Friday, January 2, 2009

Zionists force Palestinians to fight for a hole in the ground, to bury their dead children

Click on photo to enlarge it.

These five sisters were killed when Israel bombed the mosque next door, on December 28, 2008. (Israel has bombed 5 mosques in the last week.)

With space running out in the cemetery, the five girls had to be buried in just three graves, one for the eldest and the others forced to share.

(See full article and photo in "The Independent", at-- )


"Besieged Palestinians battle to find burial spaces"

Salim Abu Sadaq and six of his relatives scrabbled around in the soil of Gaza City's Sheikh Radwan cemetery for two hours yesterday, searching for a space in which to lay his cousin to rest. In the end, he opened his grandfather's grave and moved the older man's remains aside to make space for the body of his grandson.

After "The Beginning", the first chapter in the Qur'an, was read aloud to mark the end of a life, Abu Sadaq expressed misgivings about the shared grave. "I feel very bad about it. It hasn't happened before, but there's no space."

At the entrance to the cemetery hangs a makeshift sign, written on fabric and strung up by the ministry of religious affairs. "It is forbidden to bury here," it says, directing mourners to the newer cemetery on Gaza's eastern outskirts near Jabalia, where there is still some open ground.

The Sheikh Radwan cemetery has been closed for years, as have the other two in Gaza's densely populated city.

But Abu Sadaq's family had no choice.

The Israelis' intensive bombing of Gaza's eastern perimeter has turned the newer cemetery into a lethal ground and as a result families are forced to reuse old graves in the closed one, despite Islamic law normally forbidding that.

After digging for hours, Abu Sadaq rang a sheikh. "He told us that we could dig up an old family grave and move the remains to one side. We have to bury the body as soon as we can," he said.

Burial space is not the only shortage. Israel's 18-month blockade of Gaza has created a severe lack of concrete and building blocks, so families have been unable to build proper graves. Last year, before the tunnel economy began to take off, there was also a shortage of white burial cloth, required for Muslim funerals, forcing families to wrap their dead in whatever they could find.

"We are lucky here because we have an old grave," said Abu Sadaq as he buried his cousin, who died from cancer...