Black Friday aftermath, Gaza

The Forensic Architects Investigating Gaza

Drawing on hundreds of videos, photos and satellite images, a team of researchers in London have been trying to piece together the events of "Black Friday," the bloodiest day of the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict. More than 120 Palestinian civilians died on August 1, 2014.

Israeli architect Eyal Weizman founded Forensic Architecture in an effort to understand what happened on the day when civilian buildings, roadways, and a hospital were struck. When people die in cities, the buildings themselves become evidence, he said. "What is the logic of what happened that day? How did things unfold? Where did people die? Why did they die?"

The group began building sequences and narratives by piecing together photos, videos, testimonies, smoke flume shapes, and architectural models. The relationship among all pieces of evidence even showed the type of ammunition used by Israeli forces that day — the one-ton bomb. "This is the biggest bomb the Israelis are using and they're using it in densely-built neighborhoods," Weizman said.

All the one-ton bomb targets could be material for the International Criminal Court to investigate as potential war crimes, according to Weizman. "Even in the UN report the headline is 'You don't throw a one-ton bomb in a residential area,'" he said.

The collection of evidence from an event that was heavily-documented by civilians has become a common project that is undertaken by Palestinian NGOs, civilians, and political parties, Weizman said. "[They] could all agree on one thing — that kind of carnage that happens in Gaza needs to have accountability and that accountability is only going to come from international process."

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