Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Eyewitness: The Conquest of Gaza

Reporter Dion Nissenbaum told the border guard that he was heading to Gaza for a short holiday. Instead he was an eyewitness to Hamas' conquest of the territory from Fatah. Note especially the coordination of massed, unarmed demonstrators with Hamas gunmen:
Nearby, another demonstrator marched up to a Fatah gunman taking protection along a wall and pushed him backwards. The startled Fatah fighter fired a round at the demonstrator’s feet, but he was unfazed and kept pushing the gunman back until he was swarmed by other angry marchers. Another Fatah fighter rushed into the crowd and tried unsuccessfully to disburse the crowd by firing into the air.

Hossam, Nissenbaum's translator,
collapsed in tears on his couch as his bashful five-year-old daughter played in the next room.

“I can’t go on like this,” he said. “I’ve got to get out. This is no life for my daughter. This is shit. These are kids. They don’t even know what they are doing. They are being used by political leaders on both sides.”

Read it all.

Update: Read Nissenbaum's story for McClatchy Newspapers here.

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