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In Sporadic Manner Sharon is Repeating the Tragedies of Sabra and Shatilla
Monday, March 11, 2002

Last night, March 11th., the biggest and most crowded refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, has lived through one of its most horrifying and violent nightmares against all principles of human and civilized conduct.

In the streets and alleys of the dusty and over populated refugee camp of Jabalia, residents still looked bewildered in shock and tired. For they spent most of the night before fighting an invading column of Israeli tanks numbered at fifty tanks and bulldozers.

As dawn broke out of the dark long night, people realized that they have lost 17 of their sons and friends. More than 56 were injured, about 15 of them serious. Many were eager to tell their stories of how Israeli tanks took over the main intersection of the refugee camp, then, sending soldiers to occupy houses after kicking out the families. Soon, Israeli snipers positioned themselves on the roofs. And an inferno of killing and shooting at whoever appeared on sight began, in most cases, firing silenced bullets.

Two resistance fighters who declined to give their names described how they tried to face off the Israeli advancing tanks. One man of about 26 years old said,・as soon as we heard that Israeli tanks were advancing on the camp, young people rushed to the outskirts to deter the tanks from getting deeper into Jabalia. ・His friend who mentioned he still had not any sleep and looked visibly tired, said,・the tanks were firing 800 mm bullets not far from my house. I saw one tank which positioned itself behind a wall of sand.・As he was smoking and taking a deep sigh, added,・this tank, suddenly opened fire at the street. In front of my own eyes, they killed seven people with the same gun. Two of those seven were two brothers named Hani and Mohammad Abu sukhaila, 27 and 25 years old. I know close friends of mine among those seven. One of them is a special friend by the name Fauzi Abu Shammas. Also, I saw Rami and Majdi from the same neighborhood were shot in the chests and heads.

As we stood talking in the central market of the camp, a group of people said that the battle lasted from two hours to three hours. Israeli Apaches were flying throughout the fight over the Jabalia.

Another man forced himself through the crowd and shouted, We awoke to frightening noise; tanks, bulldozers, Apaches, heavy machine gun shooting at our houses. Residents rushed to the streets fleeing for their lives.・He added, ・I did not sleep at all last night. We were just too frightened not knowing how we would get fired at; they brought all kind of ways of death.

A young man of twenty waved his finger saying,・we tried to stop the tanks from advancing more, but our men showed tough resistance.・ Another youngster, agreed,・they came in to arrest many of us like what is happening in West Bank, but due to our tough challenge they returned back. We forced them to retreat.

The 26 years fighter warned, we are still expecting Israelis to invade. We are vigilant and careful. He stressed, Jabalia is always a symbol of steadfastness. We are people of strong determination. We will win at the end.

The story of Osama Al Senwar:

Osama is a 29 years man married with four children. He was lying down in bed at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. His tragedy started near his home located in Jabalia. One bullet hit him straight between his legs where it has done a lot of damage. Doctor operated on him and succeeded in removing the bullet from his body.

・At first, we did not hear any sound of fired bullets. I was on my way home, walking through the space in front of my house. But, I suddenly saw few men in front of me dropping down with blood gushing out of heads, chests or stomach. I heard voices screaming the Jews are firing silent bullets. Watch out. Osama paused for seconds, pulling the blanket on his naked chest and continued,・I realized that Israeli snipers are firing at us. I bent down trying to rescue one man screaming from pain and who was trying to block his blood from flowing from an opening in his chest. Before, I even touched him, I felt the bullet hitting between my legs. Osama stopped talking and lifted the blanket to show where the bullet hit him. His father was sitting next to Osama, said, ・when the tanks came in, Israeli soldiers or rather snipers stormed a couple of tall houses. They pushed the owners out and went straight to the roof. There, they fired at whoever appeared on sight, including my son as you can see.

The father added,・my son was laying down for more than an hour bleeding. We waited for ambulance cars but the Israeli tanks prevented the ambulance from entering to our stricken area where many were down bleeding to death.・Osama said, ・One ambulance was fired at.

Osama commented,・Sharon is looking at us the same way he looked at Sabra and Shtilla in Lebanon. He is the same executioner repeating the same massacres. But this time he is executing his blood-thirsty goals at many refugee camps throughout the occupied territories.

He added,・We tell Sharon to follow the path of peace not war. Your policies of occupation brings miseries to both sides.・

Then, the young injured man appealed to the world,・It is our right to live in peace and safety. That's all I have to say.

The story of how a father and son killed together:

As the old man stepped out of his house to find out the source of noises outside, he walked out a couple of meters. Before he realized that few tanks were standing tens of meters away, Israeli bullets hit him killing the man instantly. His son, 34 years old, heard the noise of machine gun fire, and rushed outside. He saw his father covered with blood in his final moments. As he knelt down to pick up his father, again, the tanks fired at the son killing him on top of his father. The rest of the family, named Al Azem, screamed and shouted the tanks to stop more bloodshed.

The story of Sawalha family:

Mr. Sawlha described how he was hit with one bullet as he was getting treatment at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. He considers himself lucky since the bullet hit only his right shoulder without any damage to bones or nerve lines.

He started,・We were at home when suddenly electricity black out happened. I hear the sound of Apache flying near. So, I decided to bring my children down stairs for safety. But as I was leading them in the dark down the stairs, I felt something hitting my right shoulder. It was an 800 mm bullet, which went through my shoulder and hit the wall behind me. I waited bleeding for more than hour for the ambulance because Israeli tanks blocked any ambulance from
arriving to my house.

Jabalia Refugee Camp

March 12th. 2002

B. Samed


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