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For Those Who Died in Gaza

December 27, 2008 East Jerusalem, lunchtime today. I’m in Wa’el’s restaurant, having coffee with Jamilah and Khaled. We’ve been driving these last two hours, just arrived. I take Wa’el’s picture. He wants me to show him. I take a few … Read More

By / March 20, 2009

December 27, 2008

East Jerusalem, lunchtime today. I’m in Wa’el’s restaurant, having coffee with Jamilah and Khaled. We’ve been driving these last two hours, just arrived.

I take Wa’el’s picture. He wants me to show him. I take a few more. I show him. ‘Good,’ he says politely.

I get a bit closer. ‘You look sad,’ I say.

Jamilah translates. ‘Yes, he is sad,’ she says.

‘Why is he sad?’

She asks him. ‘He’s sad because 120 people were killed in Gaza today. By the Jews.’

The market is closing. All the stalls are closing for those who died in Gaza today. ‘For the 150 – not 120,’ Jamilah tells me after speaking to one of those shutting up shop.

It’s Saturday, only a quarter to two, and normally the stalls would stay open until five. We walk back up to the Damascus Gate. The alleys are dark, shuttered and silent. A group of Israeli soldiers stands in front of us, faces curled into a sneer. Arabs and Jews are fighting in the Old City; they’ve started throwing rocks.

We buy water from a man who’s folding his last blanket of items away. ‘It was 200,’ he says. ‘The Jews killed 200 people in Gaza today.’

 

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