Message from Rafah: This Story is Not Finished

24 October 2006

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Rafah city, Gaza
Not one day passes in Rafah city without destruction and violence from the Israeli army. Homes are continued to be destroyed. Rockets are being fired into the city daily. Entire families have been killed. Yesterday alone, 8 people were killed in Gaza. 24 people were killed last week alone in Gaza, including a woman and children. The people here are suffering. 80% of households live in poverty. The uncertainty of what will come in the next moments, the lack of jobs and education, the loss of hope and obtainable dreams overwhelm the people. The army comes into Rafah daily. There is no escape from the brutality. The people of Gaza cry out for help, but no one comes and the violence never stops. Instead, the world accepts Israel’s justifications that they are looking for the arrested soldier, Corporal Shalit, and they remain silent as Israel destroys the entire infrastructure leaving the majority of civilians without food, water and electricity. The crossing where food is brought into Gaza have been closed since June. The number of homeless families continues to grow, and even more people are forced to live in tents, enduring everyday these difficult conditions.

The city of Rafah covers about 23 miles (60,500 dunums). With the continuing destruction of what little land there is, these families will never hope to build a house of their own. Those with houses are left wondering whether the war planes that are constantly flying above them will bomb their house next.

The children of Rafah endure the hardships of this occupation each day as they struggle just to make it to the school. They must pass tanks, soldiers, checkpoints and sniper towers, always aware that some of their classmates and friends have been killed while doing such.

This story is not finished. Israel will continue their assault on the people of Palestine as long as the international community allows them to do such. The people of Rafah and all of Palestine will continue to suffer until the world finally breaks their silence and says the savage and unrelenting occupation of Palestine is illegal, inhumane and must end now.