An email from Fida last night:
1 July 2005
Rafah Bitter Life
Factual description. Figures and Statistics
Since the beginning of the peace process efforts, the Palestinian people and Palestinian National Authority have made their decision to choose peace as an important strategic foundation to end the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian Israeli problem no matter the measures of risk and obstacles may occur in this way.
The Palestinians, in fact, exerted no effort to make it clear to the whole world as well as to the Israeli governments and people that the Palestinians are serious in their
Choice to the peace process. Nevertheless, the Israel governments showed no signs of
Seriousness or real intentions for the noble value of peace. As a result, the Palestinians faced, .- veral and frequent delays of putting the signed agreements into practice and implementation. Consequently, frustration has rapidly increased among the Palestinian public which in turns caused the unforgettable breaking out of AL-Aqsa Intifada (uprising) and protests against the Israeli aggressive acts which spread in the whole Palestinian territories.
Since September 28th 2000, the Palestinians faced all sorts and forms of Israeli oppression, torture, isolation and destruction for the civilized human values ~d laws represented by the Israeli continuous escalation of targeting, shelling, killing, demolishing, closing borders and airports, building settlements, bulldozing and
Confiscating land... etc '
Rafah Governorate, in fact, can't be isolated from what is going on in other parts of Palestine. It witnesses the worst campaigns of the Israeli madness, hatred, violence and discrimination that caused massive harm and destruction in the following aspects:
1. Human being loss:
I) 433 martyrs, 151 of them are children.
11) 3150 injured '
Ill) Disability cases (120): different kinds of disability cases distributed as follows:
(Paralysis- brain damage- arms, legs and eyes loss)
I) Demolished houses (2963)
11) I- uttial destruction (800) Ill) (9379) Houses alongside the Palestinian-Egyptian borders suffering from the
Daily Israeli indiscriminate shooting and shelling.
IV) Absolute destruction of (729) stores and workshops around the area of Salah
As a result of the complete demolishing of 2963 houses 3950 families including ( 14178 individuals) have become homeless.
*Six mosques were demolished in Rafah since the beginning of the Intifada
* 214 cars demolished
In Rafah Governorate, (4580) dunums of land have been bulldozed and/or confiscated. This land was planted by different kinds of fruit, vegetables, olives, citrus... etc in addition to the destruction of many water resources like wells and pools besides destruction of irrigation machines.
*AL-Mawasi (the sea-shore) area.
AL-Mawasi is a Palestinian agricultural area in the western part of Rafah city; it is surrounded by the Israeli settlements. AL-Mawasi has the population of about 12000 people: Most of them mainly depend on agriculture and fishing. This area is considered as the main food basket for Rafah and Gaza strip as it supplies Gaza strip with the needed vegetables and fruits. AL-Mawasi lacks different services...
Educational, health, recreational... etc. So, in our efforts to minimize the level of
Suffering for the people and students of AL-Mawasi, we decided to construct a school there despite the Israel obstacles to have this dream comes into reality. Therefore, we started thinking of constructing a mobile school using caravans in stead of the normal classrooms to operate the school to offer educational services for the pupils in the area.
The current Israeli aggression and the settlers' practices in that area caused big harms in Al-awasi in both the agricultural and fishing sector.
The Palestinian economy which is considered as one of the main financial resources to the Palestinians has been affected severely by the current situation. This, indeed, affected different categories of Palestinian people especially labor forces. As a result 16000 labors have become unemployed because of the strict closure.
Reasons behind the bad economic situation in Rafah:
I. Closing borders and the airport.
2. Closing many smallloca1 factories.
3. The, tack of agricultural productions because of bulldozing many agricultural
4. Imposing constraints on exports.
Therefore, this has caused severe hardship for the Palestinian population since most of them mainly depend on labor and agriculture. Thus, people have completely relied on urgent aids.
In Rafah, there are 6000 unemployed graduates.
5-Gaza International Airport & Rafah entry-point (passage):
*Gaza International Airport: -
Gaza International Airport is located in the eastern south of Rafah. It has been the only way out for Palestinians to the world. Since October 2000, the airport was shut down. Nevertheless, most parts of the runway were bulldozed in addition to the complete destruction of Radar-Building. As a result, the airport now is unfit for taking off or landing any plane.
*Rafah entry-point (Rafah passage):
Rafah entry-point is, also, an important passage for the Palestinian people. Students, patients and people with different vital and humanitarian purposes usually pass through. Yet, this passage is used as a tool of pressure on -the Palestinians as it is almost closed. When the Israeli side declares opening the passage, it is opened for a
Certain period of time and for limited number of passengers. Therefore, hundreds of Palestinians have to wait for a number of days in hard conditions till the Israelis let them in.
In Rbfo1-1 we have overcrowded schools lacking different facilities, computer and science labs. Moreover, many schools need to be built or maintained.
Rafah also has no university. Therefore, students of Rafah have to go to Gaza city for that purpose passing through the Israeli checking-points. Big number of students here has no money to pay the university fees or even the transportation money to reach
Their universities. .
The health sector in Rafah is lacking:
1. Health facilities (hospitals- and special clinics).
2. Medical equipment.
3. Medicine, medical supplies
It is worth mentioning here that many martyrs died bleeding while preventing ambulances to cross the checking - points or: not allowing them to reach the areas of shelling and shooting to evacuate injured people to save their lives.
Moreover, the Israel occupying forces prevented many sever cases from receiving
8. The psychological impact of the Israeli continuous aggression:
The current Israeli aggression has had its clear and negative effect on the Palestinian people in general and women and children in particular. This is due to the lack that those children have become the victims of the Israel escalation of violence and oppression. The traumatic experiences and fears they face as a result to the daily frequent shelling have been resulted in different behavioral disorders, fear feeling, unsafety, nocturnal enuresis, sleeping disorders and lack of concentration which showed the real need of immediate intervention to offer psychological support and care for those children