March 1, 2024
Emergency Day of Action for Rafah


With Israel threatening to compound its assault on Gaza with a ground invasion of Rafah in the coming weeks, we are responding to this international call and organizing an emergency Day of Action for Rafah.

Rafah Governate is a tiny, 25 square mile area smaller than the west side of Madison (see map above). With a prior population of about 175,000, it is now sheltering approximately 1.4 million Palestinians fleeing Israel’s scorched-earth war. The UN and other international humanitarian organizations are sounding the alarm about the absolutely catastrophic carnage that would result from a full-scale assault on Rafah and the surrounding area.

Just today the Netanyahu government announced that they plan to invade Rafah whether conditions that they had previously set are met or not.

The purpose of the March 1 Day of Action is to focus public attention on Rafah, educate Madison on the reality of how small Rafah is, how densely inhabited it currently is, along with a call to action to call the Biden White House paired with a suggested script.

There will be multiple actions throughout the day, including banner drops over the Beltline, sidewalk chalking and leafleting on the UW campus, a social media campaign, press outreach, and leafleting Madison.

We need volunteers for the banner drops over the Beltline during the morning (7:15-8:30am) and afternoon (4:15-5:30pm) rush hours, as well as leafleting and chalking on the UW campus during the lunch hour (12:30-2:30), and posting flyers

Sign Up Online!

CAN’T COME ON FRIDAY?
 
CALL THE WHITE HOUSE AT 202-456-1111 AND DEMAND THAT BIDEN STOP ISRAEL’S ASSAULT (as well as halting all military aid to Israel, implementing a permanent ceasefire, and allowing entry of massive humanitarian aid into Gaza).

PCHR Condemns the Killing of Lawyer Nour Abu Nour

and Her Family by an Israeli Airstrike on Rafah

21.02.2024

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns in the strongest terms the killing of our dear colleague, Nour Naser Abu Al-Nour and seven of her family members, including her two-years-old daughter, by an Israeli airstrike on her family house in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. The killing of Nour along with seven of her family members, comes as the latest example of the genocide that Israel is committing against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and a reminder that all Palestinians, including human rights defenders, are a target for the Israeli government and army. This heinous crime also constitutes further evidence of the lack of safe space for Palestinians in the Strip and an example of what the Palestinians in the Strip have been subjected to for the last 137 days of ongoing Israeli aggression. Nour and her family are among of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians, the majority of whom are women and children, unjustly, illegally and cruelly killed as result of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip since 7 October 2023, which members of the international community have not only failed to bring to an end, but have been complicit by providing Israel with the necessary political, diplomatic and military support.

Our dear colleague Nour worked in the Women’s Rights Unit at PCHR since 2019. She holds a master’s degree in law and worked with distinction, perseverance and dedication until the last days, documenting the violations committed by the Israeli occupation, particularly against women and children, providing legal consultations, and trying to provide self-care to the women victims in shelters despite the difficult conditions. Several weeks ago, Nour was forced to move to her family’s house after Israeli war planes targeted a neighboring house, causing significant damage to her house.

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According to information collected by PCHR, last night, 20 February 2024, at approximately 10:00 pm, Israeli war planes directly targeted without any prior warning the house of Nour’s Father, Professor Nasser Abu Al-Nour, Dean of the Faculty of Nursing at the Islamic University in Gaza, located in Al-Jeneina neighborhood in Rafah, on top of its residents. The targeting resulted in the killing of our  dear colleague Nour Abu Al-Nour (30), who works as a lawyer in the Women’s Rights Unit, her child, Kenzi Jumaa (2), her father, Professor Nasser Abu Al-Nour (60), her mother, Mjida Farid Abu Al-Noor (55), three of her sisters, Amal Nasser Abu Al Nour (35), Mona Nasser Abu Al Nour (24), and Ayat Naser Abu Al-Nour (19), and her brother, Abdulrahman Nasser Abu Al Nour (23), and the wounding of dozens others.

The crimes committed by the Israeli occupation have not spared anyone, including human rights defenders, who have become themselves, along with their families, actual victims of the aggression by being subjected to targeting, starvation, torture and forced displacement as part of the ongoing genocide against the Palestinians in the Strip.

PCHR extends its deepest condolences to the remaining members of Nour’s family and to the Palestinian human rights community and calls upon the international community to abide by their moral and legal obligations and act promptly to end the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people. With every day that passes, more civilians are targeted and killed. Despite this heinous crime and the challenging working environment, PCHR reiterates its commitment and dedication to documenting and exposing the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation against Palestinian civilians to ensure justice and dignity for the victims.

Our thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones. May the soul of our beloved Nour and her family rest in peace.

Israel to join truce talks in Paris, media says

Heavy Gaza bombardment

 

Egypt Building Camp in Sinai to Absorb Palestinian Refugees

Israel will likel try to push Palestinians from Rafah into the camp

February 15, 2024

Egypt is building an 8-square-mile walled enclosure in the Sinai Desert near Gaza to prepare for an influx of Palestinian refugees as Israel is vowing to launch an assault on Rafah, which borders Egypt and is packed with about 1.5 million Palestinians.

The revelation of Egypt’s construction, which was reported by The Wall Street Journal and an Egyptian rights group, signals Cairo is caving to Israeli pressure to allow Palestinians to enter its territory.

Egyptian officials told the Journal that more than 100,000 people would be able to fit into the camps they are constructing. If a mass exodus of Palestinians from Gaza does happen, the Egyptian officials said they want to limit the number of refugees they allow in to between 50,000 and 60,000.

The Sinai Foundation for Human Rights first reported on the construction on Wednesday and said the project is expected to be completed within 10 days. Egyptian officials told the Journal they expect a broad Israeli offensive on Rafah could start “within weeks.” Israel must be aware of the construction and will likely try to push as many Palestinians into the camp as it can.

Israeli government officials have not been shy about their desire to cleanse the Gaza Strip of its Palestinian population and re-establish Jewish settlements. A document prepared by Israel’s Intelligence Ministry that was leaked back in October said the best-case scenario for Israel would be to send all 2.3 million Palestinians living in Gaza into Egypt.

But Cairo’s opposition to the plan caused Israeli officials to look elsewhere and suggest Western countries take in Palestinian refugees. According to Israeli media, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu previously said he was looking for countries to “absorb”Palestinians, but he’s cooled the rhetoric since the Biden administration criticized other Israeli ministers for making similar comments.

Satellite photos show Egypt building Gaza wall as Israel’s Rafah push looms

 

A satellite image shows the construction of a wall along the Egypt-Gaza border near Rafah on February 15, 2024 [Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters]

Egypt is building a fortified buffer zone near its border with the Gaza Strip as fears mount of an imminent Israeli ground invasion of the southern city of Rafah, which could displace hundreds of thousands of Palestinians across the frontier, according to satellite images and media reports.

Footage from the site in the Sinai desert and satellite photos show that an area that could offer basic shelter to tens of thousands of Palestinians is being constructed with concrete walls being set up on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing, the only non-Israeli-controlled crossing to and from Gaza.

The new compound is part of contingency plans if large numbers of Palestinians manage to cross into Egypt and could accommodate more than 100,000 people, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing Egyptian officials.

It is surrounded by concrete walls and far from any Egyptian settlements. Large numbers of tents have been delivered to the site, the report said.

Videos taken by the United Kingdom-based Sinai Foundation for Human Rights show trucks and bulldozers clearing debris from a plot of land of about 8sq miles (21sq km), according to The Washington Post, which obtained satellite images that show 2sq miles (5sq km) was cleared between February 6 and Wednesday.

Mohamed Abdelfadil Shousha, the governor of North Sinai, the Egyptian governorate that borders Gaza and Israel, has reportedly denied that Egypt is building a refugee camp along the border in case of an exodus by Palestinians forced by the Israeli military.

The Sinai Foundation, an activist organisation that has a monitoring team in northern Sinai, said in a report this week that the gated area will be surrounded by 7-metre-high (23ft-high) cement walls.

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The UN’s high commissioner for refugees said on Friday that a mass movement of people from Rafah into Egypt’s Sinai would be a disaster for Palestinians and prospects for peace in the Middle East.

“It would be a disaster for the Palestinians … a disaster for Egypt and a disaster for the future of peace,” Filippo Grandi told the Reuters news agency of Israel’s planned ground invasion of Rafah.

When asked whether Egyptian authorities had contacted the UNHCR about possible contingency plans he said: “The Egyptians said that people should be assisted inside Gaza and we are working on that.”

Israel has said it wants to take over the Philadelphi Corridor, the fortified border area between Gaza and Egypt, to secure it. Egypt has threatened that this would jeopardise the peace treaty the two countries signed four decades ago.

Cairo has emphasised that it does not want Palestinians to be displaced from their land by Israel, comparing such a scenario to the 1948 Nakba, the forced displacement of about 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in the war that led to Israel’s creation.

Tel Aviv’s insistence on going ahead with its planned attack on Rafah despite international pressure has been unshaken even though the area is where 1.4 million Palestinians are living, the vast majority of whom have been forcibly displaced – some multiple times – by Israeli bombardments and ground operations.

Palestinians displaced to Rafah are suffering from a lack of sufficient shelter, food, water and medicine, and the United Nations and human rights groups have warned that the humanitarian disaster in the besieged enclave is rapidly worsening.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the army to work on a plan of evacuation for more than half of the 2.3 million people of the Gaza Strip who are now crammed into Rafah, but has provided no detailed steps.

He has suggested Palestinians could be sent to areas north of Rafah that the Israeli military has already cleared through a ground invasion backed by bombings.

Avi Dichter, Israel’s minister of agriculture and rural development, has suggested areas west of Rafah and the bombed al-Mawasi refugee camp near the Mediterranean coast, where many are already sheltering.

But UN humanitarian aid chief Martin Griffiths said on Thursday that it would be an “illusion” to believe that people in Gaza could be evacuated to a safe place. He also said it would be “a sort of Egyptian nightmare” if Palestinians were to be forced into Egypt.

satellite imagery
A satellite image shows new construction and earth grading along the Egypt-Gaza border near Rafah on February 10, 2024 [Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters]

The United States and a number of other key allies of Israel have said they oppose a ground assault on Rafah, some warning it would be “catastrophic”.

US President Joe Biden “has been clear that we do not support the forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza”, Reuters quoted a US Department of State spokesperson as saying on Friday. “The US is not funding camps in Egypt for displaced Palestinians.”

Israel on Wednesday pulled out of US- and Arab-mediated talks with Hamas because it said the Palestinian armed group has had “ludicrous demands” that have included Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.

Netanyahu and the Israeli war cabinet have continued to push for “total victory” with the prime minister calling Rafah the “last bastion” of Hamas.

For weeks, the fiercest fighting in the Gaza Strip has been taking place in Khan Younis, also located in southern Gaza, with the Israeli military claiming its attacks are aimed at destroying Hamas battalions in the area.

Using shelling, sniper fire and drones, the Israeli army has also for weeks been laying siege to Nasser Hospital, the largest medical facility in the area, which has hundreds of patients and staff and has been a shelter for thousands of displaced Palestinians.

Dr Nahed Abu Taima, the hospital’s director, told Al Jazeera on Friday that Israeli forces were rounding up patients and civilians and had cut off electricity to the medical complex.

“We stand helpless, unable to provide any form of medical assistance to the patients inside the hospital or the victims flooding into the hospital every single minute,” he said.

Israel’s attacks on Gaza have killed at least 28,775 Palestinians and wounded 68,552 since October 7, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. Several thousand more are missing, presumably buried under rubble.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

CAMPAIGN TO AID SISTER CITY FACING BLOODBATH

Sandra Whitehead, WISCONSIN MUSLIM JOURNAL, Feb 13, 2024

Members of the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project protested Dec. 23 in Madison.

A small group of Madison citizens banded together in 2003 to forge person-to-person relationships with Rafah (a city in Gaza), raise awareness of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and influence U.S. public policy to benefit both peoples. Now it aims to help families in its Sister City survive.

The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project launches the year-long Grassroots to Gaza campaign tomorrow to raise funds “to provide urgent aid to children and families there who are suffering from hunger, cold, disease, dehydration and the constant threat of death and injury from Israeli bombing and shelling,” the charitable organization explained on its website.

Meanwhile, 1.5 million Palestinians now shelter in Rafah (six times the population before Oct. 7) as Israel airstrikes hit and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatens a ground offensive. It will be a “bloodbath, and a stain on both Israel and those nations providing arms,” tweeted the Norwegian Refugee Council chief Thursday. “We need an immediate ceasefire to reach the women, children, families who are at a breaking point,” he warned.

Rather than call for a ceasefire, the U.S. Senate passed a foreign aid bill early this morning that includes $14 million in military aid to Israel. To be enacted, it would next go to the House, “where it is unclear when or whether Speaker Mike Johnson would hold a vote on it,” CNN reported.

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Cassandra Dixon of the Madison-
RafahSister City Project

Madison-Rafah Sister City Project’s new fundraising campaign grew from “desperate feelings,” MRSCP member Cassandra Dixon said in an interview Sunday with Wisconsin Muslim Journal.

“This is such a horrendously awful time. The suffering there is incomparable to anything we have seen in our lifetimes.

“In order for people to try to remain in Gaza, it’s going to take so much,” she continued. “It seems insurmountable, especially when you consider the pulling of funding to UNRWA (15 countries, including the United States, withdrew funding from the United Nations Reliefs Works Agency, which provides healthcare, education and other assistance in Gaza, after reports of individual UNRWA staff’s involvement in the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel. The decision was decried by Amnesty International.)

“You have to start somewhere,” Dixon said.

Grassroots to Gaza fundraising campaign aims for survival and sustainability

Helping the people of Rafah survive on their land “is one of the pillars of what we do,” MRSCP co-founder Barb Olson told WMJ Sunday. “During our first year, we raised money to contribute to the rebuilding of a well that had been bombed and destroyed. It was the well Rachel Corrie was guarding before she was killed (in 2003, smashed by an Israeli bulldozer).

“From the beginning, we have provided humanitarian aid but also worked to provide people with economic livelihood support,” she said. “The most fundamental form of resistance is the ability of people to remain on their land, even knowing that right now no one’s looking at sustainability, just survival.”

MRSCP’s Grassroots to Gaza fundraising campaign launches with its Valentine’s Day to Leap Year Silent Auction. It is free and open to the public. Bidding begins tomorrow at noon and runs until 5 p.m. Feb. 29. The group has already raised more than half of its initial goal of $5,000 through direct donations, yet “it’s a drop in the bucket” compared to the tremendous need, Olson said.

All proceeds go to the Middle East Children’s Alliance, “a trustworthy partner we’ve worked with for years,” Olson said. Although Israel severely restricts the entry of aid, MECA is still working on the ground there to provide for Gazans’ critical needs, Olson said.

“One hundred percent of all proceeds will go immediately to MECA for urgently needed food, shelter, water and medical supplies,” an MRSCP press release states.

Auction items can be viewed here. A wide variety of Madison businesses, restaurants and artists donated items ranging from gift certificates for coffee and fine dining to limited edition artwork and hand-crafted items made by artisans in Madison and Palestine, says the press release. “A local educator has donated an entire year of tutoring for a struggling reader, a local Mennonite author has donated a book and a talented local baker is offering a dozen feather-light scones baked just for you.”

Future Grassroots to Gaza fundraising plans include music events, a bike ride and a campaign to inspire anyone celebrating a graduation or a birthday, holding a garage sale or other appropriate events to invite their families, friends and neighbors to donate to the survival of families in Gaza.

MRSCP’s Grassroots to Gaza fundraising campaign with silent auction launches on Valentine’s Day.

Madison’s unofficial Sister City

MRSCP chose Rafah, an ancient city on the southern tip of Gaza, bordering Egypt, as its sister city. The ancient city dates back to the 8th Century B.C. and includes a number of archeological sites of past civilizations.

Before the current war, about 130,000 residents lived there, with over 70% of its people in refugee camps. More than 50% of the population is under 15 years of age. There are 43 schools in Rafah, with 26 supervised by UNRWA and 17 by the Palestinian National Authority. It had one health center and four clinics.

When MRSCP began in 2003 with a small but committed group of concerned Madison citizens, its first battle was to be officially recognized. A strong attack against their proposal ensued from the Madison Jewish Community Council, which wrote a letter to the mayor calling it “a thinly veiled mechanism to bash the State of Israel” and antisemitic.

“In a climactic vote, the majority of alders present voted in favor of the project, but by Council rule the proposal lost by one vote,” the MRSCP website states. “Mayor Dave Cieslewicz had announced in advance that he would veto the Council resolution if it approved our project, a rare occurrence in Madison government.”

Although the City of Madison denied Rahah official Sister City status in 2004, the group has continued to treat it as an unofficial sister city, Olson explained. MRSCP achieved a 501(c)(3) designation as a charitable organization from the Internal Revenue Service. Contributions to MRSCP are tax-deductible.

The tiny group (still between 8-10 members) punches well above its weight. “Everyone has a job to do,” Olson explained.

Since its founding, MRSCP raised funds for projects to directly benefit Rafah’s citizens, its website explains. In addition to contributing to the rebuilding of the well destroyed by Israeli bombing, it has collaborated with other groups to provide professional materials to the Gaza Community, build a playground, provide clean drinking water to five schools, contribute furnishings and books to a children’s library, support medical care for a child severely injured in an Israeli attack, contributed funding to a project to aid traumatized children and their parents and Gaza-made rechargeable household systems to power lights, fans and phones, and donated Back-to-School backpacks for children.

MRSCP also “protested against and raised emergency relief following repeated Israeli military assaults on Gaza,” its website states. The group has worked on the home front to increase “understanding of Palestinian daily life, society, culture and history, including how U.S. and Israeli policies and Israel’s regime of control have created a devastating situation for ordinary people throughout Palestine.”

It works with like-minded groups to engage in public advocacy “to hold Israel and the U.S. accountable for human rights violations against Palestinians” and engages in activities such as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in defense of Palestinian human rights. It recently joined Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine, a growing coalition of more than 60 diverse organizations that have called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Israel designated Rafah in a “safe zone” in southern Gaza.

Other Valentines for Gaza

In addition to MRSCP, other organizations are featuring February initiatives. The Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine has created a Valentine Day’s card that members will sign and deliver to their own elected representatives, detailing the devastating destruction in Gaza, said WCJP founder Janan Najeeb, also founder of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition. “We are mailing or delivering hundreds of valentines to elected officials, calling for a ceasefire and asking them to stop arming Israel.”

The American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization that brings together “people of all faiths and backgrounds to challenge injustice and build peace around the globe,” launched an invitation to send a collective “message of love to Gaza.” It created a web page where you can download graphics (including Facebook profile pictures and zoom backgrounds) and a copy of a valentine to download for a photo shoot for participants holding the valentine. It encourages people to continue to post it through the month of February using the #LoveToGaza hashtag.

“All of us realize from the photos we see from Palestinians in Gaza living through a genocide today, there will not be the (Valentine’s Day) celebrations of past years in 2024,” an email promoting the campaign states.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sandra Whitehead

Sandra Whitehead is an educator, nationally award-winning journalist and author of Lebanese Americans, published by Marshall Cavendish. She is blessed with a loving family–her husband Abdulaziz Aleiou and three children, Ali, Aisha and Adam.

‘Unbelievable fear’: Hundreds flee Gaza’s Rafah amid Israeli attacks

‘We have the right to live.’

Starvation, disease, and winter cold threaten the survival of displaced civilians in Gaza

 

RAFAH DIARY: Two days in the midst of “Operation Iron Sword”

Here are the latest diary entries of a friend in Rafah, Gaza. Her name is Hudia. I receive them whenever there is an internet connection. They speak louder than all the articles I’ve sent put together…
— Jennifer Loewenstein

DECEMBER 5, 2023

I don’t know if my message will reach you today. They cut off communications and Internet from Gaza. The situation here is now even more terrifying since they started operations in the south.

The bombing doesn’t stop for a second. The firing of missiles & rockets happens around the clock. The artillery shelling is endless, too. Its sound is horrific. Where we are in Rafah is close to the eastern border of Gaza. We do not sleep because of the intensity of the bombing. The bombing of homes over the heads of those who live in them has become Israel’s preferred method of killing. Fear for the lives of everyone has crept into me. It haunts all my waking moments.

They ask people to leave so they die on the way to displacement, and if they manage to arrive, they die in the areas they reach. Rafah has now become overwhelmed with displaced people from Khan Yunis as well as the north. There is no place for them in shelter centers. People sleep in the streets. Literally, there is nothing here except the pervasive smell of death. I do not know how we will end up.

No. I know.

We can’t find anything anymore. There is nothing left in the markets. I can no longer find my blood pressure medication in pharmacies. In fact, there is nothing in pharmacies, markets, or supermarkets. Life has become difficult beyond description. Here, my brother Hisham was able, after a great effort, to find a medication similar to what I take which, I hope, is better than nothing at all.

Honestly, though, cutting off communications and the Internet hurts me more than the war itself. I cannot check on my family or friends. I remain tense every time I hear the sound of bombing. I do not know if they are alive or dead. I feel like I will lose my balance and collapse at any moment. The situation is unbelievable.

No one would believe we are supposed to be living here. It is a slaughter house; a last stop on the train taking us to our deaths. Let them kill us all at once! This would be merciful now.

We are tired. We are tired of losing more and more people every day, hour, and minute. Walk around Rafah and you see huge bomb craters filled with human debris. Is this really my home? Endless destruction and seeing children in pieces. It is unspeakable.

There is nothing left in north Gaza: homes, people, or life.

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Diseases have begun to spread among children, including gastroenteritis owing to air pollution, undrinkable water, and a collapsed sewage system because there is no fuel. You don’t want to imagine what this means in real terms here, and for two million people. The lines, the filth, the sadness, and yes – the smell.

The children have yellow faces – full of sickness and fear. They cry into their mothers’ laps during the bombings. They look thin and sickly from terror and trauma. By destroying the healthcare system Israel has destroyed any return to a semblance of real life.

A sad joke is going around. After the occupation’s aggression against Gaza, when a violent earthquake strikes a place, reporters will say: “It is as if an Israeli bombing struck the place.”

Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza:

Even in Rafah, where people are forced to flee, the sounds of air strikes punctuate the day.People are crying for help to get a safe place. We have nothing to say to them.

DECEMBER 6, 2023

Gaza City and northern Gaza are completely annihilated, with only rare media coverage. The central part of the Gaza Strip is now annihilated by hunger, & high prices; its supplies of vegetables and goods were cut off after the south was separated from the central governorate.

In addition, it is being bombarded relentlessly day and night. Khan Yunis – the southern section of Gaza – is also being destroyed by displacement and continuous bombing. Rafah is bombed around the clock (I’m counting 8-12 seconds between bombs) and has received newly displaced people from Khan Yunis, but where are they supposed to go?

People sleep in tents and in the streets or in the shadows of shuttered businesses. The sounds of artillery, air and sea bombardment, and tank shells echo across the Gaza Strip from Rafah to Beit Hanoun. It’s a constant rush in your ears. There is no escape.

This situation requires no political, military, or strategic analysts. No sermon about steadfastness from leaders and media are going to help us right now. Gaza is absolutely no longer fit for life and it makes sense because I don’t think we are are alive. We are ghosts and we should go and haunt the world revealing what has happened to us.

Whole families have been tossed grieving along the streets. Shelter centers and schools are overflowing with broken, displaced people. Most stores have shut their doors because they’re empty of any supplies. What remains is small and non-essential. Prices are astronomical and crazy.

Lines from wherever there are any goods at all – long, long lines where you are stuck waiting for half the day.

Exhausted refugees are wearing filthy clothing (where can we wash dirty laundry?) Most of the women are in their prayer dresses. Wood burning stoves fill the main streets. Everything is cooked on wood fires now and they fill the air with smoke. The ground around them is blackened and peoples faces are blackened. This is a preview of the apocalypse: yes, right here in Gaza you can witness what the end of the world will look like.

As you walk, you pass faces of those who used to be proud and generous but are now humiliated and betrayed. They half-whisper, brokenly, in your ear: “I swear, I am not a beggar. But I was displaced from my home here and here. My family and children have nothing to eat. If you give me five shekels…”

This is only part of the picture, which is getting darker, more unbearable, and more painful every day with the siege and death. I do not know if death is worse than what people are experiencing now. What new, unthinkable circumstance will be thrown our way tomorrow? It’s too horrible to contemplate. I want to run away…
 

20 years later: Remembering Rachel Corrie

WORT 89.9FM Madison
2023-03-17

Twenty years ago today, on March 16, 2003, word came to us that our daughter Rachel had been killed in Gaza. She had been run over by an Israeli military-operated and U.S. made and funded Caterpillar D9R bulldozer, as she stood to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home in Rafah. Members of the family watched the bulldozer approach through a hole in their garden wall.

Our family’s journey without Rachel, but with her spirit large in our lives, began on that day.
—excerpt from a letter from Rachel Corrie’s parents

Cindy and Craig Corrie join us on A Public Affair to share their daughters story and tell us how they continue to fight for justice and peace in Palestine and the middle east. More information about Rachel and the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Justice and Peace can be found here: rachelcorriefoundation.org
 

Upcoming Events: March 12-16, 2023

Sunday, March 12: WORT interview with Masafer Yatta Activist
Thursday, March 16: Cindy and Craig Corrie on WORT
Thursday, March 16: Tantura Film and Discussion


 
On Sunday March 12 at 5 pm, tune into WORT’s World View program for a taped interview with Masafer Yatta activist Ali, who will discuss the current situation of Israeli army and settler attacks and Palestinian resistance there.  (The interview will be aired after the news.)

Thursday March 16, 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the killing of Rachel Corrie in Rafah. We continue to mourn her loss and celebrate her life. We will never forget her.

Locally, we invite you to tune in to WORT Radio’s A Public Affair with host Allen Ruff at 12 noon on Thursday March 16, 89.9 FM or listen on line for a live conversation with Rachel’s parents Cindy and Craig. 

A Public Affair with host Allen Ruff
WORT 89.9 FM Madison

Live Interview with Cindy & Craig Corrie, parents of Rachel Corrie
Thursday, March 16, 2023 10-11 am PDT; Noon-1pm CDT; 1-2 pm EDT

The Corries will talk with host Allen Ruff about their daughter, 20 years of the Rachel Corrie Foundation, RCF’s kinship with the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, and the foundation’s commitment to Gaza and to Palestinian rights today, as startling events continue to unfold in the region.

The hour-long program can be heard live at the WORT 89.9 FM website here. The program will be archived at the WORT 89.9 website for later listening, as well.

At 9 pm CT on March 16, we also invite you to join a zoom showing and discussion of the new film Tantura, about the 1948 massacre in that village, co-sponsored by the Rachel Corrie Foundation as part of a year-long commemoration. 

Mideast Focus Ministry 10th Annual Film Series
Break the Silence – Stories of Occupation
Tantura: Film & Discussion

Thursday – March 16, 2023, 7 pm PT

Zoom only: Register for a link to this film and discussion by requesting a link at seattlemideastfocus@gmail.com

Our colleagues at the Mideast Focus Film Series at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle will commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Rachel’s death with a film screening and discussion of the film Tantura:“When Israeli graduate student Teddy Katz meticulously documented a massacre of Palestinian civilians surrounding Israel’s independence, he was initially celebrated for his groundbreaking work. But soon, he was stripped of his degrees and was publicly shamed as a fraudulent traitor. Decades later, incendiary new evidence emerges to corroborate Teddy’s initial findings, not just vindicating him, but raising profound questions about how Israelis—and we all—deal with the darker chapters of history.”

The discussion will feature a pre-recorded interview with director Alon Schwarz.

Learn more and watch the trailer here.