A Palestinian boy plays in front of the ruins of his home. Every little dot you see is a bullet hole. The bigger dots are holes from tank shells and mortars. There are thousands of homes in Rafah that look like this, because of constant Israeli gunfire into the camp and city. It has been like this for years now. Most of them are still inhabited, but Israel routinely bombards building like this one with bullets, sometimes for hours a day, in order to make sure residents don`t return to the areas that are being ethnically cleansed. In this building in the devastated Tel-al-Sultan part of the Rafah Refugee Camp, you can see that each sliver of window glass has been systematically shot out. Evidence of a little fun, or boredom, or perhaps artistic expression, from the Israeli Occupation Army.
The building in this photo was built and funded entirely by donations from international relief organizations, in order to provide shelter for some of the 90,000+ refugees in Rafah who had already been driven from their homes by earlier Israeli attacks. A majority fo the residents of the Gaza Strip are themselves refugees from the Israeli ethnic cleansing of 1948 and 1967.
The destruction of the southermost areas of the city of Rafah in May 2004 was called, in very typical Israeli fashion, "OPERATION RAINBOW."
About 2,500 totally innocent people had their homes and all their belongings destroyed without notice. Bulldozers arrived in the middle of the night and just started pushing down walls.
About 45 Palestinians were killed. Most were civilians and many children were among those laid out in the morgue. Unprepared for the flood of corpses, the local clinic had to store the bodies and body parts in a walk-in refrigerator at a local dairy farm. Relatives wanting to view or claim the coprses of their loved ones had to wait in the cow-milking area.
ORIGINAL PHOTO: Mauricio Lima
IMAGE ALTERATION: /anomalous
Photo by Anomalous, Lower East Side, NYC, USA.