Monday, May 31, 2010

Gaza Freedom flotilla carried world-renowned names and veteran activists

Gaza Freedom flotilla carried world-renowned names and veteran activists

Author Henning Mankell and Nobel peace laureate Mairead Corrigan-Maguire among more than 600 passengers

Henning Mankell

Author Henning Mankell had been due to speak at the Hay festival by satellite link on Saturday, but the connection failed. Photograph: Bertil Ericson/EPA
The largest flotilla launched to challenge the Gaza blockade also carried the most passengers, well over 600 people, believed to include 27 from the UK. Internationally renowned names were on board, among them activists, authors, film-makers, politicians and journalists from Europe, the Middle East, the US and Canada.
Among the most famous is Henning Mankell, author of the best-selling Wallander series of crime novels. Mankell had been scheduled to speak to the Hay festival on Saturday night by live link from the boat, but the connection failed.
One of the best-known international activists is Huwaida Arraf, born in the US to an Israeli Arab father and Palestinian mother, co- founder in 2001 of the International Solidarity Movement, which campaigns againstIsrael's actions in the West Bank and Gaza. He was on the Challenger.
Also on board was the Nobel peace laureate Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, co-founder of Northern Ireland's Peace People and a veteran of the Gaza flotillas, who was briefly jailed last year when Israel intercepted and towed a flotilla.
The Scottish journalist and documentary film-maker Hassan Ghani, 24 and from Glasgow, was on board the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish vessel attacked by Israeli forces. He was seen broadcasting for PressTV as the commandos took control of the ship. In footage shown on YouTube, Ghani said: "This is the MC Marmara, Hassan Ghani reporting for PressTV. We've had several injuries here; one is critical. He has been injured in the head and we think he may die if he doesn't receive medical treatment urgently. Another person being passed in front of me right now has been seriously injured. We are being hit by tear gas, stun grenades. We've navy ships on either side. We're being attacked from every single side. This is international waters and not Israeli waters, not in the 68-mile exclusion zone. We're being attacked in international waters completely illegally."
His father, Haq Ghani, a businessman who runs an Islamic information service called Noah's Ark, told the BBC he had asked the foreign office for news about his son but had been told anything.
Sandra Law, the mother of Alex Harrison, a 31-year-old British woman on board the Challenger 1, said the Foreign Office had "totally refused" to provide information or assistance to her family. "They were obstructive to say the least," said Law, from Croydon. "We rang them last night to say the flotilla was being threatened by the Israeli navy. They totally refused to help us. I'm extremely worried about Alex. We have no idea what has happened to her. But she's an experienced human rights defender and very level-headed."
Others among the 27 Britons believed to be on board were journalist Jamal Elshayyal, a 25-year-old producer for the al-Jazeera English service who managed a dramatic crackly broadcast cut short in mid sentence as one of the ships was boarded; Kevin Ovenden, a member of the Viva Palestina charity, who was on the Mavi Marmara; Denis Healey, who skippered one of the previous flotillas; Theresa McDermot from Edinburgh; and Sarah Colborne, director of campaigns at the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
International Solidarity London also listed Fatima Mohammed, on board the Mavi Marmara, and Alexander Evangelou, Hasan Nowarah, and Gehad Sukker – a pizza shop manager from Altrincham in Cheshire who is originally from Gaza – among those from the UK. Peter Venner, from Ryde on the Isle of Wight, is also believed by his partner, Rachel Bridgeland, to be on board.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said they were unable to confirm, or even definitely establish, how many Britons had sailed with the convoy, and on which boats.
Caoimhe Butterly, an Irish pacifist activist who was shot and injured on the West Bank in 2002 after standing in the path of Israeli tanks, was on board.
Three German MPs, Annette Groth, a human rights policy spokeswoman, Inge Höger, a member of the defence and health committees, and Norman Paech, who is also a professor of public law in Hamburg, are believed to have been on board, as well as two members of the Palestinian Knesset, including Haneen Zoubi, an Israeli citizen.
The Free Gaza Movement website lists passengers from Holland, Belgium, the US, Ireland, the UK, Greece, Poland, Palestine and Germany. Most were on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, including Raed Salah, who was aquitted earlier this month of rioting in Jerusalem in 2007.
The oldest passenger is believed to be David Schermerhorn, 80, an American film producer whose work includes City of Ghosts. Eighty-five year old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein decided at the last moment not to travel. Epstein, who now lives in the United States, but left her native Germany on a Kindertransport to London in 1939, before both her parents and other family members died in Auschwitz, instead spent today at the Free Gaza offices in Cyprus, trying to establish what has happened to other passengers.
Other passengers were Giorgos Klontzas, a Greek professional diver and sailor, and the Palestinian activist Lubna Masarwa.
Ewa Jasiewicz, a Polish activist and freelance journalist, who last year contributed a graphic account to the Guardian of her experiences in Gaza under Israeli shelling, was also on board.
Other media representatives included one of Pakistan's best known reporters, Syed Talat Hussain, of Aaj television, travelling with another Pakistani journalist, Raza Mahmood Agha.


Nobel-winning Elders deplore Gaza flotilla attack

In this photo taken on Saturday, former South Africa president Nelson Mandela is reunited with The Elders, three years after he launched the group, in Johannesburg. Photo: AP.
In this photo taken on Saturday, former South Africa president Nelson Mandela is reunited with The Elders, three years after he launched the group, in Johannesburg. Photo: AP.

The Elders group of past and present world leaders, including former South African president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, on Monday condemned as “completely inexcusable” the deadly Israeli attack on a flotilla carrying aid for Gaza.

At least 10 people are reported to have been killed when Israeli commandos raided the boats on Monday in an operation that has drawn international condemnation.

“The Elders have condemned the reported killing by Israeli forces of more than a dozen people who were attempting to deliver relief supplies to the Gaza Strip by sea,” the 12—member group said in a statement issued in Johannesburg, where it met over the weekend.

The group, which was launched by Mr. Mandela on his birthday in 2007 to try to solve some of the world’s most intractable conflicts, called for a “full investigation” of the incident and urged the UN Security Council “to debate the situation with a view to mandating action to end the closure of the Gaza Strip.” “This tragic incident should draw the world’s attention to the terrible suffering of Gaza’s 1.5 million people, half of whom are children under the age of 18,” the group said.

Israel’s three—year blockade of Gaza was not only “one of the world’s greatest human rights violations” and “illegal” under international law, it was also “counterproductive” because it empowered extremists in the Palestinian territory, they said.

The Elders includes six Nobel peace prize winners — former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, former US president Jimmy Carter, detained Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Mr. Mandela and Tutu.

Norway’s first female Prime Minister Gro Brundtland; former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso; former Irish president and ex—UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson; Mozambican social activist Graca Machel; Indian women’s rights activist Ela Bhatt; and Algerian veteran UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi are the other members.


UN humanitarian chief condemns Israeli attack on Gaza-bound humanitarian flotilla

UNITED NATIONS, May 31 (Xinhua) -- UN humanitarian chief John Holmes on Monday condemned the Israeli attack on a humanitarian flotilla bound for Gaza, which left at least 10 killed and called for an early full probe into such an incident.
Holmes. the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said in a statement issued here on Monday afternoon that "As Emergency Relief Coordinator, I condemn this dreadful waste of life over a humanitarian issue."
"Whatever the truth about what happened, which the full investigation called for by the secretary-general should establish quickly, such an incident should never have happened or needed to happen," the statement said.
Just hours earlier, the UN Security Council met behind closed doors to discuss the deadly attack at the request of Arab countries. The emergency meeting, which was called for by Arab states after Israel carried out the attack, was meant to work out a council's response. Lebanon is currently holding the presidency of the 15-nation body.
Israeli navy backed with helicopters attacked early Monday morning the Gaza-bound aid flotilla in the Mediterranean international waters with live ammunition and gas bombs, causing over 10 activists on board killed and over 30 injured.

Honduras needs your help and solidarity urgently: Agatha, tropical storm, is devastating Honduras and Central America and has caused so much damage in many zones that it has been described as "worse than Hurricane Mitch"

Agatha has left at least 14 dead in Honduras. Reports state that at least 115 people have died in total in whole Central America due to the tropical storm.

CNN reports: 

Guatemala was hit hardest, with at least 92 deaths, 54 people missing and 59 injured, emergency officials said. Nearly 112,000 people have been evacuated and more than 29,000 areliving in temporary shelters, Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom said in an address to the nation late Sunday.
The devastation has been widespread throughout Guatemala with mudslides destroying homes and buildings and burying some victims. At least nine rivers have dramatically higher levels and 13 bridges have collapsed, the nation's emergency services said.
In Honduras:

The subdirector of Copeco, Randolfo Funes said to journalists that the storm had left 14 dead , 9  missing, 4 injured, 3,227 evacuated, 235 homeless, 3,168 have had to take refuge in shelters. 

Copeco also registers damages in 27 main roads, 17 bridges, 15 sewers, 5 schools, and two public buildings. .

 2.526 hectares with crops were flooded due to the growth of rivers and streams.  

Aumentan a 14 los muertos en Honduras por las lluvias causadas por "Agatha"
A man walks in the flood caused by a stream in El Cubulero (Honduras).Tropical storm "Agatha" has caused several fllods in  Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, in the last 36 hours  and has killed approximately 115 persons and destroyed hundreds of houses, bridges, and roads.  EFE

Red, yellow, and Green Alerts
The government has declared natiaonal emergency.  
Copeco declared red alert  in the departments:  Choluteca, Cortés and Valle, in the  Distrito Central and El Progreso, Yoro.
Departments  Lempira, Intibucá, Copán, Ocotepeque, Comayagua, Yoro, La Paz and Santa Bárbara are in yellow alert .  Colón, Olancho, Islas de la Bahía, Atlántida, El Paraíso and Gracias a Dios are in green alert.
The levels of rivers have reached their maximum capacity and many have burst its banks.

Affected departments14
Affected municipalities82
Affected Localities328
Damaged Houses675
Destroyed Homes63
Damaged Roads27
Damaged Bridges 6
Destroyed Bridges11
Destroyed Sewers8
Damaged Schools 5
Destroyed Buildings2
Water supply systems6
Electric Power Systems11
Blocks with damaged crops 2526
Source: La Prensa, CNN
Tegucigalpa en alerta roja por las lluvias causadas por la depresión tropical Agatha que causó muerte y destrucción en Honduras, Guatemala y El Salvador. Foto: La Prensa
Enormes grietas causó el derrumbe en el barrio Las Torres de la capital. Muchos arriesgaron sus vidas por salvar sus pertenencias.
The mudslide caused huge holes in barrio Las Torres in Tegucigalpa. Many risked their lives to save their belongings. 
El enorme tronco del árbol de higo cortó el paso en la calle principal de Real del Puerte y derribó siete postes del tendido eléctrico.

Así luce Teguciglpa por las lluvias que se mantendrán durante 72 horas. Foto desde Twitter por @salinas_Joel
El twitero @alecab82 muestra otra fotografía de su foto de Tegucigalpa.
El río Choluteca se desbordó de una parte.
The river Choluteca burst its banks.
Así luce Tegucigalpa después del desbordamiento del río Choluteca que ha afectado los sectores bajos de la capital hondureña. Foto: AFP
This  is how Tegucigalpa looks like after Rio Choluteca burst its banks, which has affected the lowest areas of the Honduran capital city. Photo: AFP
Photos: Diario TIEMPO

Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet, kills 19

Al Jazeera's report on board the Mavi Marmara before communications were cut
Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country's siege on Gaza.
At least 19 people were killed and dozens injured when troops intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, Israeli radio reported.
The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65km off the Gaza coast.
Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, confirmed that the attack took place in international waters, saying: "This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves."
Footage from the flotilla's lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.
Al Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.

Aftermath of Israel's attack on Gaza flotilla
The Israeli military said four soldiers had been wounded and claimed troops opened fire after "demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs".
Free Gaza Movement, the organisers of the flotilla, however, said the troops opened fire as soon as they stormed the convoy.
Our correspondent said that a white surrender flag was raised from the ship and there was no live fire coming from the passengers.
Before losing communication with our correspondent, a voice in Hebrew was clearly heard saying: "Everyone shut up".
Israeli intervention
Earlier, the Israeli navy had contacted the captain of the Mavi Marmara, asking him to identify himself and say where the ship was headed.
Shortly after, two Israeli naval vessels had flanked the flotilla on either side, but at a distance.

Focus: On board the Freedom Flotilla
Focus: 'The future of Palestine'
Focus: Gaza's real humanitarian crisis
Outrage over Israel attack
Tensions rise over Gaza aid fleet
'Fighting to break Gaza siege'
Aid convoy sets off for Gaza
Programmes: Born in Gaza
Video: Israel's Gaza PR offensive
Video: Gazan's rare family reunion abroad
Video: Making the most of Gaza's woes
Organisers of the flotilla carrying 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid then diverted their ships and slowed down to avoid a confrontation during the night.
They also issued all passengers life jackets and asked them to remain below deck.
Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Jerusalem, said the Israeli action was surprising.
"All the images being shown from the activists on board those ships show clearly that they were civilians and peaceful in nature, with medical supplies on board. So it will surprise many in the international community to learn what could have possibly led to this type of confrontation," he said.
Meanwhile, Israeli police have been put on a heightened state of alert across the country to prevent any civil disturbances.
Sheikh Raed Salah,a leading member of the Islamic Movement who was on board the ship, was reported to have been seriously injured. He was being treated in Israel's Tal Hasharon hospital.
In Um Al Faham, the stronghold of the Islamic movement in Israel and the birth place of Salah, preparations for mass demonstrations were under way.
Condemnation has been quick to pour in after the Israeli action.
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, officially declared a three-day state of mourning over Monday's deaths.
Turkey, Spain, Greece, Denmark and Sweden have all summoned the Israeli ambassador's in their respective countries to protest against the deadly assault.

Worldwide outrage has followed the deadly Israeli attack of Gaza aid convoy [AFP] 
Thousands of Turkish protesters tried to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul soon after the news of the operation broke. The protesters shouted "Damn Israel" as police blocked them.
"(The interception on the convoy) is unacceptable ... Israel will have to endure the consequences of this behaviour," the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.   
Ismail Haniya, the Hamas leader in Gaza, has also dubbed the Israeli action as "barbaric".
Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists, including a Nobel laureate and several European legislators, were with the flotilla, aiming to reach Gaza in defiance of an Israeli embargo.
The convoy came from the UK, Ireland, Algeria, Kuwait, Greece and Turkey, and was comprised of about 700 people from 50 nationalities.
But Israel had said it would not allow the flotilla to reach the Gaza Strip and vowed to stop the six ships from reaching the coastal Palestinian territory.
The flotilla had set sail from a port in Cyprus on Sunday and aimed to reach Gaza by Monday morning.
Israel said the boats were embarking on "an act of provocation" against the Israeli military, rather than providing aid, and that it had issued warrants to prohibit their entrance to Gaza.
It asserted that the flotilla would be breaking international law by landing in Gaza, a claim the organisers rejected.


Israeli Commandos Kill Gaza Aid Volunteers

by: Max Ajl, t r u t h o u t | Report
photoOn Monday, women in Gaza wave the Hamas flag as they demonstrate against the Israeli massacre of international activists who were on their way to Gaza to deliver humanitarian aid. (Photo: Max Ajl / Truthout)
The Port of Gaza was so beautiful yesterday morning. The quay, constructed from concrete columns broken up in segments, laid in piles in a huge "L" leading out into the Mediterranean, was abuzz. So was the shore. Large fishing boats boarded passengers and moved out to sea. Big, colorful bunches of balloons went up in the air. Palestinian flags were everywhere, mingling with the red crescent of the Turkish group Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), a major international humanitarian NGO. Boats floated out into the sparkling blue water.
A demonstration was held to welcome the Freedom Flotilla, a fleet of boats carrying international activists and humanitarian aid for Gaza, intending to defy Israel's embargo on certain types of aid. About 700 activists rode on the flotilla, including a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, an elderly Holocaust survivor and 17 European legislators. Yesterday morning, the flotilla congregated close to Cypriot territorial waters, preparing to begin its voyage to the Gaza Strip.
The mood was celebratory at the Port of Gaza. Hamas security forces looked on as members of other political parties shouted out their slogans, everyone hoping for the siege to end.
What a horrible difference a day makes.
Today, news reports and clips and dispatches arrived that I had never in my life expected to see. Israeli commandoes had rappelled onto the deck of the Mavi Manara, the big red-and-white Turkish aid ship sailing to Gaza. Counts of dead and injured rose throughout the morning, in horrible dribbles of information. Initial reports pegged the casualty count at two or three dead, 30 injured. As I write, Israeli television, citing the Israeli military, reports up to 19 killed and 26 injured. No one knows. No one can verify. No information is allowed out of the ships.

The footage from the live feed on the Mavi Manara is the only audio-visual material currently available. It’s tragic: Men in orange life vests quietly suffering. Orange canvas stretchers marked with blazes of blood. "They’re all taken," reads correspondence from the Free Gaza Movement (FGM). All six of the boats taken by the Israeli navy are on their way to Ashdod and the Israeli processing camp set up there; its white tents loom like a quiet obscenity. Fragments of news percolate through the electronic blockade Israel has erected around the ships, and through the military censor that Israel uses to attempt to contain information.
Here's what seems to have happened: At around 10:50 p.m. last night, when the flotilla was 75 nautical miles offshore, several Israeli warships started to draw close to the ships of the Freedom Flotilla, asking them to identify themselves, and asking them where they were headed. The Navy said that they were not welcome in Israeli waters, and told the captains that by proceeding, they would put themselves, their passengers and their ships at risk. FGM chairwoman Huwaida Arraf rejected the call flatly. At around midnight, lights came into direct visual contact. Two warships were on either side of the flotilla, about a kilometer or more distant.
A little earlier that day, military sources confirmed that Israel was planning to use silent boats to creep close to the ships, and to board each one individually, using divers as well. The ships of the flotilla were advised to keep a close formation, keeping the smaller ships between the larger ones. They also took a course that would bring them even farther from the Israeli coastline, even though they were already far from international waters when Israeli gunboats started approaching.
At around 5 a.m. this morning, the live feed on the IHH ship showed helicopters floating above the desk of the Mavi Manara, and paratroopers rappelling onto the decks. Israeli army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibowitz claimed that the navy confiscated light weapons and handguns from the flotilla. "We basically encountered a lynch," she said. "We had to control this violence." All evidence suggests that Leibowitz is lying. The boats and passengers were rigorously checked for guns by international monitors before leaving the port. According to FGM, the commandoes opened fire from their machine guns practically as soon as they hit the deck.
"Under darkness of night, Israeli commandoes dropped from a helicopter onto the Turkish passenger ship, Mavi Marmara, and began to shoot the moment their feet hit the deck," the FGM report says. Some of those they shot were asleep.
"We will assume that the government is lying," Gaza Freedom March coordinator Ziyaad Lunat told me. "The Israeli army claimed it didn't use white phosphorus during Cast Lead, Amnesty International proved otherwise. We should start accepting their claims when they start resembling reality."
Greta Berlin, one of the coordinators of the Free Gaza Movement, said that any violence that occurred on the activists' end was in "self-defense."
Before the massacre, the Israeli army insisted that its troops were highly trained - that they would not respond to provocations, including spits, cursing and tossed cigarettes; that they were elite commandoes. Footage has confirmed that Israel didn’t respond to provocations. It looks like it shot first.
"Very few times in history has a flotilla delivering humanitarian goods been welcomed by military war ships," Lubna Masarwa of the FGM commented.
Al Jazeera confirms that the ships were in international water when the Israeli navy attacked them, using one-third of their fleet and hundreds of soldiers. What that means is that Israel attacked vessels flying under the flag of foreign nations in international waters. Piracy is defined as the use of violence on the high sea, in contravention of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which states that "the high seas should be reserved for peaceful purposes."
Before the attack, Israeli spokespeople and statesmen had sedulously tried to paint the flotilla in the colors reserved for scoundrels and terrorists. "Israel … invited the flotilla organizers to use the land crossings ... however, they're less interested in bringing in aid than promoting their radical agenda and playing into the hands of Hamas provocations…. [The organizers have] wrapped themselves in a humanitarian cloak, but engage in political propaganda," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor. Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, said that "the flotilla is an attempt at violent propaganda against Israel, and Israel will not allow a violation of its sovereignty at sea, in the air or on land." The flotilla carried hundreds of wheelchairs for crippled Gazans and a dental clinic for Al-Shifa Hospital.
The pattern of mind is one that views resistance as terror, self-defense as murder and pacifism as violence. Such a mindset cannot admit to the possibility of a legitimate or just challenge. So nonviolent sailing ships transmute to violent propagandists, "an Armada of hate and violence," as Ayalon described the Freedom Flotilla. International Solidarity Movement activists become human shields for bomb-planters, and the Palestinian resistance gets locked up in prison - there are about 7,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails; they make up 50 percent of the prison population. There are hundreds more in administrative detention. Israeli Arab lawmakers who contest Israeli apartheid are bludgeoned with politically motivated indictments and forced into exile, as Azmi Bishara was. Palestinian lawmakers and civil society leaders are locked in penitentiaries and tortured there, as Ameer Makhloul, the chairman of the Popular Committee for the Defense of Political Freedoms and the director of Ittijah, an umbrella group of hundreds of civil society organizations, has reportedly been. The tacit presumption is that Palestinian resistance is inherently illegitimate. The corollary is that Palestinians and their supporters have no right to resist Israeli actions. So when they defend themselves from corsairs intent on commandeering their ships, "They are directly responsible for the violence and the deaths that [occur]," as Israeli army spokesman Mark Regev comments. They should just take it.
The world sees things a bit differently, as even Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, the trade minister, has acknowledged, commenting, "It's going to be a big scandal, no doubt about it." The Arab Monitoring Committee in what Palestinians call '48 - Israel within the pre-1967 borders - has called for a general strike, to start tomorrow.
European ministers of state are livid, and have summoned Israeli ambassadors to find out the status of their nationals aboard the Freedom Flotilla. "What has happened is completely unacceptable and if it has happened on international waters it would make it even more serious and there must be a strong European reaction," said Swedish Foreign Ministry Cabinet Secretary Frank Belfrage.
Turkish people have converged on the Israeli embassy in Istanbul, furious. There are demonstrations going on in Lebanon and Jordan, the latter of which is 50 percent Palestinian. Here in Gaza, the reaction has been strong. Many didn’t expect the boats to get in but were happy that the world’s people were paying attention to their suffering, and doing their best to do something about it. The people I have talked to in Gaza have expressed a spectrum of emotions: dumbfounded, devastated and furious.
Palestinian hospitality traditionally extends toward almost any guest. Solidarity activists are particularly cherished guests - or they would have been. Over the last four or five hours men and women who survived the Cast Lead massacre have universally called the attack "unbelievable," not believing that Israel would do something so "stupid." I have seen grown men in tears over what happened to these boats. Civil society here, often factious, is united on the outrageousness of what has happened to the mutadamineen, those in solidarity. In a territory in which Rachel Corrie is commemorated as a martyr, as a hero, where she is a household name, a massacre in which perhaps 10 or 20 Rachel Corries have been slain is a major event, a tragedy. The flotilla represented hope, a physical token of respect for Gaza and the humanity of its people. Gazans will not take an Israeli assault on that hope lightly. Tonight, Gaza will not sleep.