Day 215 roundtable: Rafah

Short-lived scenes of celebration after Hamas announced that it had accepted a truce proposal on Monday gave way to renewed fear and confusion in Gaza, as Israel rejected the negotiated deal that had been signed off on by the United States, Egypt and Qatar.

Israel immediately ordered the evacuations of areas in eastern Rafah, the last relatively intact city in the besieged enclave and home to more than a million people already displaced from other parts of Gaza.

Hours later, Israeli forces began an armored advance and overnight on Monday seized the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing with Egypt. That assault cut off access for aid and any hope of exit for wounded Palestinians via Gaza’s only border with the outside world.

As Israel moved to escalate its assault on Rafah, human rights groups called on third states to intervene urgently to stop a massacre on the scale of Srebrenica – the 1995 genocide of thousands of Bosnian Muslim men and boys perpetrated in what had been designated by the UN as a “safe zone.”

On Tuesday, patients and medical workers fled Rafah’s al-Najjar hospital after Israel ordered the evacuation of the area, shutting down the only facility left in Gaza with a functioning dialysis unit to treat kidney patients.

We were joined by our contributor Abubaker Abed, who talked about the anxiety felt by his family and community in Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza, as the Israeli army seized control and shut down the Rafah crossing.

Jump to Abubaker Abed’s segment here.

We were also joined by Dr. Adel Elsharkawy, a Canadian physician based in Calgary, Alberta.

Dr. Elsharkawy told us about his experience working at Gaza’s only functioning neonatal unit at the Emirati maternity hospital in Rafah.

A specialist in the care of newborns, he recently returned from two weeks in Gaza as part of a delegation organized by Glia, a medical aid organization that provides care and medical equipment for vulnerable and conflict-torn populations all over the world.

Jump to Dr. Adel Elsharkawy’s segment here.

Meanwhile, unbowed by the harsh crackdowns and attempts at repression, students across the United States and around the world are continuing to protest against the American- and European-backed genocide and their institutions’ role in it.

We heard from Shahd al-Hadid, a student at the University of Sheffield in the UK and a member of the Sheffield Campus Coalition for Palestine, which is leading a mass encampment in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Sabiya Ahamed, a staff attorney at the civil rights organization Palestine Legal, also joined us to talk about legal efforts to defend students against the widespread violations of their rights.

Jump to Shahd al-Hadid and Sabiya Ahamed’s segment here.

Jon Elmer analyzed the resistance operation targeting the Israeli military build-up around Rafah and the steady attacks along the so-called Netzarim corridor dividing Gaza.

Jump to Jon Elmer’s segment here.

During our group discussion, Jon, Ali Abunimah, Asa Winstanley and I talked about the latest ceasefire proposals, news about the US military’s pier off the coast of northern Gaza, and latest revelations about Sheryl Sandberg, the former Meta executive who laundered the 7 October “mass rapes” hoax.

Jump to the group discussion here.

And I began the broadcast with a news report, focusing on the situation in Rafah.

Jump to the news report here.

These are just some of the many topics we cover on The Electronic Intifada livestream. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

With Ali Abunimah, Nora Barrows-Friedman, Jon Elmer, Tamara Nassar and Asa Winstanley


Add new comment

Nora Barrows-Friedman

Nora Barrows-Friedman's picture

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, and is the author of In Our Power: US Students Organize for Justice in Palestine (Just World Books, 2014).