FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Rafah Counts the Dead

by KRISTEN ESS

Christmas Eve Day, 2003 Rafah to Bethlehem, Occupied Palestine

Israeli occupation forces left the center of Rafah, although as is normal the Israelis remain at the border they have created. The Wall the Israelis are building with armoured machines is overshadowed only by its many sniper posts. Israeli soldiers remain daily to shoot and shell into the homes at whatever is the latest point in the “border.” The line changes as the Israelis demolish more houses, turning what once was the center of the city into the border.

The Israelis killed ten Palestinians in Rafah yesterday. Forty Palestinians are in the hospital. The number of demolished homes is yet to be determined as Israeli tanks and bulldozers have just left the Yibna Camp where they attacked heavily yesterday. Palestinian medical and search crews are beginning to dig through the rubble looking for bodies, as several people report fears that there is a family still inside one of the demolished houses.

Israeli occupation forces not only destroyed more people’s homes, but demolished the UNWRA (United Nations Relief Works Agency) Clinic as well. The Israelis continue to target the United Nations unchallenged.

The UNRWA says they need 20 hours to count the demolished houses because the number is large. Israeli soldiers are shooting at people who are trying to get their furniture from their demolished homes.

The Israeli military regularly targets Palestinian infrastructure, such as the sewage system. Also they regularly cut the electricity and destroy telephone service, as they did yesterday.

Early this morning in Rafah, as thousands of people came out into the streets and headed to the most heavily hit areas, a young man passed a damaged UN ambulance. His shoes stuck into the ground flooded by a light rain. He said, “Really, I hate it when it’s like this.”

In view of the international media, Manger Square is filling with Palestinian Christians and journalists to ring in the opening of the Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem. Revered by Christians as the birth place of Jesus, the Church of Nativity would be a prime destination if it were not for the Israeli occupation. But this year is a far cry from last in Bethlehem. Under the rain in 2002, one day out of Israeli imposed curfew, with the tanks and jeeps staying just out of cameras way, demonstrations against the occupation went on throughout the day. This year, kids are playing drums in marching bands and young men parade in front of the peace center playing bag pipes.

Local journalist Nassar Laham has taken the stage in Manger Square. “Today we are in solidarity with the people of Rafah. We must not forget what are brothers and sisters are going through.”

The Israeli government still prevents President Arafat from attending ceremonies in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem by confining him to the Palestinian city of Ramallah. The 26 Palestinian men exiled to Gaza after trying to defend Bethlehem and the Church from Israeli invasion in April 2002, remain in exile to this day.

The names of the people the Israeli military killed yesterday in Rafah are: Khalil Kasas, Ali Hussein Najar, Ahmed Najar, Iad Ibrahim Najar, Khamis Anwar Ra’ai, Wiam Musa, Ala Baloul, Ala Al Haj Ahmed, Mohammad Mustafa, and Asad Alati. The names came in spurts yesterday, as if the Israelis killed a few people at time, waited an hour, and started killing again.

@ KRISTEN ESS 2003

www.palestinenet.org/english

 

More articles by:
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
Stephanie Van Hook
The Time for Silence is Over
Ajamu Nangwaya
Toronto’s Bathhouse Raids: Racialized, Queer Solidarity and Police Violence
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull (But 500 Years of Trauma)
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Johan Galtung
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
Binoy Kampmark
Headaches of Empire: Brexit’s Effect on the United States
Dave Lindorff
Honest Election System Needed to Defeat Ruling Elite
Louisa Willcox
Delisting Grizzly Bears to Save the Endangered Species Act?
Jason Holland
The Tragedy of Nothing
Jeffrey St. Clair
Revolution Reconsidered: a Fragment (Guest Starring Bernard Sanders in the Role of Robespierre)
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail