Thousands riot on Gaza-Israel border
Monday 18 July 1994
His day began at 4am when he made his way to the main checkpoint of the Gaza Strip to cross to his job as a labourer in Israel. Like thousands of Gaza workers, Mr Zehed had arrived early, prepared to queue for up to three hours while Israeli soldiers inspected Palestinians' permits to cross.
By 8am he was in Gaza's Shifa hospital, with four bullet wounds to his shoulder and stomach. In the mortuary were the bodies of two dead Palestinian workers. And in the beds alongside him were scores of other wounded.
Nihad al-Ouda, 21, trying to earn money to pay for his studies, was shot in the neck. Nearby, Omar Ashour, 12, was bleeding heavily from two gaping wounds. Omar was selling sweets to the queueing workers when he was shot.
Dead and wounded were caught in a gun battle with Israeli soldiers which erupted when workers without permits were turned back. The workers hurled stones at the Israeli soldiers, who opened fire on the crowd. Palestinian police also opened fire and several Israelis were hurt.
The riot - the worst in Gaza since the signing of the Oslo peace accord last September - was another tragedy waiting to happen. Most Palestinians in Gaza have no work. Unemployment is said to be as much as 60 per cent.
During the occupation, Israeli employers have encouraged Palestinians to take low- paid work in construction, on farms or in hotel kitchens. Before the intifada in 1987, as many as 60,000 Gaza workers were employed in Israel.
Israel has tried to sever this dependency, by closing borders and refusing work to those without permits. The cause of yesterday's riots, however, was anger over Israeli restrictions.
As the gunshots rung out, Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, was holed up in his Gaza hotel, impotently condemning the shooting but offering little solace to Palestinians unable to earn a wage.
There is deepening frustration at the failure of the new Palestinian authority to improve life in Gaza. Workers crossing into Israel are reminded daily of the limits of Palestinian autonomy, while the Palestinian authorities show no sign of being able to bring new jobs to Gaza.
- 1 Windows 10: man updates PC, wakes up to find porn slideshow on repeat
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 4 Supermodel Gisele Bundchen mocked for wearing a burka to avoid being seen visiting plastic surgeon in Paris
- 5 Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen mocked for wearing a burka to avoid being seen visiting plastic surgeon in Paris
Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dies: Wrestling legend dies aged 61, according to reports
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...