The PA’s deputy minister of foreign affairs Taysir Jaradat said that embassy staff found Zayed lying in the garden covered in blood, the Ma’an News Agency reported.
Ahmed, another brother of Zayed, told Ma’an that the killers “threw him out of the embassy’s balcony, killing him.”
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas reportedly ordered an investigation into Zayed’s death. Issa Qaraqe, the PA’s prisoners affairs chief, accused the Israeli spy agency Mossad of killing Zayed.
Zayed escaped from Israeli detention 25 years ago and had lived in Bulgaria for more than two decades. In December, Israel demanded he be extradited, so he sought shelter at the embassy.
“Omar’s blood will not be wasted in vain,” his brother Hamza said, adding that those responsible for Zayed’s assassination “must pay the price.”
But the family insists that Israel is not the only one to blame.
Zayed was being “threatened by some individuals at the embassy – especially the ambassador – who demanded him to leave the embassy,” his brother Ahmed told Ma’an. Ahmed also accused security guards present at the embassy of “collaborating” with his brother’s assassination.
Zayed’s brother Hamza told Al-Hadaf that Palestinian Authority ambassador Ahmad al-Madbouh said to Zayed that they would kill him by poisoning his food and that a plane would be waiting to return him to Israel.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine accused the Mossad of murdering Zayed but also blamed “the Bulgarian government and security forces who pursued Comrade Nayef Zayed for arrest and imprisonment for over three months.”
The Marxist group said the PA was responsible “for failing to protect Comrade Nayef Zayed from assassination,” even as “the highest officials of the Palestinian Authority met with the highest officials of the Bulgarian state in Ramallah, with no apparent demands made for our pursued comrade.”
It was reported in the Tel Aviv daily Haaretz that Zayed perhaps “fell from a high floor.” The Israeli foreign ministry said that “although Israel had asked for his extradition, it learned of his death in the media and is currently studying the information.”
Zayed had been given a life sentence by an Israeli military court for his alleged involvement in the killing of an Israeli settler, for which he was arrested in 1986.
Zayed launched a hunger strike in 1990. While being treated in a Bethlehem hospital, he escaped Israeli custody and fled the country.
Zayed reached Bulgaria in 1994, after moving around the Middle East in secret. His wife Rania and their three children are Bulgarian citizens.
On 15 December, the Israeli embassy in Bulgaria officially requested his extradition. He was given 72 hours to turn himself in, but Zayed refused.
Embassies enjoy protection under the 1961 Vienna convention, and Bulgaria recognized Palestine as a state in 1988.
History of kidnapping and assassination
Israel has long targeted Palestinians all over the world. The scholar, resistance activist and novelist Ghassan Kanafani was assassinated by an Israeli car bomb in Lebanon in 1972.
Dirar Abu Sisi, the deputy engineer of the only power plant in the Gaza Strip, was kidnapped by the Mossad while on an overnight train from Kharkiv to Kiev in February 2011.
He was handcuffed and tortured, forced into a coffin and deported by a plane to Israel where he is now held captive.
Palestinian toddler Ali Dawabsha burned to death in an arson attack by Israeli Settlers
Overnight on Friday, 31 July, a group of masked Jewish settlers threw firebombs through a window of the Dawabsha family house in Kufr Douma, near Nablus. They fell in the bedroom where the whole family had been sleeping peacefully, setting the house on fire. The arsonists left graffiti, reading “revenge” and “long live the Messiah”, alongside a Star of David on the walls as their footnotes to this atrocious attack. They then fled, according to local witnesses, to the illegal settlement of Ma’aleh Ephraim, where approximately 1,800 armed settlers live under the security of the Israeli occupation forces.
18-month-old Ali Dawabsha was found a charred body. The rest of the family, Ali’s parents and his four-year-old brother, survived the fire with critical injuries. The aftermath inside the house is horrifying: utter destruction and black walls, burnt clothes and photos of the family laid on the ground, among them Ali’s smiling photos and his tiny white bib reading “Good morning Mama”.
This Israeli attack is another crime in the never-ending Nakba the Palestinian people have endured since Zionism’s inception. Ali is another Mohammed Abu Khudeir, who was burnt alive by a group of settlers in Jerusalem on 2 July 2014. He is another Palestinian child falling prey to the Israeli murder machine, as Palestinians commemorate the first anniversary of Israel’s 51-day offensive on Gaza, which it called ‘Operation Protective Edge’, during the summer of 2014. Over 2,200 people were brutally killed, mostly civilians, including 551 children.
This morning Israeli leaders rushed to feign humanity and condemn the arson, calling it a “terror attack”. The Times of Israel reported that Natanyahu expressed his “shock” at what he called a “horrific, heinous act”, before saying, “The State of Israel deals forcefully with terror, regardless of who the perpetrators are.” It also reported that Netanyahu’s remarks were echoed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and the Israeli Defense Forces. At the same time, heavily armed Israeli forces spread across the West Bank to employ collective-punishment policies against Palestinians and prevent any rage from being expressed. As I write this, several injuries to Palestinians were reported after Ali Dawabsha’s funeral. Update at 11 pm: One of the injured people, 14-year-old Laith al-Khaldi just passed away.
As a Palestinian who is well-informed about the history of bloodshed and dispossession inflected on Palestinians who collectively bear the trauma of our encounter with Zionism, and one who carries the memories of many brutal Israeli attacks on Gaza, this claimed “shock” didn’t hit me. It rather outraged me at Israel’s crocodile tears and pretentious humanitarianism, despite its brutal military occupation of West Bank, the continued expansion of its illegal settlements, the suffocating siege of the Gaza Strip that remains in ruins after Israel’s genocidal war last summer, and its ongoing assertion of itself as a “Jewish state”, not a state for its citizens, as it discriminates against 1948 Palestinian citizens of Israel, or what its leaders call a “potential fifth column”.
The world should not look at today’s appalling incident as a singular event. It is another link in the Zionist settler-colonial mentality which always sees Palestinians as an existential threat, dehumanises us and constantly views us as inferior and marginal. Israel cannot absolve its responsible for these settlers’ acts, nor pretend they don’t represent its own warped morality.
Israel is the one to blame, not only because it encourages illegal settlements to expand, arms settlers with advanced weapons and further protects them with its “defence” forces, but also because these actions are an extension of the longstanding Zionist enterprise that, as much as it sought to dehumanise Palestinians, in return dehumanised Israeli society. This is evident in the Israeli cultural discourse, which celebrates Israel and portrays it as a “heroic,” while ignoring the political and humanitarian costs “others” endure due to its “successes”. The persistent portrayal of Jews as “victims,” facing “hostile” and “terrorist” Palestinians, also feeds this mentality. Even Israeli children’s books are exploited to demonise Palestinians and Jew as victims against terrorist “Arabs”.
Today’s attack cannot be decontextualized. It is deeply connected to Israel’s celebrated “War of Independence,” which declared Israel as a Jewish state after a systematic process of ethnic cleansing that ranged between massacres, like that of Deir Yassin, to psychological violence, and made almost a million Palestinians refugees. These acts of terror reproduce the same mentality that led to the Kafr Kassim massacre of 1956, whose perpetrators were pardoned and freed after a year. An Israeli border police unit, for no reason whatsoever, opened fire at Palestinians returning from their farms, unaware of the new military curfew imposed on their village. The gunfire killed 49, almost half of them children. It is also the same mentality that led to the second mass expulsion of Palestinians in 1967.
According to an Israeli soldier whose testimony appeared in Haolam Haze, 10 October 1967:
We fired such shots every night on men, women and children. Even during moonlit nights when we could identify the people, that is distinguish between men, women, and children. In the mornings we searched the area and, by explicit order from the officer on the spot, shot the living, including those who hid or were wounded, again including the women and children.
And again, it is the same attitude that blames Palestinian civilians in Gaza for the collective punishment against them and periodic attacks that are, by Israel’s own dehumanising description, nothing more than “mowing the lawn” . The last Gaza attack was only the latest episode in this ongoing war of alleged “self-defence”.
The arson attack should be seen within this context of the Zionist state’s history of negating Palestinians and relentless attacks against our very existence. Most international media covered it as “unique” before emphasising Israeli leaders’ condemnation of it, suggesting that it was not representative of the state. It is absolutely representative and should be received with outrage, not against setters’ violence, but against their host regime that has been built and lives on terror, yet continues to be celebrated in the West’s political and cultural discourse, feeding its impunity. We should demand not just denunciation of this atrocious attack against 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha, but delegitimization of Israel and its Zionist ideology that produces and endorses such violence, and has long justified it morally and politically.
My martyred uncle Mohammed Abu-Louz and his 2-year-old son
I can almost hear my dad’s voice breaking in tears echoing in my ears when I called him on August 13th 2014 following the murder of our neighbour Hazem Abu-Murad who grew up next door to our home and was like a son for my Dad and his best companion whenever he sat at the front door of our home. Along with five others, Hazem was killed while trying to diffuse an unexploded 500-kilogram Israeli missile in Beit-Lahya. I can still recall the unspeakable shock that my family suffered on the first day of Al-Fitir Eid over the loss of my uncle Mohammed Abu-Louz who was killed leaving behind a very young widow with a 2-year old son and 3-year-old daughter who were too young to comprehend what was going around them and were dressed with new Eid clothes and constantly asking when their father would be back to give them candies and gifts.
I can almost hear my mum’s shaky voice on the phone saying whenever I called, “We’re okay, thank God. Don’t worry.” Continuous bombing rumbled in the background, almost every second. Sometimes, right after I heard the terrifying sounds of explosions, the call disconnected. That would drive me mad as dark thoughts, all about death, destruction and loss, filled my mind. I would try endlessly to call back as panic overcame me. Only when I heard their voices again could I calm down and breathe, or at least sigh as attempts to keep myself together failed. During those traumatizing times, sleep was the last thing on my mind. If I slept, I dozed unintentionally on my computer or my sofa. But I woke from these accidental naps terrified, almost out of breath, thinking that anything could have happened while I slept. I would run to call my family, and could only relax once someone answered the phone. I would break into tears that were a mixture of conflicting emotions: fear, trauma and happiness. Their voices on the phone indicated they were still alive, or not dead yet.
These fears filled me for 51 days and nights, but intensified more as the war grew crazier, more brutal, then beyond brutal. My days and nights merged so I no longer kept track of time. It became meaningless. Food lost its taste. Even rest, though I was exhausted, became undesirable. I spent 51 days in isolation, sitting in front of my computer and phone, watching Al-Mayadeen coverage, and at the same time listening to Palestinian radio channels like Al-Quds, Al-Aqsa and Al-Sha’b online. To keep my sanity, I wrote on social media, sometimes filling my sketchbook with black and white, or marching through Istanbul’s streets with a group of Palestinians to express our anger. We chanted as loudly as we could for justice and holding Israel accountable for its crimes, for stopping the attack on Gaza and the bloodshed. Looking outside my window in Istanbul used to feel like a slap in the face as I saw typical, ordinary days, as if nothing was happening in Palestine and no one was dying almost every moment.
At times, I felt that even though I was privileged to study outside the Gaza ghetto, where the lives of everyone, regardless of age of gender, were threatened by the Zionist murder machine, it was harder to bear than the times I was there, experiencing attacks first hand. But I think that was because I had been there when death was everywhere and bombings surrounded us. I knew what it was like, and that was what made me go mad. We had survived many attacks, but that did not mean we would survive all of them.
The last Gaza massacre was beyond brutal. The Israeli occupation crossed all red lines with its immoral and inhumane measures. Neighborhoods were completely destroyed. Families were wiped out, with not even one member surviving to pass on the stories and ambitions of those who were murdered. But the international mainstream media had reduced this devastating cost that the Palestinian people endured into numbers in its headlines or even between the lines.
A year has passed since the ceasefire was declared after 2,200 Palestinians, most of them civilians, died in front of the whole world as Western powers parroted their commitment to Israel’s right to self-defense. Meanwhile the death toll rose higher and higher. Self-defense against whom? Numbers themselves tell the whole story clearly. 2,200 Palestinians, most of them civilians, a third children, were killed in Gaza, and more than 100,000 buildings totally destroyed, while 73 Israelis, nearly all soldiers, died. This is an occupation against the occupied, not equal armies fighting a ‘conflict.’ Ours are people calling for their legitimate rights, rejecting brutal living conditions that resemble a slow death sentence under a suffocating siege, and resisting oppression that has lasted 67 years by a colonial power that treats them as less than human and continues to deny their most basic rights while attacking their very existence, identity, culture and history.
A year has passed and the piles of rubble remain as cruel reminders of all our people endured during the 51-day onslaught, its devastating aftermath and how little progress has been made since then. Reconstruction has barely begun. Thousands still live in makeshift shelters, leading a life of uncertainty and struggling daily for survival. I am sure every Palestinian, especially those from Gaza, is still traumatized. What we survived during the summer of 2014 will take a lifetime to heal. It will always remain like a scar on our psyche until justice for the victims who died is achieved, and the freedom for which we paid this huge price is gained, until Israel is held accountable, denaturalized and treated for what it is in reality: a settler-colonial state.
But not only Israel is responsible for what our people have endured. It is a responsibility shared by the whole international community, who give Israel a green light to cross all red lines. Israel’s impunity is fortified by a world that not only watches silently, but is proactive in its unconditional support for Israel’s crimes. International solidarity with Palestine has to move beyond mere sentiment to serious political actions that fight the policies of governments who support Israel and all it does.
Do not allow your governments to continue their support of Israel in your name! Have your say! Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is a tactic that is growing all over the world and effectively threatening Israel. Empower it more wherever you are and help spread the voice of justice. And always remember that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
A local magazine’s picture features my grandmother Tamam shouting at an Israeli soldiers during a curfew imposed on Jabalia Refugee Camp during the first Intifada
Edward Said once eloquently wrote,
To be sure, no single Palestinian can be said to feel what most other Palestinians feel: ours has been too various and scattered a fate for that sort of correspondence. But there is no doubt that we do in fact form a community, if at heart a community built on suffering and exile.
This shared state of suffering and exile has started since 1948 when the Zionist state of Israel waged its so-called War of Independence, which Palestinians call al-Nakba. Then, the series of Palestinian tragedies of uprootedness, dispossession and state of permanent temporality of the exile began; more than 800,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their villages and currently number more than six million Palestinians dispersed within the Occupied Territories and in exile, mostly in the neighbouring countries such as Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
As Palestinians are commemorating the 67th of Nakba, my grandmother, whose no longer present in my life, feels more present in my thoughts and closer to my heart than any other day. As children, my grandmother brought up my siblings and me while my parents went to work. The more I became aware of the challenging life she led, the more I admired her. She was truly a fighter. The picture above was shot during the first Intifada when Jabalia Refugee Camp was under curfew and no one was allowed to enter the camp. This picture was printed on the front page of Al-Ayyam, a local magazine with a caption reading “Palestinian women arguing with an Israeli soldier at the entrance of the camp”. Armless as she stood without any fear, shouting powerfully at an armed-to-teeth Israeli soldier who ironically seem scared of her. She was filled with anger for being prohibited to enter and go to her home where my grandfather was dying. Dad saved the picture in spite of my grandmother’s rejection. She was frightened of this picture as she thought, “the Israeli occupation can do anything. A picture can make you a convict”.
My generation, the third-generation refugees, was deeply blueprinted with the traumatic events of the Nakba, which for Palestinians, is not only a tragic historical event that resides in the past, only to be commemorated once a year with events that include demonstrations, clashes with the Israeli forces, art exhibits and national festivals among other things. The memories of the old days in our green villages were our day and night stories that we were brought up hearing, our lullabies that always put us to sleep. I am no exception.
Since Nakba, my grandmother led a life of exile, which Edward Said described as, “the unbearable rift forced between a human being and a native place, between the self and its true home”. It always felt to me that she was incomplete, torn in between her physical place Jabalia Refugee Camp, and the place that she was dispossessed and exiled from Beit-Jerja. Nevertheless, my grandmother embraced the dream to return to Beit-Jerja until the last day of her life. She made sure her grandchildren memorize the stories she always repeated of the old days without any boredom as if stressing, “Never forget!”
“It was never one Nakba,” my grandmother used to say asserting that it was never a one-off event that happened in 1948. The Nakba is experienced instead as the uninterrupted process of Israeli settler-colonialism and domination that was given continuity by the 1967 occupation, and which every aspect of daily Palestinian life is affected by. Growing up hearing our grandmothers recount the life they had before, the dispossessed lands that most would never see again, has formed the collective memory of the Palestinian people. My grandmother described a peaceful life in green fields of citrus and olive trees, the tastes, the sounds, the smells that remained only in her memories in our village Beit-Jirja which was violently emptied of its inhabitants and razed to the ground in 1948 like hundreds of other villages. My grandmother, then, was a pregnant mother with a 2-year-old boy when she lived the trauma of the Nakba, a fact that made her deliver her second child before time as she was in panic making her way to northern Gaza.
At the beginning, she thought it would be a matter of few weeks and in no time, she would return and harvest the crops of olives, grapes and citrus fruits that they left behind. But they never did, or – to keep the hope alive – let’s say they didn’t return yet. Though illiterate, she understood the aim behind the United Nations’ ‘humanitarian’ work, which, she argued, wasn’t to ‘solve’ the problem of the displaced people back them, but to sentence them to a life-long refugee status. She could foresee that the aids that the UN provided were part of a systematic process aimed at making Palestinian refugees forget about their political rights and strip them from their past, a deliberate process that seeks to get them locked in the moment waiting to receive some help or charity to survive.
Similarly, the Palestinian intellectual Jabra I. Jabra, who was born in the same year as my grandmother in 1920, reflected on his memories of Nakba and in a very bitter language he wrote, “the dislodged population was to be deliberately called ‘refugees’” and that “the horrific political and human issue would be twisted that the maximum response it might elicit from a then weary world would be some act of charity, if at all”, and “we would be lumped together with them (the Second World War refugees), at worst another demographic case for the United Nations”, and the systematic destruction and ethnic cleansing of Palestine would be “soon to be hailed by hack novelists and propagandists in America and Europe as a heroic ‘return’”. Then the victims, who paid a devastating price for a crime committed in Europe, will be told: “You’re refugees, don’t make a nuisance of yourselves: we’ll do something about it. Refugee aid after a few months will trickle in: you’ll be numbered and housed in tattered tents and tin shacks. And try and forget, please. Hang on to your rocks wherever you are, and try to forget”.
Zionism has been clearly concerned about the Palestinian refugees whose negation is the most consistent thread running through Zionism. It has desperately attempted to erase them from the dominant narrative that reduced the settler-colonial Zionist project to a ‘heroic return’ and a mere ‘re-claiming’ of a land originally promised to them by God. Israel’s fourth prime minister, Golda Meir who notoriously once said, “There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed”, assumed that time will make the Palestinian refugees forget about their right to return: ‘The old will die and the young will forget’. Similarly, Ben-Gurion once bluntly said, “We must do everything to ensure that they never do return!” However, Palestinians, generation after generation, have demonstrated that forgetting was deemed just impossible and unthinkable. Thus, it is no wonder that the issues of the Palestinian refugees, as well as the Palestinian citizens of ‘Israel’ are the ones that electrify Israel the most.
As Jabra I. Jabra once stressed, “The Palestinian may still be an exile and a wanderer, but his voice is raised in anger, not in lamentation”. Currently, Palestinians, including intellectuals, artists, journalists and activists, are dispersed everywhere, doing every thing possible to make the issue of Palestine reclaim its centrality in the world’s political arena. The Palestinian struggle for liberation has become a global struggle thanks to the collective efforts of justice believers around the world. This anger shall keep resonating as long as Palestinians keep enduring the injustices that were brought to them due to the existence of the Zionist state of Israel, regardless of their geographic location. Countless examples of Palestinians have constantly demonstrated that even if the elderly die without returning, the young will keep on holding the key, embracing their legitimate right to return.
This video, which this blog post aims to publicize as much as possible, has been produced as a part of a campaign to encourage SOAS (London’s School of Oriental and African Studies) to break its ties with Israeli academic institutions.
Next week, 23-27 February, there will be a school-wide referendum in which students, academics and other staff members will vote on whether to boycott Israeli academic institutions and put pressure on SOAS to follow the BDS guidelines.
For weeks we have been campaigning for a yes vote, organizing events, distributing flyers and posters to raise awareness about the complicity of Israeli academic institutions in the ongoing oppression and human rights violations of the Palestinian people.
In this video we as the student and academic body of the BDS campaign aim to expose SOAS’s collaboration with Israeli academic institutions, such as Hebrew University, which are deeply tied to the Israeli military. We should not, as students and academics, let SOAS maintain these links in our name.
My journey to SOAS
In September, I made it to SOAS after a long and hard journey that really exhausted me. However, every day I feel happier that I was so determined to make my dream of becoming a student in SOAS come true.
Shortly after my graduation from Al-Azhar University, Gaza, with a degree in English literature, I had to start applying for scholarships to fund my postgraduate studies abroad, a dream that I always sought to realize. Fortunately, I won two scholarships: one to Britain and another to Turkey. It sounds like I had the luxury to just pick any country in which to pursue my studies. However, it was the Rafah crossing that chose for me to seek Turkey as a bridge, a secure exit onto my final destination of England were I could finally join SOAS.
On 1 October 2013, I made it to Turkey after almost a month worth of daily attempt to cross the gate of the Rafah border crossing. Rafah crossing was, and continues to be, a gate of humiliation and dehumanization, a gate that stands as an obstacle for many people in reaching out for their ambitions, a gate that puts a population of 1.8 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip under a slow-death sentence.
A bird being set free is the feeling I had when I finally crossed the border. Nevertheless, this sense of freedom was always hijacked and violated any time I was obliged to show my Palestinian Authority passport — a common story for millions of Palestinians!
I lived in Istanbul for a period of ten months. I struggled with a sense of fragmentation that I never had before. I had been shattered between two places, physically being in Turkey but mentally and emotionally being in Palestine. This feeling reached the highest point when on 8 July 2014, the Israeli occupation forces launched one of their most barbaric and genocidal wars against the Gaza Strip.
This 51-day attack was the first I saw from outside, an experience that I found more devastating than the many wars I witnessed while being around family, when we shock as we heard missiles landing around us day and night, threatening everyone’s lives. I was locked in my safe zone in Istanbul while suffering a psychological war that nearly drove me insane.
I had to deal with a serious challenge to keep my sanity while enduring an exhausting fear that I could lose any person dear to me any moment. This fear haunted me more and more, especially after I learned about the murder of my uncle from mum’s side, Mohammed Louz, and two neighbors with whom I grew up in the same house, Ahmad and Hazem Murad.
Vote “Yes” on BDS
A design done by SOAS BDS campaign in support of the academic boycott
Reflecting on that period is quite difficult to put in words. Every experience endured at the hands of the Zionist state of Israel feeds into my anger. My experiences empower my determination to move on and continue fighting the bubble of impunity that Israel is protected by, given a green light from the “international community.”
On 8 September 2014, twelve days after the announcement of the ceasefire, I officially became a masters student at SOAS, studying Media and the Middle East. I was a bit scared starting this new chapter of my life in which everything was new. But nothing could be more healing, inspiring or rewarding to me.
Every day lived here at SOAS makes me feel more like being at home. The secret behind this feeling has been the amazing and inspiring people I have met, especially the Palestine Society which embraced me, and I equally embraced. What brought us together was a shared conviction in the Palestinian people’s just cause, a shared commitment to the fight for freedom, justice and equality.
We, as students and academics who believe that academia is not neutral, and is actually political, believe that the campus is our battlefield to fight for what is right and push for a political stand that should be sided with the oppressed and against the oppressor, a stand against racism, oppression and occupation and in favor of justice.
Boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) is a tactic that we believe is an effective way for the international community to translate their solidarity with the Palestinian people into actions that can push the struggle for justice for the Palestinian people forward. We believe that BDS is a way to end Israel’s impunity and make them realize they cannot get away with their crimes against humanity, and that any crime they commit will cost them. The way to do it is to get the Israeli community out of their comfort zone, to encourage them to critically think of their state’s inhumane, racist and brutal policies and actions and to rebel against them.
At the moment, I feel more proud than ever to be a part of this community. We are now leading a campaign that is the first of its kind, not only in the UK, but also in Euro-American campuses.
Please dedicate five minutes to watch this video. It includes many SOAS academics and students who make the case for the academic boycott in a very eloquent and powerful way. Share the powerful message behind this video so others can be inspired to move beyond solidarity onto serious actions that can make a change for the Palestinian people.
Join the battle for justice, freedom and equality!
A Palestinian artist adds a creative touch on the pillars of smoke caused by the Israeli bombings in Gaza.
Below is my translation of a powerful article Louay Odeh wrote about the relationship between our Palestinian people in Gaza and resistance. I thought it is worth reading.
“The full support of resistance demonstrated by the Palestinian people in Gaza has been the greatest and the most obvious since the first Intifada 25 years ago,” A friend of mine from Gaza who is responsible for centres which became refuge to tens of thousands of families who have become homeless since the start of the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
It is not surprising to see the clear popular support of resistance, its call upon them to continue until their demands are met, and the total willingness and readiness of the public to pay whatever price entailed. It is not only related to the political affiliation, but resistance has become an integral part of geographic identity. It is difficult to find someone in Gaza who is opposing resistance, regardless of her/his political affliction. This is neither resulted from a united political program or adopting one strategy that unites everybody. It is the outcome of a general awareness our people in Gaza acquired by experience.
Every person in Gaza has become more experienced that the most well-known military or political analyst on earth. Everybody inGaza recognises the fact that there is no other option. They believe that they cannot trust any project, except for resistance, as it is the only thing that is able to offer a dignified human life to them. This conviction came after they lost trust in the so-called “peace process’, and anyone who represents it. They also lost trust in the international solidarity and human rights organisations and its agendas. Above all, they lost confidence in the Arab governments which usually exploits their cause to serve their own interest, not them.
Our Palestinian people in Gaza have paid blood and years amidst unbearable life under a suffocating siege until they reached this outcomes. No one managed to open a single crossing or offer the least human needs for them, such as water, electricity and freedom of movement. There are many attempts by political analysts who graduated from the most prominent universities, and political experts worldwide to understand Gaza and the harmonic relationship between its people and the resistance. They failed as Gaza doesn’t bend to any equation, and no political, or social or economical rule can be applied to Gaza due to its uniqueness.
In Gaza, you can find the Fateh-affiliated people opposing their leadership in Ramallah and chanting for resistance. In Gaza, you will find Muslims and Christians, the poor and the wealthy people, the Communists and the Islamists, all standing hand in hand with resistance with one hope uniting them: The victory of resistance.
Gaza which celebrate as it bleeds has its own uniqueness. Even Nature rules, such as sunset and sunrise, cannot be applied to like in Gaza. Life there is organised according to the power-cut program. For example, the morning may rise at 10 pm and disappear as sun is rising. Moreover, only in Gaza, a car can be sold after 5 years of use with a higher price because of how much it costed its owner. In Gaza, which is complex despite its simplicity, everybody knows that the end of this crisis and its outcomes will contribute to change their lives at least 2 years onwards. They have strong faith that the resistance will impose the conditions of truce which are going to be related their day-to-day life such as electricity, water or opening of borders. Therefore, this leaves no other option to the people but supporting resistance no matter what the cost will be.
Armed struggle is no longer a political strategy or merely a means of resistance. Resistance has become a wide term that includes many things. It is life. It is the ability to travel, to study, to receive a proper medical care. Above all, it has become a symbol for their dignity and an integral part of their identity. We’ve never heard them chanting for opening the borders, as they already know that it much be included among the conditions of possible ceasefire. Opening the borders will be the axiomatic outcome of the steadfastness of resistance in the battlefield. It will no longer controlled by a human will related to the mood of neighbouring countries and their agendas. The fact that everyone is conspiring against this piece of land imposed a new definition of resistance on them which will be taught later in military sciences. Gaza has managed to formulate this new definition which has become a central part of this geographic identity. Yes, it is identity that its most important component is resistance, and anyone who believes in humanity should feel honoured to adopt it.
Free Palestine. Down with Zionism. Glory for the martyrs!
My body shakes as tears fall out of control after watching the first minute of Al Jazeera’s 22-minute documentary on the Shujaiya massacre which Israel committed in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood a week ago today, killing dozens and flattening the entire area.
Thinking that the footage contained in Massacre at Dawn is just a fraction of the horror makes it even worse. No wonder Israel prevented media from covering the brutality that our people endured there.
(Readers in the United States can watch the documentary with English subtitles here. It can also be watched on Al Jazeera Arabic without subtitles.)
I tried to put myself to sleep as only sleep can give me a break from the pain. My attempts failed. So I got up to share with you the most heartbreaking scenes that keep playing back once I close my eyelids.
“My son is gone!”
The mother’s voice at 3:35 in the video saying, “My son is gone! Mahmoud is gone” echoes in my mind.
The mother was running, escaping death along with her son. Her son suddenly is shot and falls. She stops despite that Israeli forces were still shooting.
She risks her life to rescue him and starts screaming, “My son got injured. My son is dying. Help!” But no ambulances are allowed there. Finally a man comes, carries her son and they continue running. I don’t know if they survived.
Watch the traumatized elderly man at 5:58 who stutters, out of breath, “There was shelling. Everything was bombed.”
“We were stuck in the house while bombings everywhere. My son was killed and my hand got injured,” he says (my translation). “My son is still over there [in the house]. We were sitting together. I went to the toilet. I returned to find blood flooding out of his neck. He has been bleeding since the morning.”
Listen to the cries of the man at 7:00 who tries to prevent the camera from filming him, refusing to appear broken. “Instead of [us] feeding our babies with milk, they sent them rockets!” he exclaims.
The reporter asks him, “Do you have a house here?” He replies, “I have a house and I lost my four kids,” trying to hide his tears from the camera.
“Are they kids? Don’t worry. Speak so the world can see what we’re suffering here,” the reporter says. So the man tries hard to continue with a voice choked with tears, ”They’re kids. I don’t know where they are!” They might be lost, or dead, or under the rubble, some people took them or they evaporated, he says.
Listen to the woman at 8:05 who is running and screaming like mad: “Our house collapsed over us while were inside. We left, miraculously” (my translation).
Then comes the injured child Bisan Daher on her hospital bed at 9:35, whose condition is like countless others who were the only survivors of their massacred families. She lost her parents and her siblings.
At 10:20, a man is crying with his children: “We were sleeping at the house normally. I don’t know how, the house was shelled all of a sudden. And shelled once again. I got out to find my wife dying in the hallway” (my translation).
His son at 10:35 says (my translation): “Our house was destroyed and my mother was killed. We took her to hospital but she became a martyr. She was looking through the window of my sister’s room when a missile hit the apartment below us and killed her. And our house was destroyed, how will we live?”
At 10:55, the boy’s sister says, “We weren’t doing anything. I woke up after a ‘warning’ rocket hit our house. Only seconds later, we found Mom dying in the hallway. We started screaming, calling for ambulance to rescue her but she was already dead. May she rest in peace.”
“Just like in 1948!”
At 12:28, a man who is fleeing says (my translation), “At al-Mansoura street, we were running in between bodies, torn pieces are on both sides, everywhere. Houses collapsed over their inhabitants. Worse than Sabra and Shatila.”
Another man escaping with his family says at 16:10: ”Just like in 1948! We are fleeing again. Let the world hear this. This is a new exodus.”
Within the scene of people fleeing Shujaiya, an elderly man paralyzed by shock is unable to run. His son retrieves him and carries him on his back, as he says, “May God get revenge of them [Israel].”
#GazaUnderAttack: As you watch this, just remember that this is just a glimpse of the indescribable horror endured by our people in Shujaiya.
That’s why Israel didn’t want its ugliness to be reported to the world and prevented media from entering the area as they were massacring civilians.
Remember that these people are the voices who had a chance to be heard. They were luckier than others, who suffered and were killed amidst the world’s silence.
All those who appear in this photo were murdered in one F16 attack against the building which they sought as refuge. This photo is what remains of them.
“Dad, I don’t want to die. Let us leave here,” six-year old Yasmin Al-Kilany screamed to her father while she was sitting on his lap, terrified. Then her 8-year-old brother, Yasir, also started nagging his father to leave. The children’s ability to cope with the horrors of life in the northern Gazan city of Beit-Lahya had clearly been extinguished, so their father, Ibrahim, decided to move.
Beit-Lahya, which is under continuous and random shelling from missiles, F16s and tanks, is almost empty now. A huge number of Palestinian families fled to the UNRWA schools, which have suffered a growing humanitarian crisis as a result. Almost 102,000 people have taken shelter in 69 schools, according to UNRWA.
The Al-Kilany family fled to Al-Shijaeyya, but the circle of Israel’s brutal attack continued to expand. On 20 July, Israel committed an atrocious Sabra-and-Shatilla-like massacre against the innocent people of Al-Shijaeyya, killing at least 66 people, including 26 children.
What the Al-Kilany family witnessed in Al-Shijaeyya forced the family to flee, again, along with all the residents who were running barefoot while shells and tank fire chased them. Amidst the bodies that were scattered everywhere between the rubble of the houses, they managed to survive.
They rented an apartment in the Al-Israa building in the neighbourhood of Al-Remal, a supposedly safer place. The children calmed down a little. In an attempt to restore a normal family atmosphere after days of horror, the mother, Taghrid, started preparing a dining table for the family to break their fast.
Around sunset, while the Al-Kilany clan were sitting around the table, waiting to hear the call for prayer that would allow them to eat, an F16 war-plane suddenly shelled the Al-Israa building, mixing food with their blood and torn pieces under the piles of rubble.
The family simply ceased to exist; Ibrahim and his wife Taghrid, and their five children aged between four and 12, were wiped out in seconds. Like many other families, nothing now remains of them except for rubble and makeshift graves. Among the dozens of massacres that Israel committed against families in Gaza, one or two from each family survived miraculously. No miracle happened though to rescue even one of of Al-Kilany family to share with us the last topic the family discussed before being murdered. No one.
‘Why does the EU and the international community turn a blind eye?’
The painful story of the Al-Kilany family was painstakingly narrated by Ahmad, brother of Taghrid, to Ola Atallah, a reporter from Gaza. Ahmad was trying hard to suppress his pain while narrating the story.
He eventually burst in tears, asking “what did Taghrid and her children do? Why isn’t the international community shouldering the responsibility and taking serious actions to stop the Palestinian bloodshed? They escaped twice from death but death chased them to wherever they sought refuge. Israel is fighting children, targeting families everywhere.”
The father, Ibrahim Al-Kilany, held a German passport after living there 20 years. He completed his studies as a civil engineer in a German university and worked as an engineer there for over a decade. He returned to Gaza in 2001 to get married and raise a family.
Earlier this year Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, was awarded Israel’s “presidential medal of distinction.” The German chancellor deserved this honor, some journalists dutifully reported, because of her “unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.” This might explain why Germany has shown no concern over the killing of so many families by Israel, including German citizens.
The statement issued by the European Union on 22 July shows a clear bias towards Israel. They condemned “the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas and militant groups in the Gaza Strip, directly harming civilians.” On the other hand, they repeatedly asserted that they recognise “Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself against any attacks.”
But the EU didn’t recognise our people’s right, guaranteed by UN resolutions, to use force in the struggle for “liberation from colonial and foreign domination.” General Assembly Resolution A/RES/33/24 of 29 November 1978 “reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle.”
More than 800 people have been brutally killed so far, 90% of them innocent civilians. Recognising Israel’s “legitimate right to defend itself” gives Israel a justification to kill them, and kill more. So any “concern” over the human cost caused by Israel in Palestine is meaningless. Our Palestinian people know very well that the EU, and the international Community, is as guilty as Israel as their silence is what gives Israel the impunity and the green light to carry out its massacres.
We know that nothing makes a Palestinian an exception. Ibrahim Al-Kilany’s cousin made this point powerfully, saying: “Their German passports didn’t offer his and his children’s lives an impunity. No German nor American nationality stops Israel from murdering us. Israel is like a monster that destroys everything it encounters. Residential buildings collapse over its residents. This is genocide.”
With plumes of black smoke still spiralling into Gaza’s sky, and Israeli shells from land, sea and sky still raining down on the coastal Palestinian enclave, threatening death for the 1.8 million Palestinians living under the blockade of the Gaza Strip, the western governments are still watching and barely doing anything to stop the Palestinian bloodshed, but repeatedly asserting their commitment to Israel’s security. The international media, and international politicians, continue to show a clear bias to the Israeli narrative, which makes them complicit in the ongoing crimes against humanity that Israel is committing against the civilians of Gaza.
Our people in Gaza have been left alone to face one of the strongest armies in the world — an army that has hundreds of nuclear warheads, thousands of soldiers armed with Merkava tanks, F-16s, Apache helicopters, naval gunships and phosphorous bombs made in the United States. Gaza has no army, no navy and no air force. And yet Israel plays the victim role.
The Israeli attack on our people has continued for 19 days. The Israeli occupation isn’t sufficient by the bloodshed they’ve caused, and continues to blame Hamas for the collective punishment of the population of the Gaza Strip. It is very important that the world acknowledges the fact that we are the occupied and the persecuted. Our resistance should come under the self-defense, not Israel’s terror.
We will not forget nor forgive every drop of blood shed by a Palestinian child. We will continue resisting, and neither Israel nor the International community shall manage to break our determination. No one shall stand in the way of our pursuit of freedom, justice and equality.
wounded children from Al-Shijaeyya area in Gaza stretching out in Gaza Hospitals which cannot any more accommodate the increasing number of injures. All of them are critical.
Where is humanity? Where are the people of conscience around the world? Our people in Gaza are being massacred, under genocide operation. #Israel doesn’t differentiate between ages. After many families were massacred including Al-Batsh, Hamad, Ghannam, Al-Haj. This time many families at once were massacred in Al-Shijaeyya.
The families there refused to evacuate their houses, remain dignified in their homes, and reject Israel’s attempt to make them homeless and humiliated with other 60 thousands Palestinians who filled UNRWA schools. Israel’s reaction to people’s steadfastness was randomly shelling their houses with artillery shells, tanks fire and F16 missiles towards the families’ houses who held in between its walls only children, women and elderlies. The Israeli Occupation Forces destroyed houses upon its inhabitants. People’s bodies were buried under the rubble for hours. Israel panned ambulances and media to to reach them, rescue them and let the cries of massacred be heard. In an attempt to veil these crimes Israel committed against the innocent inhabitants of Al-Shijaeyya, they prevented media from being there to document the massacre and let the world be a witness of it.
When the attack started, the inhabitants of Al-Shijaeyya started running barefoot, traumatised while missiles and artillery shells are chasing them for long distances without finding a safe shelter. But there were no secure refuge. A women with her kids stopped to rest under an olive tree. Her 13-year-old child was sitting on her lap when all of a sudden she found her bleeding, killed after she was targeted by tank fire. Traumatised mother started running again with the rest of her children trying to rescue who survived from them.
The Israeli occupation endorsed a two-hour ‘humanitarian’ truce starting from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm, to let the ambulances take injured and martyrs bodies. Within these two hours, they continued shelling people who were escaping from inevitable murder, committing a terribly atrocious massacre against our people in Al-Shijaeyya, medics and reporters.
Ambulances hurried to rescue the massacred people there during the two-hour truce, but Israel immediately violated the truce and attacked them. At least two of the medics and reporters were killed. At least nine were wounded.
More than 66 people were killed in a cold blood in Al-Shijaeyya massacre, including 26 children. Gaza hospitals received hundreds of injuries, most of them are children and women. There is a shortage in hospitals, in medical equipments. They cannot accommodate the increasing number of the injured people who are all suffering a critical injuries which threatens more lives with death. Palestinians reporters say that they witnessed huge number of wounded people laying on the floor, because there are not enough hospital beds.
You international activists around the world, especially in Europe and the USA, Israel acts with impunity because of your countries’ silence and unconditional support in all sectors to Israel. Your bias media which inverts between the oppressor and the victim supports Israel to continue massacring our people! Go to streets now and call for an immediate stop to the Palestinian bloodshed! Hold Israel accountable to its uncountable and deadliest crimes against our isolated Palestinian people in besieged Gaza. Call for BDS Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. Call for cutting ties with Israel. Let them know that their money and taxes is used to support Israel with weapons and war vehicles to kill us in Palestine. We shall not forgive nor forget. We shall keep resisting with all legitimate means that we have as occupied people until justice is done to every drop of blood Palestinians shed across the 66 years of this ongoing occupation.
Names and ages of people who fell victim to Al-Shijaeyya massacre:
Narmin Rafiq Dyab Ayyad, 19 years old.
Fidaa Dyab Ayyad, 23 years old.
Ahmad Sami Deyab Ayyad, 27 years old.
Osama Rebhe Shehde Ayyad, 32 years old.
The child Mohammed Ramy Fathi Ayyad, 2 years old.
The child Mohammed Ashraf Rafiq Ayyad, 5 years old.
Muna Abderrahman Mahmoud Ayyad, 41 years old.
Hala Subhy Saady Ayyad, 24 years old.
The child Ghada Subhy Saady Ayyad, 11 years old.
The child Shireen Fathi Othman Ayyad, 17 years old.
Ibrahim Aref Ibrahim Al-Ghalayini, 26 years old
Mohammed Mohammed Ali Mhareb Jundiyya, 38 years old.
Alaa Jamaliddin Mohammed Barda, 34 years old.
Ahmad Ishaq Yousef Al-Ramlawi, 32 years old.
Ahed Saad Musa Sarsak, 35 years old.
Adel Abdallah Salim Eslim, 38 years old.
The child Dima Adel Abdallah Eslim, 2 years old.
The child Shady Ziyad Hasan Eslim, 15 years old.
The child Alaa Ziyad Hasan Eslim, 11 years old.
The child Fady Ziyad Hasam Eslim, 10 years old.
The child Khalil Ismail Khalil Al-Hayye, 6 years old.
The child Osama Osama Khalil Al-Hayye, 8 years old.
Osama Osama Khalil Al-Hayye, 8 years old.
Hala Saqer Hasan Al-Hayye, 28 years old.
Osama Khalil Ismail Al-Hayye, 29 years old.
The child Omar Jamil Subhy Hammouda, 10 years old.
Wesam Majdy Mohammed Hammouda, 30 years old.
Yousef Ahmad Younis Mustafa, 62 years old.
Muna Salman Ahmad Al-Sheikh Khalil, 49 years old.
The child Heba Hamed Al-Sheikh Khalil, 13 years old.
The child Samya Hamed Al-Sheikh Khalil, 3 years old.
Tawfiq Barawi Salem Marshoud, 52 years old.
The child Marwa Salman Ahmad Al-Sirsawi, 13 years old.
Maysa Abderrahman Said Al-Sirsawi, 36 years old.
The child Marwa Salman Ahmad Al-Shirsawi, 13 years old.
The child Dina Rushdy Omar Hamada, 16 years old.
Eman Mohammed Ibrahim Hamada, 39 years old.
Ghada Ibrahim Sulaiman Odwan, 38 years old.
Ibrahim Salem Jumaa Al-Sahabany, 20 years old.
Israa Yasi Atiya Hamdiyya, 28 years old.
Akram Mohammed Ali Al-Sakafi, 63 years old.
The child Eman Khalil Abed Ammar, 9 years old.
Tala Akram Ahman Al-Atwi, 7 years old.
Kaled Ryad Mohammed Hamad, 25 years old.
Khadija Ali Musa Shhada, 62 years old.
Khalil Salem Ibrahim Musbeh, 53 years old.
Aysha Ali Mahmoud Zayed, 54 years old.
Abderrahman Akram Mohammed Al-Skafi, 22 years old.
Esam Atehhe Said Al-Skafi, 26 years old.
Musab Salaheddim Al-Skafi, 27 years old.
Ali Mohammed Hasan Al-Skafi, 27 years old.
Mohammed Hasan Mohammed Al-Skafi, 53 years old.
Abderrahman Abderrazq Abderrahman Al-Sheikh Khalil, 24 years old.
Abdallah Mansoor Redwan Amarah, 23 years old.
Abedrabo Ahman Mohammed Rayed, 58 years old.
Fatma Abderrahim AbdelQadir Abu Ammouna, 55 years old.
Fahmy Abdel-Aziz Saad Abu Said, 29 years old.
Mohammed Raed Ehsan Akkila, 19 years old.
The child Marah Shaker Ahmad Al-Jammal, 11 years old.
Marwan Muneir Saleh Qunfud, 23 years old.
Yousef Salem Habib, 26 years old.
Tareq Fayiq Hajjaj, 22 years old.
Ahmad Ziyad Hajjaj, 21 years old.
Musaab Nafez Al-Ejla, 30 years old.
Resistance until freedom, justice and equality. Glory for the martyrs! Down with #zionism!
Because they are #PeopleNotNumbers, because their souls does count, and their blood is precious and will not go in vain, share this list widely!
This list documents the martyrs’ names and ages and the circumstances in which they were killed as a result to the ongoing inhumane and brutal Israeli attack on the Palestinian people in the besieged Gaza Strip. Since Sunday morning, July 6th, martyrs’ toll has risen to 635, including 161 children and 66 women and 35 elderly people. At least 3800 injuries were reported. The Israeli Occupation continues to bomb the Gaza Strip. Everywhere is being targeted. Everyone in the Gaza Strip feels as if they were a target. Israel doesn’t care whether they shell a densely populated neighbourhood or if they target a house full of people, even without a prior notice. This is mass killing. Israel must be held accountable for all its crimes against humanity. Don’t remain in front of your TV or computer screens watching and counting more victims among us. The international community must act and put an end to the Palestinian bloodshed. Act now! Israel acts with impunity because of the International Community’s silence.
July 23| The 17th day of the Zionist attack on Gaza from sea, land and sky:
Two people were killed as a result to the ongoing random shelling of artillery shells towards people’ houses in Khan-Younis.
1- Hamza Ziyad Abu Anza, 18 years old.
2- Wesam Alaa Al-Najjar, 17 years old
Two people were killed in an attack on Beit-Lahya:
3- Osama Bahjat Rajab, 21 years old.
4- Mohammed Dawoud, 23 years old.
5- Saddam Ibrahim Abu Asi, 23 years old, was killed after a critical injury he sustained yesterday in an attack on Khan-Younis.
July 22| The 16th day of the Zionist attack on Gaza from sea, land and sky:
Two people, including a child, were killed in an attack on northern Gaza:
1- The child Nour Al-Islam Raed Abu Hweishel, 12 years old.
2- Mustafa Mohammed Mahmoud Fayyad, 24 years old.
Two brothers were killed in an attack on eastern Rafah:
3- Khalaf Atiyya Abu Sneima, 18 years old.
4- Khalil Atiyya Abu Sneima, 20 years old.
Four people from Al-Hajjaj family were killed in an attack that targeted their house in Al-Bureij Refugee Camp.
5- The child Rawan Ziyad Jumaa Hajjaj, 15 years old.
6- Mohammed Shhada Hajjaj, 31 years old.
7- Fayza Saleh Abderrahman Hajjaj, 66 years old.
8- Yousef Mohammed Hajjaj, 28 years old.
Four people were killed in an attack that targeted them close to Al-Nabahin family’s house in Al-Bureij Refugee Camp:
9- Hasan Shaaban Khamisy, 28 years old.
10- Ahmad Kamel Abu Maghasib, 35 years old.
11- Raed Abderrahman Abu Maghasib, 35 years.
12- Atiyya Al-Daalis
Seven people were found under the rubble in Khan-Younis and Al-Shijaeyya, Al-Zaytoun, and Gaza:
13- Abdalla Al-Farra
14- Tareq Fayiq Hajjaj, 22 years old.
15- Ahmad Ziyad Hajjaj, 21 years old.
16- Musaab Nafez Al-Ejla, 30 years old. Al-Shijaeyya
17- Hamada Eleiwa from Al-Zaytoun area
18- Mohammed Khalil Ahl, from Al-Shiaeyya
19- Amjad Al-Hendy from Tal-AlHawa
Two elderly sisters were killed in an attack on eastern Rafah:
20- Hakma Nafei Abu Odwan, 75 years old.
21- Najah Nafei Abu Odwan, 85 years old.
Two other elderly women were found under the rubble of a house in Al-Zaytoun.
22- Fatima Hasan Azzam, 70 years old.
23- Maryam Hasan Azzam, 50 years old.
Two people were killed as a result of the random shelling of artillery shells on Al-Bureij Refugee Camp.
24- Ahmad Essam Wshah, 29 years old.
25- Ahmad Mohammed Ramadan, 30 years old.
26- Ahmad Al-Badawi was killed in an attack on a group of civilians in Beit-Lahya, northern Gaza.
27- Rafiq Kallub, 45, was killed in an attack that targeted a car in Beit-Lahya, northern Gaza.
28- Ibrahim Subhy Al-Feiry, 25 years old, was killed in an attack that targeted his family’s house in Beit-Lahya.
29- Mahmoud Sleem Mustafa Daraj, 22 years old, was killed after an injury he sustained due to an attack on Jabalia Refugee Camp.
30- Ahmad Abu Sido was killed in an artillery attack on Al-Mahatta park eastern Gaza.
31- The child Ramy Al-Kharwat, 4 years old, was killed in an attack on northern Gaza.
Two people were killed in another attack on Khan-Younis:
32- Haytham Samir Al-Agha, 26 years old.
33- Walid Sulaiman Abu Daher, 21 years old.
34- Yasmin Ahmad Abu Mur, 25 years old, was killed in an attack on Rafah.
Two people were killed in an attack on a poultry farm in Rafah:
35- Sameh Zuheir Al-Sawafiry, 29 years old.
36- Mohammed Musa Abu Fayyad, 36 years old.
37- Khadra Abu Tleikh, was killed in an attack on Al-Naser Neighborhood in Rafah.
38- Suha Naeem Kharwat, 25 years old, was killed along with fetus in an attack on Beit-Hanoun by artillery shells.
Three people were killed in an F16 attack on a house in Al-Nusairat refugee camp:
39- Yousef Abu Mustafa, 27 years old.
40- Obaida Abu Ghweishel, 18 years old.
41- Adel Abu Ghweishel, 40 years old.
Five people were killed in two attack on Dir Al-Balah:
42- Yousef Ibrahim Al-Ramahy
43- Eman Ibrahim Al-Ramahy
44- Ibtihal Ibrahim Al-Ramahy
45- Salwa Abu Mneife
46- Samira Abu Mneife
47- Mahmoud Sulaiman Abu Sabha, 55 years old, was killed in an attack on Khan-Younis.
48- Mohammed Naser Haroun, 38 years old, was killed in an attack on Al-Nussairat.
49- Nagy Jamal Al-Fajm, 26 years old, was lilled in an attack on Khan-Younis.
50- Abdallah Ismail Al-Bheisy, 27 years old, was killed in an attack on Dir Al-Balah.
51- Samih Abu Jalala, 64 years old, was killed in an attack on Rafah.
Two people were killed in an attack that targeted a motorcycle in Khan-Younis:
52- Hany Awad Owda Sammour, 75 years old.
53- Ahmad Ibrahim Shbeir, 24 years old.
Three people were killed in an attack on eastern Al-Burei refugee camp.
54- Raed Salah, 22 years old.
55- Ahmad Nasim Saleh, 23 years old.
56- Mahmoud Ghanem, 22 years old.
57- Musab Saleh Salama, 19 years old, was killed in an attack on Khan-Younis.
58- Mohammed Jalal Al-Jarf, 24 years old, was killed in an attack on Khan-Younis.
59- Wael Jamal Harb, 32 years old, was killed in an attack on Gaza City.
60- Hasan Khader Baker, 60 years old, was killed in an attack on Gaza City.
61- Ahmad Abu Salah was killed in an attack on Al-Sanafi area eastern Khan-Younis.
62- Marwan Ibrahim Sammour, 38 years old, was killed in an attack that targeted him while riding his motocycle in Abasan area in Khan-Younis.
July 21| The 15th day of the Zionist attack on Gaza from sea, land and sky: 122 people were killed, including 41 child. Many victims haven’t been identified yet.
Two people were killed in an attack on Al-Mughraqa:
1- Bilal Jaber Mohammed Al-Ashhab, 22 years old.
2- Abderrahman Al-Farra.
3- Raed Ismail Al-Bardawil, 26 years old, was killed in an attack on Rafah.
In Rafah, Israel committed another crime against Syam family who was massacred early morning, killing 13 members of them, and wounding tens others.
4- Somoud Naser Syam, 26 years old.
5- Mohammed Mahrus Salam Syam, 25 years old.
6- Bader Nabil Mahrus Syam, 25 years old.
7- The child Ahmad Ayman Mahrus Syam, 17 years old.
8- The child Mustafa Nabil Mahrus Syam, 12 years old.
9- The child Ghaydaa Nabil Mahrus Syam, 8 years old.
10- Sharin Mohammed Salam Syam, 32 years old.
11- The child Dalal Nabil Mahrus Syam, 8 months old.
12- Kamal Mahrus Salama Syam, 27 years old.
16- Kamal Tlal Hasan Al-Masri, 22 years old, was killed in an attack by tank shells on Beit-Hanoun.
17- Ahmad Mohammed Azzam, 19 years old, was found in Al-Shijaeyya under the rubble of the houses that were completely destroyed as a result to the massacre that Israel committed against the innocent inhabitants of Al-Shijaeya. The killed toll in rises to 64.
18- Mahmoud Al-Nakhala was killed in an airstrike that targeted his house in Al-Sheikh Redwan in Gaza City.
Four people were killed in different attacks on Al-Zaytoun neighborhood eastern Gaza City.
19- Raed Essam Dawoud, 30 years old.
20- Zakariyya Mas’oud Al-Ashqar, 24 years old.
21- Kamal Mas’oud, 21 years old.
22- Saleh Badawi, 31 years old.
In an attack that targeted Al-Ghalban house eastern Gaza, two people were killed:
23- Majdy Mahmoud Al-Yazjy, 56 years old.
24- Mohammed Samih Al-Ghalban.
In another attack that targeted Jundiyya house in Al-Shijaeyya area eastern Gaza, three people were killed:
25- Tamer Nayif Jundiyya, 30 years old.
26- Rahma Ahmad Jundiyya, 50 years old.
27- Mahran Kamel Jundiyya, 32 years old.
Five people were killed in an attack on Al-Karamah buildings northern Gaza:
28- Yasmin Nayif Al-Yazjy
29- The child Mayar Nayif Al-Yazjy, 2 years old.
30- Wajdy Al-Yazjy
31- Safinaz Al-Yazjy
32- The child Anas Al-Yazjy, 5 years old.
Six people were killed in an attack on Al-Zanna area in Khan-Younis:
33- Ibrahim Asaad Al-Qarra
34- Nidal Jumaa Abu Asi
35- Karam Ibrahim Barham
36- Mohammed Abdel-Karim Al-Masri
37- Mohammed Abu Haddaf
38- Nidal Ali Mohammed Abu-Daqqa
39- Ibrahim Shaaban Bakroun, 37 years old, was killed in an attack on Al-Shaghaf area eastern Gaza.
40- Atiyya Yousef Darduna, 26 years old, was killed in an air-strike on Jabalia Refugee Camp.
41- Fatma Ahmad Al-Arja was killed in an attack on Rafah.
42- Arafa Sultan Arafat was found under the rubble of a house in Beit-Lahya.
Few minutes far from my house, in Al-Jalaa Street, another family was massacred. Al-Qassas Family faced the same murderous genocide that multiple families earlier faced, including, Hamad, Al-Haj, Al-Batsh, Ayyad, Skafi, Ziyada, Ghannam, Kawarei, Syam and many others. Eight women, including a mother and her FOUR children.
Two people were killed in an attack that targeted an agricultural land eastern Khan-Younis:
51- Mujahed Al-Aqqad
52- Mohammed Al-Zayty
Al-Shijaeyya massacre didn’t end on Sunday. It’s continuing. Three people were killed in an attack that targeted Hamdiyya, killing 3 people of the same family, including two brothers. Previously Jundiyya Family was attacked in the same region.
53- Yousef Ghazi Hamdiyya, 25 years old.
54- Mo’taz Jamal Hamdiyya, 18 years old.
55- Aaed Jamal Hamdiyya, 21 years old.
Israel committed another massacre wiping a whole family in an F16 attack on Al-Israa Building in Omer-AlMukhtar street in Gaza City. This family was breaking its fast when all of a sudden were targeted, all murdered. Another whole family, Al-Kilany family, is gone. Al-Kilany family evacuated their original house twice, but Israeli murderous warplanes chased them to where they were taking as a refuge in Al-Israa Building. A total of eleven victims were killed in the building, including 7 children.
56- The father Ibrahim Dim Ahmad Al-Kilany, 53 years old.
57- The mother Taghrid Al-Kilany, 45 years old.
58- The child Yasir Ibrahim Dib Al-Kilany, 8 years old.
59- The child Elyas Ibrahim Dib Al Kilany, 4 years old.
60- The child Sawsan Ibrahim Dib Al-Kilany 11 years old.
61- The child Yasmin Ibrahim Dib Al-Kilany 6 years old.
62-The child Rim Ibrahim Dib Al-Kilany, 12 years old.
Their neighbors also lost 4 members of the same family.
63- Ayda Mohammed Dirbas, 47 years old.
64- Mahmoud Shaaban Mohammed Derbas, 37 years old.
65- – Soura Shaaban Mohammed Derbas, 41 years old.
66- Enas Shaaban Mohammed Derbas, 30 years old.
67- Juhad Mahmoud Al-Mughraby, 22 years old, passed away after a critical injury he sustained due to an attack on Khan-Younis.
Three people were killed in an attack on eastern Rafah
68- Fady Azmy Brei’em
69- Othman Salem Brei’em
70- Salem Abdel-Majid Brei’em
71- Fady Bashir Al-Abadla, 22 years old, was killed in an attack on Khan-Younis.
More than 20 victims are still stuck under the rubble of houses that was completely destroyed yesterday in Al-Shijaeyya, Khan-Younis and Rafah.
July 20| The 14th day of the Zionist attack on Gaza from sea, land and sky:
Three brothers were killed in an airstrike that hit Moammar Family’s house in Al-Jeneina area in Rafah:
1- Mohammed Mahmoud Hussein Moammar, 30 years old.
2- Hamza Mahmoud Hussein Moammar, 21 years old.
3- Anas Mahmoud Hussein Moammar
Seven people were killed in an airstrike on Abu Suhaib Abu Ziyada in Al-Bureij Refugee Camp, including three brothers.
4- Yousef Saaban Ziyada, 44 years old.
5- Jamil Saaban Ziyada, 53 years old.
6- Shaaban Jamil Ziyada, 12 years old.
7- Mohammed Mahmoud Al-Maqadma, 30 years old.
8- Omar Shaaban Ziyada
9- Muftiya Mohammed Ziyada
10- Bayan Abdellatif Ziyada
A child and an elderly were killed in an attack on Rafah:
11- The child Abdallah Yousef Drajy, 3 years old.
12- Najah Saad Al-Din Drajy, 65 years old.
Aound sunset, while people of Gaza are breaking their fast, Abu Jamei family in Bani-Sheila was attacked by an F16, killing three people including a child and a pregnant woman: 13- The child Rayan Mahmoud Abu Jamei was killed in an airstrike on Bani-Sheila area Khan-Younis.
14- Sabah Tawfiq Mahmoud Taysir Abu Jamei, 38 years old. Pregnant
15- Fatma Mahmoud Abu Jamei, 66 years old.
16- Ahmad Abderrahman Abu Teem, 26 years old, was killed in an attack that targeted him in Khan-Younis.
17- Basim Al-Breim was killed in an attack on a group of civilians in Abasan in Khan-Younis.
18- The child Ayah Bahjat Abu Sultan, 15 years old, was killed in an attack on her house in Beit-Lahya northern the Gaza Strip.
Israel committed another massacre against another family. Al-Hallaq family’ apartment in Al-Remal area was targeted without a prior warning. Eleven of its inhabitants were killed, including 4 children, and 15 were critically injured.
19- The child Kanan Akram Al-Hallaq, 5 years old
20- Samar Osama Al-Hallag, 29 years old.
21- Hani Mohammed Al-Hallaq, 29 years old.
22- Suad Mohammed Al-Hallaq, 62 years old.
23- The childSajy ِAkram Hasan Al-Hallaq, 4 years old.
24- Hala Akram Hasan Al-Hallaq, 27 years old.
25- The child Mohammed Hani Mohammed Al-Hallaq, 2 years old.
26- Ibrahim Khalil Ammar
27- Asem Khalil Abed Ammar, 4 years old.
28- The child Rahaf Akram Abu Jumaa, 4 years old.
29- Ahmad Yasin
In Al-Shijaeyya, Israel committed one of the deadliest massacres against its inhabitants. The Israeli Occupation Forces randomly shelled families’s houses with artillery shells, tank fire, and F16 missiles. These houses weren’t emptied and held in between its walls mostly children, women and elderlies. 62 innocent children, women and elderlies were killed in a cold blood, and Gaza hospitals received 220 injuries, most of them are children and women. 26 children were killed in this massacre.
30- Narmin Rafiq Dyab Ayyad, 19 years old.
32- Fidaa Dyab Ayyad, 23 years old.
33- Ahmad Sami Deyab Ayyad, 27 years old.
34- Osama Rebhe Shehde Ayyad, 32 years old.
35- The child Mohammed Ramy Fathi Ayyad, 2 years old.
36- The child Mohammed Ashraf Rafiq Ayyad, 5 years old.
37- Muna Abderrahman Mahmoud Ayyad, 41 years old.
38- Hala Subhy Saady Ayyad, 24 years old.
39- The child Ghada Subhy Saady Ayyad, 11 years old.
40- The child Shireen Fathi Othman Ayyad, 17 years old.
41- Ibrahim Aref Ibrahim Al-Ghalayini, 26 years old
42- Mohammed Mohammed Ali Mhareb Jundiyya, 38 years old.
43- Alaa Jamaliddin Mohammed Barda, 34 years old.
44- Ahmad Ishaq Yousef Al-Ramlawi, 32 years old.
45- Ahed Saad Musa Sarsak, 35 years old.
46- Adel Abdallah Salim Eslim, 38 years old.
47- The child Dima Adel Abdallah Eslim, 2 years old.
48- The child Shady Ziyad Hasan Eslim, 15 years old.
49- The child Alaa Ziyad Hasan Eslim, 11 years old.
50-The child Fady Ziyad Hasam Eslim, 10 years old.
51- The child Khalil Ismail Khalil Al-Hayye, 6 years old.
52-The child Osama Osama Khalil Al-Hayye, 8 years old.
53- Osama Osama Khalil Al-Hayye, 8 years old.
54- Hala Saqer Hasan Al-Hayye, 28 years old.
55- Osama Khalil Ismail Al-Hayye, 29 years old.
56- The child Omar Jamil Subhy Hammouda, 10 years old.
57- Wesam Majdy Mohammed Hammouda, 30 years old.
58- Yousef Ahmad Younis Mustafa, 62 years old.
59- Muna Salman Ahmad Al-Sheikh Khalil, 49 years old.
60- The child Heba Hamed Al-Sheikh Khalil, 13 years old.
61- The child Samya Hamed Al-Sheikh Khalil, 3 years old.
62- Tawfiq Barawi Salem Marshoud, 52 years old.
63- The child Marwa Salman Ahmad Al-Sirsawi, 13 years old.
64- Maysa Abderrahman Said Al-Sirsawi, 36 years old.
65- The child Marwa Salman Ahmad Al-Shirsawi, 13 years old.
66- The child Dina Rushdy Omar Hamada, 16 years old.
67- Eman Mohammed Ibrahim Hamada, 39 years old.
68- Ghada Ibrahim Sulaiman Odwan, 38 years old.
69- Ibrahim Salem Jumaa Al-Sahabany, 20 years old.
70- Israa Yasi Atiya Hamdiyya, 28 years old.
71- Akram Mohammed Ali Al-Sakafi, 63 years old.
72- The child Eman Khalil Abed Ammar, 9 years old.
73- Tala Akram Ahman Al-Atwi, 7 years old.
74- Kaled Ryad Mohammed Hamad, 25 years old.
75- Khadija Ali Musa Shhada, 62 years old.
76- Khalil Salem Ibrahim Musbeh, 53 years old.
77- Aysha Ali Mahmoud Zayed, 54 years old.
78- Abderrahman Akram Mohammed Al-Skafi, 22 years old.
79- Esam Atehhe Said Al-Skafi, 26 years old.
80- Musab Salaheddim Al-Skafi, 27 years old.
81- Ali Mohammed Hasan Al-Skafi, 27 years old.
82- Mohammed Hasan Mohammed Al-Skafi, 53 years old.
83- Abderrahman Abderrazq Abderrahman Al-Sheikh Khalil, 24 years old.
84- Abdallah Mansoor Redwan Amarah, 23 years old.
85- Abedrabo Ahman Mohammed Rayed, 58 years old.
86- Fatma Abderrahim AbdelQadir Abu Ammouna, 55 years old.
87- Fahmy Abdel-Aziz Saad Abu Said, 29 years old.
88- Mohammed Raed Ehsan Akkila, 19 years old.
89- The child Marah Shaker Ahmad Al-Jammal, 11 years old.
90- Marwan Muneir Saleh Qunfud, 23 years old.
91- Yousef Salem Habib, 26 years old.
92- Fatma Abu Ammouna, 55 years old.
93- Husny Mahmoud Yousef Al-Absy was killed in an attack on Rafah.
94- Akram Mahmoud Abdessalam Al-Mutawwaq, 39 years old, was killed in an attack on Jabalia
95- Salem Ali Abu Saada was killed in an attack on Khan-Younis.
96- Mohammed Jihad Mohammed Al-Farra, 29 years old, was killed an an attack on Khan-Younis.
Israel shelled a house that belongs to Al-Shaer Family without a prior notice killing four members of the family, including two children
97- Mohammed Ayman Al-Shaer, 3 years old.
98- Heba Akram Al-Shaer, 15 years old.
99- Laila Al-Shaer, 33 years old.
100- Salah Al-Shaer, 40 years old.
101- Raed Mansur Nayfa
A mother and her baby was killed in an attack on their house in Rafah:
104- Mohammed Anwar Shabab was killed in an attack by artillery shells on Rafah.
105- Ashraf Ahmad Al-Shilawi was killed in an airstrike that targeted him in Jabalia Refugee Camp.
In different attack on Rafah and Khan-Younis, five people were killed:
106- Turkiyya Al-Abed Al-Bes
107- Ibrahim Khalil Ammar
108- Mnawra Abdel-Baset Ahmad Al-Sabei, 37 years old.
109- Mahmoud Mousa Abu Anze, 25 years old.
110- Ahmad Mohammed Ahmad Abu Zaanoona, 30 years old.
111- Anwae Al-Shahatit was killed by an Israeli vehicle which drove over him deliberately and killed him in Doura town near Al-Khalil.
112- The child Mohammed Rajaa Mohammed Handam, 15 years old, was killed in an attack on Rafah.
113- Mohammed Baddar Al-Daghma, 20 years old, was killed in an attack on Bani-Sheila in Khan-Younis.
On Sunday morning, eight people were found under the rubble of Abu Jamei’s house which was shelled yesterday around sunset.
114- The child Rouzan Tawfiq Ahmad Abu Jamei, 14 years old.
115- Ahmad Sulaiman Mahmoud Salhoub, 34 years old.
116- Jawdat Tawfiq Ahmad Abu Jamei, 24 years old.
117- The child Tawfiq Ahmad Abu Jamei, 5 years old.
118- The child Haifaa Tawfiq Ahmad Abu Jamei, 9 years old.
119- Yasmin Ahmad Salamah Abu Jamei, 25 years old.
120- The child Shahinaz Walid Mohammed Abu Jamei, 1 year old.
121- ٍSuhaila Bassam Ahmad Abu Jamei
122- Mohammed Ahmad Abdel-Karim Abu Jamei
July 19| The 13rd day of the Zionist attack on Gaza from sea, land and sky:
1- Said Ali Eisa, 30 years old, was killed in an attack on Juhr Al-Deek area eastern Al-Bureij.
The Israeli Occupation committed another massacre in Khan-Younis against the innocent people. 8 people were killed due to random artillery shells shelled at their houses.
2- Yahya Bassam Al-Surri, 20 years old. 3- The child Mohammed Bassam Al-Surri, 17 years old.
4- Mahmoud Reda Salhiyye, 30 years old.
5- Mustafa Reda Salhiyye, 21 years old.
6- Mohammed Mustafa Salhiyye, 22 years old. 7- The child Wasm Reda Salhiyye, 15 years old. 8- The child Ibrahim Kamal Naser, 13 years old.
9- Ahmad Mahmoud Hasan Aziz, 34 years old, was killed after an Israeli artillery shelled his house in Al-Nada buildings northern The Gaza Strip.
10- Raed Walid Laqqan, 27 years old, was killed in an attack that targeted Al-Tartouri house western Khan-Younis.
11- Iyad Ismail Al-Ruqqab, 26 years old, was killed in an attack that targeted him in Bani-Shheila in Khan-Younis.
Six people passed away today after critical injuries they sustained due to different attacks on Khan-Younis.
12- Mohammed Awad Fares Nasser, 25 years old
13- Mohammed Jihad Al-Qarra, 29 years old.
14- Rushdy Khaled Naser, 24 years old.
15- Bilal Ismail Abu Daqqa, 33 years old.
16- Mohammed Ismail Sammour, 21 years old.
17- Raafat Ali Bahloul, 36 years old.
18- Mohammed Ahmad Abu Zaanoona, 37 years old, was killed in an attack on Al-Mukhabarat buildings northern Gaza.
Two people, including a child, were killed in an attack on their house in Beit-Lahya.
19- The child Mohammed Ziyad Al-Rahal, 6 years old.
20- Mohammed Rafiq Al-Rahhal, 22 years old.
21- Mohammed Atallah Odeh Saadat, 25 years old, was killed in an attack on Beit-Hanoun.
22- Maali Abu Zeid, 24 years old, was killed in an attack on central Gaza City.
The Israeli Occupation warplanes shelled a 3-floor house that belongs to AL-Zawaydy Family, murdering 5 of the same family, including his two children and their parents.
23- Mahmoud Abdel-Hamid Al-Zawaydi, 27 years old.
24- The child Nagham Mahmoud Abdel-Hamid Al-Zawaydi, 2 years old.
25- The child Roaa Mahmoud Abdel-Hamid Al-Zawaydi, 3 years old.
26- Dalya Al-Zawaydi, 25 years old.
27- Mohammed Khaled Al-Zawaydi, 20 years old.
28- Mohammed Ahmad Al-Saeedy, 18 years old was killed in an airstrike that targeted a car in Al-Qarara in Khanyounis.
Three young men were killed in an airstrike on Abu Al-Ajin area eastern Dir Al-Balah:
29- Abderrahman Barak, 23 years old.
30-Tarek Al-Hatto, 26 years old.
31- Mahmoud Al-Sharif, 24 years old.
32- The child Samy Abdallah Jouda, 17 years old, passed away today after a critical injury he sustained in an attack on Gaza.
33- Mohammed Fathi Al-Ghalba was kileld in an attack on Khan-Younis.
The Israeli Occupation Forces targeted a group of children in Beit-Layha crossroad. All of them are from Hammouda Family.
34- The child Omer Jamil Hammouda, 7 years old
35- The child Yousef Jamil Hamouda, 10 years old.
36- Mohammed Rezeq Hamouda. 18 years old.
37- Mohammed Abderrahman Hamad, 25 years old, was killed in an attack on Beit-Lahya.
38- Fadel Mohammed Al-Banna, 29 years old, was killed in an attack on Jabalia.
39- Rani Saqer Abu Taweela, 30 years old, was killed in an attack on Al-Shijaeyya eastern Gaza city.
40- Ibrahin Qablan was just taken from under the rubble of a house that was shelled two days ago.
Two poeple were killed in an airstrike on eastern Rafah.
41- Ahmad Abu Thurayya
42- Abdallah Al-Masri
Two brothers were killed after being targeted directly by Israeli warplanes in Al-Zaytoun area.
43- Mohammed Al-Zaabut
44- Hatem Al-Zaabut
45- Adel-Aziz Abu Zieter was killed after as Israeli artillery shelled him eastern Deir Al-Balah.
46- Mo’men Taysir Abu Dan was killed by a tank shell on Abu Al-Ajin area in Dir Al-Balah.
47- Salem Ali Abu Saada was killed in an attack on Khan-Younis.
48- Akram Al-Mutawwaq was killed in an airstrike on Jabalia Refugee Camp.
49- Husny Mahmoud Al-Absy, 65 years old, was killed in an attack on Rafah.
50- Ayman Hisham Al-Naooq, 25 years old, was killed in an attack on Dir Al-Balah. July 18| The 12th day of the Zionist attack on Gaza: Israel started a ground invasion under the claim of destroy Hamas’s ‘terror’ infrastructure. Amidst this ground invasion, they shoot or shell every moving creature.
1- Majdy Jabbara, 23 years old, was killed after a tank fire was shot at him.
Israel tank fire killed two people including a baby eastern Rafah:
2- The child Fares Jomaa Al-Mahmoum, 5 months old.
3- Omer Eid Al-Mahmoum, a brother to a martyr who was killed in the 9th day of attack on Gaza.
Two brothers were killed in an artillery shelling against them in Beit-Hanoun:
4- Nasim Mohammed Nseir
5- Karam Mohammed Nseir
6- Saleh Salah Al-Shafei was killed in an airstrike on western Khan-Younis.
Three people were killed including 2 children in an attack on Gaza City:
7- Abed Ali Nteiz, 26 years old
8- The child Mohammed Shady Nteiz, 15 years old
9- The child Mohammed Salem Nteiz, 4 years old.
10- Salmiya Sulaiman Ghayyad, 65 years old, was killed after an Israeli tank fired at him eastern Rafah.
11- Ahmad Abdallah Al-Balhasawi was killed in an airstrike on Um-AlNasser village, northern Gaza.
Around mid-day, an Israeli artillery shelled three children in their bedroom while they’re sleeping peacefully there, leaving the siblings all dead.
13- The child Walaa Ismail Abu Muslim, 13 years old.
14- The child Ahmad Imail Abu Muslim, 14 years old.
15- The child Mohammed Ismail Abu Muslem, 15 years old.
16- Hammad Abdel-Karim Hammad Abu Lehya, 23 years old.
17- Mohammed Abdel-Fattah Rashad Fayyad, 26 years old.
18- Mahmoud Mohammed Fayyad, 25 years old.
Four members of the same family were brutally killed in a tank fire towards their home in Khan-Younis:
19- Bilal Mahmoud Redwam, 23 years old.
20- Munther Redwan, 22 years old.
21- Ahmad Fawzi Redwan, 23 years old.
22- Mahmoud Fawzi Redwan, 24 years old.
Two cousins were killed by a tank fire in Khan-Younis:
24- Hani Asaad Abdel-Karim A-Shami, 35 years old.
25- Mohammed Hamdan Abdel-Karim Al-Shami, 35 years old.
The Israeli Occupation Forces committed another crime on Friday’s evening after a tank shelled a house that belongs to Abu Jarad family in Beit-Hanoun, murdering EIGHT members of the family:
26- Naeem Musa Abu Jarad, 23 years old.
27- Abd Musa Abu Jarad, 30 years old.
28- -Suha Musa Abu Jarad, 26 years old.
29- Rajaa Eliyan Abu Jarad 30- The child Haniyya Abderrahman Abu Jarad 31- The child Samih Naeem Abu Jarad 32- The child Musa Abderrahman Abu Jarad, 6 months old. 33- The child Ahlam Musa Abu Jarad
Three brothers were killed in a brutal Israeli attack on Mawarej Area in Khan-Younis:
34- Amjad Salem Shaat, 15 years old.
35- Mohammed Salem Shaat, 20 years old.
37- Mahmoud Salem Shaat, 22 years old.
38- Mohammed Talal Al-Sane’ was killed in an attack on Rafah.
39- Ismail Ramadan Selmi Al-Loulahi, 21 years old.
Three people from Abu Sneina Family were killed in an airstrike on eastern Rafah:
40- Mustafa Faisal Abu Sneina, 22 years old.
41- Emad Faisal Abu Sneina, 18 years old.
42- Nizar Fayiz Abu Sneina, 38 years old.
43- Mohammed Saad Mahmoud Abu Saada was killed in an attack on eastern Khan-Younis.
44- The child Rezeq Ahmad Al-Hayek, 2 years old, was killed in an attack on Al-Shawwa hall in Gaza City.
45- The child Sarah Mohammed Bustan, 13 years old was killed in an attack on Al-Tuffah neighborhood in Gaza City.
Two children to one parents were killed in an airstrike in Al-Shijaeya neighborhood in Gaza:
46- The child Emad Hamed Elwan, 7 years old.
47- The child Qasem Hamed Elwan, 4 years old.
48- Hamza Mohammed Abul-Hsein, 27 years old, was killed and torn into pieces in an airstrike on eastern Rafah.
49- Yousef Ibrahim Hasan Al-Astal, 23 years old, was martyred after a critical injury he sustained during the attack.
50- Mohammed Awad Matar, 37 years old, was killed in an attack on a grave-yard northern Gaza.
51- Raafat Mohammed Al-Bahlool, 25 years old, was killed in an attack on Khan-Younis.
52- Walaa Al-Qarra, 20 years old, was killed in an attack eastern Khan-Younis.
53- Mahmoud Ali Darwish, 40 years old, was killed in an attack on Al-Nussairat in the center of the Gaza Strip.
54- Ahmad Abdallah Al-Bahnasawi, 25 years old was killed in an attack on Un-AlNaser village northern Gaza.
55- The child Abdallah Jamal Al-Samiry, 17 years old, was killed in an attack on Khan-Younis.
Two were killed in an attack on Al-Fakhari area in Khan-Younis:
56- Ahmad Saleh Al-Ghalban, 23 years old.
57- Hamadah Abdallah Al-Bsheiti, 21 years old.
Two people were killed in an Israeli attack on Rafah.
58- Saleh Zgheide, 20 years old.
59- Alaa Abu Shabab, 23 years old.
60- Ghassan Salem Musa Abu Azb, 28 years old, was killed in an attack on Khan-Younis.
61- Hussam Muslim Abu Eisa, 26 years old, was killed in an attack on Juhr Al-Dik.
July 17| The 11th day of the Zionist attack on Gaza:
Israel couldn’t wait for the 5-hour ‘humanitarian’ ceasefire to end to return more inhumanly and rain over to the people of Gaza more missiles and cause more bloodshed among them. The main target is children. 5 children were killed
1- Ismail Yousef Taha Qasim, 59 years old, was killed after his house was shelled in northern Beit-Hanoon.
2- The child Rahaf Khalil A-Jabbour, 4 years old, was killed in an attack on Al-Manara neighbourhood in Khan-Younis.
3- The child Yasin Al-Hamidy, 4 years old passed away today after he could no longer resist the critical injury he sustained as a result to an attack on his house in Gaza city.
One of Sheiber’s Children who was killed in an attack against their house on Thursday July 17
Three children were killed in an attack on a house that belongs to Shahbir Family in Al-Sabra neighbourhood southern Gaza city.
4- The child Fulla Tarek Shahbir
5- The child Jihad Essam Shahbir
6- The child Wasim Essam Shahbir
Two people were killed in an attack on Khan-Younis, including a man and his an elderly grandmother.
7- Hamza Husam Al-Abadla, 29 years old.
8- Zeinab Mohammed Said Al-Abadla, 71 years old.
Two poeple were killed as a result to an attack on Al-Jneina Neighbourhood in Rafah early morning:
9- Mohammed Ahmad Al-Hout, 41 years old.
10- Mohammed Abderrahman Hassouna, 67 years old.
11- Husam Hamal Shamallakh, 23 years old, passed away due to a critical injury he sustained after his house in Gaza City was shelled.
12- Mohammed Kamel Abderrahman, 30 years old, was killed in an attack on Al-Sheikh Ejlin beach.
13- Mohammed Mahmoud Al-Qadim, 22 years old, was killed in an airstrike that hit his house in Deir-Albalah.
14- Ahmad Reihan, 23 years old, was killed after The Internal Minister Fathy Hammad’s house was shelled in Beit-Lahya.
15- Salem Saleh Fayyad, 25 years old, was killed in an attack on his house in Deir-AlBalah
Three people were killed in an airstrike that hit the house of Abu-Sneima Family, eastern Rafah.
16- Abdallah Salem Al-Akhras, 27 years old
17- Bashir Mohammed Abdel-Aal, 20 years old.
18- Mohammed Ziyad Ghanem, 25 years old.
19- Amal Khader Ibrahim Dabbour, 40 years old, was killed in an attack on Beit-Hanoun.
July 16| The 10th day of the Zionist attack on Gaza: A total of 24 people were killed, including 7 children.
1- The child Lama Mohammed Al-Satry, 3 months old, fell from her house’ s window and died after Israel shelled their neighbours’ house blowing her outside and killing her.
2- Ahmad Al-Nawajha passed away today after a critical injury he sustained when he was passing by the car which was shelled yesterday in Rafah. He’s the third one who fell victim to this attack.
Two people were killed in an airstrike that hit Abu Owda’ house in Rafah:
3- Mohammed Ismail Abu Owda, 23 years old.
4- Mohammed Abdallah Zahouq, 27 yeas old.
Three people were killed as a result to a brutal attack on Bani-Sheila in Khan-younis:
5- Omar Ramadan Abu Daqqa, 24 years old.
6- The child Ibrahim Ramadan Abu Daqqa, 10 years old.
7- Khadra AL-Abd Abu Daqqa, 65 years old.
Three people were killed after war vehicles started shelling artillery shells against people’s houses and lands close to the buffer-zone:
8- Mohammed Sabry Al-Dabbary, 20 years old.
9- Ashraf Khalil Abu Shanab, 33 years old.
10- Atta Al-Ammour, 60 years old.
Two people were killed as a result to Israel’s attack on Al-Arjany house in Khan-Younis.
11- Abdallah Mohammed Al-Arjany, 22 years old.
12- Mohammed Taysir Sharrab, 23 years old.
13- Abderrahman Ibrahim Khalil Al-Serhy, 37 years old, was killed in an airstrike on Al-Zaytoun neighborhood southern Gaza city.
This is the bank of targets that Israel aims to wipe away. Those four children are a demographic threat for #Israel and therefore, they deserved murder. Those children may have got fed up because of staying at home, doing nothing but listening to bombardment and then running to radio to listen whose house was shelled and who was killed. They went to beach assuming that their football and innocent smiles will not make them a target for the Israeli occupation. Indifferent with the drones that are buzzing above their heads monitoring them and threatening death to 1.8 million Palestinian living in the Gaza Strip, they decided to simply play football. As they were kicking football to each other, the Israeli Occupation Navy found that action very provocative, as they are supposed to be sitting in one of the UNRWA schools corners shaking out of fear. But they weren’t. They were as if saying, “Fuck to Israel. We shall not fear. We will play.” Israel decided to play back. But the only game they know though is shelling murderous missiles and causing more bloodshed among the Palestinians.
RIP dear angels:
14- The child Ahed Atef Baker, 10 years old.
15- The child Zakariya Ahed Baker, 10 years old.
16- The child Mohammed Ramez Baker, 11 years old.
17- The child Ismail Mohammed Baker, 9 years old.
18- The child Hamza Raed Sary, 6 years old, passed away could no longer resist a critical injury he sustained due to an Israeli attack on Jabalia few days ago.
Soon after this indescribably inhumane attack, another attack happened again a group of people walking by Al-Katiba yard in Gaza City in the street killing an elderly woman, her son and her two grandchildren.
19- Yasmin Mahmoud Al-Astal, 4 years old.
20- Osama Mahmoud Al-Astal, 6 years old.
21- Kawther Hussein Al-Astal, 70 years old.
22- Hussein Abdellatif Al-Astal, 23 years old.
Two brothers were killed in an airstrike on Abasan area in Khan-Younis:
23- Akram Mohammed Abu Amer, 34 years old.
24- Kamal Mohammed Abu Amer, 38 years old.
Smoke billows from a building hit by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, on July 15, 2014 after Israel accepted Egypt’s proposal for ceasefire.
July 15| The 9th day of the Zionist attack on Gaza: On Tuseday, a total of 9 people were killed even after Israel claimed to accept Egypt’s proposal for ceasefire since 9 am. Bombing continued and murder continued.
Three people were killed in an Israeli attack on Khan-Younis:
Sulaiman Abu Luli, 33 years old.
Atwa Ameera Al-Ammour, 63 years ld.
Bushra Khalil Zurub, 53 years old.
A motorcycle was targeted in Rafah early morning killing two cousins:
Ismail Salim Al-Najjar, 46 years old.
Mohammed Ahmad Ibrahim Al-Najjar, 49 years old.
Two people were killed after an Israeli warplane targeted a civil car close to Abu-Yousuf-Alnajjar Hospital:
Saleh Said Dehleiz, 20 years old.
Yasir Eid Al-Mahmoum, 18 years old.
Ismail Fattouh, 24 years old, was killed in an attack on Al-Shijaeya area eastern Gaza.
Subhy Mosa Abdel-Hamid, 77 years old, was killed after Israel shelled an agricultural land in Khan-Younis.
July 14| The 8th day of the Zionist attack on Gaza: On Monday, a total of 14 people were brutally killed. Three children among them including 4-years old Sarah Omar Sheikh Eid.
Two people were killed in an Israeli airstrike against Khan-younis:
Mohammed Shakib Al-Agha, 22 years old.
Mohammed Younis Abu Yousef, 25 years old.
A child and a young man were killed in an attack that targeted them in Al-Mataen area in Khan-Younis.
The child Kamal Atef Abu Taha, 16 years old
Ismail Nabil Abu Hatab, 21 years old.
Relatives cry as they hold the body of 4-year-old Sarah Sheik Eid during her funeral outside Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, 15 July 2014. The girl was killed along with her father and uncle during an overnight drone strike of Israeli Forces in a village outside Rafah.
Israel committed another crime by shelling a house that belongs to Eid Family killing three members of the family, including a 4-year-old child and her father and uncle.
The child Sarah Omar Sheikh Eid, 4 years old.
Omar Sheikh Eid, 24 years old.
Jihad Sheikh Eid, 50 years old.
In two different airstrikes against eastern Khan-Younis, four people were killed:
The child Zeyad Nael Al-Najjar, 17 years old.
Tamer Salem Qdeih, 37 years old.
Abdallah Mahmoud Barakah, 24 years old.
Hamid Sulaiman Abu Al-Arraj, 60 years old, was killed in an airstrike that hit Deir Al-Balah city.
Three people could no longer resist the critical injuries they sustained as a result to different Israeli airstrikes on several places in the Gaza Strip
12. Zeyad Salem Al-Shawi, 25 years old.
13. Adham Mohammed Abdel-Aal
14. Mohammed Yasi Hamdan, 24 years old.
15. Munir Ahmad Badarin, 22, was shot dead in the abdomen and thigh during clashes between stone-throwers and Israeli occupation forces in Al-Samou’ area in Hebron.
July 13| The 7th day of the Zionist attack on Gaza: On Sunday, the Israeli attack continues for the thirteenth day, and more people are murdered.
Two people were killed in an attack on Rafah son after midnight:
1- Shady Mohammed Zurub, 21 years old.
2- Emad Bassam Zurub, 21 years old.
3- Muhanned Yousef Dheir, 23 years old, was killed after his motorcycle was targeted in Rafah.
Seven people passed away after injuries they sustained due to different attack on different areas in Gaza.
4- Hijaziya Hamed Al-Helo, 80 years old.
5- Fawziya Abdel-Aal, 73 years old
6- The child Moayad Al-Aaraj, 2 years old.
7- Hussein Abdelqader Mheisen, 19 years old.
8- Haitham Ashraf Zurub, 21 years old.
9- Ramy Abu Shanab, 25 years old.
10- Ezz Al-Din Bulbul
11- Laila Al-Uwaydat, 41 years old, was killed in an attack against their home in Al-Maghazi Refugee Camp.
12- The child Husam Ibrahim Al-Najjar, 14 years old, was killed in an attack against Jabalia northern Gaza.
13- Maher Thabet Abu Mur, 24 years old, was killed in an attack on Al-Husaynat area.
14- Mohammed Salem Abu Breis, 65 years old, wa
s killed in an attack on Deir-AlBalah.
15- Samer Talal Hamdan was killed in an attack on Beit-Hanoun northern Gaza.
In an attack that targeted a group of people who were back from al-taraweeh prayer eastern Rafah, three people were killed:
16- Saddam Musa Muammar, 23 years old.
17- Musa Shehde Muammar, 60 years old.
18- Hanady Fathi Muammar, 27 years old.
19- Ruwayda Abu Harb, 40 years old, was killed in an attack on a house in Al-Zawyda area.
July 12| The 6th day of the Zionist attack on Gaza: On Saturday, the Palestinian people’s cries in besieged Gaza got more louder to try a shake the world’s conscience to act to stop their bloodshed especially that Israel is escalating its inhumanity and brutality. Forty-four victims were killed on Saturday, including 7 children. Al-Batsh family was massacred. Israel committed a genocide that killed 17 of them at once. When will any serious action be taken? When Israel going to continuing wiping out the rest of the Palestinian people? Shame of everyone who watches this genocide continues while standing idly by.
Israel shelled a group of people gathering in Jabalia Refugee Camp killing four of them:
1- Islam Yousef Qandil, 27 years old.
2- Abderrahman Al-Khateeb, 38 years old.
3- Mohammed Abu Sneina,
4- Husam Al-Razayna, 39 years old, a brother of three martyrs.
5- The child Anas Yousef Qandil, 17 years old, was killed in an airstrike that hit Al-Nasser neighborhood in Gaza City.
Israel, again to prove that its inhumanity and brutality is beyond description, shelled an association for disabled people in AlSheikh-Zayid northern Gaza, killing two girls suffering from disabilities.
6- Ola Wshahy, 31 years old.
7- Suha Abu Saada, 38 years old.
In an attack on Al-Tuffah neighborhood, 3 people were killed:
8- Hasan Ahmad Abu Ghoush, 24 years old.
9- Ahmad Mazen Al-Balaawi, 26 years old.
10- Ibrahim Nabil Hamadah, 30 years old.
Another three were killed in an attack close to Ansar Mosque in Gaza:
11- Ali Nabil Basal, 32 years old.
12- Hamadah Al-Halaby, 28 years old.
13- Mohammed Abu Askar, 20 years old.
14- Mohammed Abdallah Al-Sharatha, 23 years old, was killed as a result to Israel’s shelling of a group of civilians in Shasha’a area, eastern Jabalia, northern Gaza.
15- The child Qasem Jaber Udwan Odeh, 16 years old, was killed in an attack on Khan-Yousin, southern Gaza.
16- Khawla Al-Hawajra, 24 years old, was killed after an F16 shelled a house that belongs to Khalifah family in Al-Nussairat Refugee Camp.
17- Refaat Yousef Amer, 36 years old, was killed in an attack against Al-Saftawi St, northern Gaza.
ِA father and his son were killed after they were targeted in Al-Nazzaz St. in Al-Shijaeya eastern Gaza City:
18- Ghazi Areef, 62 years old.
19 – Mohammed Ghazi Areef, 26 years old.
In an attack against Al-Zaytoun Neighborhood, eastern Gaza, two people were killed:
20- Ahmad Yousef Dallul, 47 years old.
21- Fady Yaqoub Sokkar, 25 years old.
The Israeli Occupation doesn’t want people in the besieged Gaza Strip to have a single secure place. They want them dead wherever they are. Again, the Israeli Occupation massacred 6 people at once in an airstrike that hit them directly while standing in front of their house in Al-Sheikh Redwan area in Gaza:
22- Rateb Sub7y Al-Seify, 22 years old.
23- Zamy Mahmoud Ubeid, 51 year old.
24- Nidal Mohammed Al-Malsh, 22 years old.
25- Sulaiman Saed Ubeid, 56 years old.
26- Ghassan Ahmad Al-Masry, 25 years old.
27- Mustafa Mohammed Enaya, 58 years old.
A whole family! 17 members of Al-Batsh family were killed at once in an attack against their house in Al-Shijaeya area eastern Gaza. Their bodies arrived at the hospital as torn pieces. 40 others were critically injured. It took the ambulances and the rescue crew hours to get the bodies out from under the rubble. How indescribably stone-hearted to press a murderous war vehicle to wipe a whole family? Genocide is the right word to describe this. When will the world act? When all of the Palestinian people are wiped out?
One of Al-Batsh family members who survived to keep the story of his family alive and keep his family’s cries and blood that nobody heard slaughter us inside.
28- The child Anas Alaa Al-Batsh, 10 years old.
29- The child Manar Majed Al-Batsh, 13 years old.
30- The child Quussay Essam Al-Batsh, 12 years old.
31- The child Mohammed Essam Al-Batsh, 17 years old.
32- Yehya Alaa Al-Batsh, 18 years old.
33- Ibrahim Majed Al-Batsh, 18 years old.
34- Khaled Majed Al-Batsh, 20 years old.
35- Mahmoud Majed Al-Batsh, 22 years old.
36- Marwa Majed Al-Batsh, 25 years old.
37- Jalal Majed Al-Batsh, 26 years old.
38-Ahmad Numan Al-Batsh, 27 years old.
39- Bahaa Majed Al-Batsh, 28 years old.
40- Azeera Yousef Al-Batsh, 59 years old
41- Majed Subhy Al0Batsh, 65 years old.
42- Amal Hasan Al-Batsh, 49 years old.
43- Nahed Naeem Al-Batsh, 41 years old.
44- The child Qussay Alaa Al-Batsh, 8 years old.
July 11| The 5th day of the Zionist attack on Gaza: On Friday, the Israeli Attack on Gaza continues, and Palestinian people continue to fast Ramadan under continuos bombing and mass-killing everywhere across the Gaza Strip. ِ A total of 20 people were killed:
Another bloody morning rose to our Palestinian people who try hard to stay steadfast and keep their determination high in spite of Israel’s desperate desire to break them. Another family, Ghannam Family, was massacred. Israel shelled their house in Rafah and killed 7 people; four of them belong to Ghannam family, including a 7-year-old child . Other 15 others sustained critical injuries.
1- The child Ghalia Deib Jaber Ghannam, 7 years old.
Ghannam house soon after being shelled.
2- Wesam Abderrazeq Hasan Ghannam, 23 years old.
3- Mahmoud Abderrazeq Hasan Ghannam, 26 years old.
4- Kifah Shaker Deib Ghannam, 33 years old.
5- Mohammed Muneir Ashour, 25 years old.
6- Raed Abu Hani, 50 years old
7- The child Nour Marwan AlNajde, 10 years old, was killed due to missiles’ shrapnels piercing her body in the same attack on Ghannam Family.
8- Anas Rezeq Abu Al-Kas, a pharmacist, was killed after his apartment was targeted in Tal-Alhawa area in Gaza.
9- Naser Reyah Sammamah, 49 years old, passed away due a critical injury he sustained on July 10 as a result to attack on Al-Zaytoun neighborhood.
Israeli warplanes targeted Al-Nazzaz neighborhood in Al-Shijaeya, eastern Gaza and murdered two people:
10- Husein Al-Mamlouk, 47 years old.
11- Saber Sokkar, 80 years old.
12- The child Saher Abu Namous, 4 years old, was killed in an airstrike that hit his house northern Gaza.
13 – AbdelHaleed Ashra, 54 years old, was was found killed and buried under the ground after his land was shelled in that was shelled yesterday.
In an Israeli airstrike that hit a municipality vehicle in Al-Bureij refugee camp, 3 people were killed including a child.
14-The child Shahd Al-Qarnawi, 5 years old.
15- Shahraman Ismail Abu AL-Kas, 42 years old.
16- Mazen Mustafa Aslan, 63 years old.
17- Adnan Al-Ashhab passed away after an injury he sustained due to an attack yesterday.
18- Mohammed Rabei Abu Hameedan, 65 years old, was killed in an attack on northern Gaza.
In an attack on Barakah Family’s house in Beir Al-Balah, two people were killed:
19- Mohammed Al-Sameery, 24 years old.
20- Ramy Abu Musaed, 23 years old.
Yasir Al-Haj, the only survivor of Al-Haj family who was massacred. 8 people of the same family were killed.
July 10| The 4th day of the Zionist attack on Gaza: Victims who were killed on Thursday since Midnight, the 4th day on the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza.
Israel committed another massacre against NINE Palestinian people who escaped Gaza’s hot summer to Khan-Younis Beach and to watch #WorldCup, not expecting to face murder there, including two pairs of brothers. Rest in peace:
1. Hamdy Kamel Sawali, 33 years old.
2. Ahmad Kamel Sawali, 24 years old.
3. Mohammed Khalil Qennan, 26 years.
4. Ibrahim Khalil Qennan, 24 years.
5. Sulaiman Al-Astal, 57 years old.
6. Mohammed Al-Aqqad, 24 years old.
7. Mohammed Ihsan Firwana, 27 years old.
8. Ahmad Salim Al-Astal, 24 years old.
9. Musa Mohammed A-Astal, 50 years old.
10. Raed Shallat, 37, was killed and 6 others of his family were injured in an attack on their house in Al-Sawarha area.
Israel committed another atrocious massacre against the innocent people of Gaza as if they think their victory comes through shedding as much of the Palestinian blood as possible! This time Al-Haj and Al-Halabi Families who were peacefully sleeping in Khan-Younis and WITHOUT a prior warning, Israel shelled their houses at 2 am. EIGHT people, The mother Amnah and her 4 children, along with another three of Al-Haj family were totally torn and charred bodies were found under the rubble of the house which was put all down on the ground. At least 20 others were critically injured. The majority are children and women. Only one person survived from AL-Haj family, who is Yasir Mahmoud Al-Haj.
11- ِThe child Fatma Mahmoud Al-Haj, 12 years.
12- Tareq Mahmoud Al-Haj, 18 years old.
13- Saad Mahmoud Al-Haj, 16 years old.
14- Najlaa Mahmoud Al-Haj, 29 years old.
15- Asmaa Mahmoud Al-Haj, 22 years old.
16- Omar Mahmoud Al-Haj, 20 years old.
17- Basemah Abdel-Fattah Al-Haj, 57 years old.
18-Mahmoud Lutfy Al-Haj, 58 years old.
19- Raed Al-Zawar3a, 33, was killed in an airstrike that hit Hujr Al-Deek area.
Overnight, Israeli warplanes continues to rain missiles repetitively threatening innocent people’s lives with death.
20- The child Abdallah Ramadan Abu-Ghazal, 5 years old, was killed in an airstrike on Beit-Lahya northern Gaza.
A father and his son were killed in an attack on their house in Bani-Sheila, Khan-younis.
21- Ismail Hasan Abu Jamei, 19 years old.
22- Hasan Abu Jamei, 60 years old.
In the very morning, an Israeli F16 shelled a civil car in Al-Nafaq st. in Gaza City, killing three young men.
Around noon, Israel targeted a civil car northern Gaza, leaving three charred-torn bodies
26- Mahmoud Talei Wallud, 26 years old.
27- Hazem Ibrahim Baalousha, 30 years old.
28- Nour Rafiq Oday Al-Sultan, 27 years old.
29- Mohammed Kamal Al-Kahlout, 25 years old, was killed in an attack that hit a group of civilians in Abed-Rabbo area northern Gaza.
30- ٍSamy Adnan Shaldan, 25 years old, was killed in an Israeli airstrike that hit a motorcycle in Al-Zaytoun Neighborhood in Gaza.
31- Mustafa Abu Mahrouq, 22 years old, after he sustained a critical injury caused by an air-strike on his motorcycle in Deir-AlBalah.
32- Ahmad Zaher Hamdan, 22 years old, passed away today after he sustained a critical injury due to an Israeli attack on Northern Gaza.
33- ِThe child Bassam Abderrahman Khattab, 6 years old, was killed as a result to an Israeli attack that hit close to his house in Al-Hakar area in Deir-Albalah.
34- Raed Salat, 37 years old, was killed in an attack that targeted his house in Al-Nussairat.
Israel continues to shell civilians’ houses to kill as many innocent people as possible. At least 20 children were killed only on Wednesday.
July 9| The 3rd day of the Zionist attack on Gaza: On Wednesday, July 9th, the Israeli Occupation Forces continues its brutal attack on the civilians of Gaza, shedding more of the Palestinian blood and causing lots causalities. Eight children were brutally killed only today so far, including a 1-year-old baby Mohammed Malaka, and his 27-year-old mother Amnah Malada
Israel committed another crime against a Al-Nawasra family’s house in Al-Magazi Refugee Camp. Five people were killed, including a mother and her two children were found as pieces under the rubble.
1. The child Mohammed Khalaf Al-Nawasra, 4 years old.
2. The child Nedal Khalaf Al-Nawasra, 5 years old.
3. Their mother Aysha Nejem, 24 years old.
4. The child Salah Awad Al-Nawasra, 6 years old.
5. Mahmoud Nahed Al-Nawasra
6. Amjad Hamdan, 23 years old, was targeted earlier on while he was in front of his house in Beit-Hanoun, Northern Gaza.
Around noon, Israel shelled another Al-Masri Family’s house in Beit-Hanoun, killing a mother and her 14-year-old son
7. Sahar Hamdan Al-Masri, 40 years old.
8. The child Mohammed Ibrahim Al-Masri, 14 years old.
Bombing Al-Masri Family in Beit-Hanoun coincided with another brutal attack against Abdel-Ghafour Family’s house Family in Al-Qarara area southern Gaza, killing another mother and her daughter, and wounding the father.
9. Amal AbdelGhafour, 27 years old.
10. The child Ranim Jouda AbdelGhafour, 1 year old.
11. Mohammed Khaled Al-Nimra, 22 years old, was killed in another airstrike on Al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza.
In another brutal attack on Al-Zaytoun Neiborhood, 27-year-old mother and her new-born baby and only baby were killed. Another young man was killed in the same attack.
12. The child Mohammed Malaka, 1 year old
13. Amnah Malaka, 27 years old
14. Hatem Abu Salem
In another attack against AbuKweik Family’s house in Al-Nussairat Refugee Camp, central Gaza, an elderly man and his son were killed.
15. Abdennaser AbuKweik, 60 years old.
16. Kaled Kweik, 31 years old.
17. 80-year-old Nayfa Faraj-Allah was killed in an Israeli airstrike on Al-Mughraqa area, central Gaza.
18. Rafiq Al-Kafarna, 30 years old, was killed after an Israeli missile hit his motorcycle in Al-Manshiya st. in Beit-Lahia, Northern Gaza.
19. The child Mohammed Ureif, 13 years old, was killed in an airstrike against Al-Shaaf area, eastern Gaza, at noon.
Hamad Family who was massacred yesterday and lost 6 members of the same family, has been targeted again by Israeli warplanes which killed another two of the family; a father and his son.
20. Hani Saleh Hamad, 57 years old.
21. Ibrahim Hamad, 20 years old.
22. Hamdhy Shehab, a driver of a news-agency vehicle was killed in an airstrike that hit his car which has a media sign in central Gaza City. 8 Others were injured in the same attack.
In another brutal attack against Rafah Border crossing surroundings, a grandmother and her grandchild were killed
23. Samya Al-Arja, 65 years old.
24. The child Maryam Al-Arja, 11 years old.
25. The child Yasmin Al-Mutawwaq, 2 years old, was killed in an airstrike on Jabalia Refugee Camp.
Three Martyrs were killed in an Israeli airstrike that hit a civil bus in Al-Sha’biya crossroad in central Gaza city.
July 8|The 2nd day of the Zionist attack on Gaza: On Tuesday, July 8th, 2014, a total of 24 martyrs fell victims as a result to Israel’s bombing.
1. Mohammed Saaban, 24 years old
2. Amjad Shaaban, 30 years old
3. Khader Abu Jabal, 45 years old #Martyrs above were killed in an Israeli airstrike that hit a civil bus in Al-Sha’biya crossroad in central Gaza city.
4. Rashad Yasin, 27 years old, killed in an israeli airstrike on Al-Nussairat Refugee Camp.
5. The child Mohammed Ayman Ashour, 15 years old.
6. Riyad Mohammed Kaware’, 50 years old.
7. The child Basem Salem Kaware’, 10 years old.
8. The child Hussein Yousef Kaware’, 10 years old.
9. Mohammed Ibrahim Kaware’, 50 years old.
10. Baker Mohammed Jouda, 22 years old.
11. Ammar Hasan Jouda, 26 years old.
12. The child Siraj Iyad Abdel-aal, 8 years old
Martyrs from (5-12) were killed in a massacre Israel committed against a house that belongs to Kaware’ family in Khanyounis. Kaware’ Family’s neighbours remained on the roof of the house forming a chain of human-shields, thinking that this action of unity and humanity will prevent Israel to shell the house. But Israel proved to the whole world that their inhumanity and brutality is beyond description and shelled the house.
13. Hafith Mohammed Hamad, 30 years old
14. Ibrahim Mohammed Hamad, 26 years old
15. Mahdy Mohammed Hamad, 48 years old
16. Fawziya Khalil Hamad, 62 years old
17. The child Dunya Mahdy Hamad, 16 years old
18. Suha Hamad, 25 years old
Martyrs from 13_18 were killed in a brutal attack with an Israel F16 launched against Hamad Family in BeitHanoon Northern Gaza without a prior notice.
19. Mohammed Habeeb 22 years old
20. The child Musa Habeeb, 16 years old
Both Mohammed and Musa were killed in an Israeli airstrike that hit a motorcycle in Al-Shijaiya area eastern Gaza.
21. Saqer Ayish Al-Ajjouri, 22 years old, killed in an attack against Sheikh-Zayid neighborhood in Jabalia, northern Gaza.
22. The child Ahmad Nael Mahdy 16 years old, killed after Israel shelled a place in Ahmad-Yasin Street in Gaza.
23. Abdelhady Al-Soufi, 22 years old,
24. Sulaiman Abu Sawawin, 22 years old
Both killed after Israel shelled an area close to Rafah border crossing.
“Our honeymoon will never last my love!” The fiancee of yesterday’s martyr Abderrahman Al-Zamli having her last look at her martyred groom.
July 6| The 1st day of the Zionist attack on Gaza: On Sunday, 11 people were killed in several attacks against different places in Palestine; two in the West Bank and 9 others in the Gaza Strip.
Two Palestinian workers were killed after being deliberately run over by a truck driven by an Israeli settler in Haifa northern occupied 48 lands.
1- Zahi Subi Abu Hamed from Qalqiliya
2- Anwar Astal from Tulkarem
Two Palestinians were killed in an israeli airstrike that hit Al-Bureij Refugee Camp central #Gaza.
3- Mazen al-Jarba, 30, the third martyr in his family and the last member
4- Marwan Salim, 23
Six people were killed after Israeli warplanes shelled a tunnel in Rafah, southern Gaza.
5- Ibrahim Al-Bal’awi 24
6- Abderrahman el-Zamly, 22
7- Mustafa Abu-Mur, 22
8- Mustafa Abu-Mur’s twin brother Khaled Abu-Mur, 22
9- Sarif Ghneem, 22
10- Gumaa Abu-Shallouf, 24
11_ Ibrahim Abdin, 23, killed in an airstrike that hit Northen Rafah.
A total of 8 Palestinians were brutally killed in different places in Palestine during the alleged search for the 3 missing settlers who were later found dead. Then the heart breaking story of 15-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir comes.
Let’s not forget the 15-year-ld Mohammed Abu Khdeir who was kidnapped by group of savage settlers on July 2nd and then forced to drink gasoline and then burned alive to death, claiming that they have done this atrocious attack after the Israeli Occupation Forces found the three missing Israeli settlers killed. Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s brutal murder erupted a sort of #intifada all around Palestine, people had enough with the Israeli Occupation and its oppression and brutality. Only during three weeks of searching for the three missing Israeli settlers: around 600 Palestinians were detained, More that 2100 building and houses were raided aggressively terrorising their inhabitants and 8 people were killed, including:
23-year-old Ahmad Al-Sabarin in Al-Jalazoun Refugee camps after the Israeli Occupation well-armed soldiers clashed with Palestinian stone-throwers on June 19.
14-year-old Mahmoud Jihad Doudin’s chest was pierced by an Israeli live bullet cutting his life short during classes in Doura town near Hebron on June 20.
30-year-old Mahmoud Atallah Ismail ِAl-Tafifi was killed today by a live bullet shot by the Israeli Occupation Forces in Ramallah on June 22.
27-year-old Ahmad Said Al-Fahmawy was shot dead in Nabes while going to perform the morning prayer. Palestinian sources reported that he was mentally sick and the Israeli occupation soldiers asked him to return home but he refused. Then they shot him by a live-bullet and he was let on the floor bleeding for an hour without allowing the ambulances to reach him, until he passed away.
22-year-old Mustafa Aslan, a champion of Palestine in boxing, passed away after a week of resisting death on his hospital bed after being shot in the head by the Israeli occupation murderous army on June 26.
The 78-year-old Fatma Rushdy was just killed by the Israeli army after they broke into her house on June 26. The trauma caused her a critical stroke. The brutal zionist army banned the ambulance from entering to rescue her for an hour. when the ambulance was allowed to get in, she was already dead.
Muhammad al-Fasih, killed after two Israeli missiles hit a care in Gaza’s al-Shati camp on June 27.
Usama al-Hassumi, killed after two Israeli missiles hit a care in Gaza’s al-Shati camp on June 27.
Palestinians in Gaza City have launched a solidarity hunger strike in a sit-in protest outside the Red Cross. (Ahmad Abu Hussein)
Our Palestinian detainees have been battling the Israel Prison Service (IPS) with their empty stomachs since 24 April, embarking on the longest-known mass hunger strike in the history of the Palestinian prisoners movement. Hunger is the only remaining weapon they can use against the IPS and its well-armed Israeli occupation soldiers.
They launched this hunger strike to call for an end to their detention with no charge or trial based on secret “evidence” submitted to a military court that is kept from the detainees and their lawyers — an unjust policy that Israel calls administrative detention. One hundred and twenty administrative detainees launched this mass hunger strike which grew to involve nearly three hundred prisoners, according to the rights group Addameer.
Our dignified prisoners are striking in protest of Israel’s violation of an agreement reached with the IPS after the 28-day mass hunger strike that ended on 14 May 2012. According to that deal, the use of administrative detention — the key issue behind the hunger strike – would be restricted and administrative detention orders would not be renewed without fresh evidence being brought before a military judge. However, Israel did not abide by the agreement and has continued its practice of arbitrary administrative detention.
Administrative detainee Ayman Tbeisheh from Dura village near Hebron in the occupied West Bank has exceeded one hundred days of refusing food in protest of his administration detention orders which have been continuously renewed since his last arrest in May 2013, according to al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper. Tbeisheh has spent a total of eleven years in Israeli jails, including nearly five years under administrative detention.
According to Addameer, Tbeisheh first began to refuse food on 22 May 2013, immediately after his four-month administrative detention order was confirmed in a military court. He suspended his strike after 105 days, when he thought he reached a deal with the IPS. But this was soon broken as his order was again renewed, despite his deteriorated health.
Ayman Tbeisheh told Palestinian lawyer Ibrahim Al-Araj, who managed to visit him during his previous hunger strike, “I will continue this open hunger strike until I put an end to the ghost of administrative detention that keeps chasing me.”
Soon after he regained some of his physical strength, he re-launched his hunger strike on 24 February 2014. Tbeisheh has since been placed in Assaf Harofe Medical Center where he lays shacked to a hospital bed that may become his deathbed at any moment.
Ayman’s condition is no different than the rest of administrative detainees whose hunger for freedom and dignity drove them to launch the mass hunger strike that has been continuing for 51 days. Eighty hunger strikers have been hospitalized as a result of their ongoing hunger strike, but they persevere in this battle for dignity.
My father, who spent a total of fifteen years in Israeli jails, calls force-feeding “a death penalty.” He participated in the Nafha prison mass hunger strike in 1980 which lasted for 33 days. He was subjected to force-feeding and thankfully survived. But his comrades Rasem Halawa from Jabalia refugee camp and Ali al-Jaafary from Dheisheh camp were victims of this murderous practice that aimed to break their hunger strike, and were killed after being subjected to force-feeding.
The Israel Prison Service escalates its oppression of the hunger strikers as their health constantly deteriorates. They put them in windowless isolation cells, keep their hands and legs shackled for tens of hours, deny them family and lawyer visits, and they even deny them an access to salt, which is necessary for their survival.
A smuggled letter from Israeli jails written by the administrative detainees who are on hunger strike.
Below is my translation of a letter our administrative detainees managed to smuggle on 8 June to call upon humanity and people of conscience for popular and international support of their battle for justice. The ex-detainee Allam Kaaby read it during a press conference in front of the sit-in tent erected in front of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Gaza in solidarity with our Palestinian prisoners’ open-ended mass hunger strike:
Despite the chains and the prisons’ bars and walls, this is a will from those who are standing at the edge of death to the guards of our homeland, Palestine.
After leaving the isolation cells which are no longer able to tolerate our pains, illnesses and corroded bodies, from our hospital beds to which we are shackled by chains and guard dogs, from amidst the jailers who keep watching our heart monitors that may announce our death any moment, from the edge of death, we send our call which could be the last for some of us. It might be the time to announce our will before we embrace our people as dignified martyrs. Our call is our voice, our scream, our will. We are the administrative detainees who are heading towards immortality, towards embracing the sun of dignity which might mark at the same time, the end of the battle for dignity. We raise our voice, hoping that it will reach our revolutionary people.
First, we call upon you to intensify your support of the hunger strikers who are not yet martyred; the fighters who fight our fascist enemy with their bodies deserve from you a stand of loyalty that prevents the continuation of our bloodshed which will never stop until the achievement of our just demands.
Second, the pains of hunger damaged some of our organs but some organs must be still in tact. As death is waiting for us, we declare that nothing will stand in the way of our sacrifices, even death. Therefore, we donate our functioning organs to the fighters, poor and oppressed people who are in need. We are waiting a visit from the International Committee of The Red Cross to endorse these donations.
Third, we call on you to stay faithful to our blood and the blood of all martyrs who sacrificed their souls over the course of our Palestinian struggle. Faithfulness is not just through words, but through revolutionary practice that knows no hesitance nor weakness.
Fourth, hold on to our historical and legitimate rights and never give up an inch of Palestine, from the river to the sea. The right to return is the bridge to our historic rights. These rights cannot be restored without resistance, which is the only language that our enemy understands.
Fifth, don’t fail prisoners who remain alive after us, as those who sacrifice their freedom as a price for their people’s freedom deserve freedom rather than death.
To our dignified people in Palestine and diaspora, to the free people and freedom fighters worldwide, we will let our screams be heard despite the darkness of Israeli jails, which are graves for the living. To people of dead conscience worldwide, our Palestinian people will continue the struggle until victory. We bid farewell with smiling faces.
Reading their words which embrace pain and disappointment must make us all ashamed as we watch them die slowly. Changing our profile pictures to a picture that shows solidarity with their battle for dignity cannot do them much help. We have to move beyond superficial solidarity to serious actions that will bring meaningful change to them. Act before we count more martyrs among Palestinian heroes behind Israeli bars. Their death would be our shame.
Words fail me. There are no words that can do justice to the martyrs that fall every day, the pain that intensifies in our hearts, the floods of tears from the oppressed. Words lose their strength for a Palestinian people who face a daily stuggle to survive under a brutal occupation that doesn’t recognize their most basic human rights.
What is more painful and disappointing is that our supposed “leadership” is complicit in these ongoing crimes and shamelessly provides the first line of impunity and defense for the Israeli occupation to continue attacking and terrorizing us. Very aware of how the situation is deteriorating to an intolerable extent, the leadership stays committed to meaningless negotiations that bring no justice to us or to our martyrs. Israel has killed forty Palestinians since the beginning of US-backed negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
Before our people go to sleep each night, we always hope for a brighter morning with more security, freedom and justice. But everyday we wake up to witness more darkness, more brutality and more violations of our rights.
On the morning of 27 February, we woke up to the news of an Israeli military raid on the central West Bank village of Birzeit, near Ramallah. The village lies very close to the Muqataa compound, where the Palestinian Authority lives with a delusion of having authority, guarded by an “army” unable to provide any sense of security to its people.
The Israeli forces besieged a house belongs to Washaha family, forcibly evacuated its residents and those of neighboring houses, destroyed parts of it and set the rest on fire.
Even more cruelly, the military kept its people watching as their belongings and memories burned and as Muataz Washaha, who was active in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was attacked.
The Israeli occupation forces had stormed the Washaha family’s house, looking for Muataz. They assaulted members of the Washaha family and detained his brother, Ramiz, as well as his friends Fadi Sedqi and Samir al-Qaisi.
A few months passed since 24-year-old Muataz Washaha was released from an Israeli jail. He knew very well what being imprisoned meant for he refused to surrender to the Israeli military. He prefered to barricade himself in a corner of his house and resist arrest. He chose to die within his home, where he had spent his childhood and youth.
“Do not worry”
“I will be free here. Leave and do not worry about me. I will stay here and not surrender. I will not return to prison.” These were the last words Muataz Washaha uttered to a civil defense worker, who was the last person to have access to him before the house was evacuated of everyone else.
The civil defense man had no choice than to kiss Muataz’s forehead and leave, respecting his wish.
Soon afterwards, the Israeli military located Muataz with its sophisticated technology and started shooting live bullets and shells at him. He was called on to turn himself in but Muataz would not. This unequal confrontation lasted for six hours, which were enough to kill Muataz a thousand times.
After the withdrawal of the Israeli forces, Muataz’s body was found torn by tens of live bullets. His head had been hit by a rifle-fired Energa shell.
According to the Israeli military, Muataz Washaha was killed because he was “suspected of terror activity.” How ridiculous to read such a statement.
After the countless acts of terror the occupation forces have committed against the Palestinian people, they should be the last ones to speak about terror or define what terror is.
Observing the daily injustices that our people have to endure makes me frustrated — or, rather enraged — not against the occupation but against the Palestinian Authority. The question that I am wondering about is: what will be the reaction of the Palestinian Authority to the murder of Muataz Washaha?
Why is the “peace process” continuing, when it is very obvious that Israel is not interested in peace?
The systematic ethnic cleansing process continues against our people in Jerusalem and settlements continue to expand as more “peace” talks take place. It is time for the PA to turn to the Palestinian people and stop compromising our rights.
The PA has to understand that our fight is about liberation and justice, not about a state and a flag, luxurious embassies all over the world, a few privileges or a travel document. Back in 1993, Edward Said wrote: “We should remind ourselves that much more important than having a state is the kind of state it is.”
Said insisted that “no negotiations are better than endless concessions that simply prolong Israeli occupation.”
Sadly, this is what we see happening on ground. More negotiations lead to more concessions.
This drawing of mine describes the way I feel: depressed, frustrated and suffocated while waiting for the Rafah border crossing to open.
I have tried many times to write about my experience at the closed Rafah border crossing with Egypt that has left thousands of people in Gaza stranded. Every time I start, a deep sigh comes over me. Shortly after I feel paralyzed, and finish by tearing apart my draft. I have never found it this difficult to write about a personal experience. No words can capture all the suffering and pain our people in Gaza deal with collectively under this suffocating, inhumane Israeli-Egyptian siege.
As I write, I am supposed to be somewhere in the sky, among the clouds, flying to Istanbul to begin my graduate studies. But I could not catch my flight, as I am still trapped in the besieged Gaza Strip, sitting in darkness during the power cuts caused by fuel crisis, trying to squeeze out my thoughts during what is left of my laptop’s charge.
As much as I am attached to Gaza City, where I was born and spent all 22 years of my life, each day I spend trapped in it makes me despise living here. Each day that passes makes me more desperate to set myself free outside this big, open-air prison. Each day makes me unable to stand the mounting injustice, torment, brutality and humiliation.
Hardships and happiness
I have never experienced as many extreme ups and downs as I did this month. Despite the hardships throughout September, I also had some immensely happy moments. I think will remember them the rest of my life. This is life in Gaza: highs amid lows, everything in the balance, nothing secure from day to day, no plans, no guarantees.
At the beginning of September, I started the process to secure my visa for Italy. I am supposed to be there on 10 October to celebrate the publication of my first book, the fruits of my work over more than three years of writing. It is the Italian version of my blog, Palestine from My Eyes, which I started in May 2010. My book launched on 22 September. It was impossible for me to attend its release in Italy.
My blog was never about me as an individual. It is rather about a young Palestinian woman who grew up in the alleys of a densely inhabited refugee camp with an imprisoned father. It is about a woman whose awareness of her Palestinian identity was shaped in a besieged city under the brutal Israeli occupation. My blog is about our people, who are routinely dehumanized and whose stories are marginalized and unknown to the majority outside. It was about our Palestinian political prisoners and their families, whose lost and missing loved ones have become statistics, numbers which fail to communicate all the injustices they face under the Israeli Prison Service, which denies them their most basic rights.
The book, inspired by the harsh and complex reality we are forced to endure, makes me feel that my responsibility as a voice for our Palestinian people has doubled. Some amazingly dedicated Italian friends are fixing a busy schedule of events, book fairs, conferences and presentations in many different cities. My presence in Italy is very important, because I am sure few people there have met Palestinians. I am anxiously waiting for the Rafah border to open so I can be there for these events, to help my book spread as widely as possible.
I read on Reuters last Tuesday: “According to Abbas’s request, Egypt agrees to reopen Rafah border crossing on Wednesday and Thursday for four working hours each.”
My first reaction was laughter. Where was Abbas while the Rafah border was closed to thousands of patients seeking medical care abroad which they cannot access in Gaza, or students whose dreams to pursue their education overseas were crushed?
We are not only paying the price for the unsettled situation in Egypt. We have even become the victims of our own divided Palestinian leadership. It makes me furious to think that the opening of Rafah crossing, a lifeline for our people in Gaza, has come under the influence of the internal division between political parties competing to seek favors from our colonizers. The ruling factions seem to have become participants in the collective punishment we suffer.
The headline infuriated rather than relieved me. Opening the Rafah border for eight hours over two days was not a solution to the crisis caused by the complete closure of Rafah for more than a week.
The same day, in the taxi heading home, I received a call telling me I finally got a visa to Italy. I was so happy I forgot the conservative nature of my society and started screaming out of happiness in the car. The visa process took shorter than I thought. I called my friend Amjad Abu Asab, who lives in Jerusalem and received my passport for me, since Israel prevents Palestinians in Gaza from visiting the city, urging him to find someone coming into Gaza via the northern Erez checkpoint on Wednesday.
This can be my chance to leave Wednesday or Thursday, I thought. My happiness didn’t last. “Erez checkpoint will be completely closed from Wednesday until Sunday, 22 September, because of the Jewish holidays,” Amjad said. “No express mail, and no person, can cross Erez to Gaza during this period.”
“What an absurdity!” I screamed. “When the Rafah border crossing finally reopens, Erez checkpoint closes. We have to deal with Israel from one side and Egypt from the other. How long will we live at the mercy of others? There must be some emergency exit.”
Life of uncertainty
“The definition of uncertainty in the dictionary is Gaza,” my fellow Electronic Intifada writer Ali Abunimah once told me. That describes in short my life at the moment, and the lives of our people generally: a life of uncertainty.
I had no choice but to wait for the Jewish holidays to end for Erez to reopen and to get my passport. But on Wednesday, I insisted on going to Rafah. I refused to sit at home, powerless, unable to do anything but wait. At Rafah border crossing, I saw a gate of humiliation. People crowded on top of each other, roamed the waiting hall, waited impatiently for some news to revive their hopes, and ran after policemen, asking for help and explaining their urgent need to travel.
I met many of my fellow students who were stuck as well. They came with their luggage, hoping they could leave, but ended up dragging it back home.
I stayed until 2:00pm, hoping that I could at least register. I did, I think. I explained my situation to a policeman at the gate. He took my scanned copy of my passport and returned after about five minutes, saying, “Your name is registered.” I am not sure what he meant, but he did not say anything else. I asked him if there was a certain date I could leave. His reply was, “Only God knows.” I wish someone could tell me when I will be able to leave so I can have a break from worrying. But no one knows anything, “only God knows.”
While doing an interview with the Real News Network that morning at the border, an elegant elderly man in a formal black suit and holding a black bag interrupted. “I would like to make an interview,” he said. “I speak English, and if you like, I can do Hebrew.” The old man looked very serious as we awaited his poignant words. “This border, all this area, was mine. They came and stole it.” As he continued, the Real News crew and I realized the interview was descending into farce. “I have bombs in this bag and I can explode the whole place in a second!” the man said. We started laughing and said jokingly, “Go explode, then. We’re standing by you.” Yes, this Rafah gate of humiliation must be wiped away so we, Palestinian people in Gaza, can have some breath of freedom.
The Rafah border crossing closed again after 800 persons left to Egypt on Wednesday and Thursday. I am sure this closure would be easier to understand if it was a natural disaster. But knowing that other human beings are doing this to me and 1.7 million other civilians living in Gaza, while the rest of the world looks on, is too difficult to believe. It is more painful and shocking to realize that our neighboring Arab country, Egypt, is joining our Zionist jailers and collaborating with them to tighten the siege.
This experience made me believe that human dignity has become a joke. International law is nothing but empty, powerless words printed in books. We are denied our right to freedom of movement, our right to pursue our education, our right to good medical care, and our right to be free or to live in peace and security. But no one in power bothers to act.
I spent September worrying about the border and my dreams which may fade away if Rafah remains closed. This takes a lot of my energy and makes me suffer from lack of focus and sleep, and makes it hard for me to sit and express myself in writing or with a drawing. Our people’s tragedy caused by the ongoing closure of Rafah border continues, and the crisis is deepening. Living in Gaza under these circumstances is like being sentenced to a slow death. Act and set us free. It is time for these injustices we face on a daily basis to end.
Feeling proud! Feeling high! Our defiant people in Jerusalem lifted my spirit which had been bruised through these last few weeks by the continuous entrapment in the besieged Gaza Strip, unable to leave for my graduation studies. I cannot put into words how proud I feel of our people in Jerusalem.
On Wednesday night, I had a long and exciting chat with my friend Amjad Abu Asab in Jerusalem who makes me feel very connected to Jerusalem, as if I am there amidst the bustle and lights of the old city’s streets. He described to me what happened and didn’t miss a single detail. Thanks to him, I could picture my dear city Jerusalem, Al-Amoud gate, the clashes and the demonstrations that happened there, the atmosphere, the anger, the smell, everything.
Amjad was one of the demonstrators who gathered at Al-Amoud gate in the old city. When I called him to ask about the situation in Jerusalem, I expected his voice to be filled with frustration and anger. His positive reply inspired me. “We managed to send a powerful message of rejection and defiance to the Israeli Occupation and the radical Jewish settlers who repeatedly break into Al-Aqsa mosque. The message that Jerusalem is Arab and Palestinian and we won’t be easily defeated.”
It does make me angry to know that our people go through such brutality on a daily basis, and that we can only support them behind the fences and walls as our physical presence is impossible under the Israeli apartheid regime. But it makes me very proud because our people are still determined and defiant. They pay a huge price for living in Jerusalem which is subjected to systematic ethnic cleansing policies but they pay the price happily because they know that “to love a land is to live and die for it.”
Amjad was one the people who was attacked by the Israeli soldiers. But that couldn’t depress him and he still told me the story with a positive tone. “I was beaten up with batons today,” he said with laughter.
I asked him how all these clashes started. “Many people gathered at Al-Amoud gate to rebel against the repetitive provocative raids of Al-Aqsa. Some radical settlers broke into the demonstration with two Israeli flags and kept waiving them amongst the angry protesters,” he replied. “There was a Palestinian salesman who sells shoes on a little table at Al-Amoud gate. One woman grabbed a shoe and threw it at that radical settler in response to his insulting provocations, and then all of a sudden all the protesters started showering shoes collectively at the soldiers.” The excitement and pride that I could feel in his voice as he narrated the story to me made me burst into laughter.
When our Palestinian people in Jerusalem threw shoes at the faces of the Israeli soldiers and radical settlers, they were attacked with tear gas bombs and batons. You cannot compare our people’s harmless shoes to the murderous weapons the Israeli forces used to suppress our people. But our people’s faith in our just cause empowers them with strength, poise and determination to stand firm in the face of Israel’s brutality and to keep resisting.
“A tear gas cannister hit my friend’s head and he was sent to hospital. He was rescued miraculously because the bomb hit the wall before it hit his head. Otherwise he could have been martyred,” Amjad said. Amjad’s friend was sent to hospital, but was thankfully released after a few hours. His situation is stable.
About 40 other Palestinians were injured in these clashes including three women, some paramedics and journalists. 15 people were jailed including three children, Ahmad Khanfar 14, Omar Al-Sheilk Ahmad 15 and Omar Abu Sarriya 14. Our Palestinian brethren in Jerusalem were terrorized, wounded and detained in the name of maintaining security and protection for the Zionist colonial settlers.
The Israeli Occupation Forces were savage and aggressive but they failed to make our people surrender. Israel’s brutality inspires our determination to keep up the fight. Every time they tried violently to disperse the crowd, they gathered again in different locations. The Israeli soldiers kept chasing them wherever they went.
Keep an eye on Jerusalem. Our people in Jerusalem face such challenges and risks on a daily basis. These vicious practices by the Israeli Occupation Forces have only one goal: to continue the systematic ethnic cleansing of our people.
At this very moment, passing through Rafah border crossing and travelling abroad for my MA studies in Turkey is no longer what I wish I could do. I don’t wish for anything more than for me to be in Jerusalem! This post is dedicated to my friends and strong people in Jerusalem. I would like them to know that we feel for you. Even if Israel builds a thousand more checkpoints to divide our people, we will stay united and feel for each other’s suffering. Keep your chins up you fighters of Jerusalem! They will not manage to Judaise our Arab Palestinian Jerusalem or our holy Palestinian soil. Free Palestine from the river to the sea!
Palestinian elderly people dragging their luggage and returning back home after hearing of the closure of Rafah border
I left very early in the morning with my youngest sister Tamam, heading to the Rafah border crossing with her to give her as much moral support as I could. Having experienced what can only be described as the torture of waiting at the border previously, I know very well how much of a nightmare going there is.
Tamam returned home from Turkey after 9 months of studying Turkish Language there. About a year ago, she earned a scholarship to study for her BA in journalism in Ankara. After enjoying three weeks of her presence at home, the time had finally come for her to return to Ankara, as her summer vacation is about to end and she has to go through many procedures in order to register for the first semester of her undergraduate studies.
In fact, she was scheduled to leave through Rafah border yesterday. Hearing of the crowds who have been trying to cross in vain for days- if not for weeks, and the restrictions that Egypt imposed on Rafah border, led us to decide to stay at home. A few more hours of sleeping would be worth more to us than the hours we would have wasted if we had gone to the border. Yesterday the Palestinian side allowed five buses in but Egypt allowed only one.
Today we decided to go, hoping that she would be fortunate enough to cross the border. As we were pulling her luggage into the car, we started laughing while mocking the dark situation we have to go through, while knowing deep inside that we will eventually have to return back home. But we insisted to go and see the situation with our own eyes. It was hard to imagine to what extent the border situation and the travelers’ crisis is getting worse, especially during the difficult times that Egypt is going through.
My sister didn’t realize that a normal decision like returning home for a visit may threaten her to lose her scholarship and keep her locked inside Gaza. She didn’t know that she should have considered such a thought a thousand times before making up her mind. Such a decision is supposed to be normal in a normal situation, but not in our case, which is very far from being normal.
As we arrived at the hall where travelers gather in hope to hear their names called out so they can ride the bus that drives them inside the border, we were shocked to see the numerous people waiting already there. Some people had been waiting since sunrise and had been trying to cross for over a week. Most of them were students traveling for educational purposes or patients leaving for medical reasons.
I shot this photo inside the Rafah hall where the travellers wait to hear their names called out
The scenes of the children who were lying down and sleeping on chairs and those of elderly people who could barely stand on their feet were the most heartbreaking. Elderly people were shouting at the police which was forming a fence in front of the travel coordination offices. They were powerless and had nothing to say or do, but were trying their best to keep people’s anger and frustration in control and to maintain some semblance of discipline.
We were ashamed of complaining about anything, just sitting and watching people huffing and puffing. We met people who have been trying to cross for about two weeks.
At about 1 pm, the police said via speakers, “We ask everyone to return back home. We received a notice that Rafah border is completely closed and not even a single Palestinian will be able to cross due to the killing of 22 Egyptian soldiers in Sinai. We don’t know when the border will re-open. Keep following the Internal Ministry Website for more information.”
I expected people to rebel and break the police fence and turn the hall into chaos. But they just turned their backs, dragged their luggage and went home. I heard many saying, “at least they finally said something. At least we didn’t have to wait until sunset.” For many people this scenario has been happening for many days, so they expected the same to be repeated again and again.
My sister has expressed her experience in few moving words she wrote on her Facebook page. The following is my translation of her words.
“I dragged my luggage very early in the morning to Gaza’s only exit to the outside world, though I was certain that I wouldn’t be able to cross. Dad stood watching me from a distance and finally he stepped closer and uttered one sentence, “May Allah ease your way my dear”. I cried a lot. More accurately, we both cried. I wondered why I cried despite having a strong desire to leave this city after a 3-week visit which was more tiring than joyful, while worrying about Rafah border’s situation. This complicated city is becoming more choking. It makes us weep out of happiness and sorrow. It restricts our freedom. It forces us to learn to adapt to the inadaptable. At this point of frustration and thinking negatively, I can’t think of any reason why we’re so attached to this mysterious city. Nevertheless, one can’t but be always longing to return to Gaza.”
My sister’s flight is scheduled to leave from Cairo to Istanbul on Thursday. It is very likely that she will miss her flight, like many other Palestinians living in Gaza.
Why should Tamam or any other traveler living in Gaza pay the price for anything happening in the neighboring countries? How many dreams are going to be crashed or how many more patients are going to die before we have a permanent and a secure way to travel? Will we ever live a normal life? This situation is utterly insane and inhumane. Collective punishment policies must end.
When I heard that the Palestinian Authority agreed to resume negotiations with the Israeli occupation, I fell into a depression. Here we go again, I thought.
It is a repeat of the what followed the 1993 Oslo accords, time after time.
Yet again, the Israelis are represented by Tzipi Livni, who as a member of the government played a key role during Israel’s 2008–2009 invasion of Gaza.
And opposite her, once again, is Saeb Erekat as Palestinian “chief negotiator.”
How could the blood of the 1,400 victims killed during that massacre be forgotten so quickly? How could Erekat share the same table with her, as he did at a Ramadan iftar at the house of US Secretary of State John Kerry, exchanging smiles in the name of “diplomacy” and “realism”?
The first 26 were freed on 13 August, 11 to the West Bank and 15 to Gaza.
Confidence? Progress? The same buzzwords were used about the Oslo accords two decades ago. Has no lesson been learned?
As Addameernotes, “over 23,000 Palestinians have been released since 1993 as ‘goodwill measures’ during various negotiations and peace talks. However, in that same period, at least 86,000 Palestinians have been arrested, including children, women, disabled persons and university students.”
Currently Israel holds more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners.
Such “confidence-building measures” are a sham!
In fact, what Israel has been doing all along is accelerating its settlement-building measures. Since 1993, the number of settlers in the occupied West Bank has continued to grow, as Palestinians, impoverished and squeezed, continue to be displaced by Israeli home demolitions and land confiscation.
Since its creation, the Palestinian Authority has served as Israel’s first line of defense against any Palestinian resistance to this colonization.
Because of inaction, and global acceptance of decades-long brutality and land theft – as long as Israel is committing it – the number of illegal Israeli settlers is now more than 600,000.
Of course, just days before the next round of talks were supposed to start, Israel has announced plans to add 1,200 more settler homes.
How could we return to negotiations based on this same framework with the same US mediators?
Saeb Erekat, of all people, knows – and this was exposed by the leaked Palestine Papersin 2011 – that when he offered Israel almost all the settlements, and the right of return of our refugees, it wasn’t enough. Israel still demanded more.
“What is in that paper gives them the biggest Yerushalaim in Jewish history, symbolic number of refugees return, demilitarised state … what more can I give?” Erekat told an American official in 2010.
Although he supposedly “resigned” after these revelations, Erekat and all the other discredited people, who should never be representing Palestinians in the first place, are back for more.
Remember that the Palestinian Authority had vowed not to return to negotations until Israel agreed to freeze settlements. They couldn’t even keep that promise. How could they be trusted to protect any Palestinian rights?
The meaning of peace
As much as peace is a dream for the Palestinian people, I sometimes wish I could wipe out the word “peace” from the dictionary.
We do hope to see a just peace, but with those who really want peace, not with such a brutal occupier whose talk of peace while playing the victim serves as an obscene cover for unrelenting crimes against our people.
Prisoners give us hope
The unyielding stance of many former prisoners and the families of detainees towards such compromises has always revived my hope.
Their opposition was not softened by the news of the prisoner release, and they are the ones who know best what it is like to be imprisoned or have a loved one in prison.
They were some of the first people who organized rallies in Gaza protesting the resumption of negotiations describing them as nothing more than “concessions.”
I was delighted to see their anger directed at the Palestinian Authority, which some of them accused of betrayal.
Detainees and released prisoners have an unmovable willingness to remain patient, to make whatever sacrifice is necessary to bring justice to our people, without a flicker of hesitation.
At the same time they affirm that the liberty of any prisoner is a victory that neither Israel nor the Palestinian Authority can spoil.
We must not let the use of our detainees as a political tool dampen the joy that their families and communities feel at seeing them return home.
Israel cannot steal people’s joy
At midnight, on 14 August, the Palestinian people were due to witness the first prisoners come home.
The Israelis deliberately released the prisoners very late, likely to prevent as many people as possible from gathering to celebrate their freedom.
However, thousands of people in Gaza and the West Bank welcomed them home from Israel’s “graves for the living,” with Palestinian flags, fireworks, songs and chants of freedom.
And we know that all of these releases come with no guarantees: whenever Israel decides to take their liberty back, they will be re-arrested.
“At least 12 prisoners who were re-arrested after their release in the October 2011 prisoner exchange are currently facing the possibility of serving the remainder of their previous sentences,” Addameer notes.
But nothing will stop us rejoicing for every mother who fought to live long enough to hold her son in her arms once again, or for children having to live as orphans with only their father’s image in their minds or hanging on the walls, finally seeing their dad in person.
And all Palestinians waiting for justice, or waiting to come home, will be inspired by the patience of the families who overcame decades of absence and suffering as they crossed endless Israeli apartheid checkpoints and endured racist and humiliating treatment to see their beloved for 45 minutes at a time through a glass screen.
Just one prisoner released from Israel’s narrow and dirty cells, unfit for humans, is a victory.
No applause for the PA
But there’ll be never be applause for the Palestinian Authority, which, while giving up our basic rights, trades with Palestinians’ emotions towards their loved ones in Israeli prisons in order to give legitimacy to endless rounds of futile negotiations.
While forgetting its own crimes against us, including the countless ones for which no one has ever been held accountable, Israel always tries to highlight a few cases to paint Palestinians as monsters.
Over the decades, some 750,000 Palestinians have been in Israel’s prisons. They are the ones who willingly took on their shoulders the struggle to bringing back freedom, dignity and a just peace for their oppressed people.
For that they were willing to sacrifice the most precious of things: their freedom. We demand the release of all Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails and call for an immediate end to the abominable treatment of Palestinian detainees. Resistance to a brutal military occupation is not a crime, but a duty.
Our people’s sacrifices and ongoing suffering under this merciless occupation will not go in vain.
A drawing recently done by the Palestinian artist Doc Jazz
“It doesn’t matter if he goes to Gaza,” said Zahra Sharawna, Ayman Sharawna’s mother. “To be freed is the most important thing.” I understand how these words could come from a mother who fears for her son’s life. She, driven by her motherly emotions, simply wants him to live, even if many Israeli apartheid checkpoints separate her from him. But I must question was that actually the victory that Ayman Sharawna’s hunger strike aimed to accomplish, to get out of prison alive regardless of release conditions? I don’t think so.
A Palestinian’s fight has never been about oneself. It has always been a collective resistance of different forms, for the sake of collective justice for all Palestinian people. Some national principles identify our struggle for freedom. Every Palestinian revolutionary should be armed with them. One is embracing our right to return as the most sacred and ultimate goal.
“One whose hands are in water isn’t like one whose hands are in fire.” This traditional saying always comes to mind when I encounter a complicated situation many people would find it easy to judge superficially. I am not in a position to imagine the kind of inhumane pressure to which Ayman Shrawna was subjected. However, being a daughter of a former prisoner who served 15 years, and having intensively read and heard many ex-detainees’ prison experiences, makes me better able to guess.
But still, I was shocked to hear that the man who remained steadfast for nearly eight months of hunger strike, who tolerated all the pain and pressure attached to it, succumbed to such blackmail, to be expelled to Gaza for at least ten years in exchange for his release. This wasn’t the victory of which I personally expected to hear. I reacted to the news with a shocked face and stony eyes, unable to shed a single tear.
Emotionally, I could celebrate and agree with Ayman that “both are my people, whether in Gaza or Hebron.” But I can’t help listening to my inner worries. I believe that our emotional reactions and stances will only serve the Israeli occupation’s long-term goals: turning the Gaza Strip into a ghetto isolated from Palestine, and expelling as many people as possible from the occupied territories in the West Bank and ‘48 Palestine. My fears that this will open the gate for Israel to intensify its systematic policy of ethnic cleansing against more Palestinian political prisoners left me unable to taste the victory in Ayman Sharawna’s release.
These worries flooded my mind, but Samer Issawi’s statement on deportation lessened my stress and cultivated hope instead. His opinion was just what I expected, wonderful and strong from a stubborn man of dignity and poise, who continues his hunger strike of nearly seven months and doesn’t give up his principles for the sake of his own physical relief. He is aware of the long-term aims behind the inhumane practices of the Israeli occupation. He believes that his detention, a violation itself, cannot be fixed with a further violation.
According to him, this hunger strike isn’t a personal battle; rather, it’s a collective one. He refuses to be released with the condition of deportation, even within our historic Palestine.
Fawwaz Shloudi, a Palestinian lawyer, managed to visit Samer Issawi after many attempts and asked him whether he will ever agree to be deported to Gaza in exchange for his freedom. Samer answered:
Regarding the Israeli occupation’s offer to deport me to Gaza, I affirm that Gaza is undeniably part of my homeland and its people are my people. However, I will visit Gaza whenever I want or feel like it, as it is within my homeland, Palestine, which I have the right to wander whenever I like, from the very north to the very south. I strongly refuse to be deported to Gaza as this practice will just bring back bitter flashbacks from the expulsion process to which our Palestinian people were subjected during 1948 and 1967.
We are fighting for the sake of the freedom of our land and the return of our refugees in Palestine and the diaspora, not to add more deportees to them. This systematic practice by Israel that aims to empty Palestine of Palestinians and bring strangers in their place is a crime. Therefore, I refuse being deported and I will only agree to be released to Jerusalem, as I know that the Israeli occupation aims to empty Jerusalem of its people and turn Arabs into a minority group of its population. The issue of deportation is no longer a personal decision, it is rather a national principle. If every detainee agrees to be deported outside Jerusalem under pressure, Jerusalem will eventually be emptied of its people.
I would prefer dying on my hospital bed to being deported from Jerusalem. Jerusalem is my soul and my life. If I was uprooted from there, my soul would be uprooted from my body. My life is meaningless away from Jerusalem. No land on earth will be able to embrace me other than Jerusalem. Therefore, my return will be only to Jerusalem and nowhere else. I advice all Palestinians to embrace their land and villages and never succumb to the Israeli occupation’s wishes. I don’t see this issue as a personal cause that is related to Samer Issawi. It is a national issue, a conviction and a principle that every Palestinian who loves his homeland’s sacred soil should hold. Finally, I reaffirm for the thousandth time that I continue my hunger strike until either freedom and return to Jerusalem or martyrdom! (original translation by author)
International law prohibits the expulsion and transfer of people in occupied territories, be it deportation to another country or forced relocation within the occupied territory. Security Council Resolution 607 “calls upon Israel to refrain from deporting any Palestinian civilians from the occupied territories” and “strongly requests Israel, the occupying Power, to abide by its obligation arising from the Convention.” But these words, as history proves to us, are merely words. We have experienced enough empty words and conventions and “international human rights laws” that do NOT apply to us, as if our humanity is in question.
If the United Nations and the all the world’s governments keep of taking this submissive stance on Israel’s crimes and watch, reacting only with silence, we should NOT normalize their violations even if it costs us our lives. People like Samer Issawi teach us how to stand firm and not compromise our rights. Thank you, Samer, for teaching us how meaningless life is without freedom and dignity.
The Palestinian people have their own calendar in which almost every day of the year goes back to a painful and atrocious massacre that the Israeli Occupation committed against our people. Everyday we have to look back in anger and remember those who fell victim in the course of the our Palestinian history that has been recorded by our people’s blood, sacrifices and suffering under the most brutal and inhumane colonial entity of Zionism.
Today marks the 19th anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in Hebron on Feruary 25, 1994, when Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli settler and a member of the far-right Israeli Kach movement, opened his hateful fire on unarmed Palestinian Muslims while they were in Sujoud position inside killing 29 of them and wounding 150 within 48-hour time. If he wasn’t killed by survivors then, the number of victims would have continued to rise.
And guess what the Israeli Occupation did then? They just locked those victims who were left between dead and injured inside and didn’t allow ambulances access to rescue them and forced media blackout. But once the news about this massacre spread out, revolutionary Palestinian charged with anger rioted throughout Hebron and the number of martyrs about Palestinian people reached 50. In the weeks following the massacre, thousands of Israelis traveled to Goldstein’s grave to celebrate Goldstein’s actions. You learn this and then you laugh in bitterness at the absurd that all this is happening to us and then we are the ones accused of hatred and terrorism because we’re just resisting and defending our lands and people’s lives and dignity.
And the world was watching Israel mass killing us inside our worshipping place and did nothing. Israel doesn’t have respect for any place. This was proved again during the 22 successive days of Gaza massacre in 2008-09 when mosques, schools, hospitals and ambulances didn’t survive from Israel’s destructive internationally banned missiles. Will Israel be ever be held accountable? Nobody knows as the impunity of Israel by the world’s silence and their commitment to Israel’s security continues.
Today as we are commemorating the lives of those victims, we renew our loyalty to bling their souls justice so they can rest in peace. Israel will sooner or later confront justice and be punished for all their crimes against inhumanity.
Samer Issawi’s battle isn’t done yet. He is still continuing his hunger strike with great poise for the 115th day till he reaches an absolute agreement that guarantees his release. He knows very well how Israel never holds an agreement and that finding a way around to keep him in custody is always possible.
Today the Israeli Magistrate court issued a release order for Samer on the 6th of March as that court first sentenced him to 8-month imprisonment when he was first arrested. However, this doesn’t guarantee his release. So time for us to celebrate hasn’t come yet. For Samer is a Palestinian, he still has to face another Israeli military court which ordered to hold him captive on the basis of the same accusation; violating his release agreement and entering the West Bank illegally and other charges based on secretive information that no one has the legitimacy to have an access to but their judges.
Remember here that Samer Issawi had been freed after serving 10 years of his 30-year sentence as a part of Shalit’s swap deal that happened between Hamas and Israel on October 18, 2011. He was re-arrested before spending less than 8 months outside jail accusing him of violating his release agreement which is all bullshit and had nothing to do with reality!
Before Samer’s release in Shalit’s swap deal, he was forced to sign a paper that obliges him to never enter the West Bank territories or else he would be re-arrested and continue serving the rest of his 30-year sentence. This is nothing but an inhumane, brutal and humiliating order that comes as an example of the conditional freedom that Samer and all other released prisoners received.
However, even when we think of this unfair charge, no one would be found guilty here but Israel who couldn’t make their mind what the borders of Jerusalem were. Samer was arrested within the municipality of Jerusalem in an area called Kufr Aqab which everyone agrees that it is within Jerusalem. However, they manipulate facts to whatever suits them to prove him guilty.
Currently Ofer military court still insists on this detention order against Samer and that Samer should stay in prison for another two decades to continue what was left from his 30-year sentence! According to Israel’s democracy, there are two approaches in their judicial systems; one serves for the Israeli jews and the other serves for the gentiles, the Palestinian Arabs.
In Israel, if two people, one is a Palestinian and the other is an Israeli Jew, were arrested on some charge, these two go through different judicial procedures. Only in Israel, when a Palestinian convict has to face two types of courts on the same accusation: civil and military court! Does this have any thing to do with justice? This is but an emphasis on that Israel is an apartheid regime. This is injustice and racism.
Samer is done with the Israeli civil court and he still has the military court to face and for that he is still on hunger strike! Our role here is to double our efforts as injustice cannot win!! Free Samer Issawi!
Read Samer Issawi’s letter which he wrote yesterday, February 20, to his supporters whom he thinks that they are not just solidarity activists but “warriors”.
Reading “With My Own Eyes” by the Israeli lawyer Felicia Langer brought painful scenes to my mind, but my faith in humanity grew deeper. While the Zionists might proclaim “woe to the vanquished,” there were Jewish people in Palestine, such as Langer, who, more profoundly, recognized it was “woe to the victor.” Langer was one who fought bravely against the unjust Israeli system throughout her 23-year career. She defended my father Ismael Abusalama in Israeli courts. He has always spoken about her with admiration and respect for her humanity and firmness.
My father’s story of arrest recorded by Felicia Langer
In her book, she wrote that she met my father on April 6, 1972 in Kafaryouna, an Israeli interrogation center. “Ismael Abusalama, a 19-year-old man who lives in Jabalia Refugee Camp, is a refugee originally from Beit-Jerja.” She mentioned Dad’s cousin who was killed by the Israeli occupation forces after the Six-Day War in 1967. Langer quoted my father’s words, “I saw how children were being brutally shot dead in the Camp’s streets by the Israeli border guards. I witnessed the murder of a little girl who was just leaving her school when an Israeli soldier from the border guards shot her dead. They raid the camp with their thick batons beating up every human. They break into the houses inhabited by women without knocking at their doors. They mix the flour with oil during their aggressive inspections deliberately and without any necessity.”
On page 352, she recorded a painful story of my father’s that she witnessed. While reading it, my heart ached to imagine my father in such brutal conditions. She wrote, “After his arrest in Jabalia Camp on January 1, 1972, they dragged him to the Gaza police center while beating him with batons all the way. They showered him with extremely cold water in winter while soldiers continued to attack him with batons everywhere, and punched him very violently to the extent that he lost his sense of hearing. This continued for 10 days.” She quoted my father saying, “They threatened me with being expelled to Amman and assassinating me there if I didn’t say what they wanted to hear.”
I have no doubt that she tried hard to expose the reality and prove my father and other detainees innocent, but Israel’s unjust judicial system was stronger than her. Her dedicated investigations and defense of the truth didn’t stop Israel from sentencing my father to seven life sentences and 35 years! I appreciate her book, which exposes the injustices of the Israeli occupation and the rotten justice system in Israel. She has always repeated that the aggressor can never win. And I have faith that Israel will never win and Palestine shall be free.
Surprisingly, I only learned this story from her book and haven’t heard it from Dad. When I read that story about him losing his sense of hearing, I asked him about it and he confirmed and continued, “but I was never sent to hospital.”
“Detainees suffer intensively from medical neglect,” he said. “Small health problems can become critical with constant negligence. I thankfully survived, but many others didn’t and were left with permanent disabilities or health problems that led in some cases to their death.”
He stopped for a moment and continued, “Actually, such cases, maybe death isn’t the appropriate word. Murder sounds better.”
Medical neglect is one of the major brutal policies the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) practices intentionally against Palestinian political prisoners which Langer aimed to highlight in her book.
“IPS deliberately aims to harm Palestinian detainees’ physical and mental health in any possible way,” my father repeatedly says and many released prisoners have agreed. Because of this, access to proper medical care has been always on the top of detainees’ demands whenever they go on mass hunger strikes.
Akram Rickawi’s 102-day hunger strike in protest of medical neglect
Akram Rikhawi, whose 102-day hunger strike ended July 22, 2012 , has chosen to shoulder the responsibility for hundreds of disabled and ill political prisoners who grieve daily behind Israel’s bars and suffer its medical neglect. Since his first day of detention in 2004, he was held in Ramleh prison hospital, described by him and many prisoners as “a slaughterhouse, not a hospital, with jailers wearing doctors’ uniforms.”
Akram ended his hunger strike in exchange for an agreement by Israel for his early release. As part of the agreement, Akram was supposed to be released on January 25, 2013. But it’s been more than a week since that date passed, yet we have heard nothing regarding his release. This is more evidence that Israel never keeps any promises or agreements.
Ramleh stands as a nightmare for many detainees because of the inhumane procedures for them to receive a medical check, such as the long hours of waiting, being shackled from hands to feet, being aggressively treated during transfer from jail to hospital, and being treated as inferior by the racist doctors there. Many former detainees I interviewed repeatedly described this procedure as “torment.” One said, “Only when pain becomes intolerable will many prisoners call the IPS to allow them a visit to Ramleh Hospital Prison. They fear the humiliation and torture once their call is met after a long wait.”
On January 22nd, I came home from my last exam of the semester very happy and relieved that I could finally sleep without worrying about loads of studies. I put myself in bed and decided to check my Facebook before I closed my eyes. I saw a video shared by my friend Loai Odeh that turned my happiness into sadness and my relief into distress. My desire to sleep escaped me.
A photo of Ashraf Abu Dhra’ during his funeral (Musab Shawer)
The video’s Arabic title read, “The last words the martyr Ashraf Abu Dhra’ uttered before he fell in a coma.” I had no idea who Ashraf was then. A young man in weak physical shape lay on a hospital bed in the video. While struggling to make his voice as loud and clear as possible, he said, “When I got sick, they only prescribed me paradicamol and released me. When I went to the hospital the medics discovered that I have a severe inflammation. Thank God. My faith eases everything.”
A recently released prisoner fell victim to the IPS’s policy of medical neglect
Then I Googled his name and the ambiguity behind the pronouns he used became no longer ambiguous and learned that Ashraf, a 29-year-old from Hebron, was released recently after a detention of six and a half years in Ramleh prison hospital. Only then did I realize that the pronoun “they” refers to the IPS.
Ashraf was released on November 15, 2012. He spent only ten days outside Ramleh prison hospital at home, surrounded by his beloved family. But those ten days were an extension of the pain he suffered during his imprisonment. Then he fell in a coma until his death on January 21, 2013, which could have been avoided if he had access to better medical care. Israel must be held responsible for the murder of Ashraf.
Ashraf had a long history of medical problems that predate his arrest; he suffered from muscular dystrophy and as a result became wheelchair bound in 2008 during his imprisonment. During his detention he contracted several illnesses including lung failure, immunodeficiency and a brain virus that eventually lead to his death.
Due to the frequent denial of medical treatment by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), Ashraf suffered a slow and painful death that was exasperated by neglect and the prison service’s refusal to provide court-ordered treatment. In 2008, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I) submitted a request to the Israeli district court for Ashraf to receive physical therapy. Although the court granted Ashraf this request, the ruling was ignored by the Ramleh prison hospital, who refused treatment claiming that it was unnecessary. Ashraf was held in captivity despite his failing health for the entirety of his sentence, rarely seeing an independent doctor.
Ashraf’s lack of proper medical treatment in his six and a half years violates several international human rights laws, specifically article 56, 91 and 92 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that obliges the occupying authority to provide “adequate treatment” for each detainee and medical care “not inferior than the care provided to the general population.”
Serious actions must be taken before Samer Issawi become the next victim
Learning about the murder of Ashraf Abu Dhra’ made my worry over Samer Issawi double. Samer’s health is rapidly deteriorating due to his historic and heroic refusal of food which has continued 194 days in protest of his re-arrest for no charge or trial. His hunger is gradually taking over his body, but as he said earlier, “my determination will never weaken.”
He started his battle with a promise that he would only retreat from it as a martyr. Samer has tasted the bitterness of imprisonment for 12 years before. But once he was re-arrested in July 2012, with no charge or trial, he decided to rebel to send a message to his captors that they couldn’t decide his destiny. He doesn’t do this from love for death. He loves life, but in the form he has always longed to have, a life of freedom and dignity.
Serious actions are needed as Samer stands at the edge of death. He suffers from severe pain all over his body, especially in his abdomen and kidney. He has double vision, dizziness, and fractures in his rib cage from a brutal attack by Israeli soldiers while he was handcuffed to his wheelchair at a court hearing. This injury has caused severe and persistent pains that leave him sleepless day and night.
We shouldn’t sit idly and watch Samer slowly die. We don’t want to count more Palestinian detainee as martyrs. If Samer dies, it will be a glory for him, but a shame for us. Our silence allows Israel to cross all red lines. Save Samer from being the next victim of medical neglect after Ashraf Abu Dhra’. Act now to rescue the lives of Samer and all hunger strikers.
Palestinian people demonstrating in Jerusalem in front of the French Consulate the delay of Georges Abdallah’s release. (Amjad Abu Asab)
The hero Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, a pro-Palestinian Lebanese leftist who has spent 28 years in French prison, was supposed to be freed on Monday and expelled from France to Lebanon.
Georges joined the Popular Front for the Liberation ofPalestine in the 1960s, before joining the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Factions. He was jailed because he was a true human, a true revolutionary who dedicated his life fighting injustice. He had a great faith in the just cause of Palestine. He sacrificed 28 years of his prime for the sake of the Palestinian people’s justice and freedom. The Palestinian people are excitingly waiting for his release.
However, there is a kind of dissapoitment in the Palestnian and Lebanese streets regarding his release conditions. His release has been postposed and his deportation order has been canceled. A French Interior Minister Manuel Valls refused to sign an expulsion order, a necessary condition for Abdallah’s release. Georges’ supporters fear the postponement is a first step to renew his detention. “We are hopeful, but we don’t know what will happen,” George’s brother Robert Abdallah said. “This case is outside of the judicial realm and is now a political issue.”
He was arrested in 1984 on the basis that he was complicit in the killing of Charles Robert Ray, an American military attaché, and Yacov Barsimentov, an Israeli embassy advisor, in Paris in 1982. The United States and Israel pressured France over the years to prevent Abdallah’s release, under the pretext that he had never apologized or expressed regret for the murders. A former director of the French intelligence agency, Yves Bonnet, later said that Georges was the victim of “an illegal intelligence conspiracy.”
This photo was taken in Jerusalem in front of the French Consulte today. Palestinian people organized a sit-in and held Georges’ photos calling for his release. They aimed to express their anger at the delay of Geroges’ release and their disapproval of the fasciest French policies. Freedom for George Abdallah!
Jihad’s father, holding Jihad’s picture, celebrates his son’s upcoming release from Israeli prison. (Amjad Abu Asab)
Palestinian detainee Jihad al-Obeidi will be freed on 20 January after 25 years in Israeli prisons. His family has already started decorating their house in Jerusalem with colorful lights and Palestinian flags to celebrate Jihad’s freedom. They are excited to welcome him home and fill his place, which has been empty for 25 years.
Jihad al-Obeidi was charged for affiliation with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and accused of trying to kill Israeli soldiers. He was sentenced to 25 years of detention, despite never having attended a trial. He was absent from the court that sentenced him, after he was expelled for refusing to stand for its racist judges.
Jihad wrote to his family that the first place he will visit after his release will be the grave of his nephew, Milad Ayyash. Milad was a 17-year-old boy whose life was cut short in May 2011 as he fell prey to an Israeli criminal who still walks freely somewhere, having escaped from justice by virtue of being an Israeli settler. Milad was killed when the settler’s bullet pierced his chest as Palestinians from the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem commemorated the 64th anniversary of the Nakba.
The Nakba is the gloomiest period in Palestinian history, the year of mass killing, dispossession and systematic ethnic cleansing of three quarters of a million Palestinians from 513 Palestinian villages. The Zionist entity, what is called now Israel, was built on their ruins.
Killed by settler
Silwan residents were demonstrating outside an illegal settler home in the Beit Yonatan neighborhood of East Jerusalem – the site of yet another eviction by radical settlers attempting to Judaize that part of the city – when a window suddenly opened from the settler lair and shots rang out, leaving Milad to drown in his own blood. (See the photos of Milad’s funeral, taken by Mahmoud Illean.)
Tragically, Milad was born and killed during his uncle Jihad’s imprisonment. Milad never saw his uncle Jihad, as only first-degree relatives are allowed family visits – if they aren’t banned – according to the Israeli Prison Service’s inhumane rules. But Jihad was introduced to Milad through his photographs and his mother’s stories of him, which made Milad feel close to his uncle. Milad was attached to his uncle, as well as the Palestinian prisoners in general, as he is also the son of ex-detainee Saeed Ayyash, released in a 1985 prisoner exchange. Milad’s thoughts travelled to the day when his uncle Jihad would be free. He often shared his thoughts with his mother: “We will be Uncle Jihad’s first destination when he is released, right, Mum?”
The painful news of Milad’s murder broke Jihad’s heart. Filled with sorrow at his murder, Jihad decided to make Milad’s wish true and visit him first. He will visit his grave to show that Israel doesn’t kill our children, it immortalizes them, and that, sooner or later, Israel will be held accountable for all its crimes against humanity.
Solidarity hunger strike
A scaned photo of Loai and his comrades taken in prison. Loai is on the very left. Jihad al-Obeidi is the send from the right.
Loai was one of the hunger strikers who took the sky as their ceiling and trees as their walls, with a surrounding tent to protect them from the sun. He decorated the tent behind his bed with pictures of detainees who he feels most attached to, including Jihad Obeidy.
That motivated me to Google his name. I found a touching video of his parents that shows the torment Palestinian detainees’ parents typically endure, especially for the sake of their 45-minute family visits. The video began with Jihad’s 75-year-old mother introducing herself, saying, “I am Um Jihad al-Obeidi. I was born in Lifta.”
Lifta is a village on the northern fringes of Jerusalem, one of hundreds of Palestinian villages seized by the newly-established Jewish state in 1948. But it is one of the few not to have been subsequently covered in the concrete and tarmac of Israeli towns and roads, or planted over with trees and shrubs to create forests, parks and picnic areas, or transformed into Israeli artists’ colonies. The ruins of Lifta were threatened many times with being bulldozed and turned into luxury housing units.
A sigh, and a moment of silence, followed that sentence, as if Umm Jihad meant to remind everyone that her village is originally Palestinian, and that for the injustice Palestinian people face, we continue to struggle and pay the price of freedom. For many Palestinians, Lifta is a symbol of the Nakba, of their longing for their land and bitterness at their continued refugee status, a physical memory of injustice and survival.
A photo of Um Jihad al-Obeidi, taken from her balcony that overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem (Amjad Abu Asab)
Since Jihad was arrested, his mother fell into depression, then became ill with cancer. She went through chemotherapy and four surgeries. However, her longing to see her son again served as her source of strength. Her fear of passing away before hugging her son again never left her mind. She was able to visit him only once every year because her critical health wouldn’t allow her to travel far.
“May God grant us health and patience to see you freed,” Jihad’s mother says in the video, while hugging her son’s picture and kissing it. “It’ll be the happiest moment when you are set free. God willing, I’ll live long enough to hug you, away from Israel’s bars and jailers’ inspecting eyes, and carry your kids.”
Jihad will be free in a matter of few days, but these days feel like years to his mother.
Jihad’s parents, like all detainees’ parents, suffered from the Israel Prison Service’s (IPS) ill treatment, especially during family visits. In Jihad’s twenty-five years of detention, the IPS transferred him between almost every Israeli jail, so that he never enjoyed a sense of stability. They never considered the distance between his jail and his family’s house. For years, Jihad’s parents traveled long distances to reach prisons, then suffered verbal and physical harassment, humiliation, strip searches and long hours of waiting.
Promises and bitterness
“Jihad keeps promising us that he will never let us do anything at home when he is released,” his father said with a slight smile. “He said he will cook and clean and serve us with all his strength, as he could feel how much we tolerate Israel’s torture to visit him. Sometimes in the winter, during family visit, Israeli soldiers used to make us stand and wait outside prison, as the sky snowed over us.”
Despite these family visits symbolizing a lifeline to prisoners and their families, the happiness of uniting and exchanging stories is mixed with bitterness. “Our tears start streaming down whenever we see him behind Israeli bars,” his father said with tearful eyes. “Our hearts ache to observe how he is growing old there.”
Jihad’s parents’ painful story is about to have a happy ending with his release. But thousands of prisoners are still behind Israeli bars, and they and their families continue to suffer. Thinking of other detainees and their families, who share the same pain, Jihad’s mother said, “My son has served most of his sentence, but many others are serving lifetimes. I call on everyone to remember these prisoners and keep following their just cause. Support them so they regain their freedom soon and return to their families.”
My message to Jihad al-Obeidi: this post is dedicated to you, to congratulate you in advance for your physical freedom. Israel has only succeeded in imprisoning your body, but never your mind, nor your determination and everlasting hope for complete freedom.
I’ve always looked at you, and all your comrades who sacrifice their most precious years for the sake of our freedom and dignity, as heroes. You’re the most dignified and the most courageous. Be certain that your people in Gaza are as excited for your freedom as your people in Jerusalem. Israel’s apartheid walls and checkpoints will never manage to make us apart. I know your happiness will be incomplete, as more than four thousands of your comrades remain inside Israeli jails. But we will raise our voices higher and continue to fight until all jails are emptied.
I can’t kick the bad habit of biting my fingers when I’m stressed despite my constant attempts. My forefinger is swollen due to this habit and it really hurts; the cold weather makes it worse. The pain was intolerable this morning and it made me cry, but I quickly wiped my tears. I felt ashamed to think that our hero Samer Issawi suffers pains incomprehensible to the human mind.
However, he makes us all proud as he continues to fight injustice. His body has broken the limits of hunger. His hunger has broken the silence and will help defeat Israel’s injustice and oppression.
As the rain pounds continuously and the winds howl uncontrollably, Samer Issawi dominates my mind. I think back to my 24 hours of hunger strike on Monday, which caused me a terrible headache leaving me unable to focus on my studies for my final exams; I observe how very few people walk outside and how even fewer cars drive past my house. Then I think of Samer and I can’t but look to him with utter admiration and respect – proud of his shocking ability to refuse food for 168 days. My admiration for him made me give Samer’s dire situation priority over my studies and draw him a portrait.
Mum shot this picture of me right after I finished the drawing.
How painful it is to imagine him now… to imagine how much he endures from Israel’s constant oppression, medical neglect, pain, hunger and cold. Personally, I can hardly leave my warm bed to go to the bathroom. I’m studying and typing away with trembling fingers while I lie under three heavy blankets. But Samer suffers in the cold. Mum takes very good care of me; she even brings me food to my bed so I don’t have to stop my studies and leave this warmth. But Samer suffers alone. Those around him aren’t there to ease his pain but to make him suffer more. He finds no one to comfort him. Instead, he is relentlessly harassed.
Nonetheless, while I’m cosy in bed, my thoughts are torn between my books and Samer Issawi. I can’t help but travel in my thoughts to Samer: lying in a cold, dirty, narrow solitary cell in Ramleh prison hospital, described often as a “slaughterhouse.” Starvation makes the hunger striker feel cold despite the weather.
Samer can barely stand on his feet and hardly turn his body on his borsh — a bed of metal that has a very thin mattress, which my father and friends who are ex-detainees often complained caused back-pains.
In winter, one of the most brutal practices that the Israeli Prison Service uses to oppress our prisoners is depriving them from their winter needs such as heavy blankets and warm clothes, often even depriving them of hot water. As a result, Samer’s sister Shireen worries about him more heavily. “The sky is snowing in Jerusalem,” Samer’s sister Shireen has said. “But unlike others, the happiness of seeing the layers of snow covering everything escapes me. When one has a little wound, its pain increases in cold weather. So imagine the situation of Samer who is hunger striking for 168 days and left without blankets or heavy clothes. Imagine him after he was physically attacked by the savage Israeli soldiers, causing him fractures in the rib cage. These are unbearable pains that one can hardly endure. But Samer lives and suffers these pains every moment, every day.”
He is shackled from his hands and feet to his bed or his wheelchair, and left with no means to defend himself. All this doesn’t deter the Israeli soldiers from repeatedly beating him up. Israel tried every inhumane way to put pressure on Samer Issawi to end his strike. He wasn’t the only target of this inhumanity: his family, his people in the village Issawiyeh, even sit-in tents installed in solidarity with him were targeted as well.
Israeli bulldozers recently demolished the house of Samer’s brother that was under construction and left it as rubble. But they couldn’t break his brother’s resilience. Instead he was thankful he didn’t meet the fate of other Palestinians who had their houses demolished while they were inside, burying them alive.
Moreover, Israeli forces get a sadistic pleasure in making the heart of Samer’s mother burn in worry over her sons and daughter. They arrested her son, Fares and her daughter Shireen several times and called them to the investigation centers on numerous occasions. Raising Samer’s voice to break the racist walls and reach beyond his cell to the hearts of humans of conscience was their only offense. The Israeli occupation forces attacked Samer’s house several times and couldn’t care less whether they raided the house at noon or after midnight. Moreover, Israel has cut the water supply to his family’s house. They enjoy making them live in panic day and night. Isn’t it painful enough for her to watch her son Samer dying every day?
Samer gets updates about his family through his lawyer. “With all the pressure that targets me and my family openly with no shame, Israel aims to force me to break my hunger strike,” Samer has said. In a message delivered through his lawyer, Samer has commented powerfully on these latest inhumane practices Israel committed against his family. “They reflect their feeling of defeat through enjoying punishing me and my family as if my arrest and my life being in danger weren’t enough,” Samer said.
“This demolition is a threat Israel tried to convey to me. That house was practically my future home in which I was planning to marry and establish my own family after my release from the 10-year imprisonment in Israeli jails, in the swap deal for [Israeli soldier Gilad] Shalit. Moreover, reacting to the failure of the Israeli intelligence in misleading public opinion and fooling them about the reasons for my re-arrest, they cut the water from my family’s house ignoring the hardships they suffer. That was another threat for me that aimed to pressure my soul to submit and surrender.
“All that wasn’t enough for the Israeli occupation which turned my family’s life into a living hell. They continue to provoke my family every now and then and call my sister Shireen and my brother Fares to interrogation centers and arrest them aiming to prevent them from delivering my message to the world and break my determination which will never weaken or shake.
“Where are the international human rights organizations when all that is happening? Israel continues to commit crimes against us and the world responds with silence. Are the Palestinian people excluded from international law? Or are we not humans, therefore these laws don’t apply to us?”
Let our voices rise higher, break through the racist walls and reach Samer to provide him with more strength to withstand the torment. Let us double our efforts to rescue his life. Let us make his words echo all over the word and chant after him, “freedom and dignity is more precious than food.” He shouldn’t be left alone in this fight against injustice.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Martin Luther King once said. Let King’s words inspire you to join Samer’s fight against Israel’s injustices. His death would be a threat to your security, your humanity, to your values of justice and human rights. We need our Palestinian legend Samer Issawi alive as he deserves to live in dignity and freedom.
A mural in solidarity with Palestinian hunger strikers has been painted opposite a protest tent at the International Committee of the Red Cross offices in Gaza.
Ayman Shrawna has suspended his 178-day hunger strike for ten days, as he has been promised by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) that it would review his case and release him by the beginning of next year. He is allowing himself to have only fluids, but has threatened to continue his strike if the IPS fails to fulfill its promises. This leaves Samer Issawi alone in this battle of empty stomachs, continuing his historic hunger strike that has lasted for 183 days.
“Your humanity and determination is always stronger than their brutality and savagery,” Loai wrote to his friend Samer, whom he grew up with in Jerusalem, and with whom he shared a cell in Israeli jails and was released in the prisoner exchange deal last year. Loai had first thought that Samer was luckier than him to be able return to Jerusalem. By contrast, Loai was expelled to the Gaza Strip from his hometown, where every corner guards his and Samer’s precious childhood memories.
“I know how stubborn he is,” Loai told me when Samer was kidnapped by Israeli forces on 7 July and declared an open hunger strike to protest his re-arrest. “He will not break this hunger strike until he is set free, even if it costs him his life.”
Loai spoke beautifully to me about Samer many times, which made me feel spiritually close to him. “Samer is stronger than all these hardships.” Loai keeps repeating these words over and over again as he counts the days of Samer’s mounting hunger strike.
I remember when Loai called me last Sunday, December 16, saying that it was Samer’s birthday. “He is celebrating his birthday in hunger, in a cold dark cell,” he said after a few seconds of silence that interrupted our call.
“Keep being free,” Loai wrote as a birthday greeting to Samer. “Keep your head held high over their barbed wires and racist walls. You shall be among us, my comrade.”
Despite the grave conditions Samer suffered on his birthday and still suffers, he and all the Palestinian people still have something to celebrate: his indestructible will. He is armed with a determination that makes physical necessities like food meaningless. This steadfastness is more harmful to the Israeli military than any weapon. It drove them to attack him and his family, and to destroy sit-in tents erected in solidarity with him in Jerusalem, especially in his home village, Issawiyeh. We are all proud of Samer, who reminds us that our cause is just.
A photo posted on the Facebook page of Shireen, Samer Issawi’s sister.
As I read Facebook status updatesby Shireen, Samer Issawi’s sister, her simple but powerful words moved me so much that I burst into tears. She vividly narrated how Samer and her family were attacked three days ago in the Israeli court, which she described as “racist.”
“Seven Israeli occupation soldiers savagely attacked Samer, ignoring his critical health condition and the fact that he was shackled to his wheelchair,” she wrote.
His family saw this brutality against Samer, and tried to protect him and prevent soldiers from beating him, but were dragged outside the court. Shireen wrote that the judge of the court was also there, watching idly. Instead of trying to do anything to end this brutality against a sick, shackled prisoner lingering at the edge of death, he ran out of the court. This judge and the IPS should be held accountable for their crimes against humanity.
Yesterday morning, I heard Samer’s mother speaking to Palestine Today TV live by telephone. She described how she saw her dying son being beaten. “All he did was try to shake hands with me,” she said. “This might have been the last chance for us to see, touch, or say goodbye to each other.” Her shaking, sorrowful tone still echoes in my ears.
She also described how Israeli soldiers raided their house in Jerusalem the same day, broke into Shireen’s room, and kidnapped her. Shireen has done nothing but try to give a voice to her brother. She has worked very hard organizing solidarity hunger strikes and protests. She has spoken to human rights organizations and international media, calling on people around the world to support her brother. But she is a threat to Israel because she is a strong voice of truth.
One of Shireen’s status updates reflected how she felt during the day she spent in an Israeli cell. “When they pushed me into that narrow, horribly dirty and cold isolation cell, I felt more spiritually united with my brother Samer,” she said. “I can’t put into words how proud I felt that my brother Samer can endure these hardships. He is a legend, as he remains resolved to continue his hunger strike despite all the difficult and painful circumstances he has endured.”
This cold weather makes the hunger strike a lot more difficult. The colder it gets, the more food the hunger striker needs. All our Palestinian political detainees suffer as the IPS refuses to supply them with winter clothes, sheets, and shoes, in attempt to break their will. Israel will never succeed. No matter how and to what extent the IPS oppresses our heroes, they will remain strong and defiant.
In Gaza, we have set up a tent to express solidarity with Samer Issawi, Ayman Shawana and all Palestinian political prisoners. Groups of people from different generations keep coming back and forth to the tent expressing their solidarity in different ways. Yesterday, I attended a poetry reading organized by the Islamic University of Gaza, featuring the Egyptian poet Hesham El-Jakh. I could see a group of students holding Samer Issawi’s posters while waving the Palestinian flags. Observing how our heroes inside Israeli jails unite the Palestinian people everywhere makes me proud and happy.
Don’t hesitate to do anything you can in support of Palestinian hunger strikers. Your silence gives the IPS impunity to continue its cruelty against our detainees, violating international humanitarian law. Your silence can lead to the killing of our heroes. Act now to end our hunger strikers’ suffering. We want our hero Samer Issawi to stay alive.
Shahd Abusalama is a Palestinian writer, artist and activist, born and raised in Jabalia Refugee Camp, Gaza, and now based in the UK. She is one of the co-founders of Hawiyya Dance Company who explore solidarity, identity, cultural resistance through Dabke, the folk dance of Palestine. She is a PhD student at Sheffield Hallam University, focusing on Palestinian cinema. She holds an MA in Media and the Middle East from SOAS, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Al-Azhar University - Gaza.