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 People of Gaza Are Stripped of Their Dignity!

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PostSubject: People of Gaza Are Stripped of Their Dignity!   Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:11 am


People of Gaza Are Stripped of Their Dignity!



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Munir
Almeghari










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"The
people of Gaza are stripped of their dignity!' These are the words of
the operations director of the largest international humanitarian
organization (UNRWA) in Gaza, Mr. John Ging. He is referring to the
latest humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip, amidst a crippling
Israeli siege of the territory.






A Real Humanitarian Crisis!





For
more than three weeks now, Gaza's 1.5 million residents have been
enduring one of the most difficult times in more than 18 months, since
Israel enforced a crippling blockade on the coastal region after Hamas
seized the Strip in June 2007.






These
difficult times can be observed at many levels, beginning with the
ordinary people through the largest international organizations, like
the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees or
UNRWA.






"It
is unprecedented that we ran out of food. Yes, we did for 10 days now",
Mr. Ging explained in an earlier interview this Monday, when Israel
allowed in some shipments of food, commodities, medicines and fuel to
generate electricity. This was the first in three weeks.






The
UNRWA has been providing food assistance, medical care, education and
sanitation services to Gaza's 700,000 registered refugees for six
decades now.




Bread Shortage































The
conditions facing Gazaís population are truly unprecedented. Hassan
Al-Sha'er, who has a car accessories store on the Salah Eldin main road
in central Gaza Strip, had to have a late breakfast without any bread.



"My partner toured the town to bring some bread but he did not find any; thatís why, as you see, we had to fill empty stomachs without bread", Hassan said.





Hassan
was not the only person without bread, there may very well have been
thousands more who found no bread to eat. Mustafa Albanna, owner of the
largest bakery in central Gaza Strip, complained to IslamOnline.net about his inability to supply bread for more than three whole days.






"We
headed to nearby gas stations to bring in the needed gas to run our
bakery, but we could not, because of the lack of gas, so we are forced
to stay idle without work," 70-year-old Mustafa said.






The Albana bakery used to produce 12,000 pieces of bread per hour, before the cooking gas was finished about three weeks ago.





To
cope with the inability of bakeries to supply them with their
children's bread on a regular basis, the people of Gaza have been
forced to resort to a very old life-style.






Abu
Abdallah Abu Mashaiyekh is a 57-year-old resident of the Maghazi
refugee camp in central Gaza Strip. Recently, he designed a stove
fuelled by gasoline, in order to roast bread and cook food for his
12-member family.






"What
can I do? I have to resort to this otherwise, my family can not make
bread or cook food. Truly, this type of stove was used by my family
fifty years ago and now with no gas, no electricity and nothing, I have
been forced to make this," Abu Abdallah told IslamOnline.net, while taking care of his stove.






In the same refugee camp, Mohammad Hammad's mother has been cooking with a wood stove for the past two months.





"We
are tired of this life-style, but what can we do, we need to survive.
However, we are bearing with this risky environmentally-unfriendly
stove. We are now getting much more tired as we can not find wood to
fuel it. The carpenters have been completely shut down and wood
shipments have not been allowed in for the past three weeks, but thanks
to Allah for everything".






Health Dilemma





Not
only are food supplies are tight nowadays, but also health services and
proper medications are in short supply. At the largest southern Gaza
Strip hospital, the European-Gaza hospital, doctors complain of the
lack of much-needed medicine for chronically-ill patients at these
particular times.






Dr.
Zaki Azzaq Zouq, an oncologist, explained, "There is a widespread
shortage of essential medical supplies which we used to give to
patients prior to the blockade. Currently, there are no tools for
physicians to treat patients who suffer from lung, stomach, colon or
brain cancer."




The Desperate Coming Eid































As Muslims worldwide will be soon marking their second major Muslim `Eid Al-Adha ,
where adult Muslim men should slaughter a sheep or goat, following the
Sunnah and the tradition of Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be
upon him) some thousands of years ago, the people of Gaza are
apparently unable to do so.






In
the same densely-populated refugee area of central Gaza Strip, hundreds
of men gathered on Thursday morning in the local livestock weekly
market on the outskirts of the Alburaij refugee camp.






"Allah
does not oblige people to do things beyond their capacities. The prices
are very high and unaffordable, but I will see whether or not I can buy
a sheep for this `Eid," said Mohammad Sarsour, a 50-year-old refugee
residing at the camp.






The
largest livestock supplier in the Middle area, Ra'fat Weshah, confirmed
that the people's purchase power has sharply decreased over the past
eight years, particularly during the last 18 months.






"In
the past, we used to sell more than 1300 livestock during the `Eid
season, but now as you see we have only 90 livestock in this pen. Over
the past 18 months, we have been unable to import from abroad, mainly
Australia. Of course, this is all because of the blockade", he said.






What can the people of Gaza do? They can do nothing but try to preserve some of their dignity.





Time to Help





The Palestinians are in desperate need of food and medical supplies, and above all psychological support.





It
is time to help our brothers and sister in Palestine, especially, that
we are very close to `Eid, and one of our roles as Muslim youth is to
try and think of ways to draw a smile on these innocent faces. This can
be done by giving a helping hand, some time, effort or money.






Islamic Relief & Muslim Aid launched an appeal to assist the Palestinian victims.
For more information on the two appeals and both organizations response to this humanitarian crisis - click here:
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