by Atef Abu Saif
In July 2014, in response to the kidnapping and murder of three teenagers, Israel launched a wide-scale attack on the people of Strip, lasting 51 days, killing 2145 Gazans (578 of them children), injuring more than 11,000, and demolishing 17,200 homes. The worldwide public outcry at this punishment of an entire people was coupled with protests at the pro-Israeli bias of much of the Western media. The usual news machine rolled up, and the same tragic scenes and heightened political rhetoric was aired, yet practically nothing was being reported of the lives of ordinary, nonpolitical Gazans, the real victims of the war. One of the few voices to make it out was that of Atef Abu Saif, a writer and editor who had toured the UK just weeks before to launch an anthology of stories depicting ordinary Gazan life. Atef’s eye-witness diary pieces were published in a range of major outlets (the Guardian, the New York Times, Slate, and the Sunday Times, etc) and became a unique porthole into the conflict for Western readers. Here, his complete diaries of the war, offer a unique perspective on one of the world’s most contested political crises.