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News, December 2008


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Appeal for Immediate Humanitarian Aid to Gaza, Particularly Food & Medicine, UNICEF & WHO Call for Protection of Children & Wounded

Haniya government: IOF committing genocide in Gaza

[ 31/12/2008 - 04:41 PM ]


The PA caretaker government of premier Ismail Haniya has described the Israeli occupation forces' savage bombardment of the Gaza Strip as a war of genocide.

Dr. Mohammed Awad, the cabinet's secretary general, said in a press release on Wednesday that the IOF military campaign was "state terrorism" that aims at destroying everything in a bid to subdue the population of Gaza and force them to bow to occupation's dictates.

The Palestinian government would continue in its responsibility in serving the citizens regardless of the "sinful Israeli war", he said, stressing that the goals of the Israeli military campaign would not be fulfilled and Gaza would remain steadfast in face of "Israeli terrorism".

Meanwhile, IOF air strikes on Wednesday killed two doctors in Gaza city and two citizens in Khan Younis district among other casualties other than the destruction of numerous houses and vehicles that included ambulance cars.

In Tehran, the Iranian health minister called on the Hamas office in the Iranian capital to express his government and people's sympathy with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The minister said that his ministry was ready to send 1000 doctors and paramedics to Gaza to assist their comrades there in treating the wounded, and pointed out that he sent messages to his Arab counterparts and WHO to ask for immediate help for the Gaza population.

For his part, Hamas representative Dr. Abu Osama Abdul Mo'ati hailed the Iranian position, and noted that Gaza hospitals were suffering as a result of the big number of casualties of the Israeli aggression and the shortage in medical supplies.

In Vienna, the international friends of humanity organization condemned the IOF blitz on Gaza that killed and wounded hundreds of civilians including children, women, aged people and police cadets.

The organization in a statement on Tuesday described the IOF destruction of civilian homes, mosques, universities and medicine stores as "terrible war crimes that should be halted and condemned and those committing them should be punished".

It also expressed dismay at the western stands that did not rush to protect legal and humanitarian rights that it championed and endorsed in many treaties and doctrines. The organization finally asked for an immediate stop to military exports to Israel.

Report: Cairo refuses Qatari envoy; Tel Aviv welcomes

Date: 31 / 12 / 2008  Time:  14:12
Jerusalem - Ma'an -

A Qatari aid plane landed in Tel Aviv to deliver medical supplies to the Gaza Strip, according to an Israeli newspaper that claimed Egypt refused the same envoy on Wednesday.

The Israeli daily Hebrew newspaper reported that Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni gave the go-ahead for the plane full of aid from the Arab state of Qatar to land at Ben Gurion International Airport on Wednesday.

Qatar had previously attempted to deliver several tons of aid to Gaza by sea earlier in December, in the wake of the success of the Free Gaze Movement's blockade-breaking voyages to the besieged strip.

Egypt had apparently refused to allow the Qatari plane to land in the Sinai, for undisclosed reasons.

The report was confirmed by Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, as well, which said that three planes loaded with aid had arrived in Israel en route to Gaza.

Qatar is the only Arab state other than Egypt and Jordan to openly declare its relations with Israel, so Livni "couldn't let them down," Ma'ariv said.

Bush thanks Mubarak for the "positive role" of Egypt during the war on Gaza

[ 31/12/2008 - 11:35 AM ]


The white house announced on Wednesday that the US president George Bush called the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and thanked him for Egypt's "positive role" during the past few days of the war on the Gaza Strip.

White house spokesman, Gordon Johndroe, also said that Bush called the PA president Mahnoud Abbas and the premier of his illegitimate government Salam Fayyad and emphasized the need for a lasting cease-fire.

"President Bush and the two Palestinian leaders discussed their efforts for a sustainable cease-fire. They agreed that for any cease-fire to be effective, it must be respected, particularly by Hamas," Johndroe said.

Bush, who is leaving the white house in three weeks, has not made any statement about the Israeli onslaught against the Gaza Strip.

The Washington Post quoted a US administration official as saying that Israel chose to attack at this time to utilize the remaining days for president Bush in office.

IOF raids kill paramedic, wounds others

[ 31/12/2008 - 11:32 AM ]


A Palestinian paramedic was killed and a number of other citizens were wounded in fresh Israeli aerial raids on the Gaza Strip at dawn Wednesday that claimed the lives of almost 390 citizens and wounded 1800 others since Saturday.

Dr. Mu'awiya Hassanain, the director of ambulance and emergency in the health ministry, told the PIC over the telephone that paramedic Mahmoud Abu Hasira was killed, another paramedic and doctor wounded when the IOF warplanes shelled an ambulance car carrying the international Red Cross flag while on its way to rescue wounded persons east of Gaza.

He said that many other casualties were registered in various areas of the Strip, adding that the IOF warplanes shelled and destroyed nine ambulance cars and three vehicles for civil defense.

Meanwhile, legal centers refuted IOF claims of bombing a truck loaded with missiles on Tuesday after investigating the incident which the IOF filmed and circulated. The legal centers said that the truck was carrying gas cylinders and that the seven martyrs who were killed in the shelling were all civilians.

Meanwhile, Egypt closed the Rafah border terminal with Gaza only few hours after opening it before humanitarian assistance on Tuesday evening following IOF threats of shelling the crossing.

The intensified IOF air raids continued for the fifth day unabated killing and maiming hundreds while spreading destruction in each and every area in the Strip.

For its part, the armed wing of Hamas, the Qassam Brigades, declared firing six Grad missiles at Beer Sheba city at dawn Wednesday the damage of which was not revealed by the IOF.

Osama Hamdan, Hamas's representative in Lebanon, said that the armed wing was defending the people of Gaza in face of the IOF brutal aggression that should come to an immediate end along with the siege.

WHO: The wounded in Gaza die out of lack of medical supplies

 [ 31/12/2008 - 10:39 AM ]


The World Health Organization has warned that shortage in medical equipment might increase the number of deaths among the wounded in Gaza Strip.

WHO in a statement on Monday called for an immediate end to hostilities in the Gaza Strip and urged Israel to ensure immediate provision of fuel and critical life-saving/trauma care supplies.

The statement said that hundreds of wounded people, including women, children and elderly, lie in hospitals that already lack basic supplies. Over the past two days, violence and military activities in Gaza have killed around 330 people and left 900 injured, according to latest reports.

"The inability of the hospitals to cope with a problem of this magnitude, if the situation continues unchanged, will result in a surge in preventable deaths from complications due to trauma. Civilians are paying the price for the prolonged blockade. As a top priority, the shortage of essential and life-saving medicines needs to be abated without delay.

The current escalation of the violence only compounds the health situation and unnecessarily exacerbates the fragile status of the civilians caught up in this conflict.

Negotiations with the Israelis are ongoing to guarantee the passage of urgent medical supplies today. WHO is also coordinating with other UN agencies, donors and nongovernmental organizations to ensure aid arrives to those most in need. The functioning of hospitals and access to health services is critical in order to respond to the mass casualties.

WHO reiterates its call for the immediate discontinuation of the current violence and the removal of blockades so that much-needed food, water, fuel, medicines and other humanitarian aid can reach those in need."

UNICEF warns of impacts of IOF aggression on Gaza children

[ 31/12/2008 - 10:28 AM ]


The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund has expressed deep concern over the impact of the ceaseless Israeli aggression on the children in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement on Tuesday UNICEF urged "all parties" to abide by the international law to ensure protection for children and provide basic humanitarian assistance to them. It pointed out in this respect that more than half the population of Gaza is children.

Addressing the Israeli tight restrictions on entry of humanitarian material into the besieged Strip, the international organization said that humanitarian aid should be allowed passage including food and medical equipment to meet the needs of women and children.

A number of international agencies had asked Israel to open crossings with Gaza to allow entry of relief convoys along with humanitarian and medical supplies to one and a half million Palestinians in the Strip.

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