The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

Al Mezan Condemns Israel’s War Crimes in Rafah

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Reference: 45/2003, October 16, 2003
At 11:30pm Wednesday 15 October 2003, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) attacked the Al Nakhla (Brazil) neighborhood in Rafah. Eyewitnesses said that about 60 Israeli tanks and armored vehicles invaded the neighborhood under helicopter cover and imposed a curfew on it. 
Initial reports from the area indicated that the IOF bulldozed the building owned by Kawthar Abu Ulwan, home to four families and Nasr Al Jamal. They also damaged a boutique owned by Lufi Abu Taha, an ice cream factory and a computer center.
The soldiers commandeered the roofs of five residential buildings after ordering the occupants of each building into a single room. The rooftops were then used as watchtowers from which Israeli soldiers opened fire. Tanks and helicopters also participated in the invasion. Occupation soldiers killed 36-year-old Waleed Muhammad Abdul Wahab and injured six others.
Tanks and bulldozers razed parts of the main streets in the area and damaged the main electricity and the phone lines.
This was the third of the three recent Israeli incursions into Rafah. During this incursion the IOF resumed its occupation of the southern part of the refugee camp taken over on October 10, 2003. The initial invasion resulted in the destruction of 192 homes and the deaths of a number of civilians. A similar operation into the As-Salam area begun on 14 October 2003 continued.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns Israel’s aggression against Palestinian civilians. The Center calls upon the international community, particularly the High Contracting Parties to the 4th Geneva Convention, to intervene and put an end to this humanitarian catastrophe accelerated in September 2000 at the beginning of the Intifada.