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Tensions rise in Gaza, Aug 2011

18 August 2011: Israeli aircraft attacked a Palestinian house in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, killing six persons including at two-year-old child. Israel declared new Gaza offensive was underway.

Until 4 pm on Friday (19 August), the IOF launched 13 airstrikes on various targets throughout Gaza; killing two people including a child (one died from wounds sustained last week). (Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights)
When I looked at the graphic and disturbing visuals of the air strikes and the bodies… Yaa Salaam! The first picture was that of the body of Islam Greagea, a two-year-old boy killed in an Israeli air strike, at a hospital in Gaza unrecognizable from what he looked like when he was alive. I was so horrified, my stomach turned and then I imagined my three year old daughter… lying dead there, brutalised by an oppressive apartheid regime for a no crime but being the wrong nationality.

The death toll increased to nine since Thursday evening. Two of the nine were children. 35 people were injured, including six children and a woman. Electricity networks were severely damaged in particular in the Nuseirat refugee camp in Middle Gaza district.

With the increase in tensions, entrance to the Al Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem for Friday prayers was restricted to Palestinian men over the age of 50 with Israeli identification cards and Palestinian women older than 40. About 4,000 Israeli soldiers were deployed to the gates of the Old City to administer checkpoints.

Imagine, a 49 year old man sits there, showing his date of birth to the Israeli soldiers so that he can pray at Masjid al Aqsaa! This is what black South Africans had to go through! The Pass Laws Act 1952 made it compulsory for all black South Africans over the age of 16 to carry a “pass book” at all times within white areas. The law stipulated where, when, and for how long a person could remain. This pass was also known as a dompas. If the Afrikaner policeman caught you without your pass… The older generation knows all too well about it. How racist is the apartheid state of Israel? When the palestinian people fight back, they are called terrorist.

Dozens of young Palestinians tried to break through a police roadblock in East Jerusalem, police said. The rioters were dispersed with a water cannon and stun grenades.

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