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October 1: Mohammed's younger brother Issam was seriously injured and was taken to the hospital about a week ago. His leg was amputated and he is undergoing medical treatment. And on October 18: Mohammad's younger brother, Hussam Al-Mouhagir [17 yrs old], was killed by the Israeli army today. Hussam was sitting at home when he was shot in the face, chest, back, legs. He had nothing to do with any violent or even political movement. Hussam's crime is that he was a Palestinian. The webmaster

Mohammed's interview with Stefan Christoff, CKUT Radio Montreal, 18 May 2004
Click on this link to download and listen

RAFAH TODAY


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The webmaster

28 June 04-


Better the rubble than a summer camp funded by the US

Destruction, devastation and continuous killings -that is simply what Rafah looks like these days, following the last incursion which was in a different part of Rafah far from the borderline. In Oraiba
district several tanks and a bulldozer invaded the area with massive shelling towards civilian houses and began demolishing houses and agricultural plots planted with vegetables and other basic
crops, in addition to demolishing 10 houses belonging to different farmers in the area.. Oraiba area is considered one of the main sources for people to buy foods.

More killings:
It's very difficult if not impossible for a day to go by without shooting and shelling followed immediately by images of the injured and dead. Sixty year old Khalil was dead after waiting many hours at the
Rafah crossing point to get permission to go out for an urgent operation at Egyptian hospitals..
24 year old Abdulsalam Abu Eiadah died yesterday after sustaining injuries during the last massacre, and he spent two weeks in the hospital..

This morning also, a 50 year old man, Mosleh Abdelal, was killed along with others on their way to their farms in Rafah Camp, in addition to many others who were injured over the previous night and the previous days, when the IOF opened it's fire towards buildings and three people were injured: Tala'at Baroud, Raed Abed, and Kamal Al Kasier.


Funerals, demonstrations and different marches in Rafah:
With deep anger and sorrow, every day Rafah families say farewell to loved ones and participate in new funerals. Today it was the funeral of 50 year old Abdeal, killed on his way to work, leaving behind a dozen hungry. No one knows whose funeral will be tomorrow because that decision is made with a simple click of an Israeli soldier with his weapon.

Over one hundred children took to the streets over the past two days and condemned the American support for the Israeli Army. The children refused to participate in summer camps funded by America. Moreover, they went to demonstrate at the American foundations in Gaza and began throwing one of the foundations with eggs.. The children were also holding different posters such as: "You are killing us with one hand and helping with the other" and "We don?t need your support for our summer camps."

In an interview with one of the children whose name is Abdelmajeed (13), he said: "I came here only after I saw the Israeli Apaches shelling us during the last massacre in Rafah and I lost four of my beloved friends. We all refuse to participate in a summer camps funded by the US, and we will make
our summer camps on the rubble of our damaged homes."


Injured in Rafah


Funerals everywhere


25 June 04

A Palestinian seller of watermelon is
transferring the watermelon that arrived from outside of Gaza Strip. He
is one of many sellers suffering form recession in Rafah
Camp after the latest disease that was caused by rotten watermelons


Two homeless children sitting on the ground
under the hot sun to sell lupine in Rafah Camp. This is the only
way to buy bread for their families who are living in Al Khansa UNRWA
School after demolishing their homes during the most recent incursion. Half shekel (10%
of $1) is the cost of the lupine packets

Tens of people have been arriving at hospitals in Rafah and other parts of the Gaza Strip affected by different illnesses and especially fever. Some experts said that these diseases came from the watermelon that is watered with sewage water and other toxic materials. People therefore began boycotting watermelon..

Watermelon seller Mazin Abdelal said: "I don?t know what will do with that huge amount of watermelon that I bought form outside of Gaza Strip, and now people don?t want to buy form me.
L ast year I sold full lorries of watermelon every couple of days, but this year and after that illness which became well known in all Gaza Strip, no one wants to buy from me, so I don?t know how I shall cover that big loss."

Another seller said: "I have been waiting all year for that month when I will have the chance to sell
watermelon. I put all my efforts into buying that watermelon, but I don?t know what I shall do now after I got two lorries from outside of Gaza Strip"

A taxi driver who bought watermelon for the first time this summer said: "As usual I bought watermelon and it tastes normal, but a few days later the effects began to show with high fever for all my children. I took them to the European Hospital where they are staying under medical attention."

The watermelon story is just one of many stories of rotten food that entered into the Gaza Strip and that is being sold in the markets at a low price.


20 June 04

An Israeli watching tower in the
borderline of Block "J" area in Rafah where the British peace activist
Tom Hurndall was killed and where the British politicians were shot at. Many have been killed by similar kinds of towers.

A group of British politicians were shot at by Israeli soldiers during a UN-supervised trip.
The Israeli watching tower in Rafah Camp fired towards a cross-party group visiting the Rafah Camp, where UK peace activism Tom Hurndall was killed. Media resources said the British group included MPs Huw Irranca-Davies and Crispin Blunt.

An eyewitness from Rafah camp said: "Israeli watching tower shot towards the group, and as a result they were all forced to leave to their UN vehicle, when further shots where fired at the building next to their vehicle and then they all left the area immediately". Ten minutes were enough to make a ghost zone!!

The tank just arrived now, at 6:42 PM in Hay Al Salam area which is full of children. They are going to get their schools grades today but the street is now empty and has turned into a ghost zone when the Israeli tank began shelling everything in the streets.

Eleven year old Abdullah Abu Suawd was one of those victims. He was injured in his kneecap and was transferred to Abu Yousif Al Najar Hospital. A few hours after Abu Suawd was injured he told me: "'I got frustrated sitting inside my home, so I got out to play with friends and then the shooting
came from the borderline. After that I don?t know what had happened."

The organized policy of shelling houses and camps has not changed yet.


18 June 04


Mohammed Abu Anzah, from Block "O" area in Rafah who works as a cleaner
in the Rafah municipality, trying to get the furniture out of his house.


Ahmad Abu Mar'ee, 20, was shot and wounded in the foot when Israeli forces stationed near the borderline opened heavy and random gunfire at citizens and their homes in the area. Abu Mar'ee was transferred to Abu Youisf Al Najar hospital in moderate condition.

Israeli gunfire also burned a house in the Tal Al Sultan quarter.

The Israeli soldiers stationed near the illegitimate Israeli settlement of "Rafih Yam" opened heavy gunfire and tank rounds at citizens' homes in Tal Al Sultan, which caused Samir Abu Eleinein's home to catch fire and burn down completely.

This morning Israeli bulldozers demolished a house while removing the rubble of the houses that have been demolished over the past three years. This building belongs to Ismail Al Tabash and his brother and their 12 family member have become homeless..

The media portrays an image that is very different from what is happening on the ground here in Rafah. They are discussing an evacuation plan from Gaza Strip, but did they ask themselves what that evacuation plan really was?! It seems that the world doesn't know that this evacuation plan is only for the Israeli setters and not the soldiers. This means over the coming weeks and months it will get worse for all the people of Rafah, especially since Israel announced digging a trench which will be close to the borderline. This of course means more killing and more hundreds of buildings demolished.


14 June 04

This evening in Rafah: As usual, Israeli bullets did not distinguish between a baby or an old man. Everyone is targeted. It is a war against humanity and human beings are being targeted by the most modern weapons.. Shelling and shooting from the Israeli borderline side and steadfastness and courage form Al Brazil camp in Rafah. Hundreds of families challenged the Israeli bullets and chose to die in their homes rather than leave. One of those families is Jaber's family who are now living in Al Brazil Refugee Camp. Nine month old baby Malak Jaber was injured in her right leg and transferred into the Abu Youisf Al Najar hospital.

Tens of families began escaping form their homes during the night because of mosquitos and other insects that had attacked them after the Israeli Army demolished the water stations in the Block O area and other camps..

A mother of 7 children told me: "Forget about shelling in the night, because that is something we are used to coping with. but here is summer and what is more important is the lack of water. The worst problem also is these mosquitos that do not allow our children to sleep during the nights." She was trying to move some of the rubble and what remained of her neighbors' demolished house.


A Palestinian child from Rafah is hiding in a sewage system hole from the shooting
from one of the tanks which was parked in Hay Al Salam area during the last incursion


A group of homeless children faced shooting by tanks
while attempting to gather what remained of their damaged furniture


11 June 04


Aya Qeshta, 8 years old,
waiting to talk to UNICEF officials during their visit to Rafah


The Israeli Military forces demolished the home of Khaled Ghraib from Hay Al Salam area in Rafah Refugee Camp. They also demolished a large number of agricultural land and removed the rubble of the houses that have been demolished recently..

Still the shelling is ongoing in Rafah and especially at night. Rafah families are still appealing to the world to find a solution instead of leaving them to live in these tents, and some associations responded to Rafah's calls by donating new refrigerators to save the bodies of the dead. They were donated to Abu Yousif Al Najar and could hold 16 bodies..

Eight year old Aya Qeshta was exhausted trying to find a place to stand near the UNICEF jeeps. She wanted them to hear her story and what happened to her family after demolishing her house.

Aya said: "I want this woman (in UNICEF) to know that we dont want food, we dont want water, we dont want these clothes. All we want is to live in peace. We dont want to live in terror. They come to bring us aid, but I need my message to be heard, and I need the children in the world to hear my calls."

As usual the meeting ended with a promise by the international visitors and by the same words which no more recovering the hearts of Rafah children, but till when the children will be suffering?! When demolishing houses policy is going to change?


A bulldozer erasing the remains of
demolished homes near the historical Salaha Elden Gate.


6 June 04


Picture taken from a bullet-riddled house looking out on an Israeli bulldozer about to
demolish what remains of the buildings in Block " O" area in Rafah.


"Isn't enough that they killed my husband?" an old woman asked as she collected what remained from the rubble. "If it's about leaving the house, so I will leave it. and the bulldozers demolished it and I can't do anything. But they all have to remember that there is a day of reckoning, and they will pay the costs of what they are doing to our homes."

Nearly 115 Palestinians became homeless in the last few days after the 'withdrawal' form the new incursions in Rafah Camp, where the area was shelled by Apaches warplanes..

The tents everywhere recall to mind what had happened in the 1984 war, when the tents were the only place for the Palestinians to live. But today the catastrophe is getting bigger, and is going to be worse. There are very large numbers of homeless families with no food, water or basic needs..

The Israeli Army continues to build the borderline where more and more houses are getting demolished every day, and Rafah victims are the only ones who are paying the cost of political minds that seek ethnic cleansing.

Last night, 30 year old Sobhi Al Attar was seriously injured while in his own home, and was transferred to the hospital immediately..

A few minutes ago, three people including women were injured in Al Brazil Camp in Rafah and were transferred to Abu Youisf Al Najjar. They are Osam Huseen, Monier Al Tukhi and 43 year old Insherah Abu Azoom.

The Israeli towers are still openning their gun fire towards every movable thing in the camp. If you see a tank you would be considered lucky if you got out safely from that area.


An injured woman



4 June 04

Children are getting injured in their classrooms.. it is hell . It is nearly 5 p.m., and there were 5 minutes to go before students filled the streets on their way back home from evening school. But the students would not be going home so easily. They were escaping from Al Omaria Elementary Boys' School, which is one of UNRWA's projects in Tal Al Sultan area.

Shouting, screaming, and total chaos. Everyone was trying to escape from the school. Screaming can be heard: "Mom, mom, shooting, shooting."

It was total chaos in the school, and teachers were unable to do anything and were unable to transfer two 10 year old injured students: Mahmoud Hamad and Husam Al Habil. They were shot with sniper shootings from the sand mountains where where Israeli tanks are parking.

Finally the shooting stopped, but ambulances were unable to go to the school because the street was crowded with students trying escape to nowhere..

In the hospital: Finally the two students arrived with serious injuries to their necks and heads. Just right now, the mother of one of the injured arrived at the hospital and went into the operating room to see her son and she began screaming and weeping.

In an interview with one of the medical team members he explained: "We received a call form the school, telling us that Israeli tanks were shooting towards the students in the classrooms. It was very hard to get into that place because the students were all screaming and running around in terror, and we were unable to even understand what to do and whom to help exactly."

"I dont want to go to school, I dont want to be a teacher, I dont want any future, but I want to live and going to school means killing me as my two friends were shot in my classroom now." Those were the words of a student after he saw the blood of his two friends in his classroom..

The blood has not been cleaned up until now. Parents are refusing to allow their children to go to schools even though it is time for final exams.

Only one hour ago, also from that same area, a pregnant woman whose name is Islah Salah Ahmed (30) arrived at the hospital after being injured by shrapnel from an explosive bullet, while the targeting of schools and students continues. The last time they targeted a school in Khanyounis, a 12 year old girl, Hoda Darwish, was blinded after being injured in her head while she sitting in her classroom..


Hishm al Habil - injured in his classroom


Al Omaria UNRWA school


Teachers looking at the a pool of blood in the
class room


2 June 04

Hundreds of students went out in a demonstration at the end of the school day. They gathered in the demolished zone in Al Brazil Camp, and began calling on the world to stop Israeli crimes in Rafah and to protect it's children..

Most of the students went to the demonstration without their shirts, as an expression of sympathy with the families of their friends who were killed in the latest Israeli massacre in Rafah. They condemned the Israeli crimes and invited the children of the whole world to send their message to all decisions makers to stop the Israeli policy which aims at destroying Palestinian children..

The children distributed handouts to journalists on which they
wrote: "Love mesasage and peace form the middle of the tents, from the rubble of demolished houses and between the shreds of the bodies of Rafah children, to the silent world."

They also sent the following messages:

To President George Bush: "It's one of our right to live just like your children live, and get your tanks out and your bullets out of our small bodies."
T
o Kufi Anan: "Stop Killing our children."
To the mass media: "All of Rafah children's future is in your hands."
To peace people: " There can be no peace during the continuous demolishing of houses and the murder of our children."
To human rights and children's organizations: "Get out what remains of our small bodies from beneach the death tanks and bulldozers."
To the International Community: "Your silence!! Where you will escape form our blood?"

The demonstration ended by sitting in the rubble of one of the houses where 3 year old Rawan Abu Zieed was killed..


Children in Rafah demonstration with their shirts off to express solidarity with the families
of their murdered friends.
Click to view more pictures of the demonstration


1 June 04

1.30 a.m. Rafah Time: BREAKING NEWS: 7 tanks and 7 bulldozers are invading Al Shaer area in Rafah Refugee Camp under cover of Israeli Apaches. Tens of families are now getting out of their homes and searching for shelter. Just less than a minute ago, a very huge
bomb exploded near some their home. .

12.30 a.m. Rafah Time:

Difficult times. The world has been deceived by what the media publishes about what is going on in Rafah. If the IOF withdrew from Tal Al Sultan area after the last massacre, they moved into another area in Rafah refugee Camp, where the latest incursion in Rafah occurred. This is in Al Shuaat area in Western Rafah. That incursion began in the middle of that area with Israeli Apache war planes shelling followed by tanks and bulldozers, and then ended in the early morning by demolishing 25 homes and injuring four people..

Mohammed Zourb, a 42 year old man was killed by a sniper while walking near his house..Zourb's fault is that he walked around in his neighborhood. Two bullets forced him into that tomb forever, leaving twelve of children without a breadwinner.


A woman sitting in her tent after her house
had been demolished in Block "O"

In the past few days three people have arrived at the hospital because of gunshot wounds, and one of them died after being injured by Israeli soldiers during the Rafah massacre. Another was a victim of his kindness and concern, for he had gone to reassure his relatives in Hay Al Sultan, but never made back. His body was found in the morning killed by Israeli snipers in the area..

Destruction and devastation everywhere. In many areas, people are just refusing to leave their homes and are choosing to sleep in the rubble of their houses. An old man whom I an interviewed said: "I will leave this house but only to my grave. They demolished the house, that is fine, because they have power and the world is with them, but history will never change because books and history prove that this is our land."

People have many questions, and these questions were transferred into pictures and posted here, but still no answer.

Picture on the right: A man who was killed in the latest incursion


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