Sunday, June 18, 2006

More on the Gaza Beach Tragedy

The scene in Sderot where another Qassam landed this morning (local time)

A Qassam landed near a public library in Sderot today. Meanwhile, the debate about the deaths on the Gaza beach is continuing. Ha'aretz reports that,
Meretz faction leader MK Zahava Gal-On called on the government Saturday to initiate the establishment of an international panel to investigate the blast that killed seven Palestinian civilians on a Gaza beach last week. Her comments followed a report Saturday in the British newspaper The Times indicating the army had erased details from its probe into the Gaza beach deaths.
I also wanted to give our readers a sense of some local reactions to the initial news of the blast. I witnessed a protest in Haifa on the Sunday following the deaths. It was held on Ben-Gurion Street in the German Colony. As this street is located at the foot of the Bahai'i Gardens and is full of shops and restaurants, it tends to attract tourists (many of them Bahai), local Christian Arabs (who also run many of the businesses on the street), and Muslims. About twenty people were gathered at the top of the street with signs in various languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, English, and French. One sign read “Occupation = Terror = די [Enough]. But much of the writing referred to the killing of children. Most noticeable were the flags - large Palestinian flags – that many of the protesters were waving.

During the approximately 20 minutes that I was on the scene, most of the slogans shouted were in Arabic, which I did not understand. other than a few references to al yahud. I did make out a few of the Hebrew slogans. Here are some samples:
Peretz, Peretz, ya rotze'ah. Intifidah tenaze'ah [Peretz, Peretz, you murderer. The intifadah will win].
Another one was:
[NAME OF A PERSON] ata yehudi, rotze'ah yeladim. [... you're a Jew, you’re a child killer].
There were no real negative reactions to the protesters - verbal or otherwise - from any of the bypassers, at least during the time I was present. If anything, a few drivers honked in support as they rode by.

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