Sunday, February 24, 2008

A worldwide 5-minute-darkness for Gaza Strip

Palestinian Committee Against Siege (PCAS)

February 23, 2008

Millions of people in the participating countries of the Global day for Gaza Strip lived in darkness for 5 minutes in solidarity of with poor besiege people.
Around 86 cities and towns involved in this step to help the civilians in the Gaza strip.

Reporters of PCAS in UK, France and some European countries reported that most of the main cities, completely or partially switched the lights off in a response of PCAS’s call for a global day of actions to end Gaza Siege.

In France, around 10 cities marked the occasion today to convey their full support for the people of Gaza and they turned the lights off to experience what Palestinians are living now.Michelin Gurege, ISM member and PCAS coordinator in France said that all people across French cities showed that the Palestinian cause is one of their common concerns."My spirits became high while I was having a tour in these cities seeing Palestinian flags everywhere," Michelin said.It’s remarkable that around 70 countries took part in this Global day and actions are still ongoing till this moment (CET 20.00).
Russia and France witnessed ten actions of protests in nearly 10 cities for each. In Ukraine about 9 cities participated as well.
In Europe, 2 or 3 cities in most of the countries marked the occasion.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gaza I Weep for Thee

Forwarded by Asem Judeh

Gaza, I weep for thee. You see, I stand over here shackled and chained and all I can do is weep. For when I scream, my screaming falls on deaf ears. When I rant and I rave I am viewed with suspicion.

My kin and my neighbors all wonder and aloud, "why do you protest the killing of vermin?"" Vermin?" I asked and the chorus responded, " the Palestinians are vermin and terrorists!" But why should that be? Israelis are free but, not Palestinians.

The Palestinians live in! camps. Concentration camps that are really the holding pens of sheep being prepared for slaughter. When the last Palestinian is slaughtered, will anyone REMEMBER? Anyone? Will anyone care? ANYONE! Oh Gaza , I weep for thee.
Weeping is all that I can do for you see, over here I am shackled and chained to my opinion that the killing of innocent men, women, and children is genocide. Oh mommy, I said the 'g' word and used that 'g' word in association with Israel. I might just have well taken a shotgun and shot a lawyer.

Genocide on Palestine by Israelis. I am a pariah and a criminal and I am a "supporter of terrorism!"
Because I questioned the slaughter of Palestinians. Well, whoops and sorry. That must have been my bad! Oh Gaza , I weep for thee! You are lost and dying and NO ONE CARES AND NO ONE LISTENS! My kin and my neighbors are blind to the horror and will NOT hear the crying of innocents being led to slaughter. My land is lost and my nation is lost and my kin are lost and my neighbors are lost.
A very great man once said, "it is better to die on one's feet in the battle for justice than to die on one's knees begging for mercy!" So let it be written, so let it be done.
Oh Gaza , I weep for thee. Stand up and die at the hands of Israel! Someday maybe in one hundred years or five hundred years, someone somewhere, will read of your slaughter and ask the hard questions that our world today ignores. "Why were the Palestinians left to be slaughtered at the hands of an unjust Israel and the complicity of our world?"

Oh Gaza, I weep for thee. You see, I am shackled in chains of censorship and mistrust. The weeping is all that I CAN do.

Monday, February 18, 2008

IOF Escalates Acts of Murder and Destruction in the Gaza Strip

Reference: 16/2008

Date: 17 February 2008
Press Release IOF Escalates Acts of Murder and Destruction in the Gaza Strip;

Al MezanCalls for Urgent International Protection for the Civilians in the GazaStripThe IOF has escalated its acts of murder and violence against the civilianpopulation and their properties in the Gaza Strip. On 17 February 2008, theIOF killed four people during incursions and air attacks in Rafah. One ofthe victims was a police man, 28-year-old Ibrahim Salman Hussein Sabbah. Hesuffered from shrapnel wounds all over his body and died immediately. Threeother
s were injured in the same attack.At approximately 10:30am, on 17 February 2008, an IOF drone fired a missilethat landed near the UNRWA clinic on Be'r Sahy Street in Al Shouka villagein eastern Rafah. As a result, 33-year-old Abed As Salam Mohammed Salama AbuSusein, a member of the national security forces, and 23-year-old Nasser AliAbd Al Razek Abu Shabab were killed. At approximately 10:40am the same day,the IOF opened fire at 24-year-old Abd Al Karim Mohammed Hassan Al Ghalbanduring an incursion east of the Rafah crossing. While he was near his homein Al Shouka village he was shot in the chest and died.According to Al Mezan's preliminary investigations, at approximately 8:50pm,on 15 February 2008, a massive explosion in a residential house took placein Block 7 of Al Bureij refugee camp, located in central Gaza Strip. Thehouse belongs to 41-year-old Attallah Ayman Ahmed Fayed. The blast resultedin the killing of eight people, including one woman and one child, namely:o 41-year-old Ayman Atallah Fayed;o 37-year-old Marwa Azzam Fayed, his wife;o 12-year-old Basma Ayman Fayed, his daughter;o 17-year-old Ali Ayman Fayed, his son;o 5-year-old Ayoub Ayman Fayed; his son;o 17-year-old Zakaria Nabil Al Kafafy;o 16-year-old Talal Salah Abu Oun; ando 24-year-old Atallah Samir Ismail, while he was walking in thestreet.The explosion in Al Bureij also caused the injury of 57 people, includingtwenty children and twenty-two women. Two of them were reported to havesustained serious injury. The explosion also destroyed six residentialhouses completely. Sixty other homes were damaged severely, and tens ofothers received minor damages.According to preliminary investigations and other information given instatements by IOF ministers and military officials, it is believed that theIOF are responsible for this terrible incident. The most important fact inthis incident is the scope of the damage, which recalls the crime thatoccurred in the Ad Darraj neighborhood. On 22 July 2002, the IOF shelled AdDarraj and killed16 persons and destroyed eight houses completely. Theshelling also caused damage to nearby residential homes. The only differencebetween these two crimes is that the IOF admitted their responsibility forAd Darraj. The IOF Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, at that time, described itas one of their greatest successes. It is not the first time that the IOFdenied responsibility for their offenses, and in fact, they tried to get outof dozens of similar crimes previously. On 9 June 2006, they shelled BeitLahiya beach, during which seven members of the Ghalia family were killed.It should be noted that the official statements made by the IOF admit theirintention to continue their escalation of aggression on the Gaza Strip.Among them, the Israeli Minister of the Interior, Meir Sheetrit, declared on10 February 2008, that the IOF is able to exterminate an entire neighborhoodin the Gaza Strip. He pointed out that their forces have done so in asouthern suburb of Beirut. This statement was made just five days prior tothe Bureij shelling. Beside the statements made by the Israeli DefenseMinister, it was reported that Israeli intelligence agencies will carry outoperations secretly.Al Mezan Center for Human Rights renews its repeated demands for theinternational community to uphold their moral duty and responsibility toprotect Gazans, especially in relation to the Fourth Geneva Convention forthe Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War. Al Mezan warns theinternational community of the consequences of the IOF's widespreaddestruction of densely populated areas. Statements of IOF military leadersreinforce the Center's fears, in which they declared to wipe out residentialareas entirely, despite the consequential deaths of thousands of civilianvictims.End

Saturday, February 09, 2008

please double click on picture

تجرى لأول مرة في الأراضي الفلسطينية: زرع جهاز داخلي لقلب مريض محاصر في غزة

غزة - مراسل القدس - تمكن أطباء فلسطينيون من إجراء عملية لزراعة جهاز "صدمات" في قلب مريض فلسطيني في غزة لأول مرة في الأراضي الفلسطينية، وذلك بعدما منعه الحصار من السفر لتلقي العلاج. وأجرى العملية الدكتور أكرم أبو فول، رئيس قسم قسطرة القلب في مستشفى "سوروكا" في بئر السبع، وهو من فلسطينيي الداخل، بحضور طاقم طبي مساعد في مركز جولس للقسطرة.وقال الدكتور فايز شقليه، مدير مركز جولس لقسطرة القلب في غزة، إن المريض شعبان أبو عبيد (42) عاماً، من سكان دير البلح، كان يعاني من خطر توقف القلب في أي لحظة، ولم يتمكن من السفر بسبب عدم إعطائه التصاريح اللازمة لمغادرة القطاع.وأضاف شقليه لرامتان أن المريض أبو عبيد ينتظر منذ ثلاثة أشهر والخطر يتهدد حياته، إلا أنه وبعد التنسيق تم توفير المعدات اللازمة لإجراء العملية، حيث تمت زراعة جهاز "صدمات" داخل القلب لأول مرة في الضفة والقطاع. وأشار إلى أن تكاليف العملية بلغت ما يزيد عن عشرين ألف دولار، بسبب ارتفاع سعر الجهاز الذي تم تركيبه. وأعرب عن أمله أن تكلل هذه العملية بالنجاح، خاصة وأن الدكتور أبو فول متخصص في جراحة القلب، وأجرى بالإضافة إلى عمله في مستشفى سوروكا عدداً من العمليات بالتعاون مع المركز وبشكل متكرر.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Gaza Diary: Not a life for children

By Omar, a humanitarian worker in partnership with Oxfam

Feb 7, 2008

"Why us? Why are we cold? What is happening?" my children ask all the time.They are six and two. When they ask for chocolate and I cannot give it to them, they ask why. I explain to them that it is because of the closure but this does not explain things any further to them, they still ask "Why? Why us?"What they least understand is why their lives are being affected by something which they are not responsible for.It is hard for me to explain.
I am 37 years old and have spent my whole life under occupation. My father was a refugee from Barbara, my original village. He said to me the other day, "Son, we have never lived in a situation like this before.
I hope that this will be the last time that we live like this, forever".But people live in hope. They believe even after all this time that peace will return to us.
It has been five days now since I have had a shower. This is due to a lack of power to fuel the water system and to the hectic times that are upon us.It is the winter season and we are all beginning to get very cold. Without electricity, all my family and I can do to stay warm it to huddle around a gas lamp. We cover ourselves in sheets. Sometimes, I warm some water for my children to immerse their hands or feet in. But there is very little that we can do apart from hope that this will be the last time that we live like this.
The cold makes it difficult for us to get to sleep but even when we manage to, the blasts of Palestinian and Israeli rockets wake us throughout the night.
The tremors and explosions scare my children so much that they now sleep with my wife and me.They are so small and vulnerable and also very confused. They come home from school talking of Hamas and Fatah but they do not understand the situation.This is not a life for children. It is not for anyone.Stress and anxietyI try as best as I can to divert their attention away from the crisis that is continuing to unfold before them - I take them to the sea or to a relative's home.I cannot even turn on the television because we have had no electricity for five days.
To find out what's going on or whether or not there will be military operations I ask my colleagues in Jerusalem to keep me updated.I also call my family every few hours to find out if they are okay.
My children live in an area of violence and hear on a daily basis people arguing, complaining and shouting about the situation. To be honest, they need some professional support for their stress and anxiety but of course this is not available to us.Like many other children living in Gaza, they can rarely get away from the crisis, even while they sleep.
This situation is affecting a lot of children. The other day when I went to my kid's school the teacher said that 70 per cent of the children were failing their exams.The stress of the situation, whether children realise it or not, will effect their education. It is not great for school work or anything at all.
A lack of good quality food, clean drinking water, milk, sleep, fear and cold are just some of the issues that the children of Gaza face. The adults, too.There is already little hope for the future for the children of Gaza but without education, they really have nothing, Education is the only capital that we have for our future.
My third child is due in March. This is just two months away.As a father and a husband I am worried - really worried for my wife and my unborn child. How can she deliver a child when there is no electricity and little supplies in the hospitals?Will she and our third child suffer as a result? These are some of the questions that keep me awake at night.Speaking about this makes me want to cry, not just for my family but also for the people of Gaza.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Israel cuts off electricity in Gaza; thousands plunged into darkness

Gaza – Ma'an – Israel cut off part of the electricity supply to Gaza City on Friday evening, plunging thousands of people into darkness, according to Jamal Al-Dardasawi, the head of public relations and information at the electricity company in Gaza. Israel cut off the vital electricity supply line, known as the 'Baghdad line', claiming there are problems with that particular line.
Al-Dardasawi pointed out that the Israeli electiricity supply company have ben intermittently cutting off electricity since last Tuesday morning, leaving thousands of Gaza City residents battling bitter cold weather, without any means of heating.
He added that the Baghdad line is particularly important for dozens of health centres, primarily Al-Shifaa Hospital in Gaza City. Al-Dardasawi appealed to humanitarian and international human rights organizations to intervention before lives are lost.
The tiny Strip is one of the most densely populated places in the world, and already endures power outages up to 24 hours a day. Gaza's electric transformers have been bombed by the Israeli military.