The first step of a successful invasion is controlling public opinion.

Israel has done this by banning international journalists from Gaza during their bombing campaign. Word of the violence’s extent got out due to the efforts of local journalists like Sameh Akram Habeeb, who posted this photograph online. During the war, Habeeb spent his days trying to find a way to charge his computer so that he can post photographs and blog entries to bring us the horrifying images of Gaza. SAMEH HABEEB

By Naushad Ali Husein, Hilary Barlow
Published: January 20, 2009

After 22 days of savage destruction that spared neither schools, homes, hospitals nor places of prayer, Israel has announced an end to its bombing campaign. Here are stories from the ground.

The first bomb lands while you’re writing your exam. You pause for a second, startled. But the occasional bomb has become commonplace these days, and you’ve studied too hard for this final, so you get back to work. Then there’s another explosion, and another. Your teacher tells you to finish the exam in the hallway, but the explosions don’t stop and you’re dismissed.

This is what happened to Sabah, a 19-year-old medical student at Gaza University. She rushed home, frantically trying to contact her family, all of whom survived. Nonetheless, the experience was an awakening for Sabah. “It was then that I realized that it was a big thing; it was not the ordinary bombing like on other days,” she said. “I am so afraid that I will lose my brothers or parents. I keep thinking about what would happen if they bombed the house.”

Freelance journalist and filmmaker Fida Qishta is also worried. She’s seen violence in her community for years, her family’s house was destroyed in 2004, but she says attacks from the Israeli army have gotten worse. According to Qishta, soldiers used to allow her and others to evacuate building before raids, but that is no longer the case. “You can’t even say anything to them. If you want to say something, you’re going to die.” She claims to have witnessed numerous acts of violence. “It’s really more violent,” she said. “Israel doesn’t [spare] anybody, not children, not civilians, not women.” She sees a double standard where the Israeli government cites self-defence while the Palestinian civilians hardly have a chance for the same. --NewsHammer 1/25/2009

Continue reading the Jan 20, 2009 article from the University of Toronto's


  1. Alan Gillis // 2/26/2009 11:58 AM  

    Alan Gillis Comment on this article, on
    about 1 month ago

    Thanks to Naushad, Hilary, and your Editor-in-Chief Chandler Levack.

    You've got a great paper.

    I've been covering this Gaza and Palestine conflict myself in NewsHammer. About the only way it could be resolved is through
    pressure in the U.N. on the U.S. and Israeli Governments. But with the U.S. veto in the Security Council, it would take a lot of pressure. Perhaps President Obama will see things in a new light.

    I've been interviewing Sameh Habeeb in Gaza, the journalist you refer to, for a story I'll be publishing soon. I asked him if he had a solution. He said no. In Gaza itself he thought that Gazans should run their own affairs without outside intervention including that of the UN and even the neighboring Egyptians.

    Students are still as they always have been the major pro-active element for social change and I hope you'll take a strong stance in this debate. . . .