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News, July 2014
An Open Letter to the World About the Israeli Terrorist War on the Palestinian People in Gaza By Concerned Doctors and Scientists, July 30, 2014
An Open Letter to the World About the Israeli Terrorist War on the Palestinian People in Gaza By Concerned Doctors and Scientists, July 30, 2014
PIC, Lncet, [ 29/07/2014 - 07:27 PM ]
A group of western doctors and scientists addressed a message to the world on the ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip describing it as “a ruthless assault of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity”:
We are doctors and scientists, who spend our lives developing means to care and protect health and lives. We are also informed people; we teach the ethics of our professions, together with the knowledge and practice of it. We all have worked in and known the situation of Gaza for years.
On the basis of our ethics and practice, we are denouncing what we witness in the aggression of Gaza by Israel.
We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression. We challenge the perversity of a propaganda that justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre, a so-called “defensive aggression”. In reality it is a ruthless assault of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity. We wish to report the facts as we see them and their implications on the lives of the people.
We are appalled by the military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists. This is the third large scale military assault on Gaza since 2008. Each time the death toll is borne mainly by innocent people in Gaza, especially women and children under the unacceptable pretext of Israel eradicating political parties and resistance to the occupation and siege they impose.
This action also terrifies those who are not directly hit, and wounds the soul, mind, and resilience of the young generation. Our condemnation and disgust are further compounded by the denial and prohibition for Gaza to receive external help and supplies to alleviate the dire circumstances.
The blockade on Gaza has tightened further since last year and this has worsened the toll on Gaza's population. In Gaza, people suffer from hunger, thirst, pollution, shortage of medicines, electricity, and any means to get an income, not only by being bombed and shelled. Power crisis, gasoline shortage, water and food scarcity, sewage outflow and ever decreasing resources are disasters caused directly and indirectly by the siege.
People in Gaza are resisting this aggression because they want a better and normal life and, even while crying in sorrow, pain, and terror, they reject a temporary truce that does not provide a real chance for a better future. A voice under the attacks in Gaza is that of Um Al Ramlawi who speaks for all in Gaza: “They are killing us all anyway—either a slow death by the siege, or a fast one by military attacks. We have nothing left to lose—we must fight for our rights, or die trying.”
Gaza has been blockaded by sea and land since 2006. Any individual of Gaza, including fishermen venturing beyond 3 nautical miles of the coast of Gaza, face being shot by the Israeli Navy. No one from Gaza can leave from the only two checkpoints, Erez or Rafah, without special permission from the Israelis and the Egyptians, which is hard to come by for many, if not impossible. People in Gaza are unable to go abroad to study, work, visit families, or do business. Wounded and sick people cannot leave easily to get specialized treatment outside Gaza. Entries of food and medicines into Gaza have been restricted and many essential items for survival are prohibited. Before the present assault, medical stock items in Gaza were already at an all-time low because of the blockade. They have run out now. Likewise, Gaza is unable to export its produce. Agriculture has been severely impaired by the imposition of a buffer zone, and agricultural products cannot be exported due to the blockade. 80% of Gaza's population is dependent on food rations from the UN.
Much of Gaza's buildings and infrastructure had been destroyed during Operation Cast Lead, 2008—09, and building materials have been blockaded so that schools, homes, and institutions cannot be properly rebuilt. Factories destroyed by bombardment have rarely been rebuilt adding unemployment to destitution.
Despite the difficult conditions, the people of Gaza and their political leaders have recently moved to resolve their conflicts “without arms and harm” through the process of reconciliation between factions, their leadership renouncing titles and positions, so that a unity government can be formed abolishing the divisive factional politics operating since 2007. This reconciliation, although accepted by many in the international community, was rejected by Israel. The present Israeli attacks stop this chance of political unity between Gaza and the West Bank and single out a part of the Palestinian society by destroying the lives of people of Gaza. Under the pretext of eliminating terrorism, Israel is trying to destroy the growing Palestinian unity. Among other lies, it is stated that civilians in Gaza are hostages of Hamas whereas the truth is that the Gaza Strip is sealed by the Israelis and Egyptians.
Gaza has been bombed continuously for the past 14 days followed now by invasion on land by tanks and thousands of Israeli troops. More than 60 000 civilians from Northern Gaza were ordered to leave their homes. These internally displaced people have nowhere to go since Central and Southern Gaza are also subjected to heavy artillery bombardment. The whole of Gaza is under attack. The only shelters in Gaza are the schools of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), uncertain shelters already targeted during Cast Lead, killing many.
According to Gaza Ministry of Health and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as of July 21, 149 of the 558 killed in Gaza and 1100 of the 3504 wounded are children. Those buried under the rubble are not counted yet. As we write, the BBC reports of the bombing of another hospital, hitting the intensive care unit and operating theatres, with deaths of patients and staff. There are now fears for the main hospital Al Shifa. Moreover, most people are psychologically traumatized in Gaza. Anyone older than 6 years has already lived through their third military assault by Israel.
The massacre in Gaza spares no one, and includes the disabled and sick in hospitals, children playing on the beach or on the roof top, with a large majority of non-combatants. Hospitals, clinics, ambulances, mosques, schools, and press buildings have all been attacked, with thousands of private homes bombed, clearly directing fire to target whole families killing them within their homes, depriving families of their homes by chasing them out a few minutes before destruction. An entire area was destroyed on July 20, leaving thousands of displaced people homeless, beside wounding hundreds and killing at least 70—this is way beyond the purpose of finding tunnels. None of these are military objectives. These attacks aim to terrorize, wound the soul and the body of the people, and make their life impossible in the future, as well as also demolishing their homes and prohibiting the means to rebuild.
Weaponry known to cause long-term damages on health of the whole population are used; particularly non fragmentation weaponry and hard-head bombs. We witnessed targeted weaponry used indiscriminately and on children and we constantly see that so-called intelligent weapons fail to be precise, unless they are deliberately used to destroy innocent lives.
We denounce the myth propagated by Israel that the aggression is done caring about saving civilian lives and children's wellbeing.
Israel's behavior has insulted our humanity, intelligence, and dignity as well as our professional ethics and efforts. Even those of us who want to go and help are unable to reach Gaza due to the blockade.
This “defensive aggression” of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity must be stopped.
Additionally, should the use of gas be further confirmed, this is unequivocally a war crime for which, before anything else, high sanctions will have to be taken immediately on Israel with cessation of any trade and collaborative agreements with Europe.
As we write, other massacres and threats to the medical personnel in emergency services and denial of entry for international humanitarian convoys are reported. We as scientists and doctors cannot keep silent while this crime against humanity continues. We urge readers not to be silent too. Gaza trapped under siege, is being killed by one of the world's largest and most sophisticated modern military machines. The land is poisoned by weapon debris, with consequences for future generations. If those of us capable of speaking up fail to do so and take a stand against this war crime, we are also complicit in the destruction of the lives and homes of 1•8 million people in Gaza.
We register with dismay that only 5% of our Israeli academic colleagues signed an appeal to their government to stop the military operation against Gaza. We are tempted to conclude that with the exception of this 5%, the rest of the Israeli academics are complicit in the massacre and destruction of Gaza. We also see the complicity of our countries in Europe and North America in this massacre and the impotence once again of the international institutions and organizations to stop this massacre.
The letter is published by The Lancet website: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61044-8/fulltext
Over 70 Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks since midnight
Maan, July 30, 2014
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) --
At least 70 Palestinian civilians have been killed and 110 injured in
Israeli terrorist attacks since midnight Wednesday on the 23rd day of
the Gaza offensive, according to the Ministry of Health.
Despite 4-hour ceasefire, Israel shells homes, killing 5
Maan, July 30, 2014 (AFP Jack Guez)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) --
Despite a four-hour humanitarian ceasefire that began at 3:00 p.m.,
Israeli occupation terrorist forces on Wednesday afternoon shelled a
number of homes across the Gaza Strip, killing five Palestinians.
15 Palestinian families massacred on the 22nd day of Israeli aggression
[ 30/07/2014 - 10:50 AM ]
Israeli occupation forces have escalated on Tuesday its targeting to civilian communities and safe families in their own homes without prior-warning throughout Gaza Strip.
According to the Palestinian Human Rights Center, more than 15 Palestinian families were directly targeted during the past 24 hours, 120 of their members were killed.
On Wednesday July 30, at least 15 Palestinians were killed at dawn, including 10 members of Al-Astal family, during Israeli overnight airstrikes in Khan Younis. Several others were injured during the attack.
A Palestinian child was also killed, while 14 others were injured when Israeli warplanes targeted Alyan family’s home in Gaza city.
In Al-Buraij refugee camp, a Palestinian woman was killed and 7 others were wounded in a heavy shelling on Qudas family’s home, while three citizens were killed in a similar attack in Gaza city including a woman.
Several wounded were reported after targeting four homes in the Shati refugee camp west of the city, while the Islamic National Bank headquarters in Gaza City and three mosques were totally destroyed during the heavy shelling.
On Tuesday July 29, 13 Palestinians including an elderly woman, a child, and a medic were killed when Israeli artillery opened fire randomly at civilian homes in Jabalia town.
Israeli forces also targeted Abd Rabbu family home in Beit Lahia. Several casualties were reported.
Another house in Gaza City was targeted by Israeli invading forces; five members of Duheir family were killed including three children. In a similar attack, three members of al-Far family were killed.
In the Bureij refugee camp, 16 people were killed, five of whom were children in addition to their fathers, mothers and siblings.
IOF soldiers had killed nine of Abu Khoussa family including seven children after bombing their home without prior-warning in Nusayrat refugee camp, while two members of Abu Shamala family were killed in a similar attack on their home. Two other children were also killed after bombing their home in Wadi Sakka village.
IOF soldiers had killed 16 of al-Agha family after bombing their home without prior-warning in Khan Younis southern Gaza Strip, in addition to Abu Ziyad family house in Rafah where 11 members of the family including an infant were killed during the attack.
15 Palestinians killed during Israeli strike on UNRWA school
[ 30/07/2014 - 09:11 AM ]
Israel has committed a new massacre at dawn Wednesday after bombing an UNRWA school northern Gaza Strip where hundreds of families had sought refuge after fleeing their homes due to heavy Israeli missile strikes in Gaza. At least 15 people were killed and dozens were injured during the attack.
Palestinian sources said that Israeli jet fighters targeted at dawn today an UNRWA school in Jabalia refugee camp sheltering hundreds of Palestinians displaced by the ongoing aggression.
At least 15 bodies reached Kamal Odwan hospital torn into pieces, while 50 others suffered injuries, most of them in serious condition.
Following the strike, Palestinian Interior Ministry called on UNRWA to bear its responsibility towards the Israeli crimes committed against its institutions and headquarters sheltering hundreds of displaced civilians.
A number of UNRWA schools were targeted by Israeli artillery shells although hundreds of displaced civilians were inside, most recently was the bombing of Abu Hussein School to the north of the Strip. However, UNRWA did not condemn any of these attacks, the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
UNRWA has previously issued a statement claiming that 20 rockets were discovered in one of its schools without prior-investigation, providing a justification to Israeli war crimes against Gazan civilians, the statement added.
Israeli warplanes had bombed more than once Beit Lahia School where a large number of casualties were reported, in addition to Dair El-Bala'h School, UNRWA headquarters, and its main warehouse.
As the Israeli aggression enters its 24th day, dozens of Palestinians were killed since the early morning hours Wednesday during Israeli heavy shelling and bombing throughout the Strip, rising Gaza death toll to 1258 martyrs, in addition to around 7100 wounded.
On the 22nd day of Israeli attack on Gaza, hundreds of victims reported
[ 30/07/2014 - 07:40 AM ]
The Euro-mid Observer for Human Rights, based in Geneva, published its preliminary statistics till the 22nd of the Israeli attack on the besieged Gaza Strip.
According to the Euro-mid, the number of victims on Tuesday, the 22nd day of the Israeli aggression, reached 145 people, including 30 children and 15 women. This brings the total number of casualties since the beginning of the Israeli attacks to 1217 people, of which 278 are children and 156 are women.
Meanwhile, Israel admitted the loss of 54 of Israelis during the ongoing military operation on Gaza including three civilians.
Euro-mid Observer cited on the 22nd day of Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip an escalation in the Israeli army targeting of Palestinian civilians without prior-warning.
Approximately 56 families were targeted; all of their 250 members were killed since the beginning of the Israeli offensive on Gaza. Euro-mid considered that targeting safe families in their own homes without any prior-warning represents a complete war crime.
Euro-mid warned of the rise in targeting entire Palestinian families without prior-warning, highlighting the bombing of Abu Ziad family house in Rafah. 11 members of the family including an infant were killed during the attack.
Euro-mid also condemned the targeting of Balata family home by Israeli forces in Jabalia on Tuesday 22 July. 10 people were killed, five of whom were children in addition to their father.
Israeli forces had killed 14 of al-Agha family after bombing their home without prior-warning in Khan Younis southern Gaza Strip.
Another house in Rafah city was targeted by Israeli forces; six members of Duheir family were killed including a child; an elderly woman, and a journalist. In similar attacks, five members of Abu Shammala family and five members of Al-Najjar family were killed.
The number of wounded on the 22nd day of the assault is 467 wounded, including 118 children and 56 women. Their injuries range from light to serious; bringing up the total number of wounded since the beginning of the attacks to 6,970 wounded including 2,210 children and 1,493 women.
On Tuesday 29 July, Euro-Mid documented 9360 missile strikes fired by Israeli forces on Tuesday; including 656 airstrikes, 2,130 naval strikes and 6,574 artillery shells. The total number of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the Israeli military operation has increased dramatically, reaching 39,812 attacks including 5,659 airstrikes, 11,537 naval projectiles and 22,616 artillery shells.
Along the same line, 555 houses were destroyed on Tuesday, 56 were totally destroyed and 499 were partially destroyed; bringing up the total number of damaged houses since the beginning of the attacks to 8,002 houses; of which 1,375 were totally destroyed and 6,627 were partially destroyed.
Euro-mid has pointed to the targeting of 11 mosques by Israeli warplanes bringing four of them entirely to the ground; bringing up the total number to 82 mosques, of which 21 were totally destroyed.
Al-Shifa hospital's outpatient clinic, which is the central hospital in the area, was partially targeted. This makes the number of targeted hospitals and medical clinics reach 16 since the beginning of the attacks.
Euro-mid pointed out that Israeli forces continued targeting facilities belonging to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), where two brothers were killed when Israeli missiles hit an UNRWA-marked car on Tuesday evening, including one of its employees.
The Israeli forces have also targeted more than 8 water and sanitation stations that cater to more than 700,000 citizens; and 147 schools, where tens of thousands of students go to, were damaged.
Euro-mid Observer said that Gaza’s sole Power Plant, which caters to more than a million and a half citizens, was shut down due to Israeli strikes after being hit by a barrage of Israeli strikes. Gaza Energy Authority confirmed that Gaza Power Plant has been completely disabled due to the ceaseless Israeli overnight strikes.
Israeli jet fighters also bombed on Tuesday a media building housing press institutions, in addition to al-Aqsa TV channel and radio station headquarters.
Israeli ongoing attacks deepened the economic underlying crisis to which Gazans have been subjected for nearly 8 years due to Israeli siege.
It is estimated that the Israeli assault's damages amount to approximately to 880 million dollars, including 640 million dollars direct damages.
Euro-mid also pointed to the displacement of several families who left their homes and turned to other citizens’ houses or to dozens of UNRWA schools which remain unsafe places for shelter after being targeted by Israeli forces. Euro-mid estimates the number of displaced to be more than 214,500 people so far.
Khuza'a holocaust continues on Eid day
[ 29/07/2014 - 04:51 PM ]
KHAN YOUNIS, (PIC)--
Israeli war machine continued to target Khuza'a town, east of Khan Younis to the south of the Gaza Strip, on the first day of Eid al–Fitr, which resulted in hundreds of martyrs, wounded, homeless, and missing and trapped people, in addition to dozens of destroyed homes.
In scenes reminiscent of the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe), Abdul Rahim Kudaih, 65, resorted to one of the UNRWA schools in Khan Younis refugee camp which turned into shelter centers for those who were displaced from their homes due to the ongoing Israeli aggression.
Kudaih was forced to leave his home last Wednesday following the Israeli invasion of the town amid heavy shelling of artillery shells and tear gas grenades. Dozens of suffocation cases were reported.
Khuza'a town, a home to 13 thousand citizens, is located in the eastern outskirts of Khan Younis, its residents were forced to leave their homes in groups as what had been previously witnessed by their grandfathers.
Kudaih told the Palestinian Information Center’s correspondent that Israeli attacks started on July 22, after midnight targeting empty lands at first. The attacks were then escalated bombing civilian neighborhoods and homes.
According to local sources, IOF special forces raided a number of civilian homes and turned them into military watchtowers.
Continued suffering On the Eid day, Khuza'a residents were either receiving treatment in hospitals, homeless, or buried in cemeteries not familiar to them, while large numbers of bodies are still unaccounted for and buried under the rubble after failure of the ambulance crews to evacuate them.
Khuza'a residents, frustrated by the Red Cross for not pressuring the Israeli occupation into allowing evacuation of the bodies of the martyrs, attacked and destroyed the headquarters of the international committee.
Hussein Radhwan, a resident of Khuza'a, said that dozens of homes were totally destroyed once the Israeli occupation forces raided the town.
Most of the destroyed homes’ owners were either killed, wounded, went missing, or detained. “We managed to pull four bodies from the rubble; however the number of missing people is much higher”, he said.
Samaher Kudai'h, who survived the bombing and managed to escape, has lost her husband Suleiman, while one of her brothers was detained by the IOF soldiers.
Khuza'a massacre has deepened the grief of the town’s residents who are still suffering from the impacts of the previous Israeli aggressions and attacks.
List of Palestinians Killed: 7/8 - 7/30
This list is constantly updated due to the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza since July 8th. The following 1087 names have been confirmed - the actual number is over 1267.
We realize the number of
slain Palestinians is higher than this. The Ministry of Health has
stated that a total of at least 1100 Palestinians have been killed, but
we are still awaiting confirmation of some names.
Killed Wednesday, July 30
Killed Tuesday, July 29
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