Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Devastation of Gaza: From Factories to Ice Cream

TIME Magazine, January 28, 2009 - Yaser Alwadeya wanders past a field strewn with the remnants of gaily painted ice cream carts that were shredded by a blizzard of shrapnel. He enters the blackened innards of the Al Ameer factory, which once manufactured Gaza's tastiest ice cream and popsicles. Shaking his head, he says, "I can't figure out why the Israelis thought that Hamas had anything to do with ice cream."

Alwadeya's ice cream plant, which had been owned by his family for 55 years, was far from the only factory destroyed in Israel's 22-day assault on the Palestinian enclave. All along Gaza's factory row — which produced everything from biscuits to cement to wooden furniture — hardly a single building remains standing. It is as if a tsunami of fire had roared through Gaza's industrial district, leaving in its wake a tide-line of twisted metal and smashed buildings.

Israeli war planners had vowed to destroy the "infrastructure of terror" in Gaza, but even many Gazans opposed to Hamas believe the operation was directed against infrastructure per se — it certainly demolished much of Gaza's economy and its civil society....

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