A dirty job – Gaza Strip, 2002

Gaza strip, 2002

dirty jobRafah, on the border with Egypt. On the border line Israel has carved itself a security strip by demdirty jobolishing all the houses of the Palestinians present on the area. The pump, that was used to flow away the sewers’ water that came from the Palestinian houses, is trapped under the rubble after the demolitions. Every time the workers try to fix it the Israeli army shoot at them and at the pump. It has been out of order for more than four months now. In the houses that face the security strip, the liquid sewage leaks from the toilet and, with the aid of the sun, the risk of an epidemic is higher every day.

Together with other Internationals we agree with the Centre for Human Rights of Khan Younis to carry on an action of protection of the Palestinian workers so they can finally fix the pump. We are two from Operazione Colomba.

The action: a dirty jobdirty job

With the others we go into the security strip and while helding our passports high in the air we go towards the pump. Right after us the Palestinian workers with working tools and an articulated lorry. We form the “line of interposition” between the pump and the Israelis who we can’t see at the moment but who are definitely looking at us. In fact, after a couple of minutes of work from the lookout tower fire some shots that knock out the lorry.We immediately croudirty jobch down and then we look up towards the tower. Us two, we detach from the line to escort the arrival of new workers then we go back and jump on the bulldozer that has come to take the lorry, a hand on the handles and the other up in the air with the passport clearly visible. We are scared but we can see the workers who are carrying on with their work regardless, so we keep on the action, conscious of the importance of our presence there.
Right after we inform the Italian branch, some friends journalists in Jerusalem, the Israeli organization B’Tselem and the Italian consulate in Jerusalem.
The work goes on for hours and it’s over in the afternoon. When we leave we are aware of the risk that we have taken but we are also satisfied because we have allowed the fixing of the pump preventing the risk of an epidemic.