Sourani is a human rights lawyer and founder of the Palestinian Centre
for Human Rights, which documents and investigates human rights
violations in the Occupied Territories. Jailed on six occasions for his
work, Sourani is staying put in Gaza at the moment, and continuing to
work under siege. He tells Roma Rajpal Weiss that people there have lost
How is the situation in Gaza at the moment?
Raji Sourani: We don’t sleep at night or during the
day. It’s almost non-stop bombing, all over the place. There are no
shelters; there is no safe place anywhere in Gaza, there is bombing
everywhere. Right now, we are in the middle of a war: anything will hit
the people, anything will hit a building. The airplanes and the drones
never leave the sky.
Entire families have been erased, and the problem is that most of the
killings are of civilians. Our findings from our field workers show
that more than 77% of the victims that are injured are civilians.
Civilians are in the eye of the storm. You are talking about one of the
most high-tech air forces on earth. And you’re talking about F16s and
drones and an army with a chain of command. It’s not random rockets;
they send these bombs to kill. It’s not for fun.
What is the general feeling there?
Sourani: People are furious here. In 2008-2009, with
all the horrors that took place, when they used phosphorous bombs all
over Gaza, they destroyed the city. And then in 2012 we had another war,
and now we are having the third consecutive war in about five years.
It’s too much for any population. People are really sick, tired,
exhausted, and nobody really wants to be a submissive victim. They feel
there is nothing more to lose.