Gaza zoo ravaged by Israeli shelling
Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip – Throughout Israel’s military assault on Gaza, Wasef Hamad risked his life on a regular basis. But unlike most Palestinians living under Israeli bombardment, Hamad did not venture out in the midst of Israeli air strikes to bring food to his displaced family, take refuge at a local school, or to check on his destroyed home.
Instead, Hamad put himself in danger to protect lions, monkeys, ostriches, and other animals, all of which were slowly starving at the Bissan Zoo, in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya.
“I came here one time to have a quick glimpse from afar, but I saw death in my eyes… a bomb from an F-16 hit as close as 200 metres [away],” the 25-year-old told Al Jazeera.
The zoo covers about 2.5 acres of a 60-acre park near the border between Israel and Gaza. The animal cages are surrounded by football fields, citrus and olive groves, and play areas for children. A branch of Al-Quds University is to the south of the park, while a police station and United Nations aid distribution centre are to the east.
The area experienced frequent Israeli bombings; Hamad was only able to visit the animals when a 72-hour ceasefire came into effect on August 5. “More than half of the animals were killed, most of them by shrapnel, and I think some birds died of thirst,” Hamad said.
Posted on August 15, 2014, in NEWS and tagged animals, beit lahiya, bissan zoo, gaza, gaza strip, gaza zoo, gaza zoo destroyed, hamas, israeli air strikes, israeli shelling, life, lions, monkeys, news, news article, nothern gaza, ostriches, ravaged, starving, zoo. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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