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Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes

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Israeli airstrikes kill one Islamic Jihad leader and his sons Friday morning as fierce ground combat continues. Meanwhile, burial rituals of Islamic culture continue in small hospital morgues in Gaza. (July 25)

SHOTLIST:

AP Television - Clients Only

Gaza City, Gaza Strip

1. Wide of Israeli air strike explosion

2. Mid of bombed home

3. People sifting through rubble

4. Israeli tanks on maneuver

AP Television - Clients Only

Biet Lahiya, Gaza 24 July, 2014

5. Mother holding dead child

6. Ahmed Jadallah wrapping body of child

7. Close of hands on shroud

8. Jadallah and assistant wrapping body

9. Jadallah picking body up off table

10. SOUNDBITE: Ahmed Jadallah, Body Washer: (transcribed below)

11. Jadallah ripping strips of cloth

12. SOUNDBITE: Ahmed Jadallah, Body Washer: (transcribed below)

13. Wife crying over body of husband

14. Jadallah preparing body for removal from morgue and burial

AP Television - Clients Only

Gaza City, Gaza Strip 25 July, 2014

15. Wide of explosion from air strike

VOICE-OVER SCRIPT:

ISRAELI AIRCRAFT CONTINUE TO BOMB HOMES IN THE GAZA STRIP ON FRIDAY.

ONE SORTIE BOMBED THIS HOUSE KILLING A LEADER OF THE MILITANT ISLAMIC JIHAD GROUP AND TWO OF HIS SONS.

THE ISRAELI MILITARY CONFIRMED DOZENS OF SITES WERE HIT, INCLUDING WHAT IT SAID WERE HAMAS COMMAND POSTS.

ISRAELI GROUND TROOPS AND HAMAS MILITIA FIGHTERS FOUGHT INTENSE BATTLES IN THE NORTH AND CENTRAL PART OF THE TERRITORY.

(UPSOUND - mother crying bringing baby into morgue)

AS THE DEATH TOLL CONTINUES TO RISE, HOSPITAL MORGUE WORKERS STRUGGLE TO PERFORM THE CULTURAL RITUALS FOR THE DEATH.

IN ONE SMALL HOSPITAL, SEVENTY FIVE YEAR OLD AHMED JADALLAH ATTENDS TO THE CORPSES, ONE BY ONE, ON HIS SMALL WOODEN WORK TABLE.

UNDER ISLAMIC RULES, THOSE WHO ARE KILLED IN A HOLY WAR, EVEN IF BLOODY, REFLECT THE IDEA THAT THEY ARE ALREADY PURE ENOUGH TO RETURN TO GOD.

FIGHTING AGAINST ISRAEL IS CONSIDERED A HOLY WAR AND THOSE WHO DIE ARE CONSIDERED MARTYRS.

SOUNDBITE: Ahmed Jadallah, Body Washer:

"Each time I receive the body of a martyr, I feel I'm living in my worst days because he left his children behind. This is another father who left his children behind. What is the guilt of his children?"

JADALLAH'S JOB IS TO WRAP BODIES IN THE CUSTOMARY WHITE BURIAL SHROUDS, SECURE THE SHROUDS WITH STRIPS OF CLOTH ACCORDING TO SPECIFIC RELIGIOUS RULES AND WASH THEIR FACES.

HE RIPS NARROW STRIPS OF WHITE CLOTH THAT HE DRAPES LIKE BELTS AROUND EACH BODY TO SECURE THE BURIAL SHROUD.

HE USES THREE TO FIVE SUCH BELTS, ALWAYS AN ODD NUMBER.

SOUNDBITE: Ahmed Jadallah, Body Washer:

"All day when I'm here I receive martyr's bodies; bodies of children, women and remains of body parts. This is very depressing."

AFTER HANDING SO MANY OF THE DEAD OVER THE YEARS, JADALLAH, FINDS IT HARD TO FORGIVE ISRAEL, LET ALONE CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY OF A PEACE AGREEMENT.

BEFORE FRIDAY'S STRIKES, THE DEATH TOLL IN GAZA STOOD ABOVE 800.

THIRTY FOUR ISRAELIS, AMONG THEM 32 SOLDERS, HAVE BEEN KILLED SINCE JULY 8.

TOM RITCHIE, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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