Tuesday, January 20, 2009

meanwhile, amidst the ruins

From the Associated Press:
Hamas Declares Victory in Rallies across Gaza

GAZA CITY – Waving green Islamic flags atop the ruins of Gaza, Hamas proclaimed victory in rallies attended by thousands of supporters Tuesday, saying it survived Israel's military onslaught despite the destruction and massive death toll suffered by Gazans.

Beyond its fiery words, however, Hamas offered no plans for rebuilding Gaza, which suffered some $2 billion in damage during three weeks of fighting. Gaza's borders with Israel and Egypt, largely sealed since the Islamic militants seized power 19 months ago, remain closed and are unlikely to open unless the militants relinquish some control.

Israel has also claimed victory, but neither side was the clear winner.

The fighting killed some 1,300 Gazans, the vast majority civilians, and thousands of Palestinian homes were destroyed. Israel emerged from the war with relatively few casualties — 13 dead, including 10 soldiers — but halted fire before reaching its objectives. No internationally backed truce deal is yet in place to prevent Hamas rocket fire on southern Israel or arms smuggling into Gaza.

To quote a bit of Shakespeare, "All are punished."

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