Monday, June 04, 2007

Children flying kite were killed by soldiers

THERE's a tragic postscript to my previous posting, about flying kites for Palestinian freedom. I showed some of the wonderful kite designs produced by Palestinian children under Occupation, which supporters of the Enough! coalition intend to fly tomorrow in London, to celebrate the children's creativity and commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Israeli occupation.

That should be a jolly occasion for children and adults, for all its serious purpose.

But if we needed a reminder of what it's all about, here's one, which a friend has passed me, from the Electronic Intifada website, quoting a report by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR):

Children playing with kite, man on bike killed by Israeli forces in Gaza

Report, PCHR, 3 June 2007

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have continued their military operations in the Gaza Strip for more than three weeks. On Friday, 1 June 2007, IOF killed two Palestinian children and wounded a third one in the northern Gaza Strip, and extra-judicially executed a member of the Islamic Jihad in the south. Since the beginning of this latest IOF offensive on the Gaza Strip, 55 Palestinians, including 23 civilians, have been killed and dozens of others, mostly civilians, have been wounded.

At approximately 12:00 on Friday, 1 June 2007, an IOF infantry unit positioned on a wooden land in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, nearly 100 meters away from the beach, opened fire at four Palestinian children, who were playing with kites near the beach. Three children were wounded, whereas the fourth one was able to escape. Two of the children were left in the area bleeding to death.

According to the third child who was wounded, 16-year-old Mohammed Ibrahim al-'Atawna, from Jabalya refugee camp, a kite fell near the area where IOF soldiers were hiding, and when they went to bring it, IOF soldiers opened fire at them. Soon after, the soldiers moved towards the children. They asked al-'Atwana, who was wounded by a gunshot to the back, about the condition of the other two children who were wounded by several gunshots throughout their bodies.

He told them that the children were in a critical condition. They left the two children bleeding to death in the area and evacuated al-'Atawna to an Israeli hospital, where he had received medical treatment before he was transferred to a hospital in Beit Lahia. The two children who were killed were identified as:
1) Zaher Jaber Mohammed al-Majdalawi, 14;
2) Ahmed Sabri Aba Zbaida, 14,
both from Jabalya refugee camp.

At approximately 20:30 also on Friday, an IOF aircraft fired two missiles at a Palestinian who was riding a bicycle in al-Shanaliya Street in the north of Khan Yunis. He was instantly killed. He was identified as Fadi 'Abdul Qader Abu Mustafa, 22, a member of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad).

You can read the full report and what PCHR has to say at:

I'm travelling out of town tomorrow. Otherwise I'd be honouring those two youngsters by joining the kite-flying event. If you want to do so and can make it, it's at London's Parliament Hill Fields, north of Gospel Oak and east of Hampstead, at 5.30 in the evening. See previous post for more information. And don't forget the big Enough! demonstration starting from Lincoln Inn Fields at 1.30pm on Saturday.



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