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From ISM Rafah, Gaza Strip: A Shaheed at Mabaar

From ISM Rafah, Gaza Strip: A Shaheed at Mabaar

A Shaheed at Mabaar
8th December, 2003
By Mohammed

At about 8.00 am on Saturday 6th December, members of ISM Rafah were alerted to a situation at the Maabar border crossing into Egypt. They were informed that a young man had been shot and killed by Israeli soldiers near Mabaar and his family and an ambulance crew had attempted to recover his body but had been shot at from a tank which had parked next to his body.

Three activists - one Swedish, one American and one Palestinian - went immediately to Mabaar. They arrived at the site and saw the tank present where the body was located. Dozens of people were gathering on the scene. The activists tried to speak to the family of the dead man, but they were very distressed. People in the area called upon them to take action.

The Swedish and US embassies were contacted before the two internationals put on orange jackets and approached the body whilst trying to avoid the tank. They went forwards with about ten Palestinian women carrying an ambulance stretcher. They got very close and the soldiers did not fire, but the tank advanced and parked between the people and the body.

The soldiers in the tank shouted through a megaphone, "You people step back....if you move forward anymore you will expose your lives to extreme danger." However, the internationals and the women proceeded cautiously. The Swedish activist shouted loudly to the soldiers in the tank, trying to identify himself to them. There was still no shooting.

An official from the Palestinian Authority then announced that he had just received a signal from the Israelis that they would submit the body within five minutes. The group of Palestinian women and internationals were called back. As they returned, the tank withdrew from the site, allowing the body to be recovered. It was taken by ambulance to the Abu Yousef Al-Najar hospital in Rafah. The ISM activists accompanied a second ambulance to the hospital.

Sixteen year-old Jehad Alakhras worked at Mabaar as a baggage handler. He had been shot multiple times in different parts of the body, particularly the head.

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led nonviolent initiative supported by International Peace Activists from all over the world. ISM aims towards ending the Israeli Occupation in Palestine through nonviolent means.

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