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:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
July 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Kevin Zeese
Green Party Growing Pains; Our Own Crisis of Democracy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Red State, Blue State; Green State, Deep State
Paul Street
“Inclusive Capitalism,” Nancy Pelosi, and the Dying Planet
Anthony DiMaggio
Higher Education Fallacies: What’s Behind Rising Conservative Distrust of Learning?
Andrew Levine
Why Republicans Won’t Dump Trump Anytime Soon
Michael Colby
Ben & Jerry’s Has No Clothes
Bruce Dixon
White Liberal Guilt, Black Opportunism and the Green Party
Edward Hunt
Killing Civilians in Iraq and Syria
Matthew Kovac
Is the Flint Water Crisis a Crime Against Humanity?
Mark Harris
The Revolutionary Imagination: Rosa for Our Times
David Rosen
America’s Five Sex Panics
Robert Fisk
Saudi Arabia: the Kingdom Whose Name We Dare Not Speak At All
Jack Heyman
Class War on the Waterfront: Longshore Workers Under Attack
Kim C. Domenico
Marginalize This:  Turning the Tables on Neoliberal Triumphalism
Brian Cloughley
Trying to Negotiate With the United States
John Laforge
Activists Challenge US Nukes in Germany; Occupy Bunker Deep Inside Nuclear Weapons Base
Jonathan Latham
The Biotech Industry is Taking Over the Regulation of GMOs From the Inside
Russell Mokhiber
DC Disciplinary Counsel Hamilton Fox Won’t Let Whistleblower Lawyer Lynne Bernabei Go
Ramzy Baroud
The Story Behind the Jerusalem Attack: How Trump and Netanyahu Pushed Palestinians to A Corner
Farzana Versey
The Murder of Muslims
Kathy Kelly
At Every Door
David W. Pear
Venezuela Under Siege by U.S. Empire
Maria Paez Victor
Venezuelan Opposition Now Opposes the People
Uri Avnery
Soros’ Sorrows
Joseph Natoli
The Mythos Meme of Choice
Clark T. Scott
High Confidence and Low Methods
Missy Comley Beattie
Glioblastoma As Metaphor
Ann Garrison
Organizing Pennsylvania’s 197: Cheri Honkala on Frontline Communities
Ted Rall
What Happened When I Represented Myself as My Own Lawyer
Colin Todhunter
Codex Alimentarius and Monsanto’s Toxic Relations
Graham Peebles
Europe’s Shameful Refugee Policy
Louis Proyect
Reversals of Imperial Fortune: From the Comanche to Vietnam
Stephen Cooper
Gov. Kasich: “Amazing Grace” Starts With You! 
Jeffrey Wilson
Demolish! The Story of One Detroit Resident’s Home
REZA FIYOUZAT
Billionaire In Panic Over Dems’ Self-Destruct
David Penner
The Barbarism of Privatized Health Care
Yves Engler
Canada in Zambia
Ludwig Watzal
What Israel is Really All About
Randy Shields
Matters of National Insecurity
Vacy Vlanza
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: Through Eyes of an Activist for Palestine
Cesar Chelala
Dr. Schweitzer’s Lost Message
Masturah Alatas
Becoming Italian
Martin Billheimer
Lessons Paid in Full
Charles R. Larson
Review: James Q. Whitman’s “Hitler’s American Model”
David Yearsley
The Brilliance of Velasquez
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail