It started as a “normal” day in Gaza. By the end of the day, however, it became clear that December 27 would be known as the bloodiest day of the Palestine-Israel conflict since 1967. Although the target of the Israeli airstrikes was Hamas, as the day went on it became clear that there were also a number of civilian casualties among the 225 or so total.
Bloggers in Palestine and around the world are in shock as the numbers climb. That shock, coupled with anger at the biased media coverage of the events, is palpable in the blog posts from today.
Marcy Newman of body on the line details her day in the West Bank, recalling the moment she heard the news:
11:30 am the itf begin their air strikes in gaza with american-made f16 fighter jets. the radio is not on in the service. no one seems aware of this fact. but within 15 minutes over 200 patients flood hospitals, like al shifa hospital. orthopedic and maternity wards are turned into make-shift emergency rooms. from 10 month old babies to 55 year old women, palestinian civilians are massacred. this is the single bloodiest day since 1967.
this is the bloodiest day since 1967. i have lost track of time. i have been watching al jazeera–english and arabic–for hours. it is now 3:08 am. the itf bombed a mosque a couple of hours ago across the street from al shefa hospital. i think that was at 1:10 am. i cannot keep track. 225 palestinians massacred. more in the rubble.
Haitham Sabbah, a self-described “uprooted Palestinian blogger,” shares a number of photographs taken today within the confines of Gaza. Of them, he commented:
Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank went demonstrating against the Israel terrorist crimes in Gaza and attacked Israeli terrorists with stones. Reports indicated that all fractions between political parties vanished during these demonstrations, which included Hamas and Fatah supporters who attacked Israel's terrorist army side by side.
Moroccan blogger Al Miraat (The Mirror) proffers his usually calm perspective, stating:
Bombing civilian areas is not something civilized countries do. Since Nuremberg this is considered a war crime. This is a war crime; a massacre; a mass murder, committed by American made deadly weapons, mostly paid for by American taxpayer’s money.
The terrible thing is, this will not make Israel safer and will only aggravate the trend in the Palestinian (and indeed the Arab street) toward a more extremist position. These policies have been pursued for decade after decade and have led nowhere. It is Israel that is upholding the status quo.
KABOBfest's Mohammad, who is based in Palestine, summed up the day's events. He was able to speak to friends and family members in Gaza, and reported on their reactions:
It was tough to get a line into Gaza during the day, but I managed to get hold of my uncle Mohammad in Gaza City. He sounded in shock, unable to say much. I asked him where he was; he replied that he was next to the building used to issue passports, and there were about 50 bodies inside. I couldn't say anything. I hung up.
My uncle Jasim in Khan Younis was also outside. He said he was okay, but there were explosions and dead people everywhere.
I didn't even bother talking to my uncle Mahmoud; my mom had called him and heard crying all around him. His wife was mourning the death of her brother.
I think the most poignant emotion was shock, whether in Gaza or in the West Bank. As its primary victims, we had become used to Israel crossing red lines in its continuous policy of opression and occupation. But this was something else. The sheer scale of the massacre was unfathomable.
He summed up:
Israel still believes it can impose its will by force. The only way its goals will be met is through genocide. But there is another angle, and that is the upcoming Israeli election. It is not novel for incumbent Israeli governments to carry out atrocities against Palestinians to garner domestic support, and with the Likud expected to win the next elections, this is definitely a power play by the embattled ruling party, Kadima.
Today, and probably the days to come, will be a clear demonstration os the very worst of Israel, what Will termed a dangerous blend of Zionist fantasy and election posturing. For 60 years, Israel has tried to use its overwhelming military prowess to cow the Palestinians into accepting the fate it dictates for them, and for 60 years no Israeli government has been able to do that.
For more on the attacks on Gaza, visit Global Voices Special coverage page on the bombings.