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The long shadow of Operation Cast Lead

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The long shadow of Operation Cast Lead


Almost a year after Israel’s three-week offensive against Gaza, people living in the coastal enclave say they have little faith in building a better future.

The green flags of the militant Hamas movement were evident at a demonstration against the construction of a wall by Egypt on its border with the Gaza Strip.

Life goes on albeit under the gaze of armed militiamen. But some 1,400 Palestinians died in Operation Cast Lead and thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed.

Galeya al Samouni lost 29 members of her family in the three-week conflict and no longer believes in the political process.

“We see neither Hamas or Fatah. They are all illusions and nobody is standing with the people,” she said.

With an Israeli-imposed blockade preventing the delivery of essential building materials such as breeze blocks and cement, Palestinians do what they can to reconstruct their lives and their homes. But few can see light at the end of the tunnel.

Gaza resident Mohammed Darduna said: “I have not seen any achievement or progress since the war. Everything remains at a standstill.”

As children break rocks – salvaging what they can from bombed out buildings – Gaza’s armed groups say they have more than enough new recruits.

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