FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

How Israeli Troops Invade Homes in Gaza, Brutalize, Smash and Steal

Gaza

SAFA ABU SEIF, 12, was fatally wounded as she stood in an upstairs room of her home in the Gaza City district of Jabaliya 10 days ago.

She was one of 27 children identified by United Nations staff among the 107 Palestinians who were killed in five days last week. Another 25 dead, including five women, were identified as unarmed non-combatants. The status of 13 more dead victims could not be determined. At least three of the children were reportedly shot in their homes by Israeli small arms or sniper fire.

A Palestinian gunman killed eight Israeli students on Thursday before he was killed himself. An Israeli soldier was also killed that day. Two Israeli soldiers died in action in the early stages of a three-day incursion into Jabaliya, and an Israeli civilian was killed by Palestinian rocket fire on the first day of the surge in violence.

Asked by the Herald to comment on allegations that its troops had killed children in the area, the Israeli Defence Force blamed the violence on terrorist groups who exploited Palestinian civilians as human shields while firing rockets intended to harm Israeli civilians.

“IDF operations in the Gaza Strip are aimed solely at the Hamas terror infrastructure, armed terrorists and rocket launchers,” its statement said.

A security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Civil Administration – Israel’s military government for the occupied territories – had received no complaints about shootings of civilians, and no investigation was underway.

Yet the family of the Palestinian television journalist Mahmoud Al Adjrami said that when Safa was struck Israeli troops were occupying their house, 90 metres across a stretch of open space from the window she was struck through.

They say the invading soldiers smashed up their tile floor to get sand to fill sand-bags for firing positions in first-floor windows facing the Abu Seif house. The discarded sand, together with the smashed door and tiles, spent bullet cases and heaps of Israeli ration boxes and discarded snack wrappers, were still in the house a day after the troops withdrew.

It is standard Israeli military procedure during tank raids to take over civilian homes as snipers’ nests and hideouts, holding the occupants at gunpoint. According to the testimonies of victims and from Israeli soldiers themselves, this process can frequently involve theft, vandalism and violence against unarmed civilians.

The 15 women and children of the extended al Adjrami family were herded together into a single room for 19 hours, while the two adult men had their wrists tightly bound with plastic cable ties. Mahmoud’s sister Naima, 33, said the soldiers gave them water but no food.

According to Mahmoud’s brother, Mamdoeh, the soldiers ransacked the wardrobes and cupboards, stealing two gold bracelets, four mobile phones and the equivalent of $8600.

Next door Jabr Zidane, 52, a taxi driver, said troops had taken over his house for 24 hours, looting jewellery and four mobile phones. He shows visitors the remains of a smashed television and stereo, a broken floor, discarded sand and Hebrew-labelled army rations.

In another home soldiers allegedly stole two large gold bracelets and $500 from Jumaa Abed Rabbo, 40, and his wife and eight children.

“I was sitting with my hands tied with plastic ties for 24 hours. I asked if my family could use the kitchen to get water and food. They refused and so we didn’t eat for 24 hours,” Abed Rabbo said.

The professed purpose of last weekend’s raid into Gaza was to kill or capture Palestinian terrorists involved in firing rockets into Israel, to capture or destroy equipment and to gather intelligence.

Yet all four of the families mentioned in this article are linked to Fatah, the Palestinian faction favoured by Israel and the United States over Hamas.

Abed Rabbo and al Adjrami are members of the Presidential Guard of the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas – the key weapon in what the US magazine Vanity Fair said last week was a failed attempt by the Bush Administration last year to overthrow the Palestinian Authority’s elected Hamas government.

According to documents and testimony unearthed by the magazine, the administration coerced Mr Abbas into reneging on a power sharing agreement that paved the way for possible Hamas-backed peace talks with Israel.

Instead, new Presidential Guard factions trained by US soldiers were to be used to mount a coup against Hamas in Gaza with US-sponsored weapons shipped through Israel and Egypt.

Israel’s foot soldiers seem to be unaware of this relationship.

“They were punching me, saying, ‘You are a member of Hamas. You are a member of Fatah. Where do you work?”‘ Mamdoeh al Adjrami said. “I said, ‘I work in the Presidential Guard’ … They kept hitting me whenever they liked.”

Jabr Zidane’s son Mohammed, 21, was hardly able to speak on Monday, drugged with painkillers to ease the pain from beatings and from shoulders, elbows and hands swollen from more than a day in tight plastic restraints.

He said he was beaten, questioned, used as a human shield by Israeli troops, taken to Israeli territory, and released on the border.

Mr Zidane said he did not know why Mohammed, an unemployed stonemason, was singled out for interrogation and abduction.

“It makes no sense to us. Maybe it’s because he’s the only one with a beard.”

This article ran Monday in the Sydney Morning Herald.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:
September 25, 2018
Kenneth Surin
Fact-Finding Labour’s “Anti-Semitism” Crisis
Charles Pierson
Destroying Yemen as Humanely as Possible
James Rothenberg
Why Not Socialism?
Patrick Cockburn
How Putin Came Out on Top in Syria
John Grant
“Awesome Uncontrollable Male Passion” Meets Its Match
Guy Horton
Burma: Complicity With Evil?
Steve Stallone
Jujitsu Comms
William Blum
Bombing Libya: the Origins of Europe’s Immigration Crisis
John Feffer
There’s a New Crash Coming
Martha Pskowski
“The Emergency Isn’t Over”: the Homeless Commemorate a Year Since the Mexico City Earthquake
Fred Baumgarten
Ten Ways of Looking at Civility
Dean Baker
The Great Financial Crisis: Bernanke and the Bubble
Binoy Kampmark
Parasitic and Irrelevant: The University Vice Chancellor
September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will There Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail