National Geographic : 1992 Jun
Between the White Mosque and the Mediterranean Sea sprawls Gaza's Beach refugee camp, where 50,000 people crowd into small concrete dwellings. Although the United Nations Relief and Works Agency provides health care, education, and welfare services to Palestinian refugees, UN officer Rick Hooper says, "Living conditions are bad, and they're getting worse." As in all wars, soldiers make mistakes. Myron recalls how a colleague's life was threatened and how the colleague responded. "He saw a guy aiming a gun at them in the middle of the street. What do you do? You shoot." Only when the soldiers got closer did they see they had shot a 13-year-old. "The gun wasn't a gun, it was a broomstick painted black. You're still killing a child. But what are you going to do? The kid wants you to think it's a gun. He is playing around with you. "I hate it. In a war you can be idealistic and fight for a cause. But here we're fighting chil dren and women. I believe the Palestinians are sick of the intifada too. The same way we're sick of it, they're sick of it." On another day I hear almost the same lament from the other side. "We're tired. Who Are the Palestinians?