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ISS astronaut tweets ‘sad’ picture of Gaza conflict

While most of the world has to turn on a TV or pull up a news site to have a close up view of the ongoing conflict in Gaza, astronaut aboard the ISS, Alexander Gerst, can simply look out his window. Just a few hours ago, he tweeted his “saddest photo yet,” of his view of the warzone.

“My saddest photo yet. From #ISS we can actually see explosions and rockets flying over #Gaza & #Israel,” he said.

It's not easy to make out the details and presumably he has a much better view with the naked eye, but the region does look awfully well lit for the middle of the night.


The conflict itself has been ongoing in one form or another for the best part of a decade at this point and doesn't seem likely to end any time soon. No doubt Mr Gerst wishes he could give the leaders on both side a few minutes in his shoes, so they could experience the overview effect. Maybe that would put it all into perspective.

KitGuru Says: It's a stunning photograph, but it must feel strange to watch the pettiness of human conflict from on high. 

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  1. In my opinion, Isreal is to America what North Korea is to China.
    That’s all I’ll say on the subject as i run the risk of going on a political rant.
    At the end of the day, what’s wrong with Live and Let Live???
    Isreal should let Gaza and the west bank run as an autonomous state.
    Hamas should stop firing rockets and let people get on with their lives.

    had to delete half this comment as i started to rant…

  2. Louie Andrew Capulso

    it’s like your god, watching those stupid kids fighting.

  3. If they can’t make peace over something that stupid, then I’d rather not have them left on this planet, just saying.

  4. Let them all kill each other, stop intervening. Must be something with their skin color… brown attracts war?

  5. I am expecting Israelis to use all their influence so that this astronaut never flies again. And this is also sad.

    It’s funny how everyone is concern for the civilians in Ukraine, but NO ONE really talks about what is happening in Gaza. You see, you are a warrior of democracy if you criticize Putin, but you are an antisemitic if you criticize Israel. And Israel have managed to put that fear in about everyone in the planet. Never criticize Israel. I have to give them credit for that.

    Both sides should stop this stupidity. BOTH. But mostly Israel that have the power to protect it’s people, should also find the strength to stop killing civilians.

    PS to the author
    Well, if part of those lights are explosions and fires it would indeed look “well lit for the middle of the night”, don’t you think? On the other hand I don’t remember reading about hitting power plants. The last title I read was about destroying a school.

  6. That’s what happened in 2005. If you can’t even read back 10 years don’t even bother commenting. Israel left Gaza completely with Israeli infrastructure to help them get an independent economy started. They instead put everything into terrorism infrastructure.

  7. From what I understand of the matter, neither side is helping. I completely agree that Hamas (not gaza, that’s the differentiation) should not be firing rockets. however, isreal should not be reacting in such a brute force way. It only makes things worse and only drives more people into hamas.

    Oppression by force has never worked in the long or medium turm.
    And to be brutally honest, if it was any other country, all the other countries would be throwing sanctions at them.

  8. Good point. No great wars were ever started by white people, right?
    (yes, I’m being sarcastic)

  9. If you really think your military can do better, by all means send them over. Oh wait, that would mean you’d have to admit you’re full of it. We all know every other army in similar situations just bombed the shit out of civilians with barely anyone muttering a word of protest. Recall NATO’s action in the Balkans? How about the US/Britain in WW2? How about much more recently with coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq? Get off your high horse.

    If you really believe other countries would be getting this many sanctions you’re braindamaged. The amount thrown at us while Syria butchers almost 200k people or ISIS slaughters people without mercy and no one says much of anything is too telling. If you’re not one of the Jew-haters, that’s great but don’t try and act like we’re treated the same as everyone else.

  10. Firstly, 2 things about WW2, that was 60 years ago. you can’t compare or justify actions based on something so far back and so long ago.
    More recently in Iraq Afghanistan, I would say the actual wars themselves went quite well, all things considered (I’m not going to claim i know a lot about the Afghan war though). It was the aftermath we fucked up on. Managing the transition stage, we screwed. I would say most the civilian casualties have been done not by NATO forces, but by the people bombing markets and schools. I haven’t looked into the actual stats for those and I may be wrong, after all, the news i get is mostly British bias. I tend to use Routers and other more international news feeds when i can.

    About Syria, I’m pretty sure you know that initially, the US and UK were backing (rightly or wrongly) the modorate revolutionists in Syria (you know, the ones that want democracy). It’s only because the British people are weary of putting ‘boots on the ground’ that we voted so strongly against going in. And I’m pretty sure Syria is sanction heavy at the moment. ( https://www.gov.uk/sanctions-on-syria )

    I’m certainly not a Jew hater, I couldn’t care less who you are, where you’re from or what you believe. I believe it’s the actions of a few that ruin it for everyone. Not all Jews are bad, not all Muslims are bad, not all Christians are bad. but some are, and unfortunately, some of them get into powerful positions and public opinion has been marred by those people.

  11. That is a beyond terrible argument. Please elaborate on what’s soooo different about armies now and armies then. Guided ordnance? If that’s the case, the argument should be that they had all the more reason to be more careful and they weren’t. Even NATO in the 90s. Same thing.

    When one argues we shouldn’t judge the American founding fathers for preaching freedom for every man and yet they owned slaves, you can kinda argue that it was too far back. WW2 wasn’t even a century ago. Our people are the same now as they were then. It’s not like comparing Americans to victorian England. It’s more like comparing people now to the 90s: things have changed a bit but societal standards haven’t really changed to such an extent.

    Either way, NATO bombed the crap out of the Balkans and nary a word was said on it.

  12. In my opinion, it’s a completely valid argument.
    We’ve had several political generations since then.
    We’ve got more stringent international law, the UN.
    People are more accountable than ever thanks to the internet.
    We’re in a totally different world than what it was 20 years ago, let alone 60
    The cold war has come and (supposedly) gone

    I’m not going to defend NATO in the late 90’s, I don’t know much about that war other than what I’ve read in the last 10 mins on wikipedia.
    According to the stats on there (I’m not taking this as concrete, it is wikipedia after all) it looks like just over 500 civilian deaths during the bombing campain, what’s Isreals tally at? 1000?

    To me, it looks like the U.S. doing what they do best and meddling in other peoples business. I would like to think that they wouldn’t do that today but I know better than that.

    You have to understand, most the worlds media is putting out this message ‘Isreal bombing civilians again, 1000 palastinians dead, 50 Isrealies dead’.

    Isreal is being setup as the bad guy in this situation.
    The UN is beginning to line both HAMAS and Isreali leaders for war crimes.
    I’m not saying one side is right and the other is wrong.
    I’m saying that both are in the wrong, but Isreal is going completely overboard and heavy handed, which is something the internation community is picking up on. They look like a playground bully.