This Article is From Aug 14, 2014

Reporter's Diary On The Gaza Conflict

Jerusalem: Our drive last night from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport to Jerusalem was unusually quiet; unusual because last night, and the early hours of the morning turned out to be one of the bloodiest in the recent conflict in Gaza.

But in Jerusalem, where we found ourselves waiting for permission to enter Gaza, the conflict seemed distant, much further than the one-hour drive to Gaza. People crowded restaurants and bars in its picturesque, stone-walled streets. The only sign that a corner of the country was at war: small knots of young men and women at traffic signals waving the Israeli flag in support of their armed forces.

Our taxi driver claimed that there was disquiet beneath the calm. Hamas, he says, has fired rockets at Jerusalem, much beyond their normal target zone. But Israel's Iron Dome technology, which fires counter-reactive rockets to knock Hamas' missiles out of the sky, has kept the city safe.

Late at night, as we sat in the cool breeze of our hotel compound, we heard four separate blasts in the vicinity. It was not possible to ascertain their precise location but they could have been Iron Dome reactions to Hamas shells.

The full extent of Israel's response would be clear at dawn: more than 100 killed in the past 24 hours, 15 in a UN-run school-turned-shelter in north Gaza.

More than 3000 people were crowded into the Jabaliya Elementary Girls School when the bombs fell. Speaking to us in his office in Jerusalem, Chris Gunness, spokesperson of the UN's relief camps in Gaza, told me that the location of the school was "communicated to the Israelis 17 times. This is an affront to all of us, a source of shame. The world stands disgraced."

The UN is currently using 80 schools in Gaza as shelters for those fleeing the violence. That number has swelled to more than 200,000. Now, if even those shelters are being bombed, there is literally nowhere to run to.

Israel says they will allow journalists access to Gaza tomorrow. Until then, we can only wait in the preternatural calm of the Holy City.