What is happening in Gaza ?
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Gaza City: Today, Oct. 13th., is the 15th day of Israeli occupation army bombardment of Jabalia refugee camp. So far, there are more than 125 people killed, many of them civilians, by tanks shells and Apache helicopter missiles.
Jabalia Refugee camp is one of the most crowded camps within the Gaza Strip, located in the north of Gaza Strip, and home to more than 120,000 refugees. From downtown Gaza, one could clearly hear the sounds of explosions and heavy machine guns from Tanks and Apaches fired at the people of the camp. Residents in the camp live in harsh, difficult and congested areas where any fired tank shell or missile is almost certain to create havoc on the helpless residents.
This incursion is probably the biggest Israeli one so far and one of the deadliest. No one can enter the camp at the moment because the army is surrounding the camp from the northern end and also due to flying planes equipped with missiles ready to be fired at any moment.
Soldiers have occupied rooftops of houses and set up sniper positions shooting at the area below. In an incident where one single tank shell on Oct. 6th was fired at one family consisting of nine people. Many of the children were injured and one baby killed. The scene was televised on the local TV stations where faces of family members were covered with dust and blood. The father, an owner of a small brick factory, looked deeply distressed and shocked. The mother was badly injured and now receiving treatment at the Alaouda hospital in Jabalia.
In addition, Israel closed the entry gate into the Gaza strip from the north and completely separated the entire Gaza Strip into three isolated areas. It is no exaggeration to say that the situation is about a complete seize from land, sea and air.
Another tragic development going on is for Palestinian men under 35 years old. Israeli occupation authorities have been preventing this group of age from traveling abroad where many of them are students studying at overseas universities. The situation has been going on for many months now. Those students tried for weeks to protest in front of a UN office in Gaza and set up a protest tent in an attempt to draw international attention to their plight. But nothing has changed so far. Many students have even camping, as well, at the border crossing everyday searching for a glimpse of hope to allow them to go through in order to go to their universities.
Within the Gaza Strip, thousands of people from the south of Gaza like employees, students, business people, traders, taxi drivers, and others can not commute from city to city. As military tanks block the main road, commuters found themselves stuck and unable to travel due to the presence of tanks. People from the ・middle area・of Gaza had to look for ways other than the asphalt road where the tanks and machine guns are setting. People walk on the beach below to avoid Israeli tanks and snipers positioned by the roadside near Ntizarim Jewish settlement. Shooting incidents always take place. One time, a woman was shot in the foot as she was walking the beach going home from work. Few young men had to carry her walking more than half an hour to take her to the nearest car waiting at the other end of the road away from Israeli tanks.
Another day witnessed the shooting of a horse as it was pulling a cart with people setting on it. One Israeli soldier shot and killed the horse directly with many bullets. Those who were riding had to flee the scene running a way under the sound of bullets flying over their heads. The horse was left bleeding to death where it is still remaining till this moment.
This risky and deadly daily walk on the beach has become a major worry for the commuters who only want to reach their work, universities, schools, etc.
Some farmers had to carry their produce from one end to the other on horse carts on the beach and re-loading it again on a waiting truck at another end.
In Rafah, one girl, aged 13 yrs old, Iman Alhoms, was shot twenty times by Israeli soldiers on her to school in Rafah on last Monday, Oct. 4th. The soldiers sent a tank to take the body of the girl and kept her in the bunker till the Red Cross and took the dead girl from the bunker.
Israel claims that these ・operation are there to go after terrorists.・
Palestinian political leadership announced on Oct. 11th. that international community should do something to stop Israeli ・war crimes against defenseless civilian population.・SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes "> The Arab League General Secretary, Amro Mousa, said that Israel receives encouraging signals from big powers to keep on its aggression on the Palestinian people. Mr. Mousa was referring to the US when it exercised its veto power at the UN security council ,about a week ago, against a proposal which called for protection of the Palestinian people at Jabalia Refugee Camp in Particular and for Israel to withdrew its tanks out of the area.
Reproted by B. Samed
Gaza, Oct. 13th. 04.