Barbara Boxer shaking hands with Ariel Sharon
"The army knows the kids are there to collect. They watch them every day and they know they have no weapons," said Mohammed Abu Rukbi, a fieldworker with DCI. "They usually fire warning shots but the kids don’t take much notice."
Mohammed Sobboh, 17, [ABOVE] was shot just above the knee on August 25 when he was 800 metres from the border, he said. The 12 people in his family have no other income and are not entitled to aid from the UN as they are not refugees.
Israeli soldiers shot dead a horse and a donkey used by Mohammed and his brothers to carry the rubble, he said.
Gaza teens brave IDF fire to collect salvaged building materials
In three months, soldiers shot and wounded 10 youths collecting building materials in expanded buffer zone.
By Amira Hass
October 10, 2010
In the course of three months this summer Israeli soldiers shot and wounded 10 Palestinian teenagers who collect building materials from demolished structures in the former Israeli settlements and the Erez industrial zone in the northern Gaza Strip, dozens or hundreds of meters from the border. Palestinians believe the shootings are aimed at keeping people away from these areas, but despite the great risk dozens of nearby residents, many of them minors, continue to come in order to collect bits of cement and gravel from inside the buildings that were destroyed by the Israel Defense Forces around the time of the 2005 disengagement, and sell them to contractors and factories in the Strip. …
Every day dozens of people come to the ruins of the industrial zone and the settlements, such as Elei Sinai, in wagons drawn by donkeys or horses. One of the teens, who was shot on August 25, told Defence for Children that in recent months soldiers also shot and killed one of the donkeys and three of the horses.
Most of the children tell of a father who is unemployed. Some were among the thousands of Gazans who worked in Israel up until 2006, when their work permits were revoked. The father of one of the teens was forced to close his store as a result of Israel’s ban on the entry of goods it did not define as "humanitarian" into the Strip. After the death, about two years ago, of a 14-year-old shooting victim identified as "N.," the teen dropped out of school to help support his family. That is the story of all these teens, dropping out and going out to work. They all said in their statements that they are afraid to go back to collecting gravel. Some have difficulty walking or carrying heavy loads as a result of their injuries.
Some of the teens sold vegetables in the streets of Gaza City, earning only about NIS 20 or NIS 30 per day, before hearing from neighbors or acquaintances that one could make NIS 40 or more from collecting gravel.
Nine year old Amal and her twelve year old brother Mahmoud witnessed their father and brother being shot dead. Their house was also destroyed. Amal was injured and now lives with shrapnel embedded in her brain which leads to blinding headaches and visual impairment. She struggles with her homework and often finds it difficult to help her mother around the house. Amal says her wish is to become a doctor and help sick people.
Omsyatte, whose home was destroyed by F16s during the 2008 military offensive.
Nasser Abu Said outside the shrapnel-riddled home where his wife, Ne’ema, was killed by Israeli artillery.
Mother of five killed by Israeli artillery fire close to Gaza buffer zone
Three relatives also wounded in shelling on Gaza border, as family say no rockets were heard being fired before attack
Harriet Sherwood in Johar a-Deek
Friday 16 July 2010
…According to the woman’s husband, Nasser Abu Said, 37, the attack began without warning at about 8.30pm on Tuesday with two shells being fired as the family of 17 sat outside their house in the village of Johar a-Deek. Apart from Nasser and his 65-year-old father, the entire group was women and children.
"It was completely quiet, there were no rockets being fired or we wouldn’t have been sitting outside," he said, referring to Qassam missiles launched by militants into Israel.
His sister and his brother’s wife were injured by shrapnel. The family moved indoors and called an ambulance. "About 10 minutes later the ambulance called back to say the Israelis had refused them permission to come to the house," said Nasser.
His wife Ne’ema, 33, soon realised their youngest son, Jaber, was not among the children she was attempting to calm down, and was probably asleep on a mattress outside that he often shared with his grandfather.
As she went to fetch the toddler, another shell landed. "I called to my wife three times," said Nasser, who realised his father had also been badly injured in his leg and stomach. "I could hear small noises coming from her. I knew she was dying."
Via Palestinian co-ordinators, the IDF told the family that anyone going outside the house would be shot dead. Nasser began to tend to his injured father, knowing he could not reach his dying wife.
"I was holding myself in, especially in front of the children," he said. The children were crying hysterically and some had wet themselves, he added.
After two hours, an ambulance was allowed to reach the family. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), which investigated the incident, said Ne’ema and her wounded relatives were taken to al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah, where it was confirmed she had died from shrapnel wounds.
The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) said it had identified a number of suspects close to the border. "An IDF force fired at the suspects and identified hitting them," it said. The incident was being investigated, it added, but declined to say why ambulances had not been allowed to reach the family. …
29 December 2008: Palestinian children walk past a destroyed mosque and houses after they were hit by an Israeli missile strike that killed Jawaher Baalusha, 4, and her four sisters in the northern Gaza Strip.
29 December 2008: A Palestinian man carries his wounded child to the treatment room of Kamal Adwan hospital following an Israeli missile strike in Beit Lahiya.
1 January 2009: A Palestinian woman with two wounded members of her family in hospital following an Israeli missile strike in Beit Hanoun. Israel dropped a bomb on the home of a Hamas strongman, killing him along with two wives and four children in the first attack on the top leadership of Gaza’s rulers.
5 January 2009: A Palestinian woman sits on the floor beside her baby wounded by an Israeli tank shell, at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza. An Israeli tank shell killed three Palestinian children in their home in eastern Gaza City, medical officials said.
Gaza’s children suffer as conflict enters the classroom
The Israeli blockade and years of fighting have taken their toll on Gaza’s schools, where failure rates are rapidly rising
Rory McCarthy in Gaza City
Friday 16 May 2008
On this morning there was no electricity for the first four hours of school, there were no lights and staff had to use a whistle instead of the electric school bell. There was no running water, save what had been held in reserve in a spare tank at the bathroom. There was no bread for sale in the canteen because of shortages at the bakeries, even though many of the children rely on the small school shop to buy their breakfast. This, a result of the Israeli economic blockade of Gaza, was an ordinary day in extraordinary times.
More worrying are warning signs of a broader disintegration of society, such as those seen in exam results. Last autumn, the UN, which runs some of the best schools in Gaza, noted a sharp increase in exam failures. The failure rate in Arabic between ages nine and 15 was between 34.9% and 61.1% . In maths at the same age the failure rate was even higher at more than 65% , peaking at around age 11 with an astonishing failure rate of 90%. That compares with a failure rate of just 10% at UN schools in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria.
"There’s been a big change. There’s no enjoyment in the children’s lives, no going out, no picnics. There’s a lot of pressure on them and I can feel it in the class," said al-Katib. "They don’t do their homework, they make any excuse – no electricity, or they were sick, or tired. They are less attentive in class than they used to be."
It is not hard to cast a protest vote for a U.S. Senate candidate who expresses your values on Israel and Palestine.
Israel/Palestine position of Green Party California U.S. Senate candidate, Duane Roberts:
Duane Supports… Ending all U.S. military and economic aid to the state of Israel and the right of self-determination for the Palestinian people, including the right of refugees to return.
Israel/Palestine position of Green Party Illinois U.S. Senate candidate, LeAlan Jones:
We should adopt the Israel-Palestine single-state solution and end apartheid in the Middle East. Nations should be based on our collective humanity, not our divisive religions. and we must take steps guarantee that no taxpayer money supports state-sponsored terrorism or assassination. This means no more investing in Israel bonds, Saudi Arabia or China.