[News] Gaza : Sinks in sea of blood

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Wed Oct 20 11:23:37 EDT 2004

Rafah today <mailto:rafahtoday at yahoo.com><rafahtoday at yahoo.com> wrote:
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2004 15:27:36 -0700 (PDT)
From: Rafah today
Subject: The "Days of Penitence": Gaza Sinks in a Sea of Blood

Dear friend:

I hope that you are doing fine..

Please see what is going on here and let your media, newspapers and 
everyone know about what is the Israeli Occupation Forces are doing in the 
North of

Show them the human flesh, arms, legs, heads, brains scattered in the 
streets, show them what is the meaning of life in Gaza Strip.

Please forward this to your newspapers and all media so they can share 
about what is going on here.. and please REMEMBER that your silence means 
encouraging the Israeli Army to kill more and more civilians in Gaza Strip.

Does the time came to move from your silence?!!!


The "Days of Penitence":
Gaza Sinks in a Sea of Blood
by Mohammed Omer: <http://www.rafahtoday.org/>www.rafahtoday.org

It smells unbelievably bad here.  To walk down any street—if you dare 
to—you skirt, or sometimes unavoidably walk through, pools of blood.  There 
are shreds of human flesh—some of them unrecognizable as human remains—all 
over, on rooftops,  plastered to broken windows, on the street.  The stench 
of rotting blood mixes with the more acrid odor of flesh burnt to black 
char by the rockets fired by the Israeli Army's American-made Apache 

The sky is full of black smoke, some from the rocket explosions, but even 
more, it sometimes seems, from the endless fires of tires and other debris 
that people keep stoking.  The smoke confuses the heat-seeking unmanned 
drone surveillance planes, so setting fires in any relatively open area may 
draw fire and let a bomb explode somewhat harmlessly.

All this smoke mixed with plaster and cement dust is a blessing and a 
curse.  The stench of burning flesh and rotting blood masks to some extent 
the smell of raw sewage from broken sewer pipes and the tens of thousands 
of bodies unwashed for over a week now.  Water to drink is a rare and 
precious commodity here—baths and showers have become mpossible luxuries.

Your eyes inevitably tear up from all the smoke—but then, that protects you 
a tiny bit from some of the more harrowing sights—recognizable body parts—a 
piece of a leg, an obvious part of a torso, and fingers—more scattered, 
individual, recognizable fingers than anyone should ever have to 
see.  Volunteer crews are gathering these human fragments and bringing them 
to Jabalya's two hospitals but the ambulances cannot possibly keep up with 
the flood of newly dead and injured.

Funeral processions are everywhere, and "houses of mourning"—the tents 
bereaved families set up in which to receive their families and 
friends.  In fact, though, every house here, those relatively intact and 
those partly or wholly destroyed by the IDF tanks and bulldozers, is a 
house of mourning.

And nothing protects you from the sounds—the tears and laments of the 
mothers and fathers, husbands, wives and children of the dead, the screams 
of the injured, the wail of ambulance sirens, sniper fire, the thud of tank 
shells and the too-frequent explosions as another Apache shell lands.

Time is distorted here—hours feel like days, days like weeks or 
months.  This is Jabalya Refugee Camp in the Northern Gaza Strip, one of 
the most crowded places on earth where 106,000 men, women, and children, 
the overwhelming majority of them unarmed civilians, have been under an 
all-out attack for over a week now.

Israel's official position is that this carnage



One year has now passed since my brother Hussam's death. He was 17. He was 
shot in his home.

<http://www.rafahtoday.org/news/todaymainmain.htm>Click here to view 
previous reports

16 October 04



Here the Israeli gun machines pass: Devastation in Jabalya Refugee Camp

In less than ten hours, a massive IDF incursion on the night of Thursday 
the 14th into dawn on Friday killed three civilians, left many more 
injured, destroyed completely or damaged into uselessness about 48 houses, 
and did serious damage to infrastructure. With that many houses 
uninhabitable, now hundreds of men, women, and children have become 
homeless. Rafah governorate has said about 300 citizens joined the 
thousands already homeless here in ten hours last night.

 From the medical staff at Abu Youif Al Najjar Hospital in Rafah,I learned 
that Ismail Sawalha, a man of 70, Ali Sha'at, 25, and Ahmed Al Tahrawi, 21, 
were killed in the incursion. Hospital personnel said that the bodies of 
the two young men arrived at the hospital in burned fragments and 
initially, identification was difficult. It was only neighborhood 
eyewitnesses who later told the hospital that
the bodies of the two men were burned in the crater made by the 
Apache-fired missile.

Ahmed Al Sawalha, the 36-year-old son of Ismail, saw his 70-year-old father 
killed. "My father was sitting at the stair of our house when he was 
killed," he said. "There were no gunmen or fighters in the street. There 
was no need to shoot at him."

Also, I was told by eyewitnesses that Jihad Barhoom, 16 years old , was 
shot while standing outside his home a few hours before the full incursion 
started At least four people were badly injured, including an elderly lady, 
Khadra Shoman.

As usual, the Israeli army rolled into the three neighborhoods with tens of 
tanks and bulldozers, covered by two Apache helicopters and other 
surveillance planes.

Some of the early wire service stories have said 30 houses were reduced to 
rubble. I am getting the estimate of 48 houses from talking to eyewitnesses 
in the neighborhoods that suffered this incursion, namely, Yebna Camp, Al 
Shao'ut, and the Al Barahmah district. I tend to trust that number because 
only someone who actually lives in the area can walk around and know for 
sure whether a given
stretch of rubble had the day before been one, two, three, or more homes.

As usual, water, electric, and sewer lines suffered serious damage. Some of 
these had been repaired since May's "Operation Rainbow," and are now 
wrecked again. Also, as usual, streets have been torn up and fruit trees 
razed. Everywhere you walk in Rafah, you can see the damage caused by 
incursion after incursion. It is almost impossible to find any building 
that does not have its collection of
bullet and shell damage.

 From Gaza City:

According to Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, Sharon is "considering 
withdrawing"to the 'outskirts' over the weekend.

Khalil Samara, the mayor of Jabalya, said this about the announcement: 
"Sharon is committing his largest, bloodiest massacres under the guise of 
'withdrawing' from the Palestinian camps."

This IDF operation, called "Days of Penitence" is the Israeli "response" to 
a Qassam rocket launched by Palestinian militants at the Israeli town of 
Sderot close to the Gaza/Israeli border. That attack late in September 
killed 2 Israeli children. "Response" seems the wrong word for what is now 
happening in all of Gaza. It is collective punishment, and illegal under 
international law.

12 October 04





The Israeli Occupation soldiers gave Oraiba district in Rafah 30 minutes to 
to leave their houses before the bulldozers started demolishing them. 
“Louder speakers are calling us to leave or they will shoot us” said one of 
the eyewitnesses over phone in Rafah while running trying to get his 
important documents.

Eight houses were completely and partially demolished in that incursion, in 
addition to the damages of the greenhouses, infrastructure, and everything 
related to humanity. Oraiba district is well known as an agriculture area. 
It is one of the best sources for markets to get into Gaza Strip.

Abu Youif Al Najar hospital reported about many injured people arriving the 
hospital everyday due to the daily shelling from tanks and Israel posts.

The Israeli military Forces have been blocking Gaza Strip, dividing it into 
three parts for the second week in a row. This has made life very dififcult 
for us with lack of food, medicine and even gas for cars to move inside Rafah.

In Khanyouies also, the IOF Forces shelled Nasser hospital with three tank 
shells, leaving at one of the nurses injured, also a 10 year old schoolgirl 
was inured while sitting at her school desk in one of the UNRWA schools in 
the Camp.

In Jabalya, there are now hundreds of injured and dead..

6 October 04


Amnah Al Najjar 60 years old is brought in private car
to the hospital after sustaining a head injury by an Israeli sniper. She 
was in her house.



Israeli soldiers riddled her body with twenty bullets and another five 
ripped through her head on her way to school. Thirteen year old schoolgirl 
Eman Al Hums is from Rafah Refugee Camp. She was
shot on her way to school with other two friends. They, however, were 
luckier than she was when they ran away as soon as they heard the shelling.

Dr. Ali Mussa at Abu Youif Al Najjar hospital said that the Israeli 
soldiers in Rafah shot the child and prevented the medical team from 
reaching her body nor bringing her into the hospital.

The Israeli military Forces later on today said that they had not found any 
kind of explosives in her school bag. After killing the schoolgirl, one of 
the soldiers had said he had believed the bag contained explosives.

 From Iman’s blood in Rafah on to Somia Felfel in Jabalya. A tragedy like 
no other when Israeli tanks shelled her house leaving all 8 of her children 

The Jabalya Refugee Camp is till under very heavy shelling and hundreds of 
victims are arriving at the hospital every hour. The people are appealing 
to the Red Cross but they have been unable to respond. A case in point: Umm 
Jamal Id, a member of one of the families who are currently surrounded had 
been asking for food and water for her children and the Red Cross had not 
been able to react at all.

In an interview over phone with the spokesman of Red Cross Simon Schorno, 
he said:’I’m on my way to Gaza Strip, but the damaged roads in Gaza Strip 
is the reason for the absence of Red Cross over the past few days."

There is heavy resistance in the Jabalya Camp and explosives can be heard 
from time to time, inside the camp.

Sixty year old Amnah Al Najjar arrived at the hospital a few hours ago 
after sustaining serious head injuries. She was transferred to Al Shifa 
hospital due to the lack of beds and medical instruments at Kamal Adwan 

“Al Najjar was shot in her head while she was in her house,“ the driver who 
brought her body to the hospital said.

Jabalya camp is known as the most heavily populated camp in all of the Gaza 
Strip and the West Bank. It is also the first place where the first 
Intifada had erupted and where a militant Israeli Jeep drove a group of 
Palestinians workers inside the camp.

Israeli soldiers today prevented ambulances and fire engines from reaching 
the fire that had erupted in three tons of gas in the North of Gaza Strip. 
Black smoke can been seen everywhere in the North of Gaza Strip..

Today it was different from yesterday and the past few days because now 
there are so many international journalists who have come into the area to 
cover the ongoing carnage, but still the Israeli Forces are not allowing 
them to into the camp, and still there are so many of them stuck at the 
Erez checkpoint awaiting permission to get into the Gaza Strip.

The refugee families inside the camp are appealing to all free people 
throughout the world to stop the blood shedding by the Israeli Occupation 
Forces in the camp.


All family members were injured: Soha Felfel 6 year old, on her bed,
after being injured by a tank shell with all her family in the Jabalya Camp


Even kindergartens: Palestinian children are collecting what remains from 
the kindergarten that was demolished by the Israeli bulldozers and apaches 




2 October 04

Writing from the North of Jabalya:



Jabalia is drowning in blood and is now under a new Israeli incursion 
that's targeting civilian buildings. There is a smell of death on every 
street you go. Life is getting wors in the North of Gaza Strip, soldiers 
are targeting everything related to human beings.

Jabalya Camp in the north of Gaza Strip is surrounded here and hundreds of 
people were killed and injured.All you can see in the hospital is shreds of 
human flesh spread all over the streets..

The Jabalia Camp continues to this moment to be under attack.. ambulance 
drivers, medical workers and journalists were the first people to be 
targeted by the Israeli Army.

killing an old man and injuring two others. The situation is deteriorating 

Most of the dead are children. Kamal Adwan, hospital director said: "The 
soldiers are delibderately targeting the upper parts of the children by 
rockets and tanks shell."

People here in the North of the Jabalya Camp are in bad need of water and 
food, and as usual no international organizations are visiting the area to 
provide the families any help.

Soon, more later from the North of Gaza Strip.



<http://www.rafahtoday.org/news/todaymainmain.htm>Click here to view more 
from September and also previous reports

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
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