- latest from Gaza: The body of six-year-old Palestinian, Ali al-Shwaf is seen at the Nasser hospital morgue in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip on June 23, 2012 after he was killed during Israeli air strikes in Gaza. Two others were wounded in the shelling, but the Israeli military denied it was responsible. AFP PHOTO/ SAID KHATIB
NY Times: Despite a pledged cease-fire agreement between Hamas and Israel, attacks escalated on both sides of the Gaza border on Saturday, killing at least three Palestinian men and a 6-year-old boy in Gaza, and wounding an Israeli man in Sderot, officials said.
Saturday morning in the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis, witnesses said, an Israeli artillery shell killed Ali al-Shawaf, 6, and wounded his father, who died later in the day. “The boy and his father were sitting on the street outside a soccer court when the shells landed,” said Ahmed Arafat, 20, a witness.
On Wednesday afternoon, 20 June 2012, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed a 13-year-old Palestinian boy, and wounded his elderly father, who is blind, and another 3 children, including a child who sustained serious injuries, when the IOF bombed a farm in the south of Gaza City where the children were playing. Since last Monday, the IOF have killed 8 Palestinians, including 3 civilians, and wounded 14 Palestinians, including civilians, mostly children.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 15:00 on Wednesday, 20 June 2012, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a farm located behind the college in Tel al-Hawa in the south of Gaza City. A number of the owner’s family wason a picnic on the farm atthe time. The bombing resulted in the death of Mamoun Mohammed Zuhdi al-Dam (13) from al-Shaaf neighborhood.Mamoun was playing football on the farm
Mamoun’s father, Mohammed Zuhdi Abdul Nabi al-Dam (67), who is blind, sustained shrapnel wounds in his head and neck. Another 3 children who were playing in a neighboring farm owned by Tala al-Dahshan, and who were on a picnic with their families, sustained wounds:
1. Afnan Salah AddinSaleh(8) from al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza, who sustained shrapnel wounds in his eye;
2. Afnan’s sister, MaryamSalah AddinSaleh(16), who sustained shrapnel wounds in her foot and hand; and
3. Their cousin Islam Younis Abdul WahabKeshko (14) from al-Zaytoun neighborhood, who sustained injuries in his abdomen. Islam’s wounds are described as serious.
On Tuesday, 19 June 2012, the IOF used excessive lethal force to kill 2 Palestinians in Deir al-Balah. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at dawn on Tuesday,the IOF positioned at the border east of al-Msadar village in the east of Deir al-Balah, which is in the middle of Gaza, fired 3 artillery shells at 3 Palestinians that had tried to gain access to Israel to look for work. This resulted in the death of 2 Palestinians, whose bodies were deformed, and a third Palestinian, who was wounded. The dead are:
1. Mohammed BassamShukri Abu M’eileq(18) from al-Msadar village, whose head was cut off and who sustained shrapnel wounds throughout his body; and
2. Yousef Saber Msallam al-Talbani(18) from al-Maghazi village, whose right foot was cut off and who sustained wounds throughout his body.
These incidents are part of the new escalation that the IOF have started since last Monday morning, 18 June 2012.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man was killed, and ten others wounded on Saturday afternoon as Israel continued airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, medical officials said.
Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said an airstrike on a motorcycle west of Gaza City killed one person, and ten others were brought to Shifa hospital with injuries.
Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that the wall of a nearby apartment block had collapsed onto a crowd after the strike.
Medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya named the casualty as 42-year-old Osama Mahmoud Ali.
Israeli airstrikes killed eight Palestinians over three days of heavy shelling that ended Wednesday night, as Hamas’ military wing signed up to a truce mediated by Egypt.
Remembering Mamoun, killed by an Israeli missile as he played football
“I can never forget his image with blood all over his little body and both his legs badly injured,” Umm Mamoun Hassouna told The Electronic Intifada as she sat at a relative’s house in Gaza City. “I am a preacher [for women] at a local mosque and used to preach against harming innocent Israeli children, women or the elderly, and even cutting down a tree,” she said.
“After I have seen my son killed by an Israeli warplane in front of my eyes, I wonder what my only son did against Israel [for them to] kill him,” Umm Mamoun added.
Thirteen-year-old Mamoun Zuhdi al-Dam was killed on Wednesday, 20 June, during an Israeli attack on Gaza amid exchange of fire between the Israeli army and Palestinian resistance factions that left eight Palestinians dead.
At approximately 3pm, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at members of a Palestinian family who were having a picnic behind the campus of the University College of Applied Sciences in the southern Gaza City neighborhood of Tal al-Hawa. As a result, Mamoun al-Dam was killed.
His blind father, Muhammad Zuhdi al-Dam, 67, was wounded by shrapnel to the head and the neck. Three other children who were in a nearby field were also wounded, according to theweekly report from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.
He made tea for his parents
“One month ago, I inherited a small piece of land — about 220 square meters — from my family, and we were all so happy to own that land as my husband is an elderly retired man,” Umm Mamoun said. “Since we inherited that land, Mamoun used to go to it often to enjoy some time outdoors.”
On the day he was killed, his mother said, Mamoun went to the piece of land in the Zaytoun neighborhood, just near the Ali Bin Abi Talib mosque, at about 9am. “I received a phone call from him later on to inform me that the situation was tense and that Israeli warplanes were buzzing overhead,” she said. “His father and I were scared for him and we went to join him.”
Mamoun, his mother said, used to read the Quran, and he led noon prayers that day on the family’s plot of land. The boy also prepared some tea for his parents, and then laid down to listen to news on his mobile phone.
“As he was listening to the newscast that moment, he told us that an Israeli warplane had fired a missile somewhere else,” she added.
Killed as he played football
“Then, Mamoun went to play with a football just close to us on the same land,” his mother recalled, surrounded by mourners. “Suddenly, we heard a loud explosion and pillars of smoke covered the place. I heard Mamoun screaming and saw him stained with blood, and his legs were badly injured. By then my relatives, who are our neighbors, came over to help us as his father was slightly injured too.”
“Mamoun was everything for me — a son, a brother, a sister and everything in my life,” his grief-stricken mother said, “I am the second wife of his father, and God had given me Mamoun to fill in my life.”
In tears, Umm Mamoun spoke of how her son would tell her, “I love you so much, mom. You are my dearest, I love you, I love you.”
“He used to fill my moments with joy”
Muhammad, Mamoun’s father and a retired trader, sat at a condolence ceremony in the Asqoula neighborhood of Gaza City, with his left hand bandaged due to his injuries from the same missile strike that killed his son.
As relatives and friends came to offer condolences, al-Dam lamented, “I do not know what to say, except may God take revenge on those who killed my son Mamoun.”
Al-Dam explained that his son used to look after him due to his lack of sight. “Mamoun, may he rest in peace, used to be very reliable, though he was only a child. He used to take me to the mosque for prayer, he used to bring whatever I need from nearby grocery stores, he used to fill my moments with joy.”
No resistance, no shooting
Al-Dam told The Electronic Intifada that the moment his son Mamoun was hit by the Israeli missile, there was no sign of Palestinian shooting or rocket fire in the area.
“The area where our new piece of land is located is far away from the Israeli border line and it is populated as well,” he said.
Mamoun’s maternal aunts on his mother’s side, Umm Mahmoud and Umm Ahmad Hassouna, recalled how cheerful, humorous and polite Mamoun was.
“One day I was very sad and visited my sister Umm Mamoun to feel better. Mamoun came over to me and said, aunty, I will tell you 15 jokes so that you will smile,” Umm Ahmad said as a little smile broke the grief on her face.
Mamoun’s niece, seven-year-old Abeer Zuhdi al-Dam, wanted to share her feelings too.
“We used to play together often. Sometimes he used to show me some pictures on his own computer, and we used to play many games including hide and seek. We hate Israel for killing him, we hate Israel for killing him,” she said.
“Like my son”
Mamoun’s elder brother, Zuhdi al-Dam, 42, received condolences alongside his father. “This is something that our faith obliges us to tolerate and take for granted, but the question is, why does Israel target such little children? Why?” Zuhdi al-Dam said. “Mamoun was like my son as the age difference between us is thirty years.”
“Why do those alleged world leaders assemble at the so-called United Nations Security Council? Rather, it is the No-Security Council,” Mamoun’s father remarked.
“When an Israeli is hurt, those alleged leaders rush to condemn or call for action, while our own children are being killed and no one even moves.”
Rami Almeghari is a journalist and university lecturer based in the Gaza Strip.
23.June.2012, Besieged Gaza, Occupied Palestine
We condemn in the strongest possible terms the latest Israeli war crimes committed against our people in the Gaza Strip. We call on the international community and the Arab and Islamic worlds, to take up their responsibility to protect the Palestinian people from this heinous aggression and immediately terminate the continuing Israeli policy of collective punishment.
Over the last 6 days, Gaza City has been bombed by Apache helicopters,F16 and drones. More than 16 civilians, including children, have been killed and more than 70 injured in Beit Hanoun, Jabalya, Khan Younus, and Gaza.
The continuing international conspiracy of silence towards the genocidal war taking place against the 1.5 million civilians in Gaza indicates complicity in these war crimes.
We call upon the international community to demand that the rogue Apartheid State of Israel end its siege. We also would like to remind the members of the UN that the International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law such as The Fourth Geneva Convention stipulate the protection of civilian lives and property, unless Palestinian women and children are not considered civilians.
Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU)
General Union for Health Services Workers
General Union for Public Services Workers
General Union for Petrochemical and Gas Workers
General Union for Agricultural Workers
Union of Women’s Work Committees
Union of Synergies—Women Unit
Union of Palestinian Women Committees
Women’s Studies Society
Working Woman’s Society
Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PSCABI)
University Teachers’ Association
The One Democratic State Group (ODSG)