Astronauts on board the International Space Station are reminded of the continuing brutal conflict between Israel and Gaza as they witness air strikes from hundreds of miles above ground.
European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst shared photos taken from space of Israel and the Gaza Strip onto Facebook and Twitter with a bleak caption: “My saddest photo yet. From the International Space Station we can actually see explosions and rockets flying over Gaza and Israel.”
The situation in the area is harrowing. Israel continues to pummel Gaza with air strikes and on Monday, Israel struck a hospital in Gaza killing 5 people, two of whom were patients in their beds. It has been reported that over 700 Palestinians have died so far in Gaza, a third of whom were children, alongside 34 Israelis. According to the UN, more than 100,000 Gazans have now been displaced.
Kerry has pledged that the US would provide $47 million in humanitarian aid in order to help those affected by the situation.
While astronauts on board the ISS are frequented with views of the Earth that are second to none, this is not the first time that such vistas have been tainted. In 2001, NASA astronaut Frank Culbertson photographed the smoking World Trade Center following the infamous plane crashes. In 2011, Expedition 26 astronauts witnessed floodwaters that were the result of a tsunami that tore across Japan. It seems that you truly cannot escape from the world, even from space.
— Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) July 23, 2014
[Hat tip: space.com]