The two reports below are from Free Gaza passengers, Orange Jenny (OJ) and Theresa McDermott. They are staying in Gaza to work with farmers and fishermen and to bear witness to what the IOF is continuing to do to the people there after a 'ceasefire' was agreed to by Israel and Hamas. Theresa has been interviewing family members of the Palestinian farmers who have been murdered and wounded since that ceasefire. Her report follows the report from OJ.

Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, Monday 14th January Just three days after the fatal shooting of Anwar Al-Malouk near Jabalia, the Israeli military has murdered another Palestinian civilian despite a supposed ceasefire being in place. Mustafa Abu Jarad, 20, was one of a group of bird hunters working on a plot of land in an area north of Beit Lahiya in the very north of the Gaza Strip, over a kilometre away from the border fence.

From the border, the Israeli army began firing heavily in their direction and immediately targeted Mustafa directly in the forehead. The group had thrown themselves onto the ground and when the situation calmed enough for them to move they realised that Mustafa had been hit.

The bullet went straight through Mustafa's head leaving a massive exit wound. He was rushed to Kamal Adwan Hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip but was quickly transferred to Al Shifa, Gaza's main hospital, due to the severity of his injuries. He arrived in a critical condition and underwent emergency surgery to remove bone fragments from the remaining part of his brain and to relieve internal bleeding. Unfortunately, he had sustained a massive brain trauma and his prognonis was bleak. He died in the ICU a few hours after the operation as his family anxiously waited for news.
Mustafa's older brother, Loay, was killed two and a half months ago whilst active with the Palestinian resistance. Mustafa had no involvement with the resistance himself. He was trying to earn a little extra income for his family whilst he completed his studies. The latest attacks increase the number of Palestinian casualties since the ceasefire announcement to more than 80, according to officials in Gaza.

To further flout the ceasefire agreement, several Israeli military vehicles were reported to have breached the border with Gaza this morning in an agricultural area east of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip (Ma'an News Agency). After continual violations of the November ceasefire, committed by the Israeli military against Palestinian civilians, the question remains:

When will the international community take notice - and furthermore  take action - to prevent an escalation of bloodshed?

Photo courtesy of Desde Palestina:

Interview with Family by Theresa McDermott

Today 20 year old Mustafa Abd Al Hakeem Abu Jarad, was working in the fields with a number of other farmers North of Beit Lahia in the North of the Gaza Strip when he was shot through the head by a single sniper shot fired from the Israeli watchtower on the border.  He survived ong enough to be taken to Al Shifa hospital where he was operated on but there was no chance that he would survive, the bullet had entered through his forehead and exited through the back of his head causing severe brain injury.

We spoke to his family as they waited for news at the ICU and they told us that the family did not have their own farm, Mustafa was working as a farm labourer while he finished his schooling.  They said that the farm workers had been around 1 km away from the border fence when Israeli soldiers had started to fire towards them, the gunfire was heavy so they left the fields until it stopped, returning once they thought that it would be safe.  After they had gone back to work there was a single shot from the watchtower which hit Mustafa squarely in the forehead.

Mustafa was taken straight to Kamal Adwan Hospital from where he was transferred to Shifa Hospital when they realized the seriousness of his injury.   At Shifa he was operated on in order to stop the bleeding and remove bone fragments from what was left of his brain but the doctors already knew that his injuries were to severe and that he was unlikely to survive for long.  He died at around 7.30 this evening.

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