Gaza graffiti artists bedeck houses destroyed by Israel in war

GAZA (Reuters): Graffiti artists in Gaza have painted murals on the remains of houses destroyed in an Israeli missile strike during cross-border fighting in May.

On one wall the artists depicted a woman holding her son. On another a boy is painted with tears in his eyes. A third shows a girl, seen through a mirror, combing her hair.

Piles of rubble still encircle the houses in the town of Deir Al-Balah. Parts of exploded Israeli missiles were placed on tables for display.

“Out of suffering, pain, and siege, we derive hope, art, and victory,” said artist Hussein Abu Sadeq. “We drew on the rubble so we can get the message through using a brush and color.”

Gaza, home to 2.3 million people and ruled by the Islamist group Hamas, is blockaded by Israel and Egypt.

In May, Israel launched a campaign against commanders of the Islamic Jihad militant group who it said had planned attacks in Israel. In response, the Iranian-backed group fired more than 1,000 rockets, sending Israelis fleeing into bomb shelters.

Israel killed six senior Islamic Jihad commanders and said it destroyed a number of military installations. Fifteen Palestinian civilians, including women and children, were also killed, according to Palestinian health officials.

In Israel, two people — an Israeli woman and a Palestinian laborer — were killed by Palestinian rocket fire in Israel.

“We collected those remains (of missiles) after the bombardment,” said Mohammad Thuraya, an organizer of an exhibition of the art work on Sunday. “One missile destroyed a neighborhood and destroyed the lives of ten families who used to live here.”