''IT DOESN'T MATTER TO ME if they shoot me or not,'' he said in a quiet moment inside his family tent.

''Death or Life - it's the same thing.''

FOR MR. GERIM, the family's old property is an idea more than a place he can actually picture.

He has had more experience with Israelis themselves.

When he was about 10, before the Israelis evacuated their Gaza settlements in 2005, Mr. Gerim climbed a tree outside his grandfather's house to get a better look at the soldiers a few hundred yards away.

Then he fell to the ground and broke his right-hand. He has been enterprising and ill-starred, ever since.

He used raise pigeons and chickens on his family's roof, for fun and food, until an Israeli airstrike  hit a neighbor's house and it collapsed on the coop, killing all of his birds.

He dreams of working in an automobile-manufacturing plant, of travelling overseas to learn how to build cars, then coming back to Gaza to make them.

But the closest he has ever got is loading tuk-tuks motorcycles with cargo beds. He has never had a regular job.

He is stoic for a 22-year old, although this may be acquired response to adversity.

His father is mentally ill, Mr. Gerim says, given to flying into destructive rages over the slightest disappointments.

His family, - two young brothers, their sister and their parents - all share a single room with a tile floor and blankets but no beds. The kitchen floor is sand.

The family's debts are choking them, he says.

Mr. Gerim's industriousness shows at the protests, as does his stoicism.

On Thursday, he arrived early at his family's tent at the protest site, a roomy contraption that was provided to them by the organizers, and set about sweeping the tarpaulin floor-

For the first of several times, before building a fire and cooking eggplants and tomatoes that city workers were distributing to the needy. 

For young Gazan, Living or Dying is the same.

The Sadness of the Serving and Honors of the latest Operational Research on the ever grieving Gazans continues to Part 3.


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