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Deaths and wounded

Mahmoud is just one of the many children who get injured or killed...

Where is my beloved son?" she screamed, her knees to weak to help her stand. They carried her on a wheelchair to give a final send-off to her son.

Her tears started rolling down her cheeks as she saw her son lying in the morgue. She sat behind him, touched his forefront with her trembling hands and kissed him tenderly with everyone crying around her. The sepulchral silence was broken with a loud cry voiced by the martyr’s uncle, who called for avenging the killing of his innocent nephew.

She is the mother of the 14-year-old Ahmad Abu Elwan, who was shot dead cold-bloodedly by Israeli gunfire on Tuesday, February 25, while playing in front of his houses in Tal al-Sultan district, west of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli occupation troops fired a volley of artillery shells at the Palestinian houses in the region.

“Suddenly, we heard deafening explosions, which shook the entire area. I got out from my house, which was completely destroyed by two shells,” said Mahmoud Abul Fadl, an eyewitness to the massacre. “I tried hard to take shelter from the 30-minute indiscriminate barbaric shelling of area. I did see a shell passing before my eyes to hit a car with shrapnel flying all over the area to kill Ahmad Abu Elwan, whose blood gushed forth by one of the shrapnel, which hit his back,” he added.

Elwan’s cousin Jihad lamented the death of Elwan by saying that he was a kind and docile sort of a person. “He went out to bring a present to his 11-year-old brother Mahmoud on his birthday…he didn’t know that the family’s happiness would turn into sadness,” the tearful cousin said. Jihad tried to calm down Elwan’s grandparents, who were dreaming that Elwan would someday bring them back to their birthplace in the Palestinian village of Zar Nouka from which they were forced to flee in 1948.

“The occupation kidnapped my grandson in a wink of an eye,” said Elwan’s grandmother, who was dumbfounded by the death of her grandson. The death of Elwan makes him the 216th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli troops in Rafah and the 76th child.

By Adel Zaarab , IOL Palestine Correspondent

18 January 2003: The Israeli army shot Abedalfatha Oraby Mansoor, 35 years old and a family father, while he tried to repair the water tank on the roof of his house, which was damaged by the IDF. His wife and 7 children are in total despair.

Addendum on 27 January 2003: The IDF now also destroyed the house of this family. The widow and children are homeless now.

This is Jamil, 15 years old, from Rafah camp, Block O. He was injured on his way back from school by an Israeli tank shell. His family consists of 9 members, all the kids still go to school. Their father is ill and cannot work, and the house of the family was demolished three months ago.

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