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Lives lost, lives destroyed in Gaza

Amnesty International's fact-finding team in Gaza has continued to collect stories of lives lost and lives destroyed by Israeli bombardments during the three week long conflict which began on 27 December. In its fourth post on Amnesty International's Livewire blog, the team described how they visited refugee camps in the city and spoke to survivors. At the northern end of the al-Shati' (Beach) refugee camp the team heard how the Abu Eisha family lost five of its members when an Israeli aircraft dropped a bomb on their house. Three children, seven-year-old Ghaidaa’ and her brothers Mohammed and Sayyed, aged 8 and 12, were killed together with their mother, Naheel, and their father, ‘Amer. Jabalia refugee camp is one of the most densely populated places in the world. At the camp, Samira Baalousha told the team that her five daughters, aged from four to 17 years, had been killed in their sleep by damage caused when the Israeli army bombarded a nearby mosque. The team also described the slow process of clearing away the rubble. People are having to dismantle mountainous amounts of debris from destroyed buildings virtually stone by stone, often using only their bare hands. Children carry rubble away in small luggage trolleys or refuse sacks. In one street where most of the buildings have been reduced to rubble the team walked past handwritten signs nailed up to the electricity poles - “This Damage Made in USA."