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Rafah: Successful Start to Anti-Terror Campaign

Rafah: Successful Start to Anti-Terror Campaign in Tel e-Sultan

This evening 9 international activists (from the US and the UK) began a campaign against a curfew that the Israeli Army of Occupation has imposed upon the Tel e-Sultan area of Rafah for the last three weeks.

The location and timing of the action was significant to the ISM because it was two weeks ago, on the 16th of March, that the American ISM activist Rachel Corrie and a 50 year old Palestinian man were murdered in Rafah by Israeli soldiers. A week prior to the murders, the Israeli Army had declared that anyone who ventured out after 6 pm onto the street in the Tel e-Sultan area of Rafah that faces the Al-Mawassi base would be shot on sight. The curfew time was later changed it to 5 pm.

Upon hearing of the murder of ISM activist Rachel Corrie on the 16th of March, Ahmed (whose family have requested that the ISM withhold his full name) walked out onto his doorstep to smoke a cigarette at 5.15 pm. Although his house was not on the street under curfew but an adjoining side street, the 50 year old street cleaner who worked for the Rafah Municipal Authority was shot in the head by a sniper firing from Al-Mawassi.

Ahmed is one of several Palestinians (including children) who have been shot in Tel e-Sultan since the proclamation of the curfew, which has also forced people to stay in their homes from late-afternoon, close their businesses early and refrain from attending the sunset and evening prayers at the local mosque. To further terrorise the people of Tel e-Sultan, a tank has been parked next to an orphanage and has been firing its machine-gun down the street at random times every night.

At the request of the community, the activists, carrying megaphones, banners and wearing bright orange jackets, assembled on the street at 5.15 pm to defy the curfew,. As six o' clock came and went and the Israelis refrained from firing, the residents of the neighborhood began to leave their homes to join them and attend to their affairs.

The activists continued the action until 8.30 pm before retiring. They intend to continue defying the curfew as part of their ongoing campaign against Israeli terrorism and in tribute to their fallen comrade Rachel Corrie who was killed while resisting a home demolition as part of this campaign.

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