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The Destruction of Rafah...

The Destruction of Rafah...

Truely the response of the international community to the near complete destruction of Rafah is shameful. Thousands of Palestinian civilians have been terrorized, over 1200 left homeless, over 100 injured and 16 killed in Rafah over the last 6 days.

In the West Bank Palestinian farmers are told they now need permits to be on their land; they try to reason with the Israeli soldiers who have near total control of their lives. This morning at one of the gates in Jayyous, soldiers' orders were to only let farmers over the age of 28 pass to their land. One hour later, with no explanation or apparent reason, that order changed to only those over the age of 38. The farmers that didn't get through to farm their land today will try again tomorrow.... even those that are still detained into the night by the Israeli military. Some farmers try to sleep in tents and sheds on their land to avoid this harassment, though the Israeli military has told them that this is illegal....

Yesterday a 17-year old boy mentally disabled boy, Amjad, was taken by the Israeli military from his village of Jayyous. He was released 12 hours later after being beaten by Israeli soldiers....


THE DESTRUCTION OF RAFAH..

More Palestinians are killed as the Al Barazil occupation continues

Saturday 18th October, 2003

Mohammed Q.

The Israeli occupation army has been rampaging throughout Rafah for the past two weeks, taking advantage of nearly complete American acquiescence and international silence. The ongoing wave of Israeli military attacks on Rafah neighbourhoods has thusfar resulted in the killing of 16 Palestinians and the injuring of over 100 others. Israeli tanks and bulldozers have destroyed entire neighbourhoods, leaving hundreds of civilians homeless.

The occupation of the Al Barazil refugee camp in Rafah is now into its third day and more deaths have been reported. In the early hours of Saturday morning, the Israeli Army carried out more attacks against Palestinian civilians in the Al Barazil refugee camp. At approximately 3:00 a. m. Israeli tanks opened random fire everywhere inside the area and we could hear a number of huge explosions which we later realized were coming from the Israeli side. Sources at the Al-Najar Hospital in Rafah said that this morning, a woman and her son were murdered by the Israeli invaders when a tank shell was fired into the family's home. Wedad Alagramy, 53, was hit by tank shell shrapnel in the chest and shoulder; Her 20 year-old son, Husam, was also killed; Both were inside their home. The remaining family members all sustained injuries.

A leader of the southern Gaza military wing of Hamas was killed today at 5 a.m. Tareq Abu Elhessen, 39 years old, was shot in the chest with several bullets. In addition to the three dead, nine other Palestinians were injured, three seriously. Dr. Ali Musa, the director of the hospital, described the killing of civilians in Rafah on a daily basis by the IOF as an "extra-judicial execution."

ISMers in Rafah managed to phone one of the embargoed people inside Al Barazil on Thursday 16th October. He told us that Israeli soldiers announced with loud speakers that the Palestinian civilians in Al Barazil had to evacuate their homes, as part of a process which would result in the destruction of these homes. On Friday 17th October sources from inside Al Barazil informed ISM Rafah that the Israeli Army had demolished two houses, one belonging to Kawthar Abu Elwan and containing four families, and the other belonging to Naseer Aljamal and containing two families. They also destroyed Al-Noor Computer Centre, belonging to Abdelazeez Ewedah, as well as the ice cream factory and two other shops belonging to Lotfi Abu Taha. The Israeli Army raided the three-storey home of Khaleel El-Jamal forcing the family members into a single room on the ground floor and taking up sniper positions. They did the same with the four-storey home of Tawfiq Barbakh and the three-storey home of Tala Temraz. That morning two Palestinians died after being shot by Israeli soldiers. Waleed Abdelal, 20 years old, was shot in the head and Waleed Abdel Wahab, 36 years old, was shot in the neck and chest.

The people of Hay Salaam and Al Barazil have been suffering food shortages over the last 48 hours and that the Israeli Army has refused all attempts made by authorities in the town to get supplies in. Locals are reporting that the Israeli military has not allowed the Red Crescent, along with representatives from the Rafah Municipality and the UN, to get food supplies to the civilians inside both of the stricken areas and that these teams came under fire from Israeli tanks while attempting, though no one was hurt. The Israeli army is still in Hay Salaam, maintaining strict control of the area. Residents are now enduring a fifth day of severe restrictions. They have been trapped in their homes and help is urgently needed.

The Israeli military blew up a house this afternoon in Hay Salaam. I was about 200 metres away when I heard the enormous blast. Sometimes, on our way to Abu Ahmed's house, we used to follow the road that goes to the graveyard and then turn right. The house was on this road.

In Yibnah today it was even scarier. A tank positioned by the Towheed Mosque opened fire. The local journalist I was with and his people ran into a small street inside the camp. I was not able to run so fast because I was a bit far away, so I hid behind a pile of sand 'till they stopped. We could hear the fired bullets passing overhead. I am very surprised that no-one was hit in the head among the people who were in the street, I guess about 15 to 20 people. Some got down to the ground. I could only see the journalist and his people when they ran. They fired about five bullets at once and they stopped for a few seconds, then they fired more, about three or five, but for sure it was at a bit less than two metres from the ground and it was M-16 bullets from a soldier in the tank.

For more information in Rafah: Mohammed - +972-67-741-662 Laura - +972-67-850-734

For pictures, see: www.palsolidarity.org

For previous reports from Rafah, please see: http://www.palsolidarity.org/reports/journals_reports.php?area> http://www.palsolidarity.org/reports/journals_reports.php?area

Please help the children of Rafah: http://www.palsolidarity.org/pressreleases/PR_18Oct03_07_06_05GazaKinderUSA.htm

TAKE ACTION!!:

Please register your protest! Our governments are staying silent, but let them know that we're not. Here are a few numbers in Israel, the US and the UK. We apologize for not listing all government contact information. We ask you to please look up the appropriate addresses in your country.

For Israel

Israeli Foreign Minister, Silvan Shalom Fax: 011-972-2-5303704 e-mail: sar@mofa.gov.il

Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz Fax: 011-972-3-6916940, or 011-972-3-6976990 e-mail: sar@mod.gov.il

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon fax: 011-972-2-566-4838 or 011-972-2-651-3955 or 011-972-2-651-2631

Coordinator of Activities in the Occupied Territories (Yusuf Mishlab) Phone: +972-3-697-5302 Fax: +972-3-697-6306

Israeli Embassies http://www.embassyworld.com/embassy/israel1.htm

Israeli Embassies in the US

Washington DC

3514 International Dr. N.W.

Washington DC 20008

Chargé d'Affaires a.i./Deputy Chief of Mission

Mr. Rafael Barak

Ambassador's Office

Gershon Kedar, Counselor

Tel: (202) 364-5590

Tel: (202) 364-5578

Fax: (202) 364-5560

Defense and Armed Forces Attaché

Tel: (202) 364-5403

Fax: (202) 364-5406

Major-General Moshe Evry Sukenik

Political Section

Tel: (202)364-5581/2

Fax: (202)364-5490

Ron Prossor Counselor for Political Affairs

Benjamin Dagan Minister Counselor for Middle Eastern Affairs

Jacob Dayan First Secretary

Homeland Security

Dr. Yossi Draznin, Minister Counselor

Tel: (202) 364-5608

Fax: (202) 364-5491

E-mail: mod@israelemb.org

Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations in New York

http://www.israel-un.org/

Consulate General of Israel in New York, United States of America

URL: http://www.undp.org/missions/israel/

800 Second Avenue,

New York, NY 10017 (15th floor)

Tel: (212) 499-5510

Fax: (212) 499-5515/6

For the United States

US Congress Representatives, call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or 1-800-648-3516.

Also call the State Department and demand action.

STATE DEPARTMENT 1-202-647-5150

President George W. Bush, Fax 202-456-2461, e-mail president@whitehouse.gov .

For UK

Please call THE FOREIGN OFFICE 020 7008 1500, Also please contact your MP and Prime Minister.

For Canada:

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bill Graham, House of Commons, Ottawa ON K1A 0A6; Fax 613-996-3443 Graham.B@parl.gc.ca

In England

Rt. Hon Jack Straw MP, The Foreign Secretary, FCO, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AH

Phone: +44 20 7270 2059 Fax: +44 20 7839 2417

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT www.palsolidarity.org

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