BTL:Israeli Raid on Rafah Refugee Camp Results in More than 50 Dead, and...

BETWEEN THE LINES c/o WPKN Radio 89.5 FM Bridgeport, Connecticut  
..Hundreds Homeless Interview with Maher Nasser, representative of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris

Israeli Raid on Rafah Refugee Camp Results in More than 50 Dead, and Hundreds Homeless

Interview with Maher Nasser, representative of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees, conducted by Scott Harris

After a week of military operations conducted by the Israeli Army in Gaza's Rafah refugee camp, United Nations officials have described it as a "humanitarian catastrophe." During the weeklong offensive, the Israeli Army reported killing more than 50 Palestinians and demolishing 56 houses and apartment buildings. The U.N. says that over the past month, Israeli troops have destroyed 180 buildings in Rafah, resulting in nearly 2,000 people made homeless. The government of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon stated that the raid into the densely populated area was mounted to search for tunnels under the Gaza-Egyptian border that they claim are used by Palestinian militant groups to smuggle weapons.

Some of the worst violence in Rafah occurred on May 19, when an Israeli tank and helicopter fired on unarmed protesters, killing several, including children, and wounding dozens of civilians. That incident provoked condemnation from around the world and led to the passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution, denouncing Israel for the attack and resulting loss of life. The resolution's passage was made possible by a rare White House decision to abstain rather than use their veto power to defeat the measure.

Between the Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Maher Nasser, representative of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees based in New York City. Nasser describes the poverty and hopelessness that he says have overwhelmed the people of Gaza and the dwindling resources available to assist the growing number of desperate Palestinian refugees.

Contact the the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees by calling (212) 963-2255 or visit their website at www.unrwa.org

Related links:

"The Rape of Rafah," by Uri Avnery, Counterpunch, May 22/23, 2004

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