Sameh Habeeb reports on the humanitarian crisis taking place inside Gaza’s sealed borders
As the fifth day of Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip begins, Rafah and Gaza City, the two main targets, have witnessed hundreds of deaths. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blames Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza, for inciting Israel’s attack. Hamas, vows to keep shelling Southern Israel with rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.
Lia Tarachansky spoke to Fida Qishta in Rafah, located in Southern Gaza. Qishta reports one of the first targets of the Israeli bombardment were the tunnels dug by Palestinians under the wall, which separates Rafah in two, half in Palestine and half in Egypt. These tunnels, says Qishta, have been used since the beginning of the siege to smuggle food, and according to Israel, weapons.
Qishta also reports of the wall being breached by Palestinians desperate to escape to Egypt. Though unsuccessful, this is the fifth attempt since the beginning of the second Intifadah to breach it.
Fida Qishta is a freelance journalist and schoolteacher. Qishta has founded a children’s center and an afterschool program in Rafah, where she teaches English, French, Arabic, and German from Rafah, Gaza. In 2004 Qishta survived her home being demolished by Israeli Forces.