Israeli troops fire on funeral as Rafah tries to bury its dead

Monday, May 24, 2004 — Several Palestinians were injured, some seriously, when Israeli troops opened fire on a Palestinian funeral in Rafah today.

23 year-old Ziad Alwan was shot in the eye, and is now in hospital in a serious condition. Several other mourners also required medical attention.

An estimated 50,000 Palestinians had attended the funeral for 17 citizens of Rafah killed in the Tel al-Sultan neighborhood during the Israeli invasion of the area. Some of those being buried had been killed at the beginning of the invasion a week ago and preserved in fridges used for storing vegetables because the hospital and morgue had no room for the bodies.

The residents of Tel al-Sultan took the opportunity to bury their dead after the Israeli army moved to the outskirts of the area. The bodies were taken to a local mosque and after prayers were moved to the al-Shuhada cemetery in the al-Salam district of Rafah.

Israeli soldiers watching the funeral then fired on the mourners.

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