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News from Gaza


This is a section that includes news and images from Gaza as often as we can get them. While this site is only about Rafah, the incidents in Gaza have made us decide to begin posting about Gaza as we are about Rafah
. Images will be supplied by friends from the area.


30 May 04

11.30 p.m. Rafah Time: Still the crossing points of Gaza Strip are closed and people are have no food or water.. Today at dawn, Israeli helicopters assassinated two key commanders of Hamas military wing who were on a motorcycle. A bystander who was close to the scene was also killed in addition to nine wounded including a woman and two children in Al Zaytoun area, southeast of Gaza City.

Al Shifa hospital named the three killed whose bodies were turned into shreds as Wael Nassar, 33, Mohammed Sarsour, 31, and Maddi Maddi, 23.

Witnesses said that Nassar and Sarsour were riding a motorcycle when they were killed by the first missile. The second missile fell close by moments later, killing another citizen who happened to be at the scene.

As in North of Gaza Strip, a 25 year old man was killed during the shelling of Bierlahia area yesterday, and he was carried to the cemetery in a very big funeral. The mourners were condemneing the incursion and were appealing to all peace lovers in the world to stop the massacres in Rafah and Bierlahia..

At this moment, heavy shelling by tanks and watching towers in the camp..


27 May 04

The same situation as in Rafah: children are searching for their books and furniture in Deir Al Balah Camp, Center of Gaza Strip, where the IOF soldiers used the same methods as in Rafah: occupying roofs and shelling civilian.. An eyewitness from Deir Al Balah said: "The Israeli occupying forces (IOF) launched a large-scale campaign on the city of central Gaza Strip in which four houses weredemolished and several others were occupied and turned to military barracks."

Security sources mentioned that Israeli forces, backed by 12 military vehicles and armored bulldozers, invaded the city of Deir Al Balah and demolished a number of houses there, while Israeli soldiers raided some houses, occupied them and turned them into military barracks.

Locals said the demolished houses belonged to Khalil Al Sawarka, Tha'er Al Atrash and Bassam Shahin, to the east of the city. Shahin was arrested by the IOF after his home was demolished and he was led to an undisclosed location.

The fourth home, a two-storey building, is owned by Khalil Tobail, and was partially destroyed last Tuesday, before being completely flattened by the Israeli bulldozers early this morning.

Also, eyewitnesses confirmed that the invading troops raided a number of homes in the Abu Areif Street east of the camp, occupied and turned them into military barracks, amidst heavy and random gunfire.

The witnesses added that a number of snipers took up sniping positions on some of the houses' rooftops, firing at any moving object in the area. The Israeli forces declared, through loudspeakers, that they would open fire at any person who tried to move from one side to another.

On the other hand, demonstrations in solidarity with Rafah people after the heaviest incursions that Rafah ever seen since the beginning of the Intifada, as the people were asking the international community to crack down on Israel and stop demolishing houses..

Every day, killing more civilians, demolishing houses and blocking the roads by militant checkpoints, and is there anyone in the world who comment or just condemn?!


23 May 04

The Israeli Occupation Forces continues its complete closure on Gaza Strip It is still closed and divided into many sections by not allowing food, or people to move between areas. I called one of the school teachers in Gaza and she said: "They are not allowing us to get into the schools. Isn't this a war crime, preventing students from going to school? I'm asking the international community and all peace lovers to put pressure on Israel and to stop the daily attacks and the division of our cities."

Moreover, Al Mezan human rights center appeals to the world and human rights organizations to stop that policy, as closing the only Karni Crossing point would have serious repercussions on Gaza Strip which is already suffering from the lack of basic food and milk for the children."

Medical sources in Al Shifa hospital said that Hasan Allda'a, an 81 year old Palestinian, died yesterday after being seriously injured in Al Zayton area Gaza City.

Today, in the early hours a group of Israeli bulldozers and tanks invaded Dier Al Balah Camp in the middle of Gaza Strip, occupying houses in Abu Areef street and using the roof building as sniper positions. It paralyzed any movement in the area. They also damaged a large number of olive and orange trees in the area.

Eyewitnesses from the camp say that the soldiers are occupying two houses belonging to Khalil Qabil and Abdelsalam Abu Mussa.

In Khan Younis also, many houses have been shelled by canon tanks and bulldozers in different areas in Rafah camp, but the worst was in the western camp where people were forced to leave their houses after the burning of Abu Nimer family, eyewitnesses said to me. In addition, two Israeli bulldozers attacked Qezan Al Najjar area and demolished tens of olive trees and houses..

In North Gaza Strip, thousands of mourners went in a funeral processession for 13 year old Iyaad Afanah from Jablayia Camp who died after being shot by the IOF. The mourners condemned the
attacks and promised to continue struggling unill freedom comes to Palestine.


17 May 04

Over 16 killed people, and more 200 injured people, and a very large number of demolished houses.. in addition to dividing Gaza Strip into three parts and killing the movements of the citizens, workers and students..


The way that people escape when they hear the shelling and bulldozers hitting their
homes.

From the heart of the battered Al Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City, as the combat helicopters indiscriminately opened its machinegun fire on the citizens and after two nights of hunger, suffering &. Here in Al Zaytoun, south east of Gaza city more than 100 families were trapped, water reservoir
were ripped, power disconnected, the infrastructure was torn up into shreds, and even the HELP appeal was met by firings from the Israeli soldiers.

Malka family who was bereaved by the losing of her son Ehab whose body buried a live Tuesday morning under the heap of rubbles worked out by the Israeli bulldozersMalaka cousin was said in a phone call with the local Al Hurya radio, We, first and foremost beseech Allah for salvation, the Israeli bulldozers and tanks are devastating every street, opening fire randomly at any moving.

He went onto sayingmy cousin Ehab pronounced dead after he shouted help for long hours as he was wounded in his foot but an Israel bulldozer buried him alive . Since 9:00 am my cousin is buried under the piles of cement blocks. Most people heard him shouting help&help but no one able to help as
the Israeli tanks coiled him.

On the other hand, Hamas announced about killing 6 Israeli soldiers by exploding one of the tanks which invade the camp as that came only few days ago after a similar explosion to Islamic Jihad in Rafah where they announced by microphones louders about killing 5 soldiers and other 6 were injured..
as Hamas in Gaza blocked some parts of the killed soldiers, but they deliver it to the Palestinian Authority after agreement with both sides to deliver the parts of the bodies of the soldiers and to withdraw from Al Zaytoun
neighborhood in return.

Children: No food ... A little girl of Malaka family cried Im scared of the Israelis, bullets and shelling we get down to escape death. Her mother also expressed her deep anxiety were in a terrible situation,
Im a mother of 5 children and theyre hungry. I cant go out to get something to eat. No bread, no milk, were imprisoned in one room and the children are crying but well be patient and resolved.

A colleague reporter of local Al Huryia radio Mohammed Abu Shabab said at 10:00 am of Wednesday morning reported that the IOF bulldozers razed lands owned by Orabi family in Al Zytoun neighborhood as the whizzing of live bullets echoed the area . The Israeli attack concentrated in the southern part of the neighborhood.

He added "the Israeli soldiers banned the ambulances to reach the body of Ehab Malaka and disallowed the international Red Cross society (IRCS) neither to evacuate the bodies nor to rescue the wounded and even from offering medical and human assistance, particularly for children. The Israeli snipers positioned at the houses rooftops and turned them into military barracks, destroying the infrastructure as well as the main electricity transformer causing a cut in the power for several hours.

The vicinity of Abdurrahman mosque is liable to a heavy shelling; Israeli reinforcements were massed to the battered neighborhood.

The Israeli military commander said that the military operation will continue in al Zytoun neighborhood until the remains of the 6 Israeli soldiers were found.

Held for 3 days in a factory : Saleh Abu Assi , working in the soft drink factory Star in the invaded
area said I along with 15 others were held from 12:30 Tuesday night , we try to go out to our homes but the Israeli incursion started. We call on the Red Crescent to immediately intervene to rescue us as four elderly people and children are among us.

On the other hand, the apaches shelled several rockets in Gaza Strip and shelled many media offices, radio stations and newspapers in Gaza City.. as still Gaza Strip is divided into many parts by militant points which their only language is blood and bullet..



11 May 04

BREAKING NEWS: Over 40 tanks and bulldozers invading Al Zaytoun neighborhood in South Gaza City, and Apaches warplanes supporting the IDF in the attack leaving a very large numbers of killed and injured. Fragments of the bodies of the people are spread in the streets and ambulances are unable to carry the injured to the hospital.


9 May 04

In a new incursion today morning into the Refugee Camp of Khanyounis, two citizens were killed and 22 others wounded besides 30 houses were demolished.

Palestinian medical sources of Khanyounis announced that Jameel Abu Mustafa, (16 years old) and Belal Hamdan(25 years old) , were shot dead by the shrapnel of a missile hit by the warplane Apache towards a group of people , besides, 22 others were wounded, three of them critically.

Concurrently, an IOF contingent supported by conveys and caterpillars advanced deep under a volley of gunfire as copters were hovering ahead in Al Sad Al Ali of Khanyounis Refugee Camp, south of Gaza strip and demolished 30 houses there.

Targeting journalists again:

Three journalists Mahmoud Al Hums (25) and Suhib Jadallah were injured in Deir Al Balah Camp in the middle of Gaza Strip. Abduallah Al Jammal (35) from Al Buraij was killed, while ten others were wounded in the Deir Al Balah refugee camp after Israeli tanks opened their heavy fire indiscriminately on inhabitants during an invasion of the area.. As in Khanyounis still other more 15 houses were completely demolished by the IDF in the camp, which aims to expend the Israeli settlements.


30 April 04

During the continuous crimes against the Palestinians wherever they are living, the IDF soldiers demolished two house and a gas station in Deir Al Balah Camp, in addition to demolishing other a agriculture plot planted olive, orange and basic vegetables.

Eye witnesses in the area said: " The Israeli tanks and bulldozers began by invading the area in the mid of the night and began demolishing two houses related to Salaeh and Lutfi Al Khatib.

Moreover, the same forces demolished the gas station and other agricultures plots which related to Abu Samara, Abu Bashir and Abu Aref families.

Gaza City and North Gaza:

Due to the continues shelling, three people were killed by an Israeli shell in the middle of Gaza Strip and other farmer get seriously injured in Jabalya Refugee Camp North Gaza, as that 54 years old man get shoot while he was working in his farm in the camp..

Al Burij Refugee Camp:

Eyewitnesses by phone mentioned that a group of bulldozers and tanks invaded the Eastern part of Al Burij Camp this morning and began random shelling and shooting at the houses of the people, and began demolishing 10 agriculture denims related to Abu Shanab family in the camp.

Khanyounis Camp:

"Shelling, shooting, bloody night, we have to leave our houses now, or we will get shoot" by these words that I had from one of the eyewitnesses in the camp last night when the IOF bulldozers and tanks began by invading the Western Camp under a helicopter coverage which began shelling the houses of the people, as the result of that attack up till now is 11 demolished houses , 2 injured people, demolishing very large numbers of trees, and several other houses get harms in the neighborhood camps, as that attack came only 24 hours after a Palestinian bombed him self in a Israeli militant jeep in Khanyounis settlements leaving 4 injured soldiers according to the Israeli media.

On the other hand, demonstrations are going to be held in the next few days by thousands of poor and orphan families, in addition to other numbers of paralyzed people demanding and protesting against freezing the money of the relief foundations which began 9 months ago and still continues up till the moment.. that demonstrations would open many questions which for sure will not have answers as usual.


26 April 04

During daily attacks such as yesterday's, we end up with demolished homes. Three houses in Hay Al Salam area in Rafah were demolished and thousands of demonstrators went out in a very big demonstration when they heard the news about the Israeli Prime Minister Sharon's threats against President Arafat, shown in an interview on the Israeli channel 2 television Friday evening, Sharon said that he had informed US President George Bush at their meeting last week that Israel was no longer obligated to a commitment not to harm Arafat

Over the last few months, the Israeli government had repeatedly threatened President Arafat, either to assassinate or expel him, threats that drew much criticism to the Israeli government as one not interested in a Palestinian peace partner.

Demonstrations everywhere:

Everywhere from Southern Rafah into Northern Gaza Strip, tens of thousands went in very big demonstrations against the Israeli threats in assassinating Arafat.

Demonstrators in the heart of Rafah City preparing for the big demonstration which named in solidarity with President Arafat, that area is the central of most of the funerals , rallies and demonstrations.


21 April 04

Still the Israeli massacre continue up till these moments: 15 killed and another 70 injured, in addition to demolishing many areas in Beithlahia.

Those who were killed since the morning are: Suhail Al Harsh (24,years old) Mohammed Al Ajjouri, (18 years old) Mohammed Al Rantisi, (22 years old),Ra'fat Abu Hasira (28 years old) , Mohammed Hamatto (16 years old) Ziyad Abu Hamada, (16 years old) , and Yousef Al Da'our, (12 years old). those are the ones we have identified so far.

In an interview by phone with Dr. Moawya Hassanien, the director of receptions and emergency in the biggest hospital in Gaza Strip, Al Shifa hospital, he told me that most of the casualties, victims and fatalities that arrived at the hospital were shot in the upper half of the body, especially the vital organs of the body, such as the heart, eyes, head and neck, that thing which also emphasized the directors at Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahia, Mohammed Asuli as he added to that, the bulldozers are targeting the ambulances and banning them from transfering the injured people, even shooting towards the journalists in the area..

Eyewitnesses by phone: "Over 40 bulldozers and military tanks provided with the war apaches planes began random shelling and shooting towards the citizens and every moving thing in the camp, without allowing the people to get out from their houses that were partially demolished.

Targeting Palestinian educational and relief foundations:

The more new in that brutal incursion that, the Israeli bulldozers demolished one of the most vital rehabilitation center and a Heritage Complex in the same area, in addition to that, one of the soldiers toke Ahmed Shuqari's school as a snipers areas which aims to target the students in the area.

In the night, clashes again between the soldiers and groups of masked Palestinians and fighters from Hamas and other Fatah movements..

Moreover, at this moment there is shelling and shooting towards Al Nada buildings where some people asking for medical help, but that is not available because ambulances are not allowed to enter. Ambulances driver Kaid Abu Okal said:" The Israeli soldiers targeted the ambulance that I am driving while I was on my way to carry the injured children. They shot the tires."

The Ministry of Health condemned targeting their ambulances during the incursion.

Targeting the schools, what will the children and students will do?!

Israeli soldiers took the school as sniper areas and prevented the students to get into the school, so hundreds of students went to their schools and began throwing stones towards the bulldozers and the tanks that occupied their school..

In Khanyounis, more than 3 people were injured during shooting from Al Tufah checkpoint in the area where is hundreds of people suffering from the watching towers and the daily shelling towards their houses.


18 April 04

Hamas political leader Dr. Abdelaziz Rantissi was killed here Saturday in an air strike less than a month after Israel assassinated the Islamic movement's founder and spiritual leader Seikh Yassin..

Rantissi died of his wounds in Gaza City's Al Shifa hospital after his car took a direct hit from at least two rockets fired by an Israeli helicopter, killing two of his bodyguards on the spot, witnesses in the area said..

Again, assassination policy come back after only 25 days from assassinating the spiral leader of Hamas Movment.. these assassination would make the violence circle more wider, as a result of that assisination Hamas promised to take a revenge for his blood..


Saeb Erakat, the Palestinian negotiation minister, said Israel must bear full responsibility for the consequences of its "ugly crime".

As Erakat added: "We condemn this ugly crime strongly and this state terrorism, which the Israeli government has chosen to pursue with the assassination of Dr. Rantissi,"

Moreover, only 10 minutes from hearing the news of the assassination, the sky moved quickly darker by tens thousands of furious demonstrators in the streets whom condemn the attack and ask Hamas for a quick revenge for that crime..

At these moments still shelling is continues near the borderlines, in north, middle and southern of Gaza Strip, as the schools, universities and markets are closed after the Palestinian take these days as a mourning three days..


Earlier image of Rantissi speaking at a rally


7 April 04

The Israel media admited killing three Palestinians in Deir Al Balah in the middle of Gaza Strip, as that crime was by killing them with a tank..Israeli media alleged that those three Palestinians were trying to get closer to the border area, but of course when they called the Palestinian medical workers to transfer the bodies they were those of ordinary civilians. Those are: Mohammed Abu Rwida (18), Amar AL Rajudi (18) and Mohammed Abu Samahadanah (19)..

KhanYounis Refugee Camp has a different story with the IDF snipers, as people can't sleep at night because of the continuouss shelling and shooting from the watching towers, and tanks in the border of the area which ended by shooting a 21 year old called Hussin Khader..


Image by Reuters


Image by Reuters


4 April 04


Hell

It was the worst moment that I ever had in my life. Moments can't be described. I arrived at Abu Holi checkpoint at 6:10 in the early morning in order to get into it..

Waiting under the hot sun with thousands of people.. Taxies and cars that got to the checkpoint must get checked by tens of soldiers.. I waited until 11:15 and finally we get into this separated area. It's not much different from a zoo, with iron bars surrounding it from all sides, soldiers putting their weapons towards our heads, thousands of people are in this separated area and all must get out of cars and taxies and stand in the hot sun. Some of the soldiers are standing by their snipers on the tops of these cement blocks, and all we have to do is to wait under the sunsh in very long queues. A young tall man is standing few meters away from me. I looked at him after the soldier came to him and warned him to look at the ground and not move his eyes towards anywhere or they will kill him..

That was on the right side of me. On the left, all I hear is two young people in a very low voice calling me and asking me saying: "So what are you doing without your camera in this position? Here it is your time to hold your camera and take pictures and show the world what is going on.." Then the other young student laughed cynically and said: "Aha journalist, world, which world and journalist do you mean? Didnt you see him standing just like us? why are his foreigners not protecting him?"

A very loud voice come towards me saying: "Heyyyyy." It was a soldier full of weapons, a heavy helmet, and heavy jacket with black glasses who came towards the two young men who were talking about me and said to them by referring in his gun towards all of us and saying" Hush" that means keep silent.

Using a camera in that place might cost the life of thousands of people in this area, that why it is completely difficult to photograph what is going on.. The number of soldiers are increasing, surrounding the people in this separated area. If you want to move your feet, probably you will find most of them putting their weapons towards your head..

Again the same two young men talked to each other saying: "We lost all out lectures and no time to go to the university." The other said: "OK, this is the best lecture that we learned in our life, the university teaches us about economics which is not better than the lesson that we are getting with those soldiers, we have got a new lesson which is power is much better than any other things in this world."

The end of that day was by not allowing any one to get into Gaza City without being insulted by those Israeli soldiers..



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