Kristof how come you didn’t come to the demos in Gaza? it’s live ammunition it’s fun

you'd shoot these clowns too, right??
A good friend e-mailed me a link to one of Nicholas Kristof’s Twitter updates suggesting that the Palestinians would accomplish more “if they put rocks down and mobilized a massive civil disobedience movement, ideally women-led.” Wednesday morning in Gaza, they did more-or-less that. No rocks at least, and some women. We arrived to the eastern part of Gaza City, near the Nahal Oz crossing, at about 10:45 AM for an 11 AM demonstration in the buffer zone.
The demonstration started maybe 30 minutes later. Amidst chanting and marching, we moved a good portion of the way down the concrete-chalk covered path that leads to the area of the buffer zone where the demonstrations usually end up.
Not Wednesday. The organizers stopped the main mass of the protest at least 600 meters from the border, at least 300 meters short of the tiny ridge overlooking that disgusting field near Nahal Oz where Ahmed Salem Deeb was murdered. Most of the younger boys kept on going forward, probably because we always go much further forward. A staffer from OCHA, a United Nations agency, had promised to try to come close to the border to observe the protests but was unable to get what she called “United Nations security clearance,” perhaps because the Israeli army refused to give it, perhaps because internal United Nations security procedures prevented her (although who knows).
I assume that the army was made fully aware that we were coming to the protest because the UN asked for its “security clearance,” a ridiculous institutional bit of non-sense of which I have not the slightest idea about its functioning but basically pleads with the Israeli army not to shoot clearly marked United Nations vehicles when they come within two kilometers of the border. I don’t know if this reflects more badly on the Israeli army or the compromised, intolerable role UNRWA plays here in lubricating and administering the occupation (helping out the Palestinians?)
on the march 
So while Kristof was instructing dim-witted Arabians how to protest–a welcome respite from liberating whores in Thailand–and the UN was passing along details of the protest to the belligerent occupier, a bunch of children with a few journalists and international observers accompanying them went a couple hundred meters from the border, not within the Israeli-created buffer zone but just on its rim. About four or five IDF jeeps showed up quite quickly, far more quickly than usual (Thanks United Nations!).
Snipers debarked and started firing. First, near the older man and the boy next to him, waving Palestinian flags in front of the weeds they had set alight. The first shots were close, far closer than usual–you can judge the closeness of the bullet by what it sounds like. More distant pings mean the bullets aren’t passing too close. These were. My friend saw them hit the dirt mound directly in front of the man and the boy. The next shots pinged into the metal barrier in front of us, which could’ve, but didn’t, create little shrapnel flechettes.
Others went in the air overhead, close enough that we could audibly, terrifyingly, hear the air cracking close to our heads; close enough that even the shebab there said to me, “Go! Go!” and the Palestinian journalists who were here during Cast Lead were crouching below lines-of-fire for protection. Eventually we did. If we had stayed another 5 minutes? Someone would have been shot, for sure.
flag-waving not even in the buffer zone
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