Israel committed a massacre against innocent people in Al-Shijaeyya in Gaza, killing 66 and wounding hundreds
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!
#GazaUnderAttack: Stop the Palestinian Bloodshed. Names/ages of Palestinians who fell victim to #Israel’ ongoing attack on #Gaza, #Palestine.
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.
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.
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.
43- Israa Yasir Al-Qassas
44- Yasmin Yasir Al-Qassas
45- Nesma Iyad Al-Qassas
46-Lamya Iyad Al-Qassas
47- Alyaa Syam
48- Fayza Saber Syam
49- Sumayya Syam
50- Arwa Syam
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.
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:
102- The child Abdallah Omar Al-Moghraby, 2 months old.
103- Najah Al-Mughraby
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.
115- Ahmad Sulaiman Mahmoud Salhoub, 34 years old.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
23- Salem Qandil, 27
24- Amer Al-Fayoumy, 30
25- Bahaa Abullil, 35
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights condemned Israel’s expulsion of Sharawna to Gaza calling it a “forcible deportation” which is a violation of international law. As such Israel alone is responsible, and we must consider that Sharawna is not acting of his own will.
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.
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 perhaps stronger than her then. 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.”
As the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer recently reported, “Since 1967, over 200 prisoners have died in captivity, fifty-one of them from medical negligence. Alarmingly, there is a recent trend of prisoners who have died shortly after they are released from medical complications that went untreated during their detention.”
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.
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.
As Addameer added in their report:
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 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
Loai Odeh, a detainee freed in the Shalit deal and expelled from Jerusalem to the Gaza Strip, sparked my curiosity to learn about Jihad al-Obeidi. During the open mass hunger strike launched on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day in 2012, dozens of people, including detainees’ relatives and ex-detainees, went on hunger strike in solidarity inside a sit-in tent in a Gaza park.
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.
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.
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.
While surfing on Facebook this week, I saw a video my best friend Loai Odeh had shared of the attack on Samer Issawi in an Israeli court. It made me feel sick and angry, but not shocked.
“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.
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.
#GazaUnderAttack| Photos: A trauma in my neighborhood as IOF attack a car behind my house killing one and injuring another
Today, at around 2:30 pm, I witnessed one of the most horrifying scenes, not on TV, but with my own eyes. I will never forget the massive sound that hit the car behind my house. I still can hear it resonating in head.
I was laying down under my blanket feeling exhausted, desperate to fall asleep after almost 6 six days of continuous bombings on Gaza. I remember exactly how I heard the missile falling, like a whistle. I closed my eyes right, shut my ears hard with both hands and waited to hear the explosion. I’ve been having this moment of horror for uncountable times since Wednesday.
This time was different though. The dearest people to my heart, my family and I, were few meters away from being murdered. The rocket hit right behind my house.
As I heard the rocket hitting, I got up in panic as the house was still shaking and Mum was screaming, wandering around herself, traumatized. Dad rushed outside. I could see the fire flames from my window, the smoke filling the sky. It smelled very bad. The speakers of the mosque behind my house started shouting at people not to be crowded near the target, fearing another attack. We realized that a car was targeted and another car that was driving behind got seriously destroyed.
Within minutes, the fire service and the ambulances arrived. The people in the neighborhood were all outside, looking in silence while staring at this atrocious crime. I saw men crying as the paramedics were collecting the pieces of Hussam Abdeljawad’s body who was the victim of this attack. He was torn to pieces, spread all over the street. The street was stained with his blood. I was too traumatized while watching all this happening that I couldn’t shed even one tear. I was about to burst though.
One man, Fadel Jouda, was injured in this attack as he was driving by accident behind the attacked car. He happened to be the manager doctor of Al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza. His situation is still very critical.
Within 15 minutes, fire service put on the fire and the ambulances rushed to hospital with the body of Hussam Abdeljawal and the injured Fadel Jouda, leaving two charred cars behind and a traumatized crowed of people, fearing that any one of them could be in that place.
Check this slideshow below of the photo me and my younger bother Mohammed have taken:
Israel has risen the death toll in Gaza to 104, including at least 25 children, 10 women and 10 elderly people. More than 770 people were injured since Wednesday, mostly children and women.
Check this post of the names and ages of those who fell victims in the past days of the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza since Wednesday. Because we’re not just numbers, I’m going to keep updating this post as long as I’m surviving. Israel is killing souls of innocent people in Gaza. Israel escalates its inhumanity and more victims are being murdered. Act now to stop this mass killing in Gaza. Israel gets its immunity from your silence.
Because we are NOT just numbers, I compiled the names and ages of 174 people murdered during the 8-day Israeli attack on Gaza, November (14-21) and the circumstances in which they were killed. Their blood won’t go in vain. The murder of those innocents has just made us more determined and more willing to pay any price for our freedom from this inhumane Israeli occupation. Israel must be held accountable for their crimes against humanity sooner or later. RIP
1- Ahmad Al-Ja’bary, 52 years old.
2-Mohammed Al-Hams, 28 years old.
3- Rinan Arafat, 7 years old.
4- Omar Al-Mashharawi, 11 moonths old.
5-Essam Abu-Alma’za, 20 years old.
6-Mohammed Al-qaseer, 20 years old.
7- Heba Al-Mashharawi, six-month pregnant, 19 years old.
8- Mahmoud Abu Sawawin, 65 years old.
9- Habis Hassan Mismih, 29 years old.
10- Wael Haidar Al-Ghalban, 31 years old.
11- Hehsam Mohammed Al-Ghalban, 31 years old.
12- Rani Hammad, 29 years old.
13- Khaled Abi Nasser, 27 year old.
14- Marwan Abu Al-Qumsan, 52 years old.
15- Walid Al-Abalda, 2 years old.
16- Hanin Tafesh, 10 months old.
17- Oday Jammal Nasser, 16 years old.
18- Fares Al-Basyouni, 11 years old.
19- Mohammed Sa’d Allah, 4 years old.
20- Ayman Abu Warda, 22 years old.
21- Tahrir Suliman, 20 years old.
22- Ismael Qandil, 24 years old.
23- Younis Kamal Tafesh, 55 years old.
24- Mohammed Talal Suliman, 28 years old.
25- Amjad Mohammed Abu-Jalal, 32 years old.
26- Ayman Mohammed Abu Jalal, 44 years old.
27- Ziyad Farhan Abu-Jalal, 23 years old.
28- Hassan Salem Al-Heemla’, 27 years old.
29- Khaled Khalil Al-Shaer, 24 years old.
30- Ayman Rafeeq sleem, 26 years old.
31- Ahmad Ismael Abu Musamih, 32 years old.
At 8:20 am, as a result to an Israeli inhumane attack on Deel Al-Balah, central Gaza, three people were killed. The list of murdered victims goes longer>>>
32- Osama Musa Abdeljawad, 27 years old.
33- Ashraf Hassan Darwish, 22 years old.
34- Ali Abdul HakimAl-Mana’ma, 20 years old
At 8:45 am_ 9:00 am, warplanes attacked several places including Rafah, Khan-Younis, and Tal Al-Sultan, southern Gaza, leaving three killed>>
35`- Mukhlis Edwan, 30 years old.
36- Mohammed Al-Loulhy, 24 years old.
37- Ahmad Al-Atrush, 22 years old.
In a series of attacks on several places on central Gaza at noon, two more people fell victim:
38- Abderrahman Al-Masri, 31 years old.
39- Awad Hamdi Al-Nahhal, 23 years old.
40- Ali Hassan Iseed, 25 years old, killed in an attack on his motorbike in Deer Al-Balah, central Gaza, at 8:10 pm, Novebmer 17.
IOF attack another motorbike in Deer Al-Balah at 8:20 pm, leaving two more killed:
41- Mohammed Sabry Al’weedat, 25 years old.
42- Osama Yousif Al-Qadi, 26 years old.
In an attack on central Gaza, to the west of Al-Masdar area, at 9:10 pm, two more people people killed:
43- Ahmad Ben Saeed, 42 years old.
44- Hani Bre’m, 31 years old.
At 9:40 pm, Israel attacked Qdeih family’s house in west Khan-Younis, Southern Gaza and a woman got killed.
45- Samaher Qdeih, 28 years old.
46- Tamer Al-Hamry, 26 years old, died after being seriously injured in an attack on Deer Al-Balah.
On November 18, the fifth day of the Israeli ongoing aggression on Gaza:
Israeli warplanes shelled the house of Abu-Alfoul family in northern Gaza, killing two children and injuring at 13 at least, mostly children and women.
47- Gumana Salamah Abu Sufyan, 1 year old.
48- Tamer Salamah Abu Sufyan, 3 years old.
An Israeli warplanes fired missiles at a house that belongs to the family of Abu Nuqira in Rafah killing one person:
49- Muhamed Abu Nuqira
An Israeli war plane fired a missile at a house in an agricultural land east of Bureij camp, in the Central Gaza Strip, killing one child and injuring 2 other children:
50- Eyad Abu Khusa, 18 months old.
Two people were killed, one of them a child, when an Israeli missile hit a beachfront refugee camp in Gaza City:
51- Tasneem Zuheir Al-Nahhal, 13 years old.
52- Ahmad Essam Al-Nahhal, 25 years old.
Medics also reported finding the body of woman under the rubble of a house in eastern Gaza City who had been killed in a strike earlier in the morning.
53- Nawal Abdelaal, 52 years old.
At 3:10 pm, November 18, Israel rocked a house belongs to Al-Dalou family in Sheikh-Redwan area, west Gaza, killing at least 10 people, including 4 women and 4 children.
Soon after Al-Dalou massacre, 2 more were killed, a father and his son, in an attack on a car for water supply in northern Gaza.
65- Suheil Hamada, 53 years old.
66-Mo’men Suheil Hamada, 13 years old.
In an airstrike that targeted Nussairat camp after that two people were murdered and 10 at least got injured
67- Atiyya Mubarak, 55 years old.
68- Hussam Abu Shaweish, 35 years old.
69- Samy Al-Ghfeir, 22 years old, killed in an attack on Shijaiyya area, west Gaza.
70- Mohammed Bakr Al-Of, 24 years old, killed in an attack on Al-Yarmouk st. in Gaza city.
At 8:00 pm, November 18, the ministry of health in Gaza has reported that Israel has risen the death toll in Gaza to 69, including 20 children, 8 women, and 9 elderly people. Moreover, Over 660 person got injured since Wednesday, including 224 children, 113 women, and 50 elderly people.
At 10:00 pm, November 18, an Israeli warplane attacked a motorbike near the ministry of finance roundabout, west Gaza, killing a father and his son:
71- Ahmad Abu Amra, 42 years old.
72- Nabil Ahmad Abu Amra, 20 years old.
At 10:10 pm, November 18, an Israeli warplane rocked a house belong to Nasser family near Abu-Sharekh crossroad in northern Gaza, killing a child and his father.
73- Hussein Jalal Nasser, 8 years old.
74- Jalal Nasser, 35 years old.
On November 19, the sixth day of the Israeli ongoing aggression on Gaza:
At 12:10 am, an Israeli warplane attacked Mahmoud Al-Hashash house in Rafah killing one woman.
75- Sabha Al-Hashash, 60 years old.
At 1:00 am, an Israeli warplane rocked a car in Rafah killing two people:
76- Saif Al-Deen Sadeq, 27 years old.
77- Hussam Al-Zeiny, 30 years old.
78- Emad Abu Hamda, 30 years old, killed after being seriously injured in as a drone fired a rocket at Beach camp, west Gaza.
79- Mohammed Jindiyya, mentally disabled, killed in an attack on Helles roundabout in Shijaiyya, west Gaza.
At 4:10 am, Israel committed another atrocious crime shelling a house belong to Azzam family that is full of children. 3 people were killed in this attack and at least 40 injured. Medics said that more than 15 children have arrived Shifaa hospital, three of them are in a very critical condition.
80- Mohammed Iyad Abu Zour, 4 years old.
81- Nisma Abu Zour, 19 years old.
82-Sahar Abu Zour, 20 years old.
83- Ahed Al-Qattaty, 38 years old.
84- Al-Abd Mohammed Al-Attar, 51 years old, killed in an attack on Beit-Lahya, northern Gaza at 6:00 am.
85- Rama Al-Shandi, 1 YEAR OLD, killed as four F16s airstrikes hit former security compound Al-Saraya in Gaza City.
In an Israeli attack on Al-Qarara area to the south of the Gaza Strip, two farmers were killed at 8:50 am. In the same attack, a 4-year-old girl was seriously injured.
86. Ibrahim Suleiman al-Astal, 46 years old.
87. Omar Mahmoud Mohammed al-Astal, 14 years old.
As a warplane rocked a motorbike in Khan-Younis, southern the Gaza Strip, two people were killed:
88. Abdullah Harb Abu Khater, 21 years old.
89. Mahmoud Saeed Abu Khater, 34 years old.
An Apache warplane fired a rocket at a car in Al-Berka street in Deer Al-Balah, killing three people:
90. Rashid Alyan Abu Amra, 45 years old.
91. Amin Zuhdi Bashir, 40 years old.
92. Tamer Rushdi Bashir, 30 years old
93- Hussam Abdeljawad, 32 years old, killed as an F16 rocked his car in Saftawi street, northern Gaza, at 2:25 pm.
94- Ramadan Ahmad Mahmoud, 20 years old, died this morning after being seriously injured in an attack that hit Al-Maghazi camp, two days ago.
95- Mohammed Riyad Shamallakh, 23 years old, killed as IOF targeted a car in Tal Al-Hawa, southern Gaza city.
At around 4 am, two people were killed as an Israeli warplane fired a missile that hit Al-Nusseirat Camp, to the west of Gaza city.
96- A’ed Sabri Radi, 48 years old.
97- Ameen Ramadan Al-Malahi, 24 years old.
In an attack on Al-Shorouq building in Gaza City which contains several media offices, 2 were killed and 3 journalists were seriously injured.
98- Ramez Najib Harb, 29 years old.
99- Salem Boulis Sweilem, 53 years old.
100- Muhammed Ziyad Tbeil, 25 years old, killed in an attack than hit central Gaza.
At 6:55 pm, an Israeli warplane attacked Al-Bureij camp killing two people:
101- Arkan Harbi Abu Kmeil, 24 years old.
102- Ibrahim Mahmoud Al-Hawajri, 34 years old.
At around 8:00 pm, an Israeli warplane shelled Shhada family’s house in Nusairat camp killing two people from the same family– a child and an elderly.
103- Khalil Ibrahim Shhada, 53 years old.
104- Osama Walid Shhada, 17 years old.
At around 9:00 pm, Israel committed another massacre against Hjazi family killing a father and his two sons, and injuring at least 15, most of them are children and women.
106- Suhaib Fo’ad Hjazi, 2 years old.
107- Mohammed Fo’ad Hjazi, 4 years old.
108- Fo’ad khalil Hjazi, 46 years old.
On November 20, the seventh day of the Israeli ongoing aggression on Gaza:
At around midnight, an Apache rocked a house in Rafah that belongs to Nassarsa family, killing two siblings and injuring 10 others.
109- Mohammed Tawfeeq Al-Nassasra, 20 years old.
110- Ahmad Tawfeeq Al-Nassasra, 18 years old.
111- Yahya Akram Ma’roof, 38 years old, a farmer killed at 9:20 am as an Israeli warplane attacked agricultural lands in Al-Atatra area, northern Gaza. Four other farmers were injured in this attack.
In an Israeli attack on an agricultural land in Beit-Layha, northern Gaza, at 10:10 am, two people were killed:
112- Yahya Mohammed Awad, 15 years old.
113- Bilal Jihad Al-Barawi, 20 years old.
114- Mahmoud Rezq Salman Al-Zahhar, 30 years old, killed in an attack on Al-Mughraqa are in the middle of the Gaza strip.
115- Abderrahman Hamad Abu Hamza, 22 years old, killed at 12:10 pm in an Israeli attack on Mokhabarat buildings, west Gaza.
116- Mohammed Abed-Rabbo Yousef Bader, 24 years old, killed at 12:20 pm as IOF targeted Abu Tama’a family in Deer-AlBalah, in middle the Gaza Strip, at 12:20 pm.
117- Ahmad Khaled Doghmosh, died in Egypt after being transferred to a hospital in Egypt for being seriously injured in an airstrike that hit Tal Al-Hawa on November 18.
Within 1 hour and while negotiating the truce between Israel and Hamas, Israel committed another massacre killing at least 14 people.
At 4:20, an Israeli warplane rocked a car in Al-Sabra neighborhood, leaving four people from the same family killed and torn to pieces:
118- Ahmad Jameel Hamdan Doghmosh, 30 years old.
119- Sobhi Nemer Mohammed Doghmosh, 29 years old.
120- Salah Nemer Mohammed Doghmosh, 29 years old.
121- Musab Mahmoud Rushdi Doghmosh, 22 years old.
122- Ameen Mahmoud Asad Al-Dadda, 22 years old, killed in an Israeli attack on Baghdad street in Shijaeyya, west Gaza at 2:30 pm.
In an attack on Kishko street in Zaytoon street, two children were killed while playing football in front of their house:
123- Mohamoud Rezeq Ashoor, 54 years old.
124- Saqer Yousef Bulbul, 57 years old.
125- Ayman Rafiq Abu Rashid, 33 years old, killed in an Israeli attack on Jabalia camp, northern Gaza.In the same attack, a 5-year-old girl was seriously injured.
In another attack on Al-Shawwa family’s house in Shijaeyya, west Gaza, a young woman arrived at Shifa hospital as charred pieces. 20 people were injured in this attack at least, 3 cases are severe.
126- Yosra Basil Murtada Al-Shawwa, 18 years old.
At 5:55 pm, an Israeli warplane attacked a press car working for Al-Aqsa TV station in Nasser street in Gaza city killing two journalists. They were just holding their cameras, reporting on the ongoing attacks…
127- Mahmoud Ali Ahmad Al-Koomi, 19 years old.
128- Hussam Mohammed Abderrahman Salama, 30 years old.
At 6:10 pm, two more were killed in an attack on Beit-Hanoon, northern Gaza.
129- Mahmoud Mohammed Hussein Al-Zahry, 21 years old.
130- Tareq Azmy Mustafa Hjeila, 40 years old.
At 6:50 pm, an Israeli missile hit a car in Deer Al-Balah killing two people:
131- Mohammed Musa Abu Eisha, 24 years old, the manager of Al-Quds educational radio.
132- Hassan Yousef Al-Ostaz, 22 years old.
At 8:30, two brothers were killed in an Israeli attack that targeted a motorbike in Bilbeisy street in Rafah:
133- Ahmad Abed Abu Moor, 24 years old.
134- Khaled Abed Abu Moor, 19 years old.
At 9:00 am, two cousins were killed in an Israeli attack on Deer Al-Balah:
135- Mohammed Ahmad Abu Sitta, 21 years old.
136- Salem ‘Ayish Abu Sitta, 32 years old.
137- Shawqi Abu Sneima, 24 years old, killed as Israeli warplane targeted his motorbike in Rafah.
At 11:45 pm, two children were found as pieces in Al-Shouka area, western Rafah.
138- Ibrahim Ahmad Mahmoud Hamad, 16 years old.
139- Mahmoud Kahlil Al-Arja, 16 years old.
On November 21, the eighth day of the Israeli ongoing aggression on Gaza:
At 9:25 am: an Israeli warplane hit two places in Northern Gaza:
140- Fadi Mousa Al-Qatnani, killed in as attack on Beir Al-Na’ja area, northern Gaza.
141- Mustafa Awad Abu Hamidan, 23 years old, killed in an attack on Al-Shafi’y mosque compound in Jabalia, northern Gaza.
At 11:20 am, an Israeli warplane attacked a group of people in Khan-Younis, killing a child:
142- Ahmad Awad Abu’liyyan, 15 years old.
143- Fares Sbeita, 25 years old, died at noon after being seriously injured in an attack on Shijaeyya, west Gaza.
A young girl and her elderly father were killed at 1:30 pm in an Israeli attack on a group of civilians in Abasan area, west Khan-Younis.
144- Ameera Abu Nasser, 15 years old.
145- Ibrahim Abu Nasser, 80 years old.
146- Mohammed Adnan Al-Ashqar, 22 years old, killed in an attack on Al-Khuzundar gaz station in Al-Twam area, northern area, at 2:00 pm
147- Mahmoud Abu Khusa, 4 years old, killed in an attack on Al-Nafaq street in Gaza City.
At 2:40 pm, an Israeli missile hit a house belongs to Al-Assaly family killing a man and his son and daughter:
148- Talal Al-Assaly, 47 years old.
149- Ayman Talal Al-Assaly, 17 years old.
150- Abir Talal Al-Assaly, 10 years old.
151- Abderrahman Majdi Na’eem, 6 years old, killed in an Israeli attack on Ne’ma building in Gaza City. In the same attack, 3 children from Neim family also got injured.
152- Riham Al-Nabaheen, 13 years old, killed in an Israeli attack on house in Nussairat camp in the middle of the Gaza Strip
153- Mubarak Ibrahim Abu Ghalwa, 24 years old, killed in an attack on the middle of the Gaza Strip
154- Mohammed Mohammed Baker, 27 years old, died after being seriously injured in an attack on Al-Sabra neighborhood on Monday.
155- Ibrahim Mheisin Shhada, 20 years old, killed In an attack on Al-Na’ga street, to the west of Jabalia camp, northern Gaza.
In an attack on a house that belongs to Abu Kmeil family in Al-Mughraqa area in the middle of the Gaza Strip, 5 people were killed:
156- Ramy Abed-Rabbo Abeid, 30 years old.
157- Mohammed Salama Abu Eteiwy, 33 years old.
158- Nidal Hassan Abu Riyad
159- Sa’dy Mohammed Abu Kmeil, 26 years old.
160- Ahmad Abu Kmeil
As negotiations about ceasefire is going, more bombs fall over several places in the Gaza Strip killing a child and injuring at least 7 people.
161- Nader Yousef Abu Mghaseeb, 14 years old.
162- Abderrahman Amer Ayish, 32 years old, killed in an Israeli attack on Sheikh-Redwan bridge in Gaza City at 8:50 pm.
163- Mohammed Abu Edwan, 18 years old, killed in an attack on Raffah.
164- Odeh Arafat Al-Shandi, 17 years old.
A man and his daughter from Al-Dalou family were found buried beneath the rubble on Thursday, November 22, after three days of their death. Israel committed a massacre against Al-Dalou family on Monday. The paramedics managed to pull out ten dead bodies in that attack (Check the list from 54 to 64) The death toll in this single massacre rises to 12 people.
165- Mohammed Al-Dalou, 35 years old.
166- Yara Mohammed Al-Dalou, 15 years old.
On Friday, November 23, 3 people died due to their wounds sustained during the 8-day attack on Gaza:
167- Ahmad Samih Ja’roor, 24 years old.
168- Zaki Saeed Qadadah, 42 years old.
169- Jouda Sulaiman Amran Shamallakh, 30 years old.
170- Ramadan Abu Hasanein, succumbed to serious wounds suffered during the 8-day Israeli aggression on the Strip and died at dawn Saturday, November 24 .
Other people killed during the attacks on Gaza.
171- Kamal Mohammed Morad Miqtat, 23 years old, suffered a heart attack that killed him on November 18 due to the Israeli bombings.
172- Ahmad Sulaiman Abu Nqeira, 61 years old killed in an Israeli attack that targeted his house in Rafah or November 18.
After the truce was endorsed at 9:00 pm on late Wednesday, December 21, Israel has violated the truce continuously.
173- Anwar Abdelhadi Qdeih, 21 years old, killed as the Israeli Occupation Forces started shooting at the farmers in the southern Gaza village of Khuzaa, close to the buffer-Zone. In the same attack, 19 other Palestinian were injured.
174- Mahmoud Jaroun, 21 years old, died late Friday, December 23, of wounds he sustained hours earlier by Israeli gunfire east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.
On November 29, the Israeli navy has also detained dozens of Gaza fishermen, although Israel agreed to allow Gaza fishermen to go six nautical miles off the coast instead of three.
Today, I look back in anger to a gloomy day in the Palestinian history. It happened 95 years ago, long before I could have witnessed it, but I still live its impact daily. Without even a shred of legitimacy, on 2 November 1917, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour, promised the leaders of the Zionist movement they could establish their national homeland in Palestine, violating my people’s right to self-determination.
Balfour laid the groundwork for the conspiracy launched against the people of Palestine which led to our Nakba, the mass killing, dispossession, and systematic ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people at the hands of Zionists gangs.
Great Britain is responsible for this atrocity against my people that the Balfour Declaration triggered, for the expulsion of three quarters of a million Palestinians, who with their descendants now number many millions more. It is also responsible for the Palestinians who survived the violence and mass expulsion, and were forced into ghettos within occupied Palestine under a military regime for decades.
An everlasting hope that has no remedy
Last night, I was reading Revolutionaries Never Die, the biography of George Habash, one of the Palestinian leaders who founded the Arab Nationalists Movement, and in 1967, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In his book, he vividly describes the terror he saw inflicted on the people of his town, Lydda in 1948.
He wrote, “June 11, 1948 was the darkest day I ever witnessed in my life. Zionists arrived and ordered us to evacuate our homes … We were forced out of our homes, leaving everything behind under the threat of their weapons. I saw the neighbors fleeing their houses while being watched and threatened with violence. We didn’t know the reason for our mass expulsion. We thought that they planned to gather us in one of the fields to search our houses without having any witness, and then let us go back home. We never imagined that they were actually uprooting us, and that we would never return. Indeed, everything was organized to lead us outside Lydda as soon as possible.”
Not only George Habash thought that the Nakba was the darkest period in Palestine’s history. All the victims of the ethnic cleansing of more than 500 cities, towns and villages shared the same sentiments. I heard my grandparents repeatedly say them. They were expelled from Beit Jerja to the Gaza Strip, and they grasped the dream of return until their last breaths.
I recall my grandmother’s affectionate words when my siblings and I surrounded her once. “I lost my father amidst the panic of that gloomy day,” she said. “I never saw him again, so I realized that he was buried at home. But at the same day I lost him, I gave birth to your uncle Khader. This incident, with all its harshness, symbolized for me the Palestinian struggle, which will end only when we return.”
My illiterate grandmother couldn’t have been more right. The Palestinian struggle will only end when justice prevails, and no one will ever manage to distort this glorious struggle for justice. According to Mahmoud Darwish, “To be a Palestinian means suffering an everlasting hope that has no remedy.” After more than six decades of the Nakba, refugees have never given up hope to return, and they never will. There are those who thought that the elderly will die and the young will forget. We haven’t forgotten. We are still here, the young and the old, suffering the Israeli occupation’s terror and continuing our struggle for justice.
Whoever surrenders their right to return is no longer a Palestinian. To be a Palestinian is to be a revolutionary, born to struggle for all our grandparents possessed, their keys and their faith in our just cause. To be a Palestinian is to love and constantly feel attached to a homeland you never saw.
To be a Palestinian is to live maturely at a very young age, to grow up breathing politics, and to observe how others trade with your life and your rights. To be a Palestinian is to keep cultivating the national principles in your children and grandchildren, and to warn them never to digress or lead the cause in a different direction. To be a Palestinian is to never stop raising revolutionaries who will get what you couldn’t live long enough to accomplish. This is the cycle of the Palestinian life and struggle.
Abbas’ Balfour Declaration
On the anniversary of Balfour Declaration, Mahmoud Abbas came with another declaration competing with Balfour’s.
I felt sick when I first read an article about it. I could imagine Abbas saying this. At the same time, I wished that it could be fabricated news that he had renounced his — and our — right to return to our homes and villages. Then I saw the interview when he uttered those shameful statements, and I couldn’t believe what I heard. I am sure that the majority of Palestinian people and people of conscience worldwide were as frustrated as me.
“As far as I am here in this office, there will be no armed third intifada,” Abbas promised, stressing “never.”
Abbas, you are foolish if you think you can prevent the dignified Palestinian people from expressing their anger at ongoing attacks and violations of their most basic rights, and the ongoing expansion of Israeli settlements? You can’t stop them from practicing their legitimate struggle, through all legitimate means, to attain their justice, freedom, and independence.
Did Abbas forget that the first intifada was a nonviolent struggle, and that Israel is the party that turned to brutal violence, especially against children, to crush it? Did he forget that when the second intifada began, Israel fired a million bullets in the first days and weeks to try to crush it and dozens of unarmed civilians were killed in those first days?
The right to resist is legitimate
Abbas said, “We don’t want to use terror. We don’t want to use force. We don’t want to use weapons. We want to use diplomacy. We want to use politics. We want to use negotiations. We want to use peaceful resistance. That’s it.”
With such a statement, Abbas is ignoring all the sacrifices Palestinians made in their legitimate struggle. Thousands of our people who never carried a weapon were cruelly shot dead or injured, tortured or imprisoned by the occupier. Who then are the “terrorists”?
And of course nobody supports “terrorism” or harming innocent people regardless of who they are. But with such a statement, does Abbas really mean to suggest that all those who used arm struggle to fight for the dignity and freedom of the land and people, are “terrorists,” as the Israelis claim? Was Dad a terrorist? Is this the “president” of Palestine talking, or an agent of Israel? Mr. Collaborator, we will never allow you to defile the names of our martyrs, who paid with their lives as the price for freedom.
I have always been proud to be the daughter of a freedom fighter. I believed Naji Al-Ali when he said, “The road to Palestine is neither far or near. It’s the distance of revolution.” Kanafani was one of the most accomplished young Palestinian patriots and intellectuals. At the same time as his pen commemorated the glories of martyrs, awakening people to their national rights, he joined the PFLP’s armed resistance. Kanafani was murdered by Israel’s Mossad.
Couldn’t Abbas grasp how insulting it was to Palestinians for him to use “terror” to describe their struggle? Or did the United States dictate to him to say so? Being ‘nice’ while addressing the ‘democratic regimes’ doesn’t mean giving up your people’s most basic rights guaranteed by UN resolutions.
I feel bad when forced to use UN resolutions and international agreements to justify our right to return and legitimate right to resist occupation and ethnic cleansing and to defend ourselves. Why should Palestinians, as oppressed people, have to use these resolutions to prove the legitimacy of our rights? They were issued only to absorb our anger, as evidence of supposed objectivity, not to be implemented. We, the Palestinian people, don’t want resolutions, we want actions! We want real justice, not just words tossed into the air!
Regardless, UN resolutions guarantee the right 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.
It is up to Palestinians to decide if they use that right, or pursue their struggle by other means, but how strange that Palestinians must defend their right to defend themselves, while, Israel, the invader, occupier and colonizer is always granted the right to “self-defense” against its victims! What Abbas seems to be saying is that Palestinians neverhave the right to resist or defend themselves as Israel continues to violently steal what is left of their land. That can never be true.
Giving up the right of return
Abbas crossed another red line, the right to return, also guaranteed by a UN resolution (194). “I am from Safed,” he said. “I want to see Safed. It’s my right to see it, but not to live there. Palestine now for me is the ’67 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is now and forever … This is Palestine for me. I am [a] refugee, but I am living in Ramallah. I believe that [the] West Bank and Gaza is Palestine, and the other parts (are) Israel.”
He didn’t only surrender his people’s right to return, he also surrendered his people. He couldn’t have had in mind Palestinians who steadfastly remained in their lands, torn between their Palestinian identity and their cursed Israeli passports, enduring daily harassment and discrimination. He also forgot the millions of Palestinian refugees outside Palestine, many still enduring horrible conditions in their refugee camps in the diaspora.
After hearing Abbas, I allow myself to speak on their behalf to reaffirm that Abbas doesn’t represent us. His declaration ignores the majority of Palestinian people, who still embrace their right to return. It is an individual and collective sacred right, which no one can surrender. Abbas also ignored the historical fact that Israel was established on the ruins of ethnically-cleansed Palestinians villages.
Abbas, I hang the map of historic Palestine around my neck, like it hangs on every wall of many Palestinian houses. Not a day passes without me pointing at my original village, Beit Jerja, while uttering the title of Mahmoud Darwish’s poem, “I came from there,” with a slight smile. It’s the last thought I enjoy every night as I close my eyes, recalling my grandmother’s vivid description of the green fields of grapevines and olive and citrus trees. We’ll never stop dreaming of a dawn when the Israeli apartheid regime no longer exists, and we return to both see and live there, walking freely through Haifa, Yaffa, Al-Lod, Nablus, Jerusalem, Gaza, Bethlehem, and every inch of historic Palestine.
Eid is around the corner. This post is to send best wishes for all Muslims around the world through this slideshow. I did these drawings before Ramadan 2011 so they could be featured in YouthSchool Eid Card project – “Images of Resistance”. Through these images, I tried to portray the excitement and the joy that the children of Palestine have while waiting for Ramadan and Eid. In the same time, I meant to show what it means to be a Palestinian. We’re simply a combination of hope, defiance, pride, love, and anger. We challenge occupation, apartheid and blockade and we continue living, resisting through living. We smile despite all difficulties, a sign of our inner strength that cannot be defeated. All Israel can do through its inhumane practices is to make us more Palestinian. Let’s be hand in hand for the sake of humanity, for justice in Palestine.
Want to order your own set of Eid Cards? Contact YouthSchool right away and they can ship it for you as soon as possible.
I hope you like my drawings. Eid Mubarak!
The Palestinian football player Mahmoud Sarsak walks freely in Gaza’s streets and alleys, breathing victory among the steadfast people of the Gaza Strip. He acquired his strength to hunger for 96 days from Mahatma Gandhi’s words, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Gandhi’s promise came true, and Mahmoud actually won the battle of empty stomachs. Read my account of visiting Mahmoud Sarsak after his release.
Mahmoud was released from the Ramla Hospital Prison on July 10 after he revealed Israel’s crimes against humanity and made it submit to his demands. But his happiness remained incomplete. His thoughts are still in a place he described as “a hospital for torture, not for treatment,” with his comrades he left there, especially Akram Rikhawi, Palestine’s longest hunger striker in history.
About 6:00 pm on Thursday, the 99th day of Akram Rikhawi’s hunger strike, I saw a tweet: “Help us in spreading the truth about Prisoner Akram Rikhawi who might die at any moment #PalHunger”. As I read it, I felt anger at the world’s silence. I called Mahmoud Sarsak to ask for Akram Rikkawi’s home address. He kindly answered, saying, “Come to Rafah and I’ll take you there.”
Excited, I called some friends to join me, quickly got ready, and hurried to Rafah. The one-hour drive to Rafah felt like it took ages. We arrived there around 8:30 to find Mahmoud waiting. “Is it too late already to visit Akram’s family?” I asked him. He shook his head and said, “Their part of Rafah camp is filled with Yibna refugees. They stay up very late, especially Akram’s family. I don’t think they ever sleep!”
Before Mahmoud’s release, the Israeli Prison Service sent him to Akram to pressure him to break his hunger strike. Mahmoud took it as an opportunity to meet Akram for one last time, and to carry messages he wanted to deliver to his family. Akram was very happy for Mahmoud, and had faith that his victory would follow Mahmoud’s sooner or later.
The camp was very dark. I could barely follow Mahmoud’s steps. As we walked through one of the alleys, I recognized our destination from the huge banner of Akram hanging on his house. I could feel his family’s indescribable strength and faith from the way they welcomed us in with hopeful eyes and big smiles. There wasn’t any light in the house, but the smiling faces of Akram’s children filled it with light. Shortly after we arrived, we received word that Friday would be the first day of Ramadan. For Akram’s family, the news held some bitterness, as according to his wife Najah, it is “the eighth Ramadan without Akram.”
We all sat on the rug close to a lantern, the only light in a sitting room filled with photos of Akram. As his wife Najah started speaking, I learned that Akram is the son of a martyr, the brother of another martyr, and has a brother detained in Nafha Prison: a typical Palestinian family’s sacrifices for the sake of freedom and dignity. His father died in the First Intifada, while his brother was killed in the 1990s during a ground invasion by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in Rafah. His detained brother, Shady, became disabled after he refused food for 22 days during the mass hunger strike in Israeli prisons which began this year on Prisoners’ Day, April 17.
Akram Rikhawi 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. He also decided to rebel against the racist treatment that he received at the hands of some Ramle doctors. That was the main reason for his hunger strike. “After more than 100 days on hunger strike, Akram is in a wheelchair and cannot move either his left hand or leg,” Najah said. “Hunger has perhaps overtaken his body, but can’t easily defeat his will.”
“Before he started refusing food,” she continued, “he wrote a few articles on the suffering of sick prisoners and the medical neglect they endure, describing Israeli Prison Service violations against Palestinian detainees. He hoped they would pay his critical health conditions more attention and care. Instead, they punished him for speaking out by placing him in solitary confinement.”
Akram’s family described the Ramla Hospital Prison as “a slaughterhouse, not a hospital, with jailers wearing doctors’ uniforms,” using Akram’s situation as their best evidence. “He was detained at Ramla from the first day of his detention,” Najah said. “Before his arrest, he suffered only slightly from asthma. His health started to deteriorate when he was given the wrong medication.” She explained how this caused him severe health complications. “He had only one health problem, but medical neglect in Ramle Hospital Prison caused him six, including high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic problems, and osteoporosis, sight problems, and queasiness.”
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-IL) previously reported that its doctors had found an “alarming deterioration of Akram’s asthma, which continues to be unstable,” adding that they believed he “has been given very high doses of steroids as treatment, which can cause severe long-term and irreversible damage.”
Najah managed to visit him twice. But since the ban on the family visits for the families of Gazan detainees in 2006, which followed the capture of Gilaad Shalit, they no longer can. “We can neither visit him, nor receive letters or phone calls from him. Our two main sources of information we rely on have been the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and released prisoners, who coincidentally met him after being sent to Ramla because of health problems they suffered.”
My admiration reached its utmost when I learned that Najah was actually the wife of Akram’s martyred brother. “I was a young widow of five children when my first husband Mo’taz was killed with cold blood by the IOF,” she said. “Akram was still single, and decided to take responsibility for his brother’s orphaned children and widow. So he married me. Allah blessed us with eight more children.”
Then a young woman interrupted our conversation. “I’m Yasmeen, my mother’s eldest daughter,” she said. “My father died when I was four years old. I can barely remember him. But I recall very clearly how tenderly my father Akram raised me. I never felt like an orphan around him. He always treated his children and his brother’s alike and loved us all the same.”
“He was always like a best friend to me,” Yasmine continued. “I was having my high school exams when he was arrested. During my final exams, he used to stay up with me to study. He never allowed me to prepare anything. He would bring food to my room. He used to wake me up for the Fajer prayer. Allah has made everything up to me when he guided Dad Akram to marry my mother.”
“I was the dearest to his heart, and he sometimes teased me, saying that I was the reason for his detention,” she said. “On June 7, he walked me to school in the morning before my exam. He spent the entire trip reminding me that I should have faith in Allah and not worry. Then he headed to Gaza City. On his way home in the afternoon, the IOF stopped the vehicle at the Abu Ghouli checkpoint between Gaza City and Rafah and demanded to see all the passenger’s IDs. After handing over his ID, Dad Akram was immediately arrested. In his first letters from prison, he wrote that his friends had warned him that the situation was worrying, and that he should remain in Gaza. He refused, saying he needed to check how I did in my exam.” Yasmeen said this with a slight smile on her face. After Akram’s detention, she could barely continue her examinations, and finished them with an overall score of 55.
Then a 17-year-old girl walked in, looking very upset. “This is Akram’s eldest daughter,” Yasmine said as the girl sat silently in the corner. “She’s repeating the same experience I had since Dad’s detention. This morning, the high school results were announced. She is sad that she got 75%, while she has been always one of the brightest students. It was difficult for her to concentrate on her studies while expecting that she might wake up any morning to mourn her father’s death.”
The family’s situation was heartbreaking. I listened carefully to their sad stories and struggled to hold my tears. I felt most moved when his wife pointed at her twin youngest sons and said, “A little while ago, they came to me asking what their father looked like. Was he tall or short, fat or slim? Their age equals the years Akram served in detention. They only know him from photos.”
I could feel the family’s anger and disappointment with popular and international solidarity. “What are the human rights organizations, Hamas, the PA waiting for before they move?” his daughter Yasmine asked severely. “Are they waiting for him to return to us in a coffin? Would they be happy for eight children to become fatherless, and five others to be orphaned for a second time? If Dad dies, we will never forgive anyone who could have done something, but chose to look away.”
Don’t choose to look away. Akram Rikhawi is in desperate need of your urgent actions to save his life. It is late, but it is not over. You can still do something, anything, to contribute to his survival.
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Inspired by this saying, I did this drawing. This drawing is dedicated to all women around the world. Let’s all revolt against the our societies’ degrading views of us. Let’s revolt against our societies’ conventions that restrict us and stand in the way of our creativity and effectiveness. The girl in the drawing is me and you. I refuse to be seen as merely a body. I refuse to be harassed. I am not a doll. Beyond this body, there is a human. Women are humans, just like men. We have equal rights. No one is superior to another. No one should violate our rights to live the lives we want, not the lives our societies impose on us. We deserve respect. Respect our humanity.
“Samer will get engaged!” My friend Loai said with a big laugh. “Oh my God! Really? When?” I burst out with an endless list of questions and exclamations in my head.
Samer Abu Seir is an ex-detainee who was released in Shalit’s prisoner exchange and deported from Jerusalem to the Gaza Strip. Getting married should not be surprising for a single man at the age of 46. However, Samer is one of the few released prisoners who was cautiously considering getting married especially after he spent more time in the Israel jails than he spent outside. I remember when I first met him and asked him how long he had been detained and he answered me sarcastically, “Nothing! It was only a matter of 24 years passed like a blink of an eye.”
He always thought that he needed time to keep up with the updates of the outside world that occurred without him noticing. He always felt that he needed to be accustomed to seeing the blue sky, the green trees, the crowded buildings, walking on Gaza’s beach and feeling its breeze smoothly hitting his cheeks, instead of being under that dark-gray ugly ceiling, in a narrow jail, and between the same four surrounding walls where neither sunshine nor air could sneak in.
“What was the reason behind this sudden decision?” I asked. “His 83-year-old mother is in a grave situation,” Loai replied. “He rushed this just to make her happy, so if she dies, she can rest in peace.”
Samer has grown up fatherless. He lost his father when he was a little child when he was away in Jordan. His widow mother had raised him along with his other two brothers and two sisters by herself. He thinks the whole world of her. She is a symbol of motherhood who had raised her children on the noble values of love, dignity, and sacrifice for Palestine. She believed that there is always a price for everything you fight for, and she has instilled these beliefs in her children. Samer and his family have paid the price in many ways. The simplest example of pain that he has always endured was that his family never gathered for a meal. There was always at least a member missing.
Samer had always suffered the ban of family visits for long periods, especially during his detention in solitary confinement for 3 years and a half. These times were the most difficult that Samer lived inside prison as he constantly kept thinking about his mother and fantasizing how her wrinkles beautifully spread in her beautiful loving and peaceful face. The family visits were his only connection with the outside world. Once a family visit ended, he eagerly waited for the next one.
Moreover, Samer had always led unsettled life in prison as he was moved around to every one of Israel’s prisons. Samer’s constant thinking of his mother made it more painful for him to tolerate such inhumane practices of the Israeli Prison Service (IPS). Samer’s mother never let that or any of the humiliating actions she received from strip searches and insults hold her away from having 45-minute meeting with her son through a barrier between them.
Even after Samer was released, she didn’t stop suffering. She handled the pain of Samer’s 24 years of imprisonment without complaining, and then she kept suffering the pain of him being forcibly deported away from her. This is another violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits deporting people within or outside the occupied territories.
While thinking about Samer’s motive to get married, I recalled his cute old mother who arrived to Gaza almost a week after the prisoners’ exchange, challenging her age and deteriorating health condition. Last November, I joined my family to a celebration of freedom where almost no one was taking seats, all people were happily performing Dabka, the folk dancing of Palestine, and waving Palestinian flags as revolutionary songs were playing loudly in the background.
There, my eyes fixed on an elderly woman wearing the Palestinian traditional dress. She could barely walk or stand but her happiness gathered all the strength inside her to dance slowly and erratically. My eyes were following her with joy and wondering who she was. I asked Dad about her. “She is Samer’s mother. Wherever you see her, she is dancing. When she gets out of the car, she dances. when someone visits her at home to congratulate her with her son’s freedom, she dances. Look how happy she is!” Dad answered smilingly. “She reminds me of your grandmother who was just like that when I was set free. All the Gaza Strip would hear of my freedom because of her. She’d be dancing and singing songs of freedom wherever she went.”
Samer was enthusiastically going to officially get engaged today’s evening and let his mother declare his engagement from Jerusalem through Skype. But destiny stood against his intentions of making his mother happy. Sadly, this morning he woke up on hearing the news of his mother’s death and what was to supposed to be a wedding turned out to be a funeral.
I am thankful that at least she lived long enough to celebrate her son’s freedom. This reminds me of another story I wrote last December of a mother of two former prisoners who have been deported from Hebron to Gaza, and who died a week after she arrived to Gaza and wrapped her two sons between her arms once again. Please say a prayer for Samer and his family.
Twenty-seven years ago, my father’s eyes saw the sun after being in the dark of Israeli prison for 13 years. On 20 May 1985, my father regained his freedom.
“I was sentenced for seven lifetimes plus 10 years and I thought that this prison, Nafha, would be my grave. Thank God I didn’t stay that long there, and I was set free to marry your mother and to bring you to this life,” my father told me, smiling. He considered the 13 years of misery as not that long. Yes, it’s not that long if compared with the life sentence to which he was bound if the deal to exchange Palestinian and Israeli prisoners didn’t happen.
I can’t recall that Dad ever showing any regret or sorrow for how the precious years of his youth were stolen from him. His prison experience is instead his song of life. He believes that it is his treasure, the reason behind his rich culture and beliefs, his strong character, his intimate friendships, and the reason why he values life. I’ve always been proud that I am my Dad’s daughter, and I’ll always be. He is a mix of experience and knowledge.
The story of the exchange deal all started when Ahmad Jibril of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine captured three Israeli soldiers (Yosef Grof, Nissim Salem, Hezi Shai) in revenge for thousands of Palestinian prisoners kidnapped by Israel without any apparent reason. After a long process of negotiations, both sides struck a deal that Israel would release 1,250 prisoners in return for the three Israelis that Jibril held captive. My father was included in the deal, and fortunately, he was set free. Among the prisoners released were the Japanese freedom fighter Kozo Okamoto who had been sentenced to life imprisonment, and Ahmed Yassin, the leader of Hamas who was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment in 1983.
History repeats itself
History repeats itself. On 18 October last year, we experienced a similar historical event with a swap deal involving the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was arrested by the resistance in Gaza while he was on top of his war machine (an Israeli tank). Just like what happened with Shalit, the capture of three Israelis caused uproar in the Israeli public opinion and international media at that time, but the thousands of Palestinian prisoners behind Israeli bars were not noticed, except for by the resistance fighters that have always forced Israel to meet some demands regarding the Palestinian prisoners.
When I deeply think about these events and the way the international media reacts, I get angry at how unjust this world is. Why did the world make a big deal of Shalit and the three soldiers when they were attested by the “terrorist” Palestinians while thousands of Palestinian political prisoners are left behind in Israeli jails enduring all forms of violations and torture and the world chooses to look away?
My father told the story with tears struggling to fall. He was staring at a picture stuck on the wall of his room; a painting that my father drew during his imprisonment of flowers blooming among barbed wires. “I cannot forget the moment when the leader of the prison started calling off the names to be released,” he said.
Among the prisoners was Omar al-Qassim, a leading member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Al-Qassim was asked to read the list of the names loudly. He was so excited at the beginning hoping that his freedom would be restored. Every time he said a name, a scream of happiness convulsed the walls of prison. Suddenly, his face’s features started to change. He became reluctant to speak because he noticed that his name wasn’t among the names. This was another incident of psychological torture that the prison’s manager committed against him. But he left him no chance to make fun of him. He withdrew himself silently and went to his prison to continue with his resistance. Sadly, he died in a horrible narrow cell after 22 years of resistance, pride and glory.
The tears of happiness and sadness mixed together. The freed prisoners were happy to regain their freedom but they were upset at leaving the other prisoners in that dirty place where the sun never shines. “We were like a big family sharing everything together. We all handled the same issues that we were united to fight for,” my father said. “Although I am free now, my soul will always be with my friends who are still suffering in there.”
My father has always said that “prisoners are the living martyrs.” He also described Israeli jails as “graves for the living.” Let’s unite and use all the means available to help 4,653 Palestinian political prisoner have fewer years of suffering. We share this responsibility as we can’t leave them as prey for those criminal jailers. Their freedom will be a triumph for humanity.
Note: Read this in Italian here. Many thanks for Emanuele Qalitry for translating it!
On May 10, 39 Palestinians from Bethlehem completed eleven years of deportation from their precious homes. On the very same day, eleven years ago, they were expelled from the Church of Nativity after a siege by the Israeli Occupation Forces that lasted for 39 days: 26 men went to Gaza, 13 to Europe. Since that tragedy, which marked another form of ethnic cleansing, this day has been called ”Deported Palestinian’s Day”.
Since the last swap deal in October, hundreds of Palestinians have joined this category, as 203 ex-detainees were convicted to indefinite deportation. Moreover, ex-detainee Hana’ Shalabi was recently deported from Jenin to Gaza after hunger striking for 45 days to protest having been re-detained after midnight by a huge, aggressive force of Israeli soldiers, and held under administrative detention on February 16. Israel has intensively deported people from the West Bank to either the Gaza Strip or countries such as Turkey, Syria and Qatar. Israel offered administrative detainees Bilal Diab, Thaer Halahla, and Jafar Ez Al-Din Qadan, all on hunger strike for over two months, deportation to Gaza, but they refused this horrible offer and bravely insisted on continuing their battle of empty stomachs against Israel’s injustices and violations.
On May 10, hundreds of people from all generations marched to the sit-in tent for Palestinian political prisoners in Gaza to share the continued suffering of the deported Palestinians. The experience of exile, with all its pain, repeats itself hundreds of times in Palestine at the hands of Israel, as it openly violates the same Geneva Convention it ratified in 1951.
One of the people I am very proud to have met through the weekly protest for Palestinian detainees is a deportee from the Church of Nativity, Fahmi Kanan. Fahmi has been a good friend of mine, despite our difference in age: He is 43 years old, while I am only 20. He makes sure to attend every Gaza activity organized in solidarity with the Palestinian detainees and their families.
I remember very well Mr. Fahmi’s touching words when I first met him and asked him about the reason for his dedication to the detainees’ cause. “I have never lived a settled life,” he said. “First, I was born in a land under occupation. Secondly, I lived the hard life of detention inside Israel’s prisons five times, each under administrative detention. I was only a 17-year-old teenager when I was first detained. Thirdly, when I’m not detained, wherever I walk within the Palestinian territories, I’m ‘wanted’ and chased by the Israeli Occupation. Fourthly, I was one of the people besieged inside the Church of Nativity in 2002, then deported to Gaza. Our sufferings take different forms, but all of them result from one thing – Israel.”
Afterward, I learned that Mr. Fahmi is the spokesman for the people deported from the Church of Nativity. Having a shared passion for a just cause, Mr. Fahmi and I get along well. He always brings his kids with him to the protest for detainees. I’ve gotten to know him as a person, not merely as a political activist. I believe that children are reflections of their parents. In Mr. Fahmi’s case, his children are outstanding reflections. I always tell him, “If I ever have a child, I’d like to raise her or him the same way you did.” I see a bright future for Palestine through his kids who are, despite their young ages, very well-educated about Palestinian issues.
On the second day of Eid al-Adha last year, I saw him with all his kids in the weekly protest for detainees outside the International Committee of the Red Cross. When I asked him how his family in Bethlehem was doing, he replied, “I was on the phone with Dad this morning, greeting him for Eid. He is getting older. He fears that his death will be soon as he suffers from some health problems. My heart aches when he tells me that he wishes he could see his grandchildren before he dies.” I asked his 11-year-old son Nasr whether he was enjoying his Eid or not. He replied with a sad look on his face, “I feel like it is the same as any other day. All our relatives are in Bethlehem, and Eid without family is tasteless.” His words touched me very deeply.
When I shared with Mr. Fahmi what his son told me, he answered, “My kids were raised without their grandparents or relatives around. The times I was questioned about them are countless, especially during our traditional and religious feasts. But thankfully, they are smart enough to understand that this is one of the prices that Palestinian people pay for being merely Palestinian. And they are proud!”
Yesterday, Mr. Fahmi made a moving speech that showed the humanitarian aspect of a deported Palestinian’s suffering. “The hardest times in a deported person’s life are the times of need,” he said. “Today, we should remember Abdullah Dahoud, one of the 39 deported from the Church of Nativity. Sadly, he could not be among us today. He died of sorrow over his mother and sister, who passed away without him seeing them for one last time. When he was once asked about his fondest wish, he said, ‘I wish I could read a verse of Qura’n next to my mother’s grave.’”
Palestinians consider the United Nations a partner of the Israeli Occupation because of its silence. Security Council Resolution 607 “[c]alls upon Israel to refrain from deporting any Palestinian civilians from the occupied territories” and “[s]trongly requests Israel, the occupying Power, to abide by its obligation arising from the Convention.” But when it comes to reality, the UN chooses to take no action against Israel’s violations. We, the Palestinian people, don’t want resolutions, we want actions! We want real justice, not just words tossed into the air!
The sit-in tent for Palestinian political prisoners has been moved from the International Committee for the Red Cross to a central park near the statue of the Unknown Soldier in the middle of Gaza City. It is one of the few green places and thus one of the most lively places in Gaza, where people escape from their dark houses and seek fun and relief, or to simply waste their times observing others. However, the sit-in tent is now used differently, to send messages of solidarity with our Political prisoners who have been on a mass hunger strike since April 17, and to show anger with the Arab and international community and all human rights organizations, which keep calling for human rights, democracy and justice, but when it comes to our prisoners, they do nothing but watch them dying and remaining helpless.
The solidarity is taking many forms, such as lighting candles, making marches, creatively performing plays, songs, poetry and Dabka, joining a symbolic hunger strike. In Gaza’s sit-in tent, 50 men and 45 women have joined a symbolic hunger strike in solidarity with the detainees since May 2, including prisoner’s wives, parents, sisters and former prisoners. Those people have been protesting day and night. The tent is their shelter as long as the revolution of hunger is going inside Israeli prisons. Having been in the solidarity tent daily, even more than in my house, I’ve witnessed most of the cases among hunger strikers whose health conditions got deteriorating. Several cases were sent to hospital for low or high blood pressure and so many people fainted or emotionally collapsed. Ambulances and doctors never leave the tents anymore as if they have full time job at the tent.
While observing the hunger strikers getting paler as more days pass, I can’t help but think of our heroes, our prisoners behind Israel’s bars and compare. The strikers here have access to water and salt and they also have a small dish of yogurt and soup per day. But our prisoners have nothing but water and salt, ‘in case it’s not confiscated by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS).’ Strikers here can rest or sleep whenever they feel like it, but our prisoners keep being transferred between sections and prisons by the IPS attempting to exhaust them. Loai Odeh, a former prisoner who is also now on a hunger strike in solidarity, emphasizes that the IPS mercilessly prevents the strikers from resting, with these words he wrote recalling his experience of hunger strike during the campaign of disobedience. “Soldiers burst into strikers’ rooms aggressively as if they were confronting armed fighters on a battleground, not hunger strikers with feeble bodies that can barely stand. Knowing that strikers are intolerant of noise, soldiers break into their rooms with loud screams and initiate a hand search in a way that one feels that he’s being beaten rather than searched.”
While making the daily tour to show support and admiration to the hunger strikers in the tent, I was surprised to see Abu Hosny Al-Srafity wearing the strikers’ t-shirt that distinguishes them from others, and which beautifully designed with the Palestinian flag with “we’ll live dignified” written on it. Abu Hosny is a 66-year old detainee’s father whom I met since I started going to the weekly protest in the ICRC for political prisoners. Whenever we meet, we greet each other and have a short and informal conversation, but never had a real one that would make me feel like knowing him intimately. Finally, I had this conversation with him after I said “You, too?” out of surprise reacting to seeing that t-shirt.
“Absolutely!” He powerfully confirmed. “We took this step because we consider ourselves as partners in this battle of dignity but our hunger strike remains symbolic at the end of the day. It equals nothing of our detainees’ enormous suffering under the Israeli oppressive regime. They aren’t only hungry for food, they are hungry for dignity, justice, and freedom.”
He refused to let his age be a barrier in front of standing with his son Ali who was detained for 10 years and still has six to go. Doctors keep pressuring him to break his hunger strike but he refuses saying that “my life isn’t any more precious than that of my son.”
Our conversation was still in the beginning. What came next was heartbreaking. I was amazed at his high spirit and his determination but this profound chat we had clarified to me where he got that strength from.
“Ali is the only son left.” He said. “Left?” I interrupted. Then he moved his below to take a photo he kept below and started explaining. “I had three sons. My oldest son Hosny and my youngest Mohammed were killed and the one in the middle is behind Israel’s bars.” I felt raged and asked how. “In 2004, I was sitting with my wife chatting alone about the terrifying sounds of warplanes that occupied Gaza’s sky. We knew an attack was coming. Then a loud expulsion was heard and shook the land below us. We were in indescribable panic. My wife prayed, “May Allah stand with the mothers of the targeted people.” Then she answered the phone that informed her about the assassination of her oldest son, having no idea she was praying for herself.”
It was very hard to keep control of my emotions after hearing that tragedy. I continued looking directly at his eyes that were full of sorrow and listened silently. “Wait. The next story is even more shocking.” He said. “I was on my way home from a family visit with my wife and my seven-year-old son Mohammed in 1994. We were close to the eastern line, near Naheloz settlement. While standing in the street and waving for cars to take us back home, we suddenly glanced an Israeli car and a jeep driving too fast toward us. We got confused and scared. They intentionally smashed my son under their wheels, hit my wife and badly injured her and kept driving fast toward the settlement. It was horrible. It all happened so quickly that I couldn’t rescue my son who froze out of fear in front of that heartless driver who killed him and didn’t bother to even look back.”
Abu Hosny stopped talking to see my reaction but I was too shocked to utter any word after hearing that horrible incidents. His voice narrating the stories of the murder of his two sons kept replaying in my ears, and my tears kept flowing and the features of shock didn’t leave my face. He saw me in that condition and softly tapped on my hand and said, “Don’t be sad, my daughter. As long as we’re living on these holy lands of Palestine, we’ll never get fed up giving any sacrifice. These unjust and unsecure lives we’re leading are the source of our inner strength and determination. If that wasn’t the case, you wouldn’t see me now hunger striking in solidarity with my son, the living martyr, with hope to celebrate his freedom soon.”
Let’s pray to all detainees’ families to celebrate the victory of their detained sons in their battle of empty stomachs against the armed merciless jailers and pray that this victory will result in allowing them to visit their sons after over 6 years of family visits’ ban. Let’s support our prayers with taking serious actions.
This morning was very eventful one in the Gaza sit-in tent. As I arrived around 10:00 am, more than a hundred kids, each about four years old, entered the tent. They looked very beautiful and innocent. They came from Gassan Kanafani’s kindergarten carrying signs like “I want to hug Dad,” “I want Dad to be free,” or “Freedom for Palestinian political prisoners.”
They didn’t fully understand why they were there, but their participation put smiles on the faces of the hunger strikers and the detainees’ families, who joined their soft voices while chanting along with them: “Free, free Palestine!” All generations united their voices to call for the victory of our political prisoners’ battle of dignity, which continues for the 23rd day.
Soon after that, a 75-year-old woman entered the sit-in tent in a wheelchair, surrounded by a crowd of photographers and other people. I wondered who she was, then discovered that she was Hassan Salama’s mother. Despite her age and her medical condition, she insisted on visiting the tent to show solidarity with her son, who has been in solitary confinement for 13 years. She gave a revolutionary, emotional speech that inspired many listeners and made them cry, especially when she said, “My son is my sacrifice to Palestine.” She and all detainees’ mothers are symbols of the resistance.
We consider solitary confinement one of the most horrible crimes and among the most difficult punishments inflicted on our brave detainees by the Israeli Prison Service. Its main goal is to destroy the prisoner’s mind and devastate his psychological and physical health as quickly as possible. Ending this unjust policy is one of the most important demands our prisoners aim to achieve from this strike, as it constitutes a grave violation of their rights to personal liberty, bodily integrity, and dignity.
After that, hundreds of Palestinians marched in solidarity with the2002 deportees from the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. May 10 marks the eleventh anniversary of their exile. They were promised that they would be allowed to return after two or three years of deportation, after 11 years, they’re still refugees in the Gaza Strip. Deportation is a terrible violation of Geneva Convention IV and a form of ethnic cleansing that Israel continues to use against Palestinian people. Recently, administrative detainee Hana’ Shalabi was deported to Gaza and promised she could return to Jenin after 3 years of exile, but who knows if she’ll ever be allowed back or forced into exile forever?
Loai Odeh (in foreground) at a solidarity tent where supporters of Palestinian prisoners are on symbolic hunger strike.
Loai Odeh is a former political prisoner who was released from Israeli prison in theprisoner swap deal last year and forcibly transferred from Jerusalem to Gaza; before his release, Loai took part in the 22-day mass hunger strike launched at the end of September 2011 to protest cruel conditions and an escalating series of punitive measures against Palestinian prisoners.
Loai has published on Facebook very expressive, moving and informative diaries chronicling the experience of a hunger striker (see my translation of the first eight installements of Loai’s hunger strike diaries, pubilshed on 24 April). His last status update was on the 15th day of the hunger strike, just before he went on open hunger strike along with fifty other people on the 16th day of the mass hunger strike. They have taken the sit-in tent in Gaza as their shelter, which they say they will not leave unless our prisoners stop suffering. They couldn’t stand watching our prisoners going through slow death without doing anything in solidarity, so they have gone on a symbolic hunger strike that aims to draw attention locally and internationally to the prisoners’ just cause.
I took the initiative to translate the rest of Loai’s diaries from Arabic, hoping to inspire everyone who reads it, just like they inspired me.
On April 25, Loai wrote:
Today is the ninth day of heroism. Our strikers have already endured a long time of suffering and loss of weight. The provocative practices of the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) keep escalating. The searches get more intensive and violent. But we should keep in mind that “search” policy according to Israel’s oppressive administration involves different processes.
During ordinary days, the purpose of searches is to find the contraband that our prisoners managed to smuggle in to ease their difficult lives. However, during a hunger strike, the only purpose of a search is to tire our strikers physically and psychologically. Soldiers burst into strikers’ rooms aggressively as if they were confronting armed fighters on a battleground, not hunger strikers with feeble bodies that can barely stand. Knowing that strikers are intolerant of noise, soldiers break into their rooms with loud screams and initiate a hand search in a way that one feels that he’s being beaten rather than searched. Whoever refuses to undergo these “searches” gets beaten up and is plunged directly into solitary confinement. The prisoners are then left in a yard outside with no place to sit for hours while their rooms are turned into a complete mess. The contents of the rooms are heaped into a single pile, indiscriminate of who they belong to, disheartening the prisoners when they return and discover the pile that they are faced with sorting through and straightening out. Moreover, they tear off their mattresses’ cover sheets that take strikers a long time to put back or replace. Even during ordinary days these searches are tiring, so imagine how they are during hunger strikes. Jailers subject prisoners to these searches several times a day, leaving them for hours under the burning sun or in the cold night air while conducting the searches.
However, our heroes’ determination and their solid commitment help them to neglect the guards’ provocative and humiliating practices as they realize that challenging is a needed weapon to go on and win over the IPS’s oppression. Solidarity movements have to use all the means available to help them have fewer days of suffering.
On April 26, Loai wrote:
Today marks the tenth day of the hunger strike. Despite the multitude of searches and the pains of hunger, our heroes manage to maintain their smiles. They are stronger as they are armed with souls that can never be submissive, even during hunger. Their sense of humor stemming from their pain becomes their sweetest memories during imprisonment. Abstaining from food for a long time doesn’t mean that they stop thinking about it. Instead, strikers start thinking about which meals they like or dislike. Actually the meals that they don’t like come to their minds even more intensely than the meals they prefer as they regret not appreciating the blessings and satisfaction of those meals when they ate them in the past.
In fact, it does often happen that after hunger strikes, many strikers start eating foods that they have never liked. The talk about these unfavorable meals which suddenly become desirable creates a humorous atmosphere among them during their strikes. One of them acts as if he is the one whose responsibility is to cook for everyone. They start imagining the smell and taste of their favorite meals while making funny comments that uplift their spirits and make them stronger.
It’s important to know that these thoughts of food arouse their hunger and thus cause their stomachs significant pain, and the laughter gives them headaches. However, they do their best to keep smiling regardless of the heavy price they are paying, believing in the importance of keeping their spirits at ease. They are stronger than all of us because they have high spirits, armed with conviction that the smiles of Palestine’s children are worth their sacrifice.
On April 27, Loai wrote:
Today is the eleventh day of the battle, the hunger strike for the sake of dignity and freedom. Fear of an organ failure increases as the physical sores worsen. All strikers start to suffer from toothaches and backaches that worsen due to the lack of proper medical care.
During ordinary days, their demands to have dentist appointments take months to be granted. Even when one finally gets an appointment, he has his tooth pulled or receives a temporary and incorrect treatment. And then there is the waiting room, which is extremely hot in summer and freezing in winter, where a prisoner is left for hours to wait in before he is allowed in to see the dentist. The waiting room conditions make these rooms seem like rooms for torture, not for waiting, and thinking of these rooms makes prisoners avoid demanding medical appointments, except for the utmost necessity.
Tooth and back conditions intensively deteriorate during the hunger strike. Pain gets unbearable, causing them sleepless nights. Despite that strikers tend to sleep, to rest, to stretch their bodies. Their backaches are caused and exacerbated by their thin mattresses placed on iron beds, which aren’t flat, preventing them from sleeping or resting properly.
These pains make them more determined to accomplish their goals as they believe that their victory will improve the medical care they get. “Stop medical neglect” is on the top of slogans that our prisoners are demanding of the IPS with their empty stomachs. It’s the duty of everyone whose conscience is awakened to support our prisoners so that they can achieve a victory that guarantees their simplest humanitarian rights.
On April 28, Loai wrote:
Today is the twelfth day of the hunger strike. After twelve days of hunger, our prisoners are increasingly eager to hear news regarding their strike that may contribute at ending their suffering. Usually, not all prisoners join the strike all at once. However, as more days of hunger strike pass, strikers’ number increases.
I assume that most of you wonder why all prisoners don’t join the hunger strike with their comrades. For this question to be answered, we should keep in mind that the success of the hunger strike depends on three main factors.
The first factor is the internal preparation, including the process of selecting leaders and their framework — the strategy for negotiating with the IPS, and preparing the needed publications to prepare youth for the battle by making them aware of the side-effects and the psychological circumstances that they may go through during the hunger strike.
The second factor is the external political situation. The political situation must be suitable to start the strike as it’s not logical to start it while a war, during a major international event (the World Cup, for example), or any overshadowing political event which might prevent the politicians or supporters from paying full attention to the strike.
The third factor is the popular support and the foreign pressure needed to sustain the strike. Without this factor, Israel won’t feel pressured to meet our prisoners’ demands. The 1992 hunger strike was recognized as the most successful strike in the history of the Palestinian prisoners’ cause. The reason it was so successful was that all three factors were aligned, especially the popular uprising to support detainees.
Not all prisons join the strike because the first factor – good preparation – is so important. Poor relations with the prison leadership or coordination between prisons prevents them from adequate preparation. The IPS concentrates on adding more obstacles that negatively affect and weaken the ability to prepare, chiefly by transferring the leaders of the prisoners movement between prisons to prevent them from meeting and coordinating a strike.
It’s good that the unprepared prisons don’t join the strike as their participation may cause confusion during the strike and limit its success or cause it to fail. During a strike, strikers are deeply influenced by all news. News about the rising number of strikers raises their spirits and creates pressure on the IPS. Conversely, news about the breaking of the hunger strike at a prison or even at a section depresses them. This can be destructive and pose a great threat to the success of the strike.
On April 29, Loai wrote:
Today is the thirteenth day of the battle. Our heroes start thinking about the achievements that they will realize when they win. They are also preoccupied with the demands they are hoping will be met from this hunger strike.
Allowing family visits is on the top of the list of their demands. Thousands of prisoners from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank have been banned from visiting for years for security reasons. Prisoners’ families in the Gaza Strip haven’t been allowed to see their relatives in Israel’s prisons since 2006; a source of major and persistent distress on our prisoners’ souls. Staying in touch with families is one of the most important needs for prisoners as their worries and thoughts about their families never cease.
The worry about losing a member of the family is the heaviest. Losing a member of the family while imprisoned – especially a parent – is their greatest fear. The ban on family visits ensures that the detainees’ worries about losing their beloved ones is enduring.
Moreover, the ban on family visitation separates the prisoners from the outside world and creates a barrier between them and their relatives. For those who are banned from family visits, receiving good news regarding their mothers, wives and especially their children is their biggest dream as they spend these years fantasizing about their kids growing up, and seeing them in reality becomes the most precious thing they could ever have.
Thinking about the possibility that this dream may come true after the strike strengthens the strikers’ determination and makes all the pains of their imprisonment and hunger strike bearable. This – seeing their children – is the greatest victory they hope for. The family visit is one of our prisoners’ basic rights and banning it is a horrible violation of all international agreements. It is our duty to support them in their quest to have this right restored.
Win and we have the honor of supporting you. We have faith in you ability and your just cause as your victory is the triumph of humanity.
On April 30, Loai wrote:
Today is the fourteenth day of the battle of empty stomachs. The IPS begins to take the strikers seriously and begins to meet intently with the leaders of the prisoners movement. They now realize that the strike won’t be easily broken and that they have to be more flexible, unlike how they behaved in the first days of the strike. Our leaders begin to firmly demand solutions to complicated issues and the IPS accepts many of the minor demands, hoping to end the strike. However, the strike’s leaders have determined that they won’t relent or show any flexibility unless the IPS meets as many of the demands they are hoping to achieve as possible.
Prisoners’ demands usually revolve around two or three main issues which constitute the heart of the strike. The other demands are of less importance. All these demands are ordered according to significance by the strike’s leaders in committees by the strike’s leaders in cooperation with all detainees. The preparation committees set meetings a day before the strike begins and every prisoner gives his suggestions regarding the demands. In the end, all these suggestions are collected and compiled. These demands are given to the IPS by the leaders to study when they are informed about the launch of the hunger strike. The leaders are forthright with the IPS about their demands, and they are insistent that they are the keys to ending the hunger strike.
Negotiations between the IPS and the strike’s leaders revolve around the demands. As the strike grows longer, the negotiating becomes increasingly serious as the pressure on the IPS increases.
By today – the fourteenth day of the strike – the need to send detainees to external hospitals increases and the number of strikers who suffer from serious medical problems increases and the severity of their conditions worsens. Their continual medical examinations become a burden to the IPS. Additionally, political and security pressure increases due to local and international solidarity with the prisoners’ just cause.
The withdrawal of the enemy’s administration from its initial, inhumane attitude gives our heroes the motivation to continue on their march toward victory. We have complete trust in the strike’s leaders that they will take the best offers once they are available and end the strike with a satisfactory victory that will make all of us proud.
On May 1, Loai wrote:
Today is the fifteenth day in the battle of empty stomachs. One of the most important demands that our prisoners are aiming to achieve from this strike is ending the solitary confinement policy.
The solitary confinement policy is regarded as one of the most horrible crimes and one of the most difficult punishment procedures that are committed against our brave detainees by the IPS. The segregation cell in which a prisoner lives on his own is very narrow and has a bathroom inside and is isolated from the rest of the prison’s rooms. The isolated detainee is allowed to leave the cell to a small yard for only one hour a day — foura. The jailer selects the time of this break according to his mood; it can be in the midnight or very early in the morning while the prisoner is sleeping and that indirectly aims to deprive the prisoner from having the one-hour break during these days.
Getting out to that small yard which is besieged by giant walls and is empty of people doesn’t happen before the prisoners’ hands and feet are shackled. This is another procedure to cut down their desire to leave the cell and to reach their goal to destroy the prisoner’s mind and devastate his mental, psychological and physical health as fast as possible. The prisoner’s isolation for long time means one has to eat alone, think alone, become happy or sad alone, talk to no one but himself, see nothing but walls, hear nothing but the chains’ sounds and the jailers’ loud voices — all that and even more causes that aim to be quickly achieved. Imagine how bad the situation of those prisoners who are put in isolation is when they are subjected to all that. No one can get out of this cell the same without having any damage, especially those who spent long time in isolation. One should enjoy a strong determination and an ability to do activities which contributes to maintaining his psychological and physical health to pass this difficult isolation with as little damage as possible.
We shouldn’t watch our heroes go through all of Israel’s inhumane policies and face a slow death without doing any action and here are our prisoners having the most difficult battle to get their comrades out of solitary confinement. It’s not only the political prisoners’ task to defend the isolated detainees’ rights. We share this responsibility as we can’t leave them as prey for those criminal jailers
Khader Adnan took the heavy weight of 320 prisoner held in administrative detention, without any charge, on his shoulders. He hunger struck for a record 66 days to protest this unjust policy. His battle of an empty stomach wasn’t only a reminder to free souls around the world that we are real people who deserve freed and dignified lives, but also a message to those who share his suffering and injustice that they have a weapon stronger than the jailers’ arms: determination. Hana’ Shalabi followed his steps and starved herself for 44 days. After defeating Israel’s inhumane policies, Khader and Hana’ have become symbols of defiance and sources of inspiration and strength for our political prisoners to continue resisting injustice.
The mother of the detainees Bilal and Azzam Diab holding Bilal’s picture who is on hunger strike for 55 days
More heroes have arisen behind bars to break all chains with their empty stomachs. Bilal Diab, a 27-year-old man from Jenin, is one of them. He was detained for 80 months in 2003. After completing his sentence, before his first year out of prison, he was re-arrested aggressively after midnight, causing panic among neighbors. Then he received an administrative detention order for six months on 25 August 2011, based on “secret information” available to neither Bilal nor his lawyer, leaving him no other lawful means to defend himself. According to his detention order, he was supposed to be released on 25 February. But it was renewed, leading Bilal to rebel and defend himself by launching an open hunger strike. Azzam Diab, Bilal’s brother who was sentenced for a life time, is on the 23rd day of his hunger strike in solidarity with his brother Bilal. It just hard to imagine how their mother manages to remain strong while two of her sons are inside Israel’s prisons and both are dying to live.
Thaer Halahla, 34 years old, from H’rsan, near Hebron, is another hunger striker who joined Bilal on the same day, February 29, to protest the renewal of an administrative detention order against him. Thaer was re-arrested after two weeks of his marriage. He had previously been held under administrative detention four times. His imprisonment forced him to leave his pregnant wife and baby girl behind. His 22-month-old daughter was born while he was in prison and since birth, she has never had a chance to meet her father. At the beginning of January 2012, his administrative detention order was extended a third consecutive time for an additional six months. Desperate to be free, re-unite with his family, and hug his daughter for the first time, he has hunger struck 55 days so far.
Addameer reported that on 21 March, Bilal and Thaer were transferred to Ramleh prison medical center after their health began to deteriorate. Both are currently being held in isolated cells, suffer from medical neglect under difficult conditions. Thaer’s lawyer stated that he saw him vomiting blood from his nose and mouth and that he suffers a difficulty in speaking. As for Bilal, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) noted that “after losing consciousness a number of times, Mr. Diab was hospitalized twice at Assaf Harofeh Hospital, but was subsequently returned to [Ramleh prison medical center].”
Eight other prisoners have reached dangerous stages of their hunger strikes, including Haddan Safadi (49 days), Omar Abu Shalal (47 days), Jaafar Azzedine (32 days), and Ahmad Saqer, the longest-held administrative detainee (36 days). Resistance against the administrative detention policy inside prisons has also taken other forms. Mohammed Suleiman, a thalassemia patient, is refusing medical treatment to protest his administrative detention that has been renewed three times. He also refuses to take blood tests.
Three other administrative detainees have also been moved to Ramleh prison medical center: Hassan Safadi, Omar Abu Shalal and Jaafar Azzedine, on their 45th, 43rd, and 28th days of hunger strike respectively. Ahmad Saqer, the longest-held current administrative detainee, is on the 32nd day of his hunger strike.
On Prisoners’ Day, 17 April, Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons launched a mass hunger strike after a wave of individual hunger strikes over the past few months. This collective hunger strike follows the 22-day campaign of disobedienceand mass hunger strike, launched at the end of September 2011 to protest cruel conditions and an escalating series of punitive measures against Palestinian prisoners such as solitary confinement, a ban of family and lawyers’ visits, and confiscations of prisoners’ possessions. The Israeli Prison Service promised to meet prisoners’ demands within three months if they ended their hunger strike. Six months have passed without any change. So prisoners have re-launched their hunger strike to demand their most basic rights.
Loai Odeh, a former prisoner and my best friend, whom I am very proud to have met after his release, joined that campaign of disobedience until the swap deal by Israel and Hamas on 18 October. Then he was released, and deported from Jerusalem to Gaza after ten years of imprisonment. Since his release, prisoners he left behind have been his main concern. He always attends events in solidarity with them. He has been my main resource every time I had a question or needed to enrich my knowledge about prisoners’ conditions.
While following his updates on Facebook, I noticed that he had written new statuses taking the form of a striker’s diaries while recalling his experience. This surprised me, as it has seldom happened since he opened his account. The diary of the fourth day was the most touching and important for everyone to read that I want to share them with my readers as a strong call for action.
“Today is the fourth day of challenge and championship,” Loai wrote. “Today, silence begins to spread all over. By now, the striker tends to be silent and stop talking. All the voices around him seem loud. He becomes unable to join their discussions. As days pass, his ability to hear voices shrinks, expect for these which lift the spirit up and strengthens souls and hearts. These voices are mainly the ones that bring news about popular support for their battle. This news becomes the source of energy, the strongest motivation for them to remain steadfast.”
Regarding Israeli Prison Service response, he stated, “Our enemy is fully aware of that. Israel spells their fascist generosity against our heroes. They set up speakers and raise the volume to its loudest, constantly playing Hebrew music and news that will depress their spirits. They also distribute special news about them, like claims about the declining number of hunger strikers and names of those who have broken their fasts. They also do their best to give hunger strikers the impression that life outside is moving on normally and no one there cares about them.”
“However, all these inhumane attempts fail once a prisoner returns from a visit with his lawyer to tell them about popular events held locally and internationally to support them and their just cause, ” he said. “So don’t ever underestimate any activity you do, as they have small, smuggled radios with which they follow the news. Even children’s protests increase their inner determination to achieve their goals, as they feel that their responsibilities have broadened to include children, the future generation, who have spiritually joined their battle.”
He ended by saying, “We have faith in your ability to win and we are with you until victory!”
Several thousands of Palestinians joined the marches on Prisoners’ Day in Gaza. (Joe Catron)
Last Monday, I couldn’t wait for my class to end at 10:00am. My dad doesn’t know how to send a text message, but somehow, while inside the lecture, I received one from him, urging me to come to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). As soon as students were allowed to leave, I was the first one out the door. I walked as quickly as I could from school to the ICRC. I stopped a taxi, even though it was a ten-minute walk. I wanted to be there in time so I would not miss any of the weekly protest for Palestinian political prisoners. I expected that it would be a unique protest, especially since the following day was Prisoners’ Day. I was right.
It wasn’t the usual protest that I always see. The street was closed. No cars could pass. The hall inside the ICRC, as well as the sit-in tent in front of it, were filled with people. Artistic touches of anger, steadfastness, and hope were added.
As I arrived, I found Dad chatting cheerfully with a man I had never seen in the ICRC before. His story was worth hearing. His name is Zuhdy al-Adawi. My father and Zuhdy were both released in the 1985 swap deal after spending 15 years in Israeli jails. Dad was released to Gaza but Zuhdy, unfortunately, was deported to Syria. Since then, Dad had never met his friend. However, Zuhdy managed to return for the first time to his birth place about two weeks ago. “After 27 years of separation, we’re meeting here again,” Dad said happily with his arm on Zuhdy’s shoulder.
I could see people crowded around stands on paintings across the street. Dad grabbed my drawing book, which I had carried there to show my friends a new picture, and opened it while saying, “Shahd is an artist, too.” Zuhdy smiled at me and pointed at the exhibition saying humbly, “Awesome! Then you should look at those paintings and tell me what you think.”
“Are you the artist?” I asked excitedly. Zuhdy pulled me close to the stands and answered proudly, “All these paintings are my work from my detention in Ashqelon Prison. It was important for me to exhibit them in Gaza so your generation and the coming generations keep learning about the Palestinian prisoners’ issue through art.” My eyes were captured by his talent and creativity. Every painting told a story full of suffering and challenge. They summed up the Palestinian struggle and the pains and the injustices that Palestinian people suffer, especially the humiliating conditions our political prisoners endure.
“Expressing myself with colors was banned inside prison,” Zuhdy said angrily. “I used to cut pillowcases and use them as my canvas. I managed to smuggle some pastel and wax colors. I used to paint under fear. How could I paint while jailers surrounded me? But with my persistence and my friends’ collaboration, I managed to make these and smuggle them out of jail.”
Zuhdy’s expressive, creative paintings left me speechless. He made me feel happy, happy that the heartless jailers failed to imprison his mind or imagination. He lived in prison, but his heart and mind were free. To see more of his drawings, see Joe Catron’s album here or watch this video.
“Be sure that our prisoners resist in many different ways,” Zuhdy said. “Many writers, intellectuals, and painters arose in prison, from the unspeakable love for Palestine, and from the daily suffering, oppression, and injustice. We have full confidence that can defeat the jailers’ inhumanity. We have a just cause for which we sacrifice and in which we believe, and we are ready to use any possible means to call for our freedom and justice.” With these strong words, he ended his inspiring conversation with me. It will be stamped in my mind for as long as I live to keep on my path, using pencils, words, and every other way to make my people’s voice heard. People like Zuhdy make my pride at being Palestinian grow every day.
That night, we returned to the ICRC to join hundreds of people who gathered to celebrate “the flame of freedom”. Who could be more worth than Hana al-Shalabi to light this flame? She was there with her beautiful, elderly mother, who had joined her daughter on hunger strike despite her age. My heart leaped when I saw them. Excitedly, we surrounded the flame and watched the champion of empty stomachs, Hana al-Shalabi, light it to mark Prisoners’ Day with a symbol of loyalty to those who are still locked behind Israeli bars and a promise that they will be never forgotten, and that we will always call for their freedom. I hope one day, we will light up this flame when Palestine is free and Israeli prisons have been emptied.
On April 17th, many popular events were held throughout Palestine. Prisoners’ Day was different this year. It had a sweet taste as the day Israel released Khader Adnan, another hero of empty stomachs who hunger struck for a record 66 days to protest being held in administrative detention without charge. His freedom put bright smiles of hope on the angry faces of prisoners’ families.
In Gaza, Palestine’s flags colored its blue sky. I left home early, eager to join the events. Marches came from every street of Gaza. All ages and genders, and many disabled people, joined the protest. It was a remarkable scene of unity and compassion between Palestinians in Gaza. Even schoolchildren participated, with their tender voices chanting, “Rise our moon, rise and light the whole universe. We weren’t born to live in humiliation, but to live in freedom.” Marches came from all directions to unite in front of the ICRC. I felt a revolution inside me when I saw thousands of people uniting their voice: “Free, free Palestine.”
Among the protesters, ten-year-old Haitham Al-Zariey, holding a picture and chanting loudly, attracted my attention. “Who is the person in the picture?” I asked him. “This is my uncle Hussien,” he said with a smile of pride. “He has been detained for eleven years. I was born when he was in jail. A few years ago, I learned that I have an uncle held captive by Israel. I have never met him.” When I asked him what he wished he could tell his uncle, he answered, “I wish I could tell him that I am here chanting for his freedom, and the freedom of all other Palestinians in Israel’s prisons. I hope I can witness his freedom soon. I wish Israel at least allow us to visit him.”
I was thrilled by the little boy’s awareness of the prisoners’ issue. Haitham is a small example of the rising revolutionary generation who will go on demanding justice and freedom for all Palestinians. On Prisoners’ Day, we renew our promise to never forget those who sacrificed precious years for the sake of our freedom and dignity. Someday all chains must break. Freedom for all Palestinian political prisoners.
Unlike Monday, Tuesday was a happy day. On Monday, I woke up with eyes full of tears after I fell asleep to a tragic story, a story that was not heard widely, but happened in Gaza. Three kids lit up a candle to escape the darkness that filled their house in Al-Bureej Refugee Camp in the central Gaza Strip and slept. As the candle burned out, the candle of their lives was extinguished, too.
“We didn’t cry during farewell!
For we didn’t have time, nor tears, Nor was it farewell
We didn’t realize that the moment of farewell was farewell
So how could we cry?”
Said Taha Muhammad Ali, one of the leading poets on the contemporary Palestinian literary scene, describing his expulsion from his homeland. He was 17 years old, old enough to remember the gloomy day when he was ethnically cleansed from his original village, Saffuriya, together with most of its inhabitants and more than 600,000 Palestinian from 512 other village, during the 1948 Nakbha. But in 1949, Taha returned to Nazareth, making it his home.
However, my grandparents and hundreds of thousands couldn’t. They had fled to Gaza. They thought that it would be a matter of two weeks and then they would be back. But ever since then, they lived and died in Gaza’s refugee camps.
Ethnic cleansing has continued in many forms. On March 30, 1976, more Palestinian land in the north was confiscated so that Jewish settlements could be built on its ruins. But Palestinian people rebelled against the Israeli occupation and confronted its forces. A popular uprising took the form of marches and a unique general strike that provoked the Israeli occupation forces, causing their murders of six heroes, together with the wounding or detention of hundreds of other people. Their only crime was that they refused to give up their land and protested non-violently, but powerfully, against dispossession.
It is significant as the first time since 1948 that Arabs in Israel organized a strong response to Israeli policies as a Palestinian national collective. That’s why this day was etched in the history of the Palestinian struggle and ever since, Palestinians have commemorated March 30 as “Land Day”, to emphasize our embrace of Palestinian land and our rejection of the criminal occupation and its illegal settlement.
We are about to observe the 47th anniversary of Land Day. As I welcome this immortal day, a flood of memories flows through my mind. I can’t remember my grandfather well, as he died when I was very young. But I can very clearly recall my memories of my grandmother, who played a key role in forming the person who I am.
“Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky! “
Only when I got older did I learn that lullabies are songs sung to kids until they fall asleep. I never slept to a lullaby. Yet I can’t count the times I slept while listening to my grandmother telling her favorite, most touching story, the story of Nakba, the story of her raped lands. Unlike other kids around the world, the Nakba was my lullaby.
“Behind every great man there is a woman.” This proverb could not find a better example than my father. He always said, “I have God in the sky and my mother on the ground.” She had been always his role model and the reason he embraced resistance as his choice during his youth. Now his resistance is centered on planting his patriotic values and his love for the homeland in his children, in us, so we, the third generation, carry on demanding our people’s stolen rights.
I vividly recall how her steady, wide eyes struggled with tears every time she narrated that story. She must have repeated it thousands of times, and I am sure she would never have stopped if she were still alive. My siblings and I heard it many times. And, every time, her wrinkles evoked the same feeling, her voice shook the same way, calmly flowing with memories, then suddenly rising in anger as she said the same proverb: “The homeland is ours and the strangers fire us.”
“Your grandfather used to go every day to a high hill in north Gaza called Alkashef,” I remember her saying. “People used to see him sitting on the top, pondering his raped homeland, Beit Jerja, and crying.” Their wound was too deep to be healed or forgotten.
In Beit Gerga, my grandparents were farmers, living for the glories of the land as the majority of Palestinians did then. Every single day after their expulsion, they said, “Tomorrow we will return.” They were simple and uneducated people who didn’t understand the political games of Israel and its allies. They died before smelling their precious sand again.
The generation of the Nakba is dying. But another revolutionary generation was born, the generation of Intifadas, to which my parents belong. My father has always described his resistance, and his 15 years of youth inside Israeli prisons, as “the price of homeland and the cost of freedom and dignity.”
I love sitting with elderly people who witnessed the Nakba to listen to their stories, even if they are mostly alike. They remind me of my grandmother and my memories of her, which I cherish very much. Jabber is another example of a man born from a great woman’s womb. He is my father’s friend who was released in the same 1985 swap deal. He devoted his life to raise awareness about the daily human rights violations committed by the Israeli Occupation against our people, and he now heads the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and always prioritizes the political prisoners’ issue.
I met Jaber’s mother once in a festival for the prisoners released in the Shalit exchange. His mother does not know her own date of birth, but assumes she is in her 80s. I heard her telling the story of when her son Jabber was sentenced to two lifetimes. She described how she stood, proudly and strongly, and confronted the Israeli court for being unfair to her son, then started singing for Palestine, for resistance. “I didn’t cry nor scream,” she said. “If Netanyahu is hardheaded, we are even more so. We’ll never stop resisting. Resistance will continue until we restore out rights. I had four sons in prison at that time, and I walked to prison every day for 15 years hoping to meet them.”
She made me proud to be the daughter of a Palestinian mother when she said, while pointing to her breast, “My milk was fed to my sons, the milk of our homelands.” She continued firmly, “As long as there are Palestinian women giving birth and bringing up new generations, we will breastfeed them the milk of our homeland, we will breastfeed them with toughness and resistance.” Then she smiled and said that she told a CIA officer the same thing while looking at him in the eye, adding, “The land of Palestine is for her people, not for you!”
Palestinians have spent more than six decades sacrificing, paying the price of freedom for themselves and their lands that were stolen by the Zionist entity. You can rarely find a Palestinian family from whom none were killed, or have experienced imprisonment or deportation, or have had their houses demolished or lands confiscated. Not only people have paid the price for the freedom of the lands, but even the trees, stones, and even sands.
Israel continues to build more and more illegal settlements on what is left of our lands. They openly violate all international agreements, but no agreements, nor human rights organizations, can limit Israel’s daily violations and crimes against Palestinians and their lands. That’s why the Palestinian resistance will never die. Many more Land Days will happen, and they will be celebrated in one way or another, every day of every coming year, inside or outside the occupied lands, until we restore our stolen rights.
For this 46th anniversary of Land Day, I’d like to share a poem with you. I wrote it last May, speaking for every Palestinian refugee whose nostalgia grows with every passing day. This is to emphasize our spiritual attachment to our stolen lands, from which our grandparents were ethnically cleansed, and to stress our right to return.
My village, in which I didn’t live a single day
Has been living inside me everyday
Since I was born, I grow and my nostalgia
Grows more and more till it tears me up
It wasn’t me who chose to live far away
And neither my grandparents did
They were beaten, cleansed and dispossessed
Into tents of exile their souls were left
Gone with their olive groves and citrus fields
Leaving a wound to never be healed
Since my grandparents fled away
They thought they would return the next day
They died, but no need to sigh
As, their heritage, their songs and memories persist
They say that elderly people die
And after that the young will forget
But no way
Until return, Palestinians will resist
Our tears of hope will never dry
And when we return to our homelands
From ashes, trees will rise high
And white doves will over fly
And we’ll caress with our bare hands
Every precious berry of sand
This dream might not happen soon
But it absolutely will one day
The long hours of waiting inside the bus without moving gave me a backache, but I couldn’t complain with many elderly and sick people surrounding me. An old woman sat to my right. I could read many stories of struggle and suffering in her wrinkles, her traditional Palestinian dress, and her tight eyes. She wore a brace around her neck. I could hear her muttering prayers.
Due to Israel’s apartheid checkpoints, it took us a day to reach Jericho, which is roughly one hour from Allenby Bridge. I waited eagerly, imagining myself walking around the old city of Jerusalem before heading to Gaza. We wasted over four hours waiting for the Israeli soldiers to let us pass through their checkpoints. Being from Gaza made my crossing procedures even more complicated. I spent the whole trip to Jericho counting minutes and hours. The more time we wasted, the less likely it became for me to tour Jerusalem. The time limit that Israel imposed by closing Erez at 7:00 pm made me stressful.
At sunset, I finished all the crossing and security procedures. I hurried to the exit to find my taxi driver sweating, standing by his parked car next to the door waiting for us. He rushed me inside the car, saying that he had to drive me to the District Coordination Offices (DCO) right away to get a permit to leave before it was too late. People from Gaza get permits to cross through Erez back to Gaza there, and people from West Bank get permits to enter Jerusalem and other “Israeli” territory.
On the way to Jordan, I tried my hardest to stop in Jerusalem and visit the Odeh family, whose son Loai was deported to Gaza after his release in the Shalit swap deal. Loai and I became close friends as soon as we met. Before I left Gaza, I promised him that I would do my best to visit his family and give them a hug on his behalf. I couldn’t on my way to Jordan. But I was persistent to make it happen when I returned.
I endured a stream of silence and frustration. Then my telephone rang. It was our travel coordinator from Gaza.
“Listen carefully,” he said in a very serious tone. “The DCO closes at 4:00 pm, and now it’s 5:30 pm. You won’t be able to go home tonight. You’ll have to stay at a hotel, or at a relative’s or friend’s house in Jericho. Keep in mind that you’re only allowed to move within Jericho. No one but you will pay its price for anything outside its limits.”
I said nothing in response and acted as if I was taking his words seriously, but smiled, because only then did I sense how lucky I was. I hung up, turned to the driver excitedly, and said, “I won’t go home tonight. I’m supposed to stay in Jericho, but I’m not going to fear anyone. This night will come once in a lifetime, and I’m not going to spend it restricting my footsteps and worrying about Israel’s racist rules or anyone’s orders.”
He smiled and said, “I’m dropping you in Jericho.” I screamed, refusing to accept what he said, but he interrupted me, raised his voice, and continued, “This is what ‘they’ will assume, but not what will happen! I’ll pick you up from Jerusalem tomorrow morning to go to the DCO.” I made sure he meant it before I got too excited, then I burst into screams and tears of happiness. We drove toward Jerusalem while singing one of my favorite Fairouz songs, about Jerusalem: “For you, the city of prayers, I pray.”
The driver warned me of the dangers I might face if I entered Jerusalem. We knew there were risks, but we decided to take them . The checkpoint between Jerusalem and Jericho was the problem. No car can enter Jerusalem without going through it. If we passed it without being stopped by Israeli soldiers, then we were safe.
We put sunglasses on and began chatting and laughing as if everything was normal. We passed without the soldiers noticing anything “wrong”. When the checkpoints disappeared from sight, we shouted, “We made it!” The first person I called was Loai. “I’m now heading to Jerusalem, to meet your family!” I screamed with happiness. “Let the driver drop you at the Jerusalem Hotel, where my brother Obay is waiting for you,” Loai said laughing.
I couldn’t be more grateful to a person than the driver, who put himself at risk to make my dream come true. He dropped me near the hotel, made sure that I was safe, and left me to enjoy the rest of my time in Jerusalem, before the next morning when my adventure would end.
I had never met Obay, but I felt like I already knew him. We talked briefly once when Loai was in Egypt. He introduced us on Skype. Loai had told how special their relationship was, especially after they were reunited in prison. They shared a cell together for over two years before Obay, who was detained in 2002 as a child at the age of 17, was released in 2006. They met again in Egypt last January. I could see many similarities Obay shared with Loai – appearance, behavior, way of thinking and even their expressions – that made me feel closer to him.
The first thing we did was take a walking tour inside the old city of Jerusalem. I can’t describe how good it felt to be there. I took a short noon tour there last June, but the city is even more magnificent at night. I could hear history, authenticity, and solidity narrated by every stone, every wall, every street, everything. But at the same time, I recalled how Loai once described his city: “Jerusalem is a sad town.” It’s true. I could touch the anger, the sorrow, and the challenge everywhere while wandering its ancient alleys.
The people who remained in Jerusalem suffer the most from Israeli occupation and apartheid. While wandering around, we saw many people sitting outside their homes chatting. I passed by a group of girls in a courtyard. They were very welcoming and loving when they learned I came from Gaza. I asked them about the occupation, with which they interact daily. “We will never leave our homes even if it costs us our lives,” one of them replied. “Israel offered to buy these old, small houses with unbelievable amounts of money, but we never gave them up and never will. Our resistance is to stay here, despite all the mocking, humiliation, and violations of our rights.”
I was thrilled by her answer. A young girl among them grabbed me to introduce me to her family. I was shocked to see how narrow her house was. They had only one room, where nine people, including her parents, live.
I kept walking. I could see Hebrew graffiti on the walls and Israeli flags. It’s not only a sad city, but also an angry one. I could sense its anger shaking the floor beneath me, as if it was saying, “My tongue is Arab and my identity is Palestinian.”
In the old city of Jerusalem, it is easy to tell where Palestinians and settlers live, even without Israeli flags flying on roofs or Hebrew written on the walls. The Palestinian homes are very old and narrow. They’re not permitted to be renovated. Electrical wires are uncovered and tied to the ceiling. Israel tries every way to pressure Palestinians to leave their houses with the neglect of the civil services and the increase of taxes. On the other hand, the settlers’ homes appeared to be in good shape and enjoyed good electricity and other public services. Settlers are allowed to extend and refurbish their houses.
I followed Obay wherever he went. We climbed snaky stairs until we reached a roof, where an Israeli soldier suddenly came outside to ask why we were there. Obay answered calmly, “Just to see the city from the top.”
I didn’t know exactly where I was, and the soldier, who was monitoring screens connected with cameras spread all over the city, made me nervous. Then Obay pointed. I turned to where his finger stopped to discover that the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque were right in front of me. I opened my eyes wide and sighed. The exceptional beauty of the golden dome glittered and lit up the dark sky.
No matter how long I meditate on this magnificent view, my eyes will stay thirsty. But we had to leave. Obay had a nice plan to make use of my only night there. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard that our next destination was Jaffa. It was always a dream, but one in the back of my mind, which I thought would be impossible to reach. We headed there in the car. Being in Jaffa increased my longing to return to Beit-Jerja, my original village, where my grandparents were ethnically cleansed in 1948. The refugees’ return is a right, not just a dream, and it will be fulfilled someday.
The first thing we did in Jaffa was have dinner in a restaurant that overlooking the beach. We were starving after an hour driving and over two hours wandering around Jerusalem. In Gaza, the last thing I would order is fish, as even it is imported. The Israeli Navy occupies our sea and prevents fishermen from going farther than three nautical miles, cutting down Gaza’s wealth of fish. In Jaffa, I didn’t hesitate for even a second to try the fish of our Mediterranean sea, and I didn’t regret it! I can’t tell you how succulent it tasted.
Immediately after we finished eating, I ran toward the seashore in my bare feet to wet them and feel the warm waves. I kept walking, paying no attention to time or distance, while breathing Jaffa’s pure air and collecting beautiful seashells to keep as souvenirs. It felt so harmonic and spiritual. I never stopped thinking about my people in Gaza, who were very near, but could never reach this side of the Palestinian beach.
I wished I could watch the sunrise there, but we had to go back to Jerusalem a little earlier, as Loai’s father was worried about us. I couldn’t complain about anything. I received more than I expected. I repeatedly described how happy I was this way: “I am afraid I will die from too much happiness.” I hoped for at least an hour in Jerusalem, and unexpectedly, I had a whole night in both Jerusalem and Jaffa. Alhamdullah, God was very generous to me.
It meant a lot to be at Loai’s house. His pictures hung everywhere, even in the garden. I caught only two hours of sleep before I had to leave the house to get a permit from the DCO. Before I said goodbye to Loai’s family, I took pictures of every corner of the house to show Loai the place where he was raised, since he had almost forgotten its appearance after ten years of detention. I also picked two branches from a beautiful tree in their garden. He was very happy to receive these photos and branches.
All these adventures felt like a dream, one so happy that I never wanted to wake up. But my return to Gaza was obligatory. I spent seven hours in the DCO, waiting for the Israeli soldiers to issue my permit to return to Gaza through Erez. As I arrived in a Gaza blackout, I was welcomed by a very loud bomb that exploded near Beit Hanoun. I was scared at first, but then I burst out laughing and shouted, “Welcome back to Gaza!”