Grief and vengeance: 100 days of war in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank (2024)

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Israel Gaza West Bank References

Israel today is a nation heavy with shock, looking for answers and often also for vengeance. The streets are slowly coming back to life, but they feel anything but normal. Young reservists must take their weapons as they go about their business. The faces of the Israeli hostages are reproduced in shop windows and on government buildings alongside three words that are now a rallying cry: “Bring them home.”

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Newsstands and television screens show over and over the scenes of Hamas’s crimes. They show the Israeli army in Gaza. But they rarely show what is happening to civilians.

Palestinians there are frantic and bone-tired. The pace of death is so fast, the possibility of famine so close, that residents say they have little time to mourn or to process their losses. Fear — how to survive the night, how to find a little food — is a more pressing constant.

With more than two-thirds of homes now destroyed, much of Gaza is effectively gone.

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Israel

Grief and vengeance: 100 days of war in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank (2)

There is no end in sight for the war. Some 360,000 Israeli reservists have been called up. Security forces are on high alert.

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It has been a terrifying time for the families of the Israeli hostages. They have lobbied lawmakers, foreign diplomats and the prime minister to bring their loved ones home. During a brief pause in the fighting, about 110 hostages returned. But almost 130 did not. Outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, empty yellow chairs are lined up to remember the missing.

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Once a lush communal farm, Kibbutz Kfar Aza now stands as a memorial. Its buildings are scarred by the assault that took place there. At least 60 people were killed as Hamas militants went house to house. Most of the surviving residents have been displaced to hotels or rental properties.

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Grief and vengeance: 100 days of war in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank (8)

Grief and vengeance: 100 days of war in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank (9)

For Muslims, Jews and Christians, there are few places holier than Jerusalem’s Old City, and usually it would be bustling. Now it is quiet, and heavily patrolled by Israeli security forces.

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Here, in November, Muslim worshipers pray together on a sidewalk after Israeli police blocked the Lions’ Gate into the Old City.

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Grief and vengeance: 100 days of war in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank (12)

Grief and vengeance: 100 days of war in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank (13)

On a somber Friday in November, the tension was palpable in the Old City as Muslims headed to al-Aqsa Mosque for prayer. Israeli police checked IDs and prevented many from entering.

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President Biden has shown strong public support for Israel and sent weapons to aid in the country’s military offensive in Gaza, even as his administration has pushed for lower-intensity operations.

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Gaza

Grief and vengeance: 100 days of war in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank (16)

After three months of war, much of Gaza resembles a graveyard, residents say. Bodies remain in the rubble, and those who knew, or loved, the dead have been forcibly displaced.

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Grief and vengeance: 100 days of war in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank (18)

Grief and vengeance: 100 days of war in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank (19)

Gaza’s health system is on its knees. Israel has repeatedly targeted hospitals, saying Hamas militants use them to store weapons, or to hide. Inside the few remaining facilities, wards are overflowing with patients, many treated on the floor. “Doctors are stepping over bodies of dead children to treat other children who will die anyway,” said a staffer for Doctors Without Borders.

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About 1 in every 100 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed since Oct. 7. Here, women weep over the death of a child, found beneath the Abu Ishaq family home in Bani Suhaila, east of Khan Younis, on Oct. 18.

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Grief and vengeance: 100 days of war in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank (22)

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The dead have filled cemeteries and mass graves. Some of those sites have since been damaged by Israel’s ground offensive. Here, relatives mourn loved ones killed in an Oct. 22 Israeli airstrike in central Gaza.

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Palestinians tried to pull people from under the rubble of a destroyed house in the southern city of Khan Younis on Oct. 16.

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On Nov. 8, people streamed into Rafah along Salah al-Din Road. About half of Gaza’s population is now in the city, which sits on the Egyptian border; before the war it was home to 280,000 people, but now there are more than 1 million. Aid workers say shelters there are dangerously overcrowded.

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Blocks of streets in Gaza have been reduced to rubble. On Oct. 8, an Israeli airstrike destroyed this building in Burj al-Aklouk. The intensity of the strikes has had a profound effect on children. “I cry all the time. I feel my limbs trembling from the targeting and bombing. I run away to the arms of my mother, who always tells me that we will soon return to our homes. I saw the bodies and the dead when our house was bombed,” said 12-year-old Mayar Abu Haben, from the Jabalya refugee camp. “When will I return to my home?”

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West Bank

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In the occupied West Bank, Israeli settlers have accelerated attacks on Palestinian communities since Oct. 7, as the war and large-scale arrests fan a new generation of Palestinian militancy.

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In the Balata refugee camp, an Israeli airstrike targeting militants killed five Palestinians and wounded two others on Nov. 18. Among the dead was 16-year-old Mohammed Emsamy. His brother had been arrested weeks earlier for throwing stones at the Israeli army, his aunt said. Here, at upper left, you see her mourning.

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An Israeli surveillance drone flew over the funeral.

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Grief and vengeance: 100 days of war in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank (37)

The Ajak family have harvested their olive grove for over a century. Since Oct. 7, they have been so scared of settler attacks that they harvest only on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. The Israeli army suggested it was a day when settlers were less likely to harass them, they said.

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During a pause in hostilities in Gaza in late November, Israel released three Palestinian prisoners for each Israeli hostage set free by Hamas. In the West Bank, large crowds gathered outside the Israeli prison to await each release.

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Grief and vengeance: 100 days of war in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank (40)

Grief and vengeance: 100 days of war in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank (41)

For Palestinians, the prisoner releases provided some relief, and even happiness, amid what people here say is the most devastating war since the state of Israel was founded in 1948.

Noorhan Awad, at right, was convicted of attempting to stab a 70-year-old man when she was 16. She spent eight years in jail.

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The newly released prisoners were received as returning heroes. Teenage boys holding the green flag of Hamas were carried high on strong shoulders through the cheering crowd.

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About this story

Photography in Israel and West Bank by Salwan Georges, and photography in Gaza by Loay Ayyoub. Story text by Louisa Loveluck. Additional reporting by Sufian Taha. Design and development by Yutao Chen. Editing by Olivier Laurent and Reem Akkad. Copy editing by Martha Murdock.

I'm not here to express personal opinions, but I can provide information on the concepts discussed in the article. It appears to be a detailed account of the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza, covering various aspects such as the impact on civilians, the destruction of infrastructure, the role of international support, and the complex situation in the West Bank.

The article describes the aftermath of a prolonged war, highlighting the devastation in Gaza with a focus on the loss of lives, destruction of homes, and strained healthcare systems. It also touches upon the situation in the West Bank, where Israeli settlers' attacks on Palestinian communities have intensified.

If you have specific questions or if there's a particular aspect you'd like more information on, feel free to ask.

Grief and vengeance: 100 days of war in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank (2024)

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