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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014
With nothing left to lose, Gaza people say 'war must go on'
AFP
Al-Bureij, Palestinian Territories, August 01, 2014
First Published: 21:47 IST(1/8/2014)
Last Updated: 09:24 IST(2/8/2014)

After bombardment gutted his home in central Gaza, Nidal al-Khaldi says he has nothing left to lose and will support the "resistance" against Israel even if it means more vicious fighting.

"This war will continue!" he declares, standing by the ruins of his house in Al-Bureij district during a temporary lull in fighting Friday between Israel and Gaza's militants.

The relative calm does not last long, as shelling resumes just hours into an agreed 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire, and as Israel says militants had probably captured one of its soldiers in "breach" of the truce.

In Al-Bureij, the streets are carpeted with dust and rubble, riddled with shards of metal and twists of electric cable, the desolate heritage of 25 days of devastating and deadly fighting.

Watch: Gaza ceasefire collapses, fresh fighting erupts

Young men scoop up lumps of concrete which only yesterday were the wall of a house. A man transports a wounded goat in a cart.

Nearby, in the hospital, rescue workers place cadavers including the bodies of two children into the morgue's irregularly powered refrigerators.

Unemployed Nidal, his dark beard still closely trimmed, wanders through the ruins of his house. The previous night, just before the supposed three-day truce began, "enemy" tanks bombarded the neighbourhood, the 42-year-old tells AFP.

"Because of them, we no longer have a house. We were seven families living here but we are all on the street. "All the same, this war will certainly continue, I don't have a problem with that. Let the resistance continue," Khaldi said.

"We have 1,500 martyrs and what has the international community done? Nothing, absolutely nothing. We are living in an open-air prison.

"Israel destroys our houses, kills our children and even our animals. Absolutely, someone should do something," he adds.

"We are ready to sacrifice our houses and our children for victory." As the bombardment begins again, the heavy thump of tank fire pervades the heart of Gaza's urban communities.

Read: 50 Palestinians killed as Israel mounts fresh attack

Ambulances with sirens blaring zigzag their way through the destruction.

"Here there is no truce, only tanks. Bombs rain down. Every two minutes, Israeli tanks bombard us," rages 28-year-old Mourad in Zanna, on the outskirts of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.

"People are still trapped under the rubble, barely 15 metres (yards) from here. We can hear their calls but we can't go there for the moment. It's too dangerous," adds Mourad, surrounded by around 20 other young men, all convinced the confrontation will go on and on.

"We simply have too many martyrs. There is no other choice but for this war to continue," one of them says.

Farther away, in Rafah, near the Egyptian border, Palestinians state their firm belief in "victory", which can only mean more deaths.

Outside a Gaza City hospital where new bodies are already filling the morgues, Mussleh attests: "Resistance is stronger than ever and it is strengthening all the time."


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