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Tuesday, 23 July, 2002, 18:25 GMT 19:25 UK
Eyewitness: Gaza attack aftermath
A woman, resident of the Al-Darg neighbourhood hit by an Israeli missile, cries from her window that looks onto the main area destroyed by the bombing
Anger and grief are palpable in Gaza

About 300 to 400 Palestinians crowded round what used to be Salah Shahada's house - the target of the Israeli air attack on Gaza city.

Some were wearing bandanas of the Hamas extremist group, others were carrying sub-machine guns.

Some were just standing watching, others occasionally chanting against Israel.


If you bomb here with F-16s, you know that this will kill lots of children

Mohammed Ower
Standing on top of a piece of rubble, it was possible to see what remains of Salah Shahada's home. There were bits of tiles, remains of clothes, pillows and lots and lots of rubble.

Graffiti was being spray-painted on the walls, some of it in English. One slogan in red paint said "This is the American weapon".

There was another next to it that said "This is the Israeli peace".

Raw anger

All around, there was only destruction where houses used to be.

One of the people standing at the scene, just watching what is going on, was Naad.

"I'm angry. I'm very angry," he said. "I warn Sharon, I tell him his children in Tel Aviv won't sleep tonight."

Graffiti spray-painted on the walls
Angry Palestinians spray-painted graffiti on the walls of nearby homes
Also in the crowd was Mohammed Ower. Asked what he thought of Israel's claims that it has to kill these leading militants to prevent more Israeli deaths, he said: "They have the right to kill innocent children? If you bomb here with F-16s, you know that this will kill lots of children".

Halima Matha lost several of her family members in the attack. From a building next to the scene of the Israeli attack, she told me what happened.

"We were downstairs. We heard the bombing and we saw the rubble," she said. "The people who were upstairs - all of them have been killed."

I saw thousands of people walking through the streets of Gaza city, many of them waving the flags of Hamas and other militant groups.

Some men just a few metres away from me were wearing balaclavas and carrying machine guns.

There is a feeling that Palestinian militant groups need to do something to avenge the deaths of those killed in this latest Israeli strike.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Orla Guerin in Gaza
"Palestinians mourn for stolen lives"
Sr Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Daniel Taub
"He was a terrorist who holed himself up in a civilian centre behind women and children"
Hamas political leader Ismail Abu Shanab
"Palestinian resistance will continue"

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23 Jul 02 | Middle East
23 Jul 02 | Middle East
23 Jul 02 | Middle East
23 Jul 02 | Middle East
03 Dec 01 | profiles
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