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Israeli Troops Murder Palestinian Fetus

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    And now, a fetus Gideon Levy Haaretz 20 May 2007 http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/860829.html Memorial posters decorate the walls of the Rafidiya government
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 14, 2007
      And now, a fetus
      Gideon Levy
      20 May 2007

      Memorial posters decorate the walls of the Rafidiya government
      hospital in Nablus, covering earlier posters of countless young people
      who have been killed. But this poster is like nothing we have seen
      before: a fetus covered in its own blood, its tiny head blown up by
      the bullet that struck its mother, and the caption - `Who gave you the
      right to steal his life?`

      The killing of the unborn child, Daoud, by Israel Defense Forces
      troops raises a series of moral, legal and philosophical questions. Is
      the killing of a fetus manslaughter? Is it murder? And how old is the
      victim? But all these questions are dwarfed by the woman lying stunned
      and injured in the maternity ward of the hospital in Nablus, in agony,
      with all kinds of tubes attached to her, refusing to answer a single

      It is obvious that Maha Katouni is still in a state of trauma. Wounded
      in the abdomen, she lies in bed, her elderly mother by her side. The
      tube in her nose makes it hard for her to speak. She is 30 years old
      and was in the seventh month of pregnancy, a mother who got up in the
      middle of the night to protect her three small children, sleeping in
      the other room, from the bullets that were whistling by outside. As
      soon as she got out of bed, the bullet struck her. Bleeding, she fell
      on the nightstand by her bed. Maha survived, but Daoud - as she and
      her husband planned to name their son - was removed from her womb with
      a bullet wound to the head.

      `And babies?` a reporter once asked an American soldier who had taken
      part in the My Lai massacre in the Vietnam War. His succinct answer
      was just as chilling as the question. `Babies.` And now, a fetus.

      The day before, I had been in Soweto, near Johannesburg, South Africa,
      accompanied by the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour,
      comparing the horrors of apartheid to the Israeli occupation in the
      territories. The next afternoon I was here, in the Rafidiya maternity
      ward, standing before the bed of the wounded Maha, who had lost her baby.

      The biggest hospital in the territories is practically deserted,
      barely functioning. It has been this way for two months now. Like the
      other hospitals in the West Bank, Rafidiya accepts only emergency
      cases, because of the economic boycott of the Palestinian Authority,
      which also prevents the workers here from being paid. Only 20 of the
      hospital`s 168 beds are currently occupied, and only about a third of
      the hospital`s 380 staff members show up for work. In the emergency
      room we saw just one patient, who had arrived that morning. The rest
      of the beds were empty. In the past two and a half months, the workers
      have received just NIS 1,500 per person, from funds provided by the
      European Union.

      Hospital director Dr. Khaled Salah says that the staff and patients
      don`t come to the hospital because of the difficulties in getting to
      Nablus and the cost of the trip, which has risen significantly because
      of the checkpoints. The Hawara checkpoint and the Beit Iba checkpoint,
      the two checkpoints on the city`s outskirts, are relatively deserted,
      because of the difficulty in getting past them.

      Maha lies in bed, her eyes closed. A green headscarf covers her head.
      Her skin is ashen. Every once in a while she opens her eyes but then
      quickly closes them again. Once in a while she also murmurs a few
      words in a feeble voice and then goes quiet again. How are you?
      Silence. Maha is a resident of the Ein Beit Ilma refugee camp on the
      outskirts of Nablus. She is married to Rifat, a 36-year-old school
      janitor, and the couple have three children: Jihad, 10; Jawad, 7; and
      Jad, 3. Two uncles and her mother watch over her, not budging from her
      bedside. For the father of the family, it`s too hard to be here. He`s
      still in shock.

      Last Wednesday was an ordinary day in the Katouni household. The
      father went to work, the kids went to school, and in the evening
      everyone went to bed - the parents in their bedroom and the three
      children in their room in the third-floor apartment. Shortly after two
      in the morning, Maha was startled awake by the loud sounds of gunfire
      from the street. She didn`t even manage to turn on the light when she
      got up to run to the kids` room next door, to reassure her three
      little boys and keep them from getting scared. The gunfire was very
      heavy. The window of her room was open and her bed was close to the

      Maha got out of bed, took one step, and then the bullet struck her in
      the lower back. She fell onto the nightstand. Another bullet struck
      the nightstand. Soldiers from the Nahal patrol battalion were standing
      on the roofs of the surrounding buildings. `Wherever we are sent - to
      there we go,` the poet Yaakov Orland once wrote in `The Nahal Anthem,`
      sung by the Nahal entertainment troupe, which also sang `The Song of

      Rifat rushed to call an ambulance. The children, who had awakened,
      were hysterical, especially the youngest, 3-year-old Jad, at the sight
      of the blood trickling from the front and back of their pregnant
      mother, who lay wounded on the floor. The bullet had struck her from
      behind, passed through the fetus` head and the mother`s intestines and
      exited through the abdomen.

      Family members say that about 45 minutes went by before the ambulance
      from the Medical Relief organization was permitted to approach. In the
      meantime, Maha`s mother, Umm Ibrahim, tried to leave her home nearby
      to come to her daughter`s aid. Umm Ibrahim says that when she tried to
      leave her house there was gunfire; she hurried back inside. `It`s a
      miracle that I was saved,` says the woman in the white headscarf. She
      could not reach her injured daughter and would not see her until two
      hours later, in the hospital.

      The pain is written all over Maha`s face. One of her brothers somehow
      managed to cross the line of fire and get to her house; he tried to
      stanch the gaping wound in her stomach with a towel. Her husband,
      Rifat, was paralyzed with shock. Umm Ibrahim says that her son, who
      tended to Maha, could see through the hole in her abdomen that the
      fetus had been wounded in the head and was dead.

      The gunfire finally subsided at around three in the morning and they
      were able to take Maha out to the street, carried by her brother and
      the paramedic from the ambulance that had parked in the nearby alley.
      The brother says that on the way to the hospital they were stopped
      twice by soldiers, who wanted to check the wounded woman`s identity
      and to make sure there were no wanted men hiding in the ambulance.
      Maha was barely conscious when she reached the hospital, but her
      mother says she understood right away that she had lost the baby.

      The family says the IDF enters the camp nearly every night and that
      there is almost always gunfire. Umm Ibrahim managed to get to the
      hospital at four in the morning, when her daughter was in the
      operating room and the dead fetus had already been removed.

      Dr. Ihab Shareideh was the surgeon who was summoned to the hospital in
      the middle of the night to operate on Maha. He says that her recovery
      has been more difficult and slower than usual, not only because of her
      injuries, but because of her traumatized mental state. Fortunately,
      not many blood vessels were injured, so the delay in getting her to
      the hospital did not cause further damage. It is too soon to gauge the
      extent of the damage to her digestive system, or to say whether she
      will be able to get pregnant again. The fetus died as a result of the
      bullet that penetrated its brain on the way to the mother`s intestines.

      The anesthesiologist, Dr. Iyad Salim, a resident of nearby Hawara,
      roams the hospital corridors. On his cell phone camera is a video of
      the operation and the removal of the fetus. So close to being a fully
      developed baby, with a bullet wound to the head. The memorial poster
      shows the fetus bleeding from the head. The image is unbearable.

      They were going to call him Daoud, after an uncle, and also after a
      resident of the camp who was killed. At home they had everything
      ready: new clothes, diapers and a crib passed down from his older
      brothers. Daoud was buried in the camp cemetery. Only a few close
      family members attended the funeral of the unborn baby.

      At press time, no response had been received from the IDF
      Spokesperson`s Office.


      Hamas, PFLO Issue Joint Press Releases

      The following is a communique jointly issued by the armed wings of
      the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Hamas
      Movement on a joint operation they carried out near the Hawwarah
      checkpoint, south of Nablus on the West Bank. The Hawwarah barrier
      is considered the worst checkpont on the West Bank where dozens of
      Palestinian have been killed or wounded due to harsh Zionist
      military measures. (Translator's introductory note).


      Military communiqué
      13 July 2007

      Issued by the Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades and the al-Qassam

      Assaulting and Disabling a Zionist Humvee at the Hawwarah Barrier.

      A joint unit of fighters from the Squadron of the Martyr Bashshar al-
      Hanani of the Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades and of fighters from
      the al-Qassam Brigades carried out an attack on a Zionist vehicle –
      a Zionist Humvee type of jeep – using machine guns and bombs, this
      Friday morning, 13 July 2007, as the vehicle was passing near the
      Hawwarah military barrier. The gunfire lasted more than 15 minutes
      and left the jeep completely disabled. Our heroic cavaliers
      confirmed that they had inflicted casualties among the enemy forces
      and the enemy admitted that the jeep had been disabled.

      We in the Martyr `Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades and the legendary
      Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades pledge to God and then to the masses
      of our people that we will continue our attacks on the positions of
      the enemy and remain a shield to ward off any aggression aimed at
      our land and people, faithful to the blood of the martyrs who have
      fallen in the battles in defense of the land. We will carry on our
      resistance until the last soldier has left our soil.

      We pledge to continue our resistance!

      Glory and fidelity to the martyrs! Freedom to the prisoners!
      Victory to the heroic resistance!

      Homeland or death! Victory or martyrdom!

      Martyr `Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa


      Military communiqué
      10 July 2007

      The Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades attack a military patrol near
      the al-`Ayn Camp to the west of Nablus, wounding three Zionist

      Let the fight continue and let all guns be pointed at the face of
      the enemy.

      In continuation of our on-going offensive against the troops of the
      occupation army and their settlements, one of our fighting units
      mounted a pre-planned armed ambush on a military foot patrol near
      the al-`Ayn camp west of Nablus. As the patrol passed by, our
      heroic fighters courageously attacked and clashed with the members
      of the occupation army's patrol, detonating two bombs by one of the
      patrol vehicles and wounding three of their soldiers in the
      approximately 40-minute battle. Also taking part in the battle,
      which occurred at precisely 11:30pm Tuesday night, were fighters
      from the al-Qassam Brigades. Our valiant knights then withdrew
      safely from the area.

      We in the Brigades of the legendary martyr Abu Ali Mustafa declare
      our responsibility for this heroic attack and announce that we will
      continue our resistance and attacks on this arrogant enemy until he
      has left our land. At the same time we declare that the arms of the
      resistance must remain pure and clean and dedicated to the
      resistance and we warn against any mixing of this struggle with any
      armed action employed in the service of some other goal, anything
      other than the defense of our people.

      We pledge to continue our resistance!

      Glory and fidelity to the martyrs! Freedom to the prisoners!
      Victory to the courageous resistance!

      Homeland or death! Victory or martyrdom!

      The Martyr Bashshar Hanani Squadron of the

      Legendary Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades.

      The military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of



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