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    WERE CHICKENS FIRING ROCKETS? By Sameh A. Habeeb, Live from Palestine 29 January 2009 http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10258.shtml Palestinians inspect
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2009
      By Sameh A. Habeeb, Live from Palestine
      29 January 2009

      Palestinians inspect a destroyed poultry farm in Gaza. (Sameh A. Habeeb)

      Israel's devastating war on Gaza claimed the lives of more than 1,335
      persons and left at least 5,500 other wounded. In addition tens of
      thousands of utilities, houses, businesses, and factories were
      partially or totally destroyed. The war caused psychological damage
      for thousands of people especially children. I reported on the war
      daily and my focus was on the human toll. However, I recently came
      across a story that changed my focus completely a revealed to me the
      true nature of Israel's soldiers and their intent in invading Gaza.

      Since the ceasefire was enacted, I have toured throughout Gaza to
      document some stories and accounts. Although I wrote many articles, I
      decided to focus on the untold stories of the war: the brutal massacre
      of thousands of chickens.

      On 5 January, many Israeli tanks, troops and bulldozers advanced into
      the al-Zeitoun neighborhood south east of Gaza City. In this area,
      called al-Samouni, Israel killed 49 members of the Samouni family,
      after soldiers ordered them to gather into a single home, which was
      shelled several hours later.

      A number of chicken farms are located only a few meters away from the
      Samouni house. These farms came under fire by Israeli forces and were
      totally bulldozed. Thousands of chickens were caught in their sheds,
      as the bulldozing destroyed their cages. Some died immediately, others
      slowly without food or water for four days.

      Abu Ahmed al-Sawafari, an owner of a chicken farms owners, was sitting
      amidst the rubble of his destroyed farm. He explained that "I have
      been working on that profession for long years. I have been growing my
      business by all efforts. Israelis came then left causing an earthquake
      in the area. They have killed these chickens, they are equal to human
      souls. They were suffocated and died due to hunger. I wonder why the
      Israelis killed these chickens? Were they firing rockets into Israel?"

      I continued touring farms in the area where the smell of death filled
      the air. Surviving chickens roamed around surrounded by thousands of
      their dead kin. It was an overwhelming scene leaving one to ask only: why?

      If this question was directed to the Israeli army their response would
      be swift and predictable. They would likely contend that "rockets"
      were being fired from the farms, or that there were Palestinian
      resistance fighters in the area. However, unless the Israeli army is
      prepared to claim that these chickens were resistance fighters or were
      firing rockets nothing can explain why the self-proclaimed "world's
      most moral army" would engage in the wholesale slaughter of civilians
      and chickens alike.

      Sameh A. Habeeb is a photojournalist, humanitarian and peace
      activist based in Gaza, Palestine. He writes for several news websites
      on a freelance basis.



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