for treatment in Israel had either been refused or had their applications delayed. The groups called on Israel and Egypt to open the border crossings with Gaza.
Max Gaylard, the UN humanitarian co-ordinator for the Palestinian territories, said the blockade undermined the local healthcare system and put lives at risk.
"It is causing ongoing deterioration in the social, economic and environmental determinants of health," he said.
"It is hampering the provision of medical supplies and the training of health staff, and it is preventing patients with serious medical conditions from getting timely specialised treatment."
Health professionals in Gaza have been cut off from the outside world, with few doctors, nurses or technicians able to leave for the training necessary to update their clinical skills or learn about new medical technology during the past decade, the agencies said.
Many specialised treatments, such as heart surgery and some cancer treatments, are unavailable in Gaza.
"An effective healthcare system cannot be sustained in isolation from the international community," Tony Laurance, the WHO head in the West Bank and Gaza, said.
"Open borders are needed to ensure the health of the 1.4 million people in Gaza."
From Architects and Planners in Palestine summarizing UNITED NATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs occupied Palestinian territory http://apjp.org/humanitarian-impact-of-2-yrs-o/
A challenged health system
Follow-up treatment for people suffering from complex injuries and permanent disabilities inflicted during the most recent Israeli offensive has created an enormous burden for a health system weakened by shortages of facilities, equipment, and drugs. The inability of medical staff to upgrade their knowledge and skills due to the continued travel restrictions has significantly undermined the quality of health services in Gaza.
Patients in need of specialized treatment outside Gaza must go through an arduous and uncertain process to obtain the necessary permits required to leave Gaza, adding considerable anguish and stress to patients' lives. Since January 2008, 40 percent of the applications for permits to leave Gaza were rejected or delayed, compared to approximately 10 percent in 2006.
From UN Association of International Development Agencies
THE GAZA BLOCKADE:
The inability of university and post-graduate level students to travel to pursue
academic studies in specialized fields is stifling the intellectual advancement of young adults in Gaza. Between July and September 2008, only 70 students managed to exit
Gaza via Erez while hundreds more remained trapped owing to a newly instated
diplomatic escort requirement mandated by Israeli authorities
More than 1,000 Gazan students apply to universities around the world each year but
as there is no official body or channel to coordinate their requests or exits, it is difficult
to know how many students want to study abroad this coming year.
Around 88% of UNRWA schools and 82% of government schools
operate on a shift system to accommodate the high number of students. Blockade
restrictions have made it difficult to invest in building new schools or repair damaged
In north Gaza, 9,000 students from 15 damaged schools were accommodated in 73
schools in the same area. 4,000 of them were squeezed in two schools. Some 1,200
secondary students in governmental schools in north Gaza run the risk of not being
accommodated in the 2009/2010 school year4
In governmental schools, school attendance and
performance have declined as a result of ageing education infrastructure, overcrowding,
and frequent disruptions caused by military operations.5 In the first semester of the
2007-2008 school year, only 20% of 16,000 sixth graders in Gaza passed standardized
exams in Math, Science, English and Arabic
IMPACT OF ISRAELI OFFENSIVE:
Infrastructure: Operation Cast Lead had devastating consequences for the education
system already weakened as a result of the blockade. During the military offensive, at
least 280 schools and kindergartens were damaged/ severely damaged, including 18
schools were destroyed (8 government, 2 private and 8 Kindergartens). Six of the
destroyed government schools are in North Gaza alone, affecting almost 9,000 students
who had to relocate to other schools.
Six university buildings were destroyed, and 16 were damaged.
Teachers and Students: According to the Ministry of Education and Higher Education
(MEHE), 164 students and 12 teachers from its schools were killed during the Israeli
military offensive; 98 of the students killed were from north Gaza. A further 454
students and 5 teachers were injured. A total of 86 children and 3 teachers who attend
UNRWA schools were killed, and a further 402 students and 14 teachers were injured.
Schoolchildren, thousands of whom lost family members and/or their homes, are still
suffering from trauma and anxiety and are in need of psycho-social support and
recreational play activities.
At the peak of the offensive, almost 51,000 individuals, among them
approximately 28,560 children, had sought refuge in 44 UNRWA schools across Gaza8,
causing considerable wear and tear on classrooms, sanitation facilities and furniture.
MATERIALS TO RECONSTRUCT:
According to Ministry of Education and Higher
Education, it needs to build 105 new schools to cater for yearly increase in student
population. Construction materials needed includes items such as 25,000 tons of iron
bars, 40,000 tons of cement.
Around one-fifth of school children are iodine deficient. The prevalence
of anemia among children 9 - 12 months of age is 61.6%; and prevalence among
pregnant women is around 29%, and 22% of children 12 - 59 months old lack Vitamin A.
From United Nations Envirpnment Programme
Solid waste management:
The Israeli Defence Forces' (IDF) campaign in the Gaza Strip generated large quantities of solid waste, resulting primarily from the destruction of buildings. This kind of waste - rubble and other building materials - is often contaminated with hazardous materials, in particular asbestos. Even before the events of December 2008-January 2009, waste in the
Gaza Strip was not segregated and disposed of in a systematic way, largely because of the
deteriorating economic situation. Consequently, the creation of such large quantities of solid waste within such a short period of time overloaded the already inadequate infrastructure.
Management of contaminated land:
During UNEP's visit to the Gaza Strip immediately after the ceasefire, it was observed that a number of small-scale enterprises, such as factories, cement plants and garages, had been damaged or destroyed during the hostilities. This inferred that numerous sites within
the urban environment as well as on agricultural land were potentially contaminated. In addition, the recent fighting had involved the use of various kinds of ammunition that may have left traces in the impacted areas, potentially contaminating the land.
According to the Palestinian National Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan for Gaza 2009-2010, over 35,750 cattle, sheep and goats and more than one million birds and chickens were killed during the recent events. These animals could not be consumed for religious and hygiene reasons. Many animal cadavers could still be seen lying
unattended as late as May 2009. Although the total mass of cadavers can only be estimated, it appears to range between 1,000 and 1,500 tonnes.
Impacts to water supply and sewage networks:
In addition to the serious damage created by the breakage of the embankment at Az Zaitoun, a number of other parts of the water supply and sewage system were affected during the hostilities. This includes impacts to water wells, the water distribution network, sewage collection network and water tanks. Many facilities had been repaired by the time the UNEP team was on the ground but a good description of the damage is provided in a report by the CMWU in 2009 (Damage assessment report: Water and wastewater infrastructure and facilities, 27 December 2008 - 19 January 2009, Gaza). At the time of the visit, UNEP observed damaged water supply wells.
Damage to farmland and orchards:
The recent escalation of hostilities led to the large scale destruction of farmland, including orchards, greenhouses and open fields. The movement of large military vehicles over agricultural land affected the texture of the soil. Before 27 December 2008, the total cultivated area in the Gaza Strip was recorded as 170,000,000 m2 or 170,000 dunum (158,000,000 m2 open field and 12,000,000 m2 greenhouses). According to an agricultural survey conducted by UNDP/PAPP, 17 percent of the total cultivated area of the Gaza Strip was completely destroyed in the conflict, including 17.5 percent of the orchards and 9.2 percent of open fields.
During UNEP's mission to the Gaza Strip in January 2009, asbestos was observed in several buildings that had been destroyed during the recent events. Limited sampling undertaken at that time also confirmed the presence of asbestos in some areas. The assessment mission in May 2009 therefore included an international asbestos expert. During the mission, asbestos was observed to be present in a number of locations. The
other key observations were the following:
o Asbestos was routinely observed in comparatively older buildings and often in buildings with temporary extensions and sheds.
o Industrial buildings used for livestock facilities routinely had asbestos roofing and side walls.
o Generally, no suspected asbestos-containing materials were observed during inspections
of buildings and structures of more recent construction, although this does not guarantee
that they will not be found during the demolition of these buildings.
o A significant amount of asbestos cement debris was noted in areas where it was not possible to identify the original source of the material. This debris was possibly from buildings that had been demolished in the past, and the asbestos cement had not been removed with the other debris. In some cases, the asbestos cement debris appeared to have been taken to the area and then dumped.
o All the landfills visited by the team showed evidence that asbestos had been dumped in
them, indicating that there is neither awareness nor control over asbestos disposal in the Gaza Strip, though it is impossible to attribute this to the recent conflict.
A UN commissioned inquiry (Goldstone report) and several other independent observers and witnesses have verified war crimes by Israel's armed forces. Nevertheless, the U.S. congress refuses to listen to reliable and authoritative organizations and protects Israel against the charges. This is equivalent to having a judge declare that only the testimony of the criminal defendant will be accepted and testimony from all witnesses and enforcement agencies will be discarded. The U.S. congress has brought itself to a position where its sanity is questioned.
Here are some findings on war crimes during the Gaza war.
(1) A United Nations investigation has concluded Israel committed war crimes by deliberately attacking civilians, firing white phosphorous shells during its offensive in Gaza eight months ago,
(2) The Guardian has compiled detailed evidence of alleged war crimes committed by Israel during the 23-day offensive in the Gaza Strip earlier this year, involving the use of Palestinian children as human shields and the targeting of medics and hospitals. A month-long investigation also obtained evidence of civilians being hit by fire from unmanned drone aircraft said to be so accurate that their operators can tell the colour of the clothes worn by a target.
(3) A statement issued December 27, 2008 in response to Israel's attack in Gaza by Professor Richard Falk, United Nations special rapporteur for human rights in the Occupied Territories and a longtime member of The Nation's editorial board.
"The Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip represent severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war."
(4) (Jerusalem, January 16, 2009) - Israel's use of heavy artillery in residential areas of Gaza City violates the prohibition under the laws of war against indiscriminate attacks and should be stopped immediately, Human Rights Watch said today.
(5) According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Israel shelled the relief organization's main compound in Gaza City, wounding three people. UNRWA believes that white phosphorus used in the attack set part of the compound on fire. Up to 700 city residents had fled there in the morning to seek refuge after intense fighting in the area. The Human Rights Watch researcher also witnessed ground-burst 155mm white phosphorus strikes in Gaza City.
(6) Israel's repeated firing of white phosphorus shells over densely populated areas of Gaza during its recent military campaign was indiscriminate and is evidence of war crimes, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
(7) A Report from Gaza Strong Indications of Israeli War Crimes By NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD Gaza City.
(8) Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of committing greater crimes against Palestinians during its war in the Gaza Strip than those for which Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir had been indicted.
(9) The 600-page report by the United Nations commission, which was headed by South African Judge Richard Goldstone, concluded that "Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity," during Operation Cast Lead in late December and January.
(10) DER SPIEGEL 5/2009 Did Israel Commit War Crimes in Gaza? The immense number of Palestinian civilian casualties suggests that it did. But can the laws of war really be applied to asymmetrical conflicts such as Israel's war with Hamas?
(11) Barcelona Tribunal: "Israel Carried Severe Violations To The International Law
War on Terrorism
Missing from administration and congressional analyses in the War on Terrorism are the causes of terrorism and who to enlist in the fight against al-Qaeda. Certainly, Israel's aggressive actions against Arab and Muslim communities, especially in the Gaza war, have added to the growing ranks of those who are willing to commit terrorist actions against the United States. Israel takes no heed of how its actions impede upon the safety of the American people.
On the other hand, the United States alienates organizations, notably Hamas and Hezbollah, who wage their own concerted actions against al-Qaeda. While Israel strengthens al-Qaeda's message, Hamas and Hezbollah fight to suppress America's major adversary. By its policies, the U.S. government is complicit in encouraging terrorist attacks against its own people.
From YNet News
Hamas crushes 'al-Qaeda uprising'
At least 16 people killed, scores wounded in battles between Hamas forces, al-Qaeda followers in Strip; unconfirmed report says suicide bomber blew up amidst Hamas men. Earlier, radical cleric pledges allegiance to Bin Laden
Mayhem in Gaza: After hours of fighting Friday, Hamas' security forces were able to crush an uprising by gunmen associated with al-Qaeda, in the wake of a provocative speech by a local imam critical of Gaza's current rulers. At least 16 people were killed in the clashes and more than 80 were reportedly wounded.
That is a sample of the legacy of the 2008 war on Gaza.
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