News Release

Gaza: As Cease-fire Collapses, Death Toll Passes 1,400


AP is reporting: “A Gaza cease-fire quickly unraveled Friday as violence erupted in and around the southern town of Rafah [in Gaza], with 35 Palestinians killed by Israeli shelling and the military saying one of its soldiers may have been abducted.”

Time magazine reports “White House: Shelling Of U.N. School in Gaza ‘Totally Indefensible’” while Stars and Stripes notes: “DOD releases arms to Israel, official says.”

Middle East Eye reports: “The death toll in Gaza surpassed 1,370 on Thursday. 1,417 Palestinians were killed during Israel’s three week long Operation Cast Lead during 2008-9.

FARAH BAKER, [in Gaza] farah.basil1998 at,
Baker is a 16-year-old Palestinian. Millions have seen her posts on Twitter in the last week: @Farah_Gazan.

REFAAT ALAREER, refatr17 at, @ThisisGaza
Currently in Malaysia, Alareer’s wife and children are in Gaza. He recently wrote “The story of my brother, martyr Mohammed Alareer” for the His brother played a well known character on a children’s television program in Gaza — the Palestinian equivalent of Big Bird — and was killed in an Israeli attack. Alareer is editor of the book Gaza Writes Back. His blog is

MOHAMMED ALQATTAWI, [in Gaza] alqattawi at, @m_alqattawi
Alqattawi is an English-speaking cousin of Salem Shammaly, who was killed in an Israeli attack. He is profiled in “When you find your missing son getting murdered on Camera.”

NOURA ERAKAT, [in U.S.] nourae at, @4noura
Erakat just wrote the piece “Israeli operation not about security” for USA Today. She is a human rights attorney, an assistant professor at George Mason University and a co-founder of Jadaliyya, an e-zine that focuses on the Middle East.

JOE CATRON, [in Gaza] joecatron at, @jncatron
A U.S. citizen in Gaza, Catron was recently profiled in “Inside a Gaza Hospital Under Israeli Rocket Fire.” He was at the El-Wafa geriatric Hospital in Gaza City when it was bombed by the Israeli military. He just highlighted a video on his Twitter feed: “War crime: video shows sniper killing of wounded” and wrote “Now diplomacy has failed, boycotting Israel might be the only way we can protect the people of Gaza.”

YOUSEF AL-HELOU, al-helou.y at, @YousefAlhelou
Yousef Al-Helou is the Gaza-based correspondent for The Real News and a freelance reporter. He just completed his masters in journalism at Oxford University. He just tweeted: “Rafah is isolated, under heavy random tank shelling, aerial bombardments.”

YONATAN SHAPIRA, [now in Norway] yonatanemail at
Shapira is a former Israeli captain and Air Force pilot. In 2003 spearheaded a letter signed by 27 Israeli pilots who refused to participate in military operations against Palestinians. He was recently on “Democracy Now!