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BTL:Israeli Raid on Rafah Refugee Camp Results in More than 50 Dead, and...

..Hundreds Homeless Interview with Maher Nasser, representative of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Israeli Raid on Rafah Refugee Camp Results in More than 50 Dead, and Hundreds Homeless

Interview with Maher Nasser, representative of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees, conducted by Scott Harris

After a week of military operations conducted by the Israeli Army in Gaza's Rafah refugee camp, United Nations officials have described it as a "humanitarian catastrophe." During the weeklong offensive, the Israeli Army reported killing more than 50 Palestinians and demolishing 56 houses and apartment buildings. The U.N. says that over the past month, Israeli troops have destroyed 180 buildings in Rafah, resulting in nearly 2,000 people made homeless. The government of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon stated that the raid into the densely populated area was mounted to search for tunnels under the Gaza-Egyptian border that they claim are used by Palestinian militant groups to smuggle weapons.

Some of the worst violence in Rafah occurred on May 19, when an Israeli tank and helicopter fired on unarmed protesters, killing several, including children, and wounding dozens of civilians. That incident provoked condemnation from around the world and led to the passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution, denouncing Israel for the attack and resulting loss of life. The resolution's passage was made possible by a rare White House decision to abstain rather than use their veto power to defeat the measure.

Between the Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Maher Nasser, representative of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees based in New York City. Nasser describes the poverty and hopelessness that he says have overwhelmed the people of Gaza and the dwindling resources available to assist the growing number of desperate Palestinian refugees.

Contact the the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees by calling (212) 963-2255 or visit their website at www.unrwa.org

Related links:

"The Rape of Rafah," by Uri Avnery, Counterpunch, May 22/23, 2004

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Re: BTL:Israeli Raid on Rafah Refugee Camp Results in More than 50 Dead, and...

The Jewish communities in Gaza have faced over 4,000 mortar shells and Kassam rocket attacks, as
well as 10,000 shooting incidents, at the hands of Palestinian terrorists over the past 3.5 years
Last month a woman, 9 months pregnant with a son was shot to death, along with her four daughters by Palestinian gunmen. 6 Israeli soldiers were killed when an explosion went off under their APC scattering their body parts in all directions. The Gazans responded by scooping up bloody body parts and dancing in the streets waving them.

I am not saying that everything Israel is doing in Rafah is cool with me. But there is another side to this story. The IDF has discovered around 900 tunnels since the year 2000 when Israel cut off the sea route for Palestinian arms smuggling. Sharon is not saying, but many think he is still planning a Gaza withdrawal and wants to clean out the tunnels, arms stashes, and known criminals before leaving.
 

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