About Me

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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Friday, January 30, 2009

Message to Muslims and Jews: Political Debate, Yes. Bigotry, No

By Hussam Ayloush
Jewish Journal, January 29, 2009
On January 27, the Jewish Journal published a commentary by Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein. The commentary, entitled "Upgrade to Holocaust 2.0", states, in part, "the ceasefire in Gaza seems to be holding, but on the streets of Los Angeles, Paris, London, Chicago –wherever Jews live – a new front has opened up. The battle against openly voiced hatred of the Jewish people and calls to annihilate us is just beginning."
I suggest that you read the whole piece to better understand the rabbis' disingenuous arguments.
The following is my rebuttal which was published today by the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. I thank the Journal for allowing me the chance to address the Los Angeles Jewish community.
Political Debate, Yes. Bigotry, No
Hussam Ayloush is the Executive Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations for the Greater Los Angeles area.
While the conflict in the Middle East generally sparks a lot of passions, including religious and national, let us remember that it remains a political conflict – not a religious one.
In face of Israel’s latest killing spree in Gaza, the Muslim community has made sure to steadfastly and unequivocally condemn even the slightest attempts at defaming, demeaning or blaming Judaism or its followers for Israel’s brutal attacks on Gaza.
Islam not only denounces, in the strongest manner possible, all forms of bigotry, but specifically teaches Muslims to revere and follow all Hebrew prophets who are praised in the Quran. Actually, those Hebrew prophets and their followers are considered to be the early Muslims, according to Islamic theology.
Muslims are touched and inspired by many of the protests and vigils in the United States and Israel on Gaza’s devastation that were led by strong Jewish voices critical of Israel’s barbaric actions. Thousands of Israeli and American Jews spoke out against the killings and destruction in Gaza. Those courageous voices include those of Amira Hass, Gideon Levy, Akiva Eldar, Jeff Halper (the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions), LA Jews for Peace, and Jewish Voice for Peace, among thousands others.
As is the case in large protests, one cannot control every person’s shout or sign – although organizers in Los Angeles and Chicago made hundreds of signs that featured political and non-religious, nonviolent messages – in keeping with the Islamic spirit. We additionally took care to promptly remove the few individuals who did not share our respectful messages.
I am sure Rabbi Abraham Cooper does not want us believing that every Jewish protester in support of Israel harbors anti-Islam bigotry as expressed by several protesters in New York and documented in many online videos.
It is ironic that the day we read this column by the leaders of the so-called Museum of Tolerance, Israel’s leading English newspaper published two news reports: one in which Israeli soldiers were accused of writing racist graffiti (“Arabs need 2 die,“ “Make war not peace”, and “1 is down, 999,999 to go”), and another report on Israeli soldiers being distributed pamphlets by Jewish extremists, urging them to show “no mercy” toward Palestinians in Gaza and stating “this is a war on murderers.”
I wonder if such hateful language constitutes intolerance worth denouncing by the Museum of Tolerance. I will surely not be holding my breath.
Of all those who speak out on intolerance and hate, the Wiesenthal Center should be the last to speak on this matter, considering its outrageous involvement in the desecration of one of the largest historic Muslim cemeteries in Jerusalem, where it is building a “Museum of Tolerance” over Muslim graves and removing dead bodies, against the overwhelming objections and pleas of Muslim and Jewish religious leaders in Israel. Such desecration of Muslim graves continues as the Wiesenthal Center marks the liberation of Auschwitz – the largest Jewish cemetery in the world.
These ironies have earned the Wiesenthal Center the dubious name of “Museum of Selective Tolerance.”
It is clear that Rabbi Cooper has other objectives in penning his op-ed.
First, Rabbi Cooper and his organization seek to silence any legitimate criticism of Israel by wrongly equating such criticism with anti-Semitism. We can freely criticize any policy of the U.S. government any time but that’s not the case with Israel.
Second, by taking isolated and publicly-condemned incidents of anti-Semitism worldwide, the Wiesenthal Center insists on promoting paranoia and victimization in the Jewish community for cheap, selfish goals of shoring up support for extremist groups such as Mr. Cooper’s.
We must respect that many Muslims and Jews will continue to disagree politically but we must also be vigilant about and reject extremist voices amongst us who engage in bigotry, fear and the demonization of the other.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Back-to-school day in Gaza; after Israel's recent massacres

The image is from one of the United Nations (UNRWA) schools in Gaza. The folded cards are placed on the seats of students who were killed.

The cards show the name and age (7 to 8 years old) of each of the killed young students from that classroom.

Comedy - That's one aspect that only Bush, and not Obama, can deliver on

And that is a part that I will really miss.
Don't get me wrong; I can certainly live without that comedy. (I am sure that the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and most of the world did not think he was funny at all)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Never Again". This time let's make it for real.

A partial listing of major Israeli massacres against whole Gaza families

The following families are among dozens of such families that lost grand parents, parents, children, and grand children:

Al-Daya family lost 25 members; Baalousha family lost 5 young daughters; Al-Absi family lost 3 little boys; Al-Kishko family lost the mother and a daughter; Al-Sammouni family had 60 family members killed or wounded including the death of the grand mother, mother, and daughter; Rayyan family lost 19 members, including 15 sons and daughters; Abed Rabbo family lost 8 members; Abu Aysheh family lost the father, mother, and 5 children; Kahlout family lost the father, his three young sons and a nephew; and many more...

Click below to view images of those families. The numbers at the bottom of the image will take you to the tragic story of each of those families. (my apologies, the stories are in Arabic; but the images are self-explanatory)

Humanity must never forget what humans are capable of doing to fellow humans.

Enough hatred. Enough killing.

Images of destruction from Israel's attack on Gaza

An Israeli woman pleads with President Obama

Obama signs executive orders to close Guantanamo Bay and end torture

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Barack Obama issued four executive orders Thursday to demonstrate a clean break from the Bush administration on the war on terror, including one requiring that the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay be closed within a year.

President Obama speaks Thursday as he signs the executive orders.

A second executive order formally bans torture by requiring that the Army field manual be used as the guide for terror interrogations. The order essentially ends the Bush administration's CIA program of enhanced interrogation methods.

A third executive order establishes an interagency task force to lead a systematic review of detention policies and procedures and a review of all individual cases.

A fourth executive order delays the trial of Ali al-Marri, a legal U.S. resident who has been contesting his detention for more than five years as an enemy combatant in a military brig without the government bringing any charges against him...

Israeli Newspaper: Gaza war ended in utter failure for Israel

By Gideon Levy
Haaretz Newspaper

On the morrow of the return of the last Israeli soldier from Gaza, we can determine with certainty that they had all gone out there in vain. This war ended in utter failure for Israel.

This goes beyond the profound moral failure, which is a grave matter in itself, but pertains to its inability to reach its stated goals. In other words, the grief is not complemented by failure. We have gained nothing in this war save hundreds of graves, some of them very small, thousands of maimed people, much destruction and the besmirching of Israel's image.

What seemed like a predestined loss to only a handful of people at the onset of the war will gradually emerge as such to many others, once the victorious trumpeting subsides.

The initial objective of the war was to put an end to the firing of Qassam rockets. This did not cease until the war's last day. It was only achieved after a cease-fire had already been arranged. Defense officials estimate that Hamas still has 1,000 rockets.

The war's second objective, the prevention of smuggling, was not met either. The head of the Shin Bet security service has estimated that smuggling will be renewed within two months.

Most of the smuggling that is going on is meant to provide food for a population under siege, and not to obtain weapons. But even if we accept the scare campaign concerning the smuggling with its exaggerations, this war has served to prove that only poor quality, rudimentary weapons passed through the smuggling tunnels connecting the Gaza Strip to Egypt.

Israel's ability to achieve its third objective is also dubious. Deterrence, my foot. The deterrence we supposedly achieved in the Second Lebanon War has not had the slightest effect on Hamas, and the one supposedly achieved now isn't working any better: The sporadic firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip has continued over the past few days.

The fourth objective, which remained undeclared, was not met either. The IDF has not restored its capability. It couldn't have, not in a quasi-war against a miserable and poorly-equipped organization relying on makeshift weapons, whose combatants barely put up a fight.

The heroic descriptions and victory poems written abut the "military triumph" will not serve to change reality. The pilots were flying on training missions and the ground forces were engaged in exercises that involved joining up and firing weapons.

The describing of the operation as a "military achievement" by the various generals and analysts who offered their take on the operation is plain ridiculous.

We have not weakened Hamas. The vast majority of its combatants were not harmed and popular support for the organization has in fact increased. Their war has intensified the ethos of resistance and determined endurance. A country which has nursed an entire generation on the ethos of a few versus should know to appreciate that by now. There was no doubt as to who was David and who was Goliath in this war.

The population in Gaza, which has sustained such a severe blow, will not become more moderate now. On the contrary, the national sentiment will now turn more than before against the party which inflicted that blow - the State of Israel. Just as public opinion leans to the right in Israel after each attack against us, so it will in Gaza following the mega-attack that we carried out against them.

If anyone was weakened because of this war, it was Fatah, whose fleeing from Gaza and its abandonment have now been given special significance. The succession of failures in this war needs to include, of course, the failure of the siege policy. For a while, we have already come to realize that is ineffective. The world boycotted, Israel besieged and Hamas ruled (and is still ruling).

But this war's balance, as far as Israel is concerned, does not end with the absence of any achievement. It has placed a heavy toll on us, which will continue to burden us for some time. When it comes to assessing Israel's international situation, we must not allow ourselves to be fooled by the support parade by Europe's leaders, who came in for a photo-op with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Israel's actions have dealt a serious blow to public support for the state. While this does not always translate itself into an immediate diplomatic situation, the shockwaves will arrive one day. The whole world saw the images. They shocked every human being who saw them, even if they left most Israelis cold.

The conclusion is that Israel is a violent and dangerous country, devoid of all restraints and blatantly ignoring the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, while not giving a hoot about international law. The investigations are on their way.

Graver still is the damage this will visit upon our moral spine. It will come from difficult questions about what the IDF did in Gaza, which will occur despite the blurring effect of recruited media.

So what was achieved, after all? As a war waged to satisfy considerations of internal politics, the operation has succeeded beyond all expectations. Likud Chair Benjamin Netanyahu is getting stronger in the polls. And why? Because we could not get enough of the war.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Israel, The Great Unmentionable

By: Peter Laarman

Peter Laarman is executive director of Progressive Christians Uniting, a network of activist individuals and congregations headquartered in Los Angeles. He served as the senior minister of New York’s Judson Memorial Church from 1994 to 2004. Ordained in the United Church of Christ, Peter spent 15 years as a labor movement strategist and communications specialist prior to training for the ministry.


Here then is a matter of conscience that never leaves the minds and hearts of liberal Christian leaders like me and that positively torments us when, as now, the heat is on in the Middle East: What, if anything, to say about the application of Israel’s immense military might in what are manifestly inhumane ways?

During the Israel-Hezbollah war of 2006 I made the mistake of sticking my neck out just a tiny bit on the question of proportionality. I did not say that the recovery of the captured Israeli soldiers (Israel’s stated casus belli) was a ruse; what I said was that the IDF’s devastating attack in Lebanon could not be justified as self-defense. And in my organization’s weekly e-blast to our constituents we advertised a protest rally that one of the American Muslim organizations was about to sponsor.

In short order I was stunned to see one of my rabbi friends quoted in The Los Angeles Times to the effect that I and my organization were out of line for issuing a statement on Lebanon without first consulting him; that the essence of interfaith work is that we should always speak and act in concert, and that I had violated his trust by violating this principle. A bit later I took a call from another colleague, also a rabbi, who was distraught and in tears over the idea that someone she trusted and with whom she had worked in the cause of workplace justice would be joining with Israel’s enemies at such a time.

So here we are again, only this time the IDF-wrought carnage is greater by far than in 2006. And this time I have not said a word about it, except to participate in drafting one of those very broad “Stop the Violence—Let’s Be Friends!” interfaith declarations. Better than nothing, I suppose. But my colleagues in the Muslim community were legitimately grieved by the joint statement’s lack of specificity and by my declining to sign a Muslim-drafted open letter to the new American president that names some difficult but necessary truths he will need to confront in relation to Israel’s behavior...

This is still the path forward for tongue-tied progressive Christians in relation to the Middle East: do not lecture Israel, and do not presume to say what is good for the Jews—but don’t be immobilized by guilty knowledge, either. Simply insist on a new policy and a new vision for the United States in relation to this traumatized region...

Progressive Christians should take the same point of departure now, with Gaza in agony. It is hardly necessary for us to recount the sufferings of the Gazans, even despite the extent to which the worst of those sufferings are filtered out by the American media. As deplorable as the effects of the corporate media bubble can be in times like this—and I do not minimize this crucial problem—Americans don’t even need access to independent media to have a pretty good idea that a lot of people on a tiny strip of land—the most densely crowded place on earth—are today experiencing a living hell...

Just two questions should be lifted up in the pulpits and prayers of concerned American Christians in relation to the catastrophe in Gaza: first, is it within our power to stop those horrific weapons from being used? And, second, how does it affect our wish to limit worldwide terrorism—and anti-American terrorism in particular—if we do not stop massively arming and protecting the State of Israel in the way that we have been doing for so long?

On the question of the weapons, it will not be difficult to document where the F-16 fighters, the tanks, and all that ordnance—including the truly satanic new DIME weapon (Dense Inert Metal Explosive) came from. The moral question, for American Christians whose taxes help pay for this, is whether it shall continue. In view of the firepower that was just displayed so vividly, is it not reasonable to say that Israel already has more than enough capacity to defend itself—and that re-supplying the IDF continuously with the latest and most lethal weaponry is thus unjust and immoral?

Here the progressive Christians who wish to be more courageous could well take their cue from the many courageous truthtellers within Israel itself: the activists associated with groups like B’Tselem, Rabbis for Human Rights, Gush Shalom, ICAHD, etc. They see at close range the devastation rendered by U.S.- supplied arms. They understand how much more difficult the challenge of achieving a long-term peace becomes after so many children have been burned and/or buried.

As to the question of the national security of our own nation—defending ourselves by limiting terrorism—here Christians really do need to step out of the media bubble for long enough to recognize the incalculable damage done to our long-term security by our uncritical alliance with the State of Israel...

As long as we turn a blind eye to our direct complicity in what is happening now in the Middle East—and what will surely happen again, if we do not stop enabling it—our conversation as Americans will remain corrupted, and surely our conversation as American Christians who claim to speak for peace and justice will be but sounding brass or tinkling cymbal...

Our deep and dangerous involvement in supporting brutality around the world must also be reformed, even transformed. No better place to start than in the blood-soaked Middle East, and no better time for progressive Christians to find their voices and start speaking.

© 2009 Religion Dispatches. All rights reserved.

Open Letter to Obama Calls for Even-Handed Mideast Policy

(NEW YORK, NY, 01/21/09) - The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), together with the Muslim Public Affairs Council - NYC Office and other advocacy groups across the nation, today called on President Barack Obama to adopt an even-handed policy that ensures sustainable peace in the Middle East. The groups' open letter was published in the New York Times inauguration edition.

The coalition, which included the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Jews Against the Occupation, LA Jews For Peace, Pax Christi Metro New York, U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and United for Peace and Justice, provided recommendations to address the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza.

The open letter to President Obama read in part:

"With your historic inauguration as the 44th President of the United States, we share our sincerest congratulations and hope that you will uphold your commitment to change.

"As American citizens we are deeply concerned that our nation's one-sided approach to the Middle East crisis compromises America's ability to act as a fair negotiator. Our foreign policy has upheld the interests of Israel, but has failed to do the same for the Palestinian people. Israel-the fourth largest military power in the world¬has devastated a population of 1.5 million people, one without an army, navy, or air force. As the attacks in Gaza demonstrated, the outgoing administration chose to defend Israeli aggression even though the violence resulted in the disproportionate deaths of more than 1,300 Palestinians, including 300 children, as compared to 13 Israelis. Indeed, the loss of all of these lives cannot be justified."

To view the entire letter, click:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama pledges new start with Muslims

By Sue Pleming, Reuters

WASHINGTON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama promised to improve U.S. ties with the Muslim world in his inauguration address on Tuesday, after tensions that followed the Sept. 11 attacks and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect," said Obama, who became the first black president of the United States.

Obama, a practicing Christian, spent several years of his childhood in Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation. His American mother, Ann Dunham, married Muslim Indonesian Lolo Soetoro after the end of her marriage to Obama's Kenyan father.

"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist," Obama said.

Under President George W. Bush, U.S. relations with Muslim nations have often been fractious, particularly after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Many Muslims were angered by the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the opening of a prison for foreign terrorism suspects at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, widely seen as a symbol of human rights abuses of mostly Muslim prisoners carried out in the name of the "war on terrorism."

The Council on American Islamic Relations welcomed Obama's promise on seeking better relations with Muslim nations.

"We hope this encouraging statement, coupled with a change in America's previous policies toward the Muslim world, will help improve our nation's image and promote a safe and prosperous future for all of humanity," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the council.

The first Muslim to be elected to the U.S. Congress, Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, said Obama's words were an important signal of goodwill to Muslims in the United States as well as the rest of the world.

"I do believe it could undermine recruiting for al Qaeda," he told Reuters, because "their message depends on trying to demonize the United States as a country that is somehow hostile to Islam and the Muslim world."

Ellison said Obama's outreach would make it hard for al Qaeda to sustain its anti-American message.

Many Muslims are already excited about Obama, he said.

"If you were to go to Damascus, or Cairo, or Jerusalem today, you could find an Obama tee shirt. People are excited about the possibilities for what this means around the globe."

The population of Ellison's district is three or four percent Muslim, he said. Since his election to Congress in 2006, another Muslim has also been voted in: Democrat Andre Carson of Indiana.

About 300 young Muslims from 76 countries signed a letter published in the Washington Post on Tuesday, urging the new president to make policy changes that could improve relations between the Muslim world and the West.

(Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell; editing by Patricia Zengerle)

America and the world have a new leader

A new dawn, a new hope
Celebrate today and pray for peace

Monday, January 19, 2009

Israel has won a "victory"

Half-concealing a smile of self-satisfaction as he declared a unilateral ceasefire, the Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has assured Israelis that “we won.” (Read full article in The Independent)

Yes, Israel might not have been able to topple the Gaza government, as it had wished for. It might not have been able to get Gazans to surrender. It might not have been even able to convince Gazans to accept its siege and occupation over them.

However, Israel can surely celebrate how its "brave", "invincible" and "powerful" army crushed a mostly defenseless Palestinian population of 1.5 million in Gaza. It can boast how its F-16s, Mirkava tanks, Apache Helicopters, bunker buster missiles, one-ton bombs, and White Phosphorous bombs targeted a Palestinian population that does not even have an army and certainly no fighter jets, tanks, or helicopters.

But the truth is that Israel and its military might had a victory; a shameful and immoral one on civilians and defenseless infrastructure, but Israeli leaders call it a victory. It is a victory in as much one can describe Nazi Germany’s brutal crushing of the Warsaw Ghetto a victory. Surely, Israel delivered on its Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai’s promise to the Palestinians to deliver a “bigger Holocaust”.

1,300 killed in Gaza, mostly civilians, including 410 children and 110 women. 5340 wounded, mostly civilians, including 1855 children and 755 women. Over $2 billion in damages to the infrastructure. Watch video.

One has to wonder whether the common Israeli believes that it was worth it. Is it worth the permanent images that people will associate Israel with? Is it worth the shameful insult to the memory of the Jewish victims of the horrific Holocaust in WWII? Is it worth the seeds of anger planted in the hearts of the tens of thousands of young Palestinians who lost their parents or siblings? Is Israel today more secure? Are Israelis today closer to being accepted by their neighbors? Was that really what the Zionist dream was all about after all? Was it a dream void of moral value and sense of humanity?

Israeli war criminals can celebrate their “victory” as they wish today. I am sure that at one point, Nazi war criminals had many days to celebrate their “victories” too, until justice caught up with them. Meanwhile, I will not celebrate anything. I will just mourn the death and suffering of the innocent people of Palestine and, yes, Israel too, who are the victims of a war by our world's latest apartheid and genocidal regime: Israel.

Below are a few photos from the "victory". The photos are taken from Yahoo’s slideshow on Monday, January 19th, 2009 and are shared for informational and non-commercial purposes.

Israeli soldiers celebrate after leaving the Gaza Strip into Israel (AP)

An Israeli soldier prays next to ammunition on the Israel-Gaza border (AP)

Israeli soldier prays near an armoured vehicle outside the northern Gaza Strip January 19, 2009 (Reuters)

In this AFP photo released by the Israeli Government Press Office, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, second from left, shakes hands with Czech Republic Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, second from right, as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, right, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, look on during a meeting of European leaders to discuss the situation in Gaza at the Israeli Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem, Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009

Palestinian boy carries wood from destroyed houses to use as firewood in the heavily hit eastern area of Jebaliya (AP)

Palestinian girl Lina Dardonah, 12, carries her teddy bear as she collects her belongings from the rubble of a building destroyed during the Israeli army operation in Gaza, east of Jebaliya refugee camp (AP)

Palestinian Maysa Salalfa, 13, wounded by shrapnel to her head during the Israeli army operation grimaces as she lays in the damaged family house in Gaza City (AP)

People walk through the rubble of houses, destroyed during the Israeli army operations, in Gaza City, Monday Jan. 19 , 2009.

Palestinians inspect the rubble of buildings in the eastern area of Jebaliya after Israeli troops withdrew from the northern Gaza Strip

A Palestinian man prays inside his destroyed apartment in the eastern area of Jebaliya, in the northern Gaza strip, Monday, Jan. 19, 2009 (AP)

Pope Benedict XVI asked people to pray for the 'hundreds' of children, elderly and women who have been killed during the Israeli offensive in Gaza (AP)

An Israeli left-wing Peace Now activist holds a banner during a demonstration outside Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's residence in Jerusalem as a meeting between him and European leaders takes place inside, Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009. (AP)

A Palestinian man sits on the rubble of a building that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike in Rafah on the southern Gaza Strip. (AFP)

A mosque hit by Israeli army rockets is seen in Gaza City's al-Zeitoun neighborhood. (About two dozen mosques were destroyed by Israel)

Palestinian Abdullah Salmi stands next to his house after it was destroyed during the Israeli army operation in the Gaza City neighborhood of Zeytoun (AP)

The hand of a member of the Palestinian Samoni family, killed on January 5, 2009 during the Israeli army operation in Gaza, is trapped under the rubble of the family house in Gaza City (AP)

A Palestinian girl stands in front of a destroyed house on the outskirts of Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip

A Palestinian girl carries salvaged belongings as she walks amidst rubble past destroyed houses in the heavily hit eastern area of Jebaliya (AP)

A Palestinian girl stands amongst the ruins of destroyed houses on the outskirts of Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip (Reuters)

A Palestinian woman salvages some of the family's belongings from the rubble of their home in Gaza City (AP)

Fatma Zidane El-Banneh, 8, right, and her mother Azza, left, are pictured after returning from hospital to the Beit Lahiya Elementary Co-educational school, where Azza claims Fatma was burned by white phosphorus (AP)

Even the doves are escaping Israel's massacres in Gaza

Palestinians collect belongings from the rubble of a building in the eastern area of Jebaliya after Israeli troops withdrew in the northern Gaza Strip (AP)

Palestinians are seen at a building, damaged during the Israeli army operation in Gaza, in the town of Rafah (AP)

A Palestinian girl clutching a piece of bread runs after her family as they return to their house in Rafah, in the southern Gaza strip (AP)

A Palestinian boy stands next to his family's house, destroyed during Israel's offensive, in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip (Reuters)

A Palestinian boy stands on the wall of a destroyed house after the Israeli army operation in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza strip

A Palestinian boy rescues a rabbit while looking for his belongings amid the ruins of a building in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip (AFP)

A Palestinian boy peers out from a destroyed building in Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip

A Palestinian woman carries her baby through the rubble of buildings left after Israeli operations in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip (AP)