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Sheikh Radwan ( ) is a district of Gaza City located nearly northwest of the city center. It borders al-Shati campmarker to the southwest, Rimalmarker to the south, and Jabaliamarker to the east. The Sheikh Radwan Cemetery is located in the district. It contains hundreds of graves for Palestinian killed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including Hamas leaders Ahmed Yassin, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, and Said Siam.

History

The district is named after Sheikh Radwan whose tomb is situated on a hilltop in the district with an elevation of above sea level. Its walls are constructed from ancient building stones and fragments of marble slabs in secondary use. In the 19th century, it was surrounded by ancient trees. It has been identified by Christian scholars as the Monastery of Peter the Iberian.

Modern era

In 1971, the Israelimarker government attempted to disperse the concentration of Palestinian refugees as part of an Israeli authority policy of counter insurgency and military repression of the Palestinian refugees. The plan was part of 9 relocation schemes within the Gaza Stripmarker, parts of nearby al-Shatimarker camp were bulldozed and a housing project in Sheikh Radwan was initiated. Initially, refugee migration to Sheikh Radwan was involuntary since Israeli authorities demolished over 2,000 shelters in the camps to widen the roads for "security reasons" and denied permits for the residents to rebuild their houses. About 8,000 refugees moved into the housing projects of Sheikh Radwan. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization were vociferous in their opposition to the Israeli action, saying it was forced resettlement. After the start of the First Intifada, Sheikh Radwan was the most consistently active areas in Gaza.

On October 3, 2005, armed members of Hamas assaulted the Palestinian police station in Sheikh Radwan which ended in the death of Hayam Mohammed Nassar, 30, as she stood on the patio of an adjacent balcony. Members of the Fatah controlled al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades arrived to defend the police station, and the Hamas militiamen consequently withdrew. Since the take-over of the Gaza Strip by Hamas in 2007, Sheikh Radwan has been considered a stronghold for the organization. On May 17, 2007, Israel targeted a senior Hamas member in the district, killing, instead a militant and injuring eight others. During the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, an Israeli airstrike against a house in Sheikh Radwan left three civilians dead and 25 injured. The cemetery was closed down during the conflict due to the lack of vacant burial places, and thirty graves were destroyed after an Israeli missile struck the cemetry.

References

  1. Butt, 1995, p.9.
  2. Jadallah, Ahmed. Sheikh Radwan Cemetery Reuters.
  3. Haniyeh: World must back Goldstone's Gaza report. Ma'an News Agency. 2009-09-20.
  4. Bitton-Ashkelony and Kofsky, 2004, p.75.
  5. Helena Lindholm Schulz and Juliane Hammer (2003) The Palestinian diaspora: formation of identities and politics of homeland Routledge, ISBN 0415268214 p 71
  6. Boqai, Nihad. Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights and Terry Rempel (2003) Survey of Palestinian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, p.46
  7. Ginat and Perkins, 2001, pp.183-185.
  8. Jamal Raji Nassar and Roger Heacock (1990) p 104
  9. Beach Camp United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
  10. Karmi and Cotran, 1999, p.33.
  11. B'Tselem Casualty Statistics Palestinians killed by Palestinians
  12. Violent Clashes in Gaza Electronic Intifada. Palestinian Center for Human Rights. 2005-10-03.
  13. Barzak, Ibrahim. Israeli Airstrikes Target Hamas Associated Press. 2007-05-17.
  14. Airstrike in Sheikh Radwan kills three, injures 25 Ma'an News Agency. 2009-01-15
  15. Gazans running out of room to bury the dead MSNBC. 2009-01-13.
  16. Proposal emerges for 10-day cease-fire in Gaza USA Today. 2009-01-14.
  17. McCarthy, Rory and Boseley, Sarah. Israeli human rights groups speak out as death toll passes 1,000. The Guardian. 2009-01-15.


Bibliography




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