By Alan Johnston
BBC News, Gaza
Salah al-Shawwa, 73, was reading in bed when the blast from Israeli missiles began to destroy his home in northern Gaza.
Palestinian homes have been hit in Israeli strikes against militants
The Israeli air force was attacking the bridge at the end of his garden.
Mr Shawwa and his elderly sister emerged from their rooms in the darkness and sheltered for a moment in a corridor.
"The second rocket was fired and the ceiling started to fall all over the house. And the fourth rocket completely destroyed the roof," said Mr Shawwa.
As he talked, the old man picked his way through the ruins of his house.
Every window was blown out. Shrapnel had torn holes in walls. Roof tiles filled the rooms with wreckage.
Mr Shawwa lives on the road to the town of Beit Hanoun, in an area that has suffered numerous Israeli raids.
This was the fourth time in four years that the army had badly damaged his home.
"This is our destiny," he said. "As Palestinians, we are the weak side. And as long as we are the weak side we will suffer."
The Israeli military would tell Mr Shawwa he should blame his troubles on Palestinian militant groups like Islamic Jihad. They fire rockets from areas close to Beit Hanoun into neighbouring southern Israel.
Almost every day, two or three or more missiles are launched off from Gaza. The rockets are crudely made and they rarely cause death or serious damage.
But they are a continual menace and they blight the lives of thousands of Israelis who live around Gaza's border. Last week a baby and three adults were hurt when a missile slammed into a kibbutz.
Israel says that no nation would tolerate such random bombardment of its civilian areas.
Aside from targeting the men who launch the missiles, the army fires artillery shells into open areas near Gaza's perimeter fence - aiming to keep away the rocket crews.
The Beit Hanoun bridge is a casualty of Israel's bombardment
And sometimes the air force attacks roads and bridges - like the one outside Mr Shawwa's home - which the Israelis say are used by the militants.
But Mr Shawwa said: "We ask ourselves why the militants fire at the Israelis. It is in retaliation."
Groups like Islamic Jihad often say that their attacks are in response to Israeli assassinations in Gaza, or to army actions in the West Bank, where Palestinians are often arrested and sometimes killed - and where Israel is tightening its hold on occupied land.
Opposite Mr Shawwa's home, a pharmaceutical factory had its windows shattered and its ceilings brought down by the blast from the attack on the bridge.
The marketing manager, Zinda Hossam, sees only one answer to the conflict.
"We must have a comprehensive settlement," he said. "Two independent states for the Israelis and the Palestinians. We must have our independence. They already have theirs."
'Fight will go on'
But a 20-minute drive away on Nafaq Street, in a run-down neighbourhood of Gaza City, the mood was much, much less compromising.
They were mourning the death of Adnan Bustan, who was killed in an Israeli air strike.
A huge loudspeaker filled the air with a funereal dirge. And beneath a long, green canopy, ranks of men had come to sit and remember the man who was in charge of manufacturing rockets for Islamic Jihad.
Adnan Bustan's funeral was a show of anger and defiance
In the war of 1948 the Bustan family lost its home in the city of Jaffa, in what is now Israel. Its children grew up in one of Gaza's refugee camps.
His brother said that Adnan Bustan had confronted the Israelis all his short life for one simple reason.
"They are the occupiers of our homeland. They came from outside and shed our blood and killed us - so it was a natural thing to fight them."
When men like Adnan Bustan's brother talk of occupation, they are not only referring to the territory that Israel captured in 1967 - the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.
For them all of Israel is occupied land, and the fight will go on.
"Of course we know that at this time we will not be able to liberate Jaffa. But we are not ready to give up our land. This generation will resist - and future generations will bring about the liberation."
It is a view that you often hear among members of Islamic Jihad and the Hamas movement, which has just won a parliamentary election.
They say that it might take centuries, but they believe that one day Israel will stumble and fall - and Jaffa will again be an Arab city.