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Testimony From Collateral Damage

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What does Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi mean when he says “minimal collateral damage?” A partial answer can be found in the testimonies of members of the al-Sawarka family from the Gaza Strip, whose nine relatives were unintentionally killed during the last round of military escalation in the enclave in November.

“I found my brother Salem and my sister Lama next to my mother, who recited the Shahada prayer [the statement of Muslim faith], and then was silent. I tried to wake her up, I said, ‘Get up, mother, get up,’ but she didn’t hear me. I realized that she was dead.” That is the testimony of Noor al-Sawarka, an 11-year-old girl who spoke last week with field researchers from B’Tselem in Gaza (Gideon Levy, December 13).

Noor lost both of her parents and her two brothers, an uncle, an aunt and their three children. Noor’s grandmother, Salmiya al-Sawarka,........

© Haaretz