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Kamal Odwan hospital is the main port of call for the bulk of emergency services, once a local clinic, it has now grown, concomitantly with the population of the north, now 350000, into a hospital. Since the bombing of an average of one in ten mosques in the Jabaliya area according to local Imams, Kamal Odwan is now also a prayer site, an open-air mosque. Rows of men kneel together daily in the car park, round the corner from the overflowing morgue; praying also takes place at the side of the lines of parked ambulances and in the little garden area in front of the reception and emergency room.
The emergency staff, the families and friends of new martyrs, all pray together in perhaps the last place of sanctuary in Jabaliya, knowing that as soon as they set foot outside, they’re fair game for snipers, surveillance drones, Apaches, Cobras, F16 and F15 fired missiles, shrapnel, flying chunks of house, glass, and nails that are shredding people here. White phosphorous too is reportedly being used, along with a white mist of nerve gas hanging in Jabaliya a few days ago and over Beit Hanoun, in the Zoumou street area. Today at least three casualties, all of them elderly women, were brought into Beit Hanoun hospital suffering from inhalation of this gas, which chokes people, tightening chests and nasal passages and rendering people dizzy and disorientated; we were all affected by it, despite being maybe half a kilometre away from the site of its release. As I finish writing this now, in the offices of Ramatan News, the same gas, nerve fraying, chest tightening, tear-inducing and confusing is seeping into the offices.
The director of public relations at Kamal Odwan, Moayad Al Masri, whose family now lives in the Fakhoura School refugee camp gives me the stats for the past week. Every day approximately 20 people are killed, by tank shelling, apache, F16, and surveillance plane missile strikes.
On 27 December, 14 people killed, 52 injured; On the 28 December, six killed, 22 injured; 29 December 15 killed, 102 injured; 30 December, two killed, 11 injured; 31 December, three killed, three injured; New Years Day, 17 killed, 67 injured; 2 January, six killed, 10 injured; 3 January, 13 killed, 43 injured; 4 January, 28 killed, 35 injured; 5 January, 15 killed, 98 injured; 6 January, 50 killed, 101 injured; 7 January, 17 killed, 33 injured; 8 January, 11 killed, 53 injured; 9 January, 15 killed and 63 injured; 10 January, 22 killed and 53 injured. And today, this morning, six people had been killed so far. Four of them children. Two sisters, Saher Ghabban 16 and Haowla Ghabban 14, and Fatima Mahrouf 16 and Haitham Mahrouf. Witnesses report that they were leaving their home at the UNRWA Beit Lahiya school, to go home to wash and make food. They were walking near strawberry fields in Sheyma when they were struck by a surveillance plane missile.
I go to meet a friend from Beit Hanoun at the hospital. It takes stopping five different taxi drivers before I finally get one who agrees to take me. Missiles have been falling throughout the afternoon ‘ceasefire’. Everyone has heard about cars and their passengers zapped in two by missiles from surveillance drones. We all engage in a kind of Russian roulette every time we move, knowing we might be the next unlucky ones.
In Beit Hanoun we hear about six families from the Abu Amsha House – 50 people – having to flee their four-story home after the IOF called to give them five minutes to leave or be bombed. As the families frantically gathered their belongings – mattresses, blankets, clothes, documents, photographs – and made their way down the stairs, an Israeli F16 war plane bombed them. 27 were injured, four of them seriously, including one with shrapnel in the spinal area.
Grace Blakeley investigates the curious case of Carillion: how the company’s slow decline and abrupt liquidation reveals the nature of modern capitalism.
The collapse of Carillion could be a watershed moment. Let's seize it to end economically disastrous outsourcing schemes. By Cat Hobbs.
Campaign groups highlight UK complicity in Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses.
Three founders of Momentum talk to Ashish Ghadiali about the two years that have transformed their lives and the fortunes of the British left.
Andrew Smith from Campaign Against the Arms Trade gives the run-down on one of the UK's most profitable - and most deadly - industries.
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Javier Pérez De La Cruz writes about the working class Berlin neighbourhood wrung dry by gentrifiers.
Across the world, thousands of protesters are taking on the planet’s biggest fossil fuel companies. We should support them – and if we can, we should join them. By Kara Moses
Students are suffering the effects of financial instability, stress, and slashed mental health services. Mark Crawford reports.
They're not defending free speech - they're just seeking to shore up their own power, writes Ilyas Nagdee
Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.
Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani
Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week
A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns