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Gaza's "Bigger Holocaust" PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Wednesday, 12 March 2008 13:32
Gaza's "Bigger Holocaust"

Institute for Middle East Understanding - Fida Qishta -
Rafah, the Gaza Strip, March 3 - Israeli officials said today that they finished their military operation in the Gaza Strip, but the Israeli attacks continue, and we fear that Israel is still planning a major invasion. On February 29th, Israel's Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai warned of "a bigger holocaust" for Palestinians.

From February 27th - March 2nd, the Israeli army killed around 110 Palestinians in Gaza, about half of them civilians, and nearly a quarter children, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza. Hundreds were injured. Palestinians killed two Israeli soldiers and one Israeli civilian.

Institute for Middle East Understanding
What is happening in Gaza hurts all Palestinians, not just Hamas. Before this assault, the Gaza Strip, with 1.5 million residents, was already like a prison under siege, with dwindling supplies of food, medicine, fuel, clean water and electricity, and growing poverty. Many families eat just one meal a day. We have no electricity for 6-12 hours daily.

On March 1st, I was home with my family in the city of Rafah at the southern end of the Gaza Strip, watching TV to see what was happening in northern Gaza. Around 10 PM we suddenly heard Israeli F16 fighter planes overhead. I said to my mom, something is going to happen. The sound of the F16s grew louder. Then we heard very loud rocket explosions.

My sister ran crying, saying, it's close. My mom was cut in the hand trying to prevent glass from hitting her head. Many of our windows were broken. We ran outside because the electricity went off. My father said it's safer in the street. At least we can see where the rockets are going and where to go.

Four Israeli rockets hit the mosque 150 meters away, killing six civilians and injuring 30. One of those killed was my 30 year old cousin Samer. Samer, a policeman with Fateh's Palestinian Authority, was married with a young daughter.

The latest Israeli attacks began on February 27th when Israel assassinated five Palestinian fighters in Gaza. Palestinian fighters responded by firing rockets into Israel, killing an Israeli teacher in Sderot. Israel fired more rockets, and invaded.

Most deaths were in northern Gaza. When I visited there on February 29th, a mother from Beit Lahia explained what happened the day before, "My sons went to the playground to play football, and I said to myself they will be safe." She completed the story crying, "but they weren
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 13:32
 

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