Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, November 2008
Gaza Suffering Genocidal Israeli War Crimes, with Arab Governments Participation, World Silence
By Hassan El-Najjar
ccun.org, November 23, 2008
About 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza are suffering shortages in food, fuels, and electricity due to the continuous Israeli occupation government siege. The siege is also maintained by the Egyptian government, which has closed the Rafah crossing for months.
A carefully planned and implemented tactic has been used. Israeli occupation forces assassinate Palestinian leaders and fighters, which triggers retaliations by home-made rockets launched against close Israeli settlements. The rockets do not cause any harm or damages, yet they are used as an excuse to maintain the closure of all crossings from and to Gaza.
Since the election of Hamas as the majority party in control of the government, in 2006, the Israelis have been using this criminal plan to force Hamas to recognize the Israeli theft of Palestinian lands and to sell out Palestinian rights.
It's a genocidal war crime targeting the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza, perpetrated by the Israeli war criminals but assisted by the effective participation of the Arab regimes and the silence of world governments.
El-Khodary: “The Occupation fights Palestinian children by aggression and siege”
Independent Palestinian Legislator, head of the Popular Committee Against the Siege, Jamal El Khodary, stated on Thursday that the number of Gaza Strip children who died due to the Israeli siege is now more than 100, while Arab, international and Muslim countries continue their “deadly silence”.
El-Khodary stated in a press release on Thursday, that as the word marks the International Children's Day, the Israeli army killed more than 1000 Palestinian children since the beginning of the Intifada in late September of 2000.
He added that nearly one hundred children died due to the ongoing siege on the Gaza Strip.
El-Khodary further said that hundreds of children suffer from different disabilities in addition to anxiety attacks and other psychological conditions due to the ongoing Israeli violations, repeated invasions and shelling.
“40% of the children in Gaza suffer from malnutrition and anemia as their families depend on international aid, Arab and Islamic support”, El-Khodary said, “this aid is not sufficient to build the children’s bodies in a healthy was natural way”.
He also said that Israeli occupation soldiers kidnapped 8000 children since the beginning of the Intifada and that 400 of the kidnapped children are still imprisoned in detention centers that lack the basic components of decent and natural livelihood.
He added that the children were interrogated, tortured and abused which caused devastating physiological and physical harm to them.
ElKhodary- added that the children are the hope and the future of the nation, and must be provided with all needed help in order to grow up in a healthy environment.
“Children are protected everywhere in the world, but here in Palestine, especially in the Gaza Strip, children cannot even find medicine and food”, El-Khodary stated.
UN Humanitarian Affairs official slams Gaza blockade, calls victims hostages
[ 21/11/2008 - 12:17 PM ]
United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes on Wednesday slammed the continued Israeli closure of the Gaza border-crossings and described the situation as “desperate” and “unacceptable.”
No fuel, humanitarian supplies or commercial commodities were allowed into Gaza on Wednesday, according to the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO).
Mr. Holmes – who is also Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs – told journalists in Geneva that the closure was seen as collective punishment. Half the population of Gaza was under 15 and were being held hostage by the situation.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon telephoned Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Tuesday to urge him to facilitate the freer movement of urgently needed humanitarian supplies and of UN personnel into Gaza. Mr. Olmert denounced the continuing rocket fire into Israel from Gaza, although he agreed to look seriously into the urgent matter.
Starting Thursday, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) had to suspend cash assistance to some 98,000 of the poorest people in Gaza due to the lack of Israeli shekel bank notes in Gaza banks.
The agency also warned that it is facing “a grave and imminent crisis” and must receive additional pledges in the first quarter of 2009 if it is to continue assisting the 4.6 million people in its five field operations.
UNRWA Commissioner General Karen AbuZayd told donors, host governments and non-governmental organization (NGO) partners that according to present projections its core services will suffer a deficit of more than $87 million by then, leading to an overall shortfall of $160 million when combined with unfunded projects on hold from previous years.
“This will bring UNRWA closer to financial crisis than it has ever been,” she said today at the agency’s annual meeting in Amman, Jordan, which heard updates from the directors for the five field operations – Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza.
Skek warns of looming catastrophe in Gaza Strip due to lack of electricity
[ 21/11/2008 - 08:20 AM ]
Head of the electricity distribution company in Gaza Strip Suhail Skek has warned Thursday that the tiny Strip is threatened with a human catastrophe as a result of the sharp shortage of electricity supplies in the Strip.
In a press conference he held in Gaza city over the matter, Skek asserted that the electricity crises was worsening every day, revealing that the Strip was currently receiving 40-50% of its need of electricity.
He pointed out that lack of maintenance equipment, the suspension of the main electricity generation plant in Gaza due to lack of fuel, in addition to using electricity in cooking due to lack of gas have aggravated the problem and pushed it to alarming levels that could affect hospitals, sewerage system, and all aspects of life.
"Gaza is depending on 10 electricity distribution lines coming from the Israeli occupation that supply the Strip with 120 megawatts although the Strip's needs 240 megawatts", explained Skek, adding that Gaza engineers face difficulty in fixing any electrical fault in the system because of Israel's full control of the main source.
"Our company lack transformers, circuit breakers, and basic parts badly needed by the electricity network", asserted Skek, disclosing that most parts of the Strip suffer of 8-12 hours daily blackouts that, he added, could reach to 16-20 hours in case of an electricity failure.
Finally, the PA official forewarned of a possible serious catastrophe in the Strip if the problem wasn’t immediately addressed, calling on the international community, and human rights and legal institutions to immediately intervene to supply the power plant with the needed maintenance equipment and fuel.
Barak maintains Gaza closure as projectiles fired on Israeli targets
The Israeli occupation government maintained its brutal closure of
commercial crossings into the Gaza Strip for the 17th day in a row,
causing a humanitarian crisis for 1.5 million Palestinians who have no
electricity, food supplies, and fuel supplies.
Anti-siege committee urges Egypt to permit US delegation to Gaza
The de facto government's Committee for Breaking the Gaza Siege urged
Egyptian authorities on Friday to allow an American parliamentary
delegation into the Gaza Strip.
European campaign to collect meds for besieged Gaza residents
The European Campaign Against the Gaza Siege plans to collect
medicine and medical equipment for the Gaza Strip's besieged population,
according to a statement received by Ma'an on Friday.
Gaza urges Cairo to allow US delegation into Gaza
[ 21/11/2008 - 11:18 PM ]
GAZA, (PIC)-- The PA government committee to break the siege, on Friday, called on Egypt to allow a US parliamentary delegation to visit the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing.
In a statement on Friday the committee said that the delegation has already arrived in Cairo on Thursday and was trying to reach the Gaza Strip, but was stopped by the Egyptian authorities, adding that the aim of the visit was to see for themselves the adverse effects of the Israeli siege on the lives of ordinary people in the Strip.
The committee added that the Gaza Strip is living its most difficult days under siege after the Israeli occupation tightened the siege further plunging the Strip into darkness and resulting in dire shortages in food and medicine.
Meanwhile, Palestinian medical sources said that Sheikh Said Abu Jlidan died on Friday after he was barred from leaving the Gaza Strip to seek medical treatment.
Abu Jlidan is a well known Islamic figure in the Rafah district in the southern Gaza Strip.
His death raises to 260, the number of patients who died as a direct result of the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip.
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