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 Massacre in the Gaza Strip

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PostSubject: Massacre in the Gaza Strip   Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:39 pm

Massacre in the Gaza Strip



We
are witnessing the systematic massacre of Palestinians in Gaza. This
slaughter follows almost two years of blockade which has prevented
essential supplies of food, fuel and medicines from reaching the
Palestinian people in Gaza and causing untold suffering.

During the six-month long ceasefire, Israel killed 22 Palestinians
in Gaza. Since the ceasefire ended, Israeli F-19 jets have dropped
thousands of tons of bombs on Gaza, one of the most populous places on
earth, killing over 300 Palestinians.

The Israeli government is launching this horrific military assault
under the pretext of ‘security’, and action against the rockets
launched from Gaza, which have killed two Israelis in the last few days
(and 20 in the last eight years).

End our government’s silence - take action NOW!
Write to your MP urging them to insist that Prime Minister Gordon Brown acts to ensure:
• An immediate end to Israel’s military assault on Gaza
• An immediate end to the blockade and siege on Gaza
• An end to Israel’s violations of international law
• An end to Israeli occupation.

Join the protests
Boycott Israeli Goods
Press releases, letters and statements from PSC
For latest news, comment and analysis visit the following sites:
Maan News
Palestine Chronicle
Electronic Intifada
Humanitarian crisis
Even prior to the military assault on Gaza, we were witnessing a
horrific escalation and intensification in the humanitarian crisis in
the Gaza Strip, with food, fuel and medicine being blocked for
prolonged periods.

In November Israel issued a written list of goods banned from import
into Gaza. The list, which has baffled UN officials, includes spices,
kitchenware, glassware, yarn and paper.

<blockquote>
This is a disastrous situation, and it's getting worse and worse...
It is unprecedented that the UN is unable to get its supplies in to a
population under such obvious distress; many of these families have
been subsisting on this ration for years, and they are living
hand-to-mouth."

John Ging, Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, The Washington Post 15 November 2008
</blockquote>
The UN General Secretary has demanded that Israel lift the blockade
of humanitarian goods, medicine and access for relief agencies. http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_gaza_situation_report_2008_11_17.pdf

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian
Territories, Maxwell Gaylard, described the Gaza blockade as “an
assault on human dignity with serious humanitarian implications.”

The blockade of Gaza, which began in June 07 and has been compounded
by the recent full closure, has caused the degradation of daily life
for most of the 1.5 million Palestinians living in the Gaza – half of
them children. The lack of fuel shut Gaza’s sole power plant on 9 and
10 November, resulting in blackouts of up to eight hours per day in
most areas. The only line to import fuel into the Gaza Strip remains
closed by the Israeli authorities except on two days, leaving 70 per
cent of Gazan residents without electricity.

• The poverty rate stands at 76% and the unemployment rate at 45%.
http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_weekly_briefing_note_2008_11_25_english.pdf


UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has been
forced to suspend financial support to just under 100,000 of the
poorest refugees in November due to a lack of available currency in the
Gaza - the grants enabled refugees to buy basic food.
http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_protection_of_civilians_weekly_2008_11_18_english.pdf

Food

Israel blocked all provision of
essential supplies to the Gaza Strip in November, except for allowing
in a “token” amount of goods on 4 days.
According to OCHA-OPT’s
report, ‘the amounts of supplies imported remain wholly insufficient to
meet the basic needs of the population and restore any semblance of
normal life.’

*The level of imports since the closure of the crossings on 5
November stands at an average of less than five truckloads a day,
compared to 123 in October 08 and 475 in May 07. UNRWA alone needs at
least 15 trucks per day to sustain normal humanitarian operations.

*A Red Cross report, based on the situation in May and June 2008,
found that the blockade of Gaza means that ‘chronic malnutrition is on
a steadily rising trend and micronutrient deficiencies are of great
concern’. The report says the siege is causing "progressive
deterioration in food security for up to 70 per cent of Gaza's
population". http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/chronic-malnutrition-in-gaza-blamed-on-israel-1019521.html

• There is a daily struggle to obtain clean running water, fuel for cooking, and fresh foods to maintain families.
• Half of Gaza's bakeries have closed down and the other half have resorted to using animal feed to produce bread
http://www.metimes.com/International/2008/11/24/hungry_gazans_resort_to_animal_feed_as_un_blasts_israel/9217/

Fuel/water/sewage
• Without electricity and
back-up fuel, most basic services and utilities including the sewage
system, are on the brink of disaster - having received only limited
maintenance and spare parts, and no investment in more than a year.

• UNICEF states 80% of Gaza’s water wells (115 wells) are only
partially functioning due to intermittent electricity, shortages of
backup fuel and the lack of spare parts. As a result, 20% of the Gaza
population has six hours water access every five days, 40% of the
population have access to water every four days and 40% of the
population has access to water every three days.

Medicine
• Palestine Monitor reports that the
lack of fuel means Shifa hospital, the largest in the Gaza Strip, could
see patients die as it is now dependent on a faulty generator.

• Stocks of about 160 essential medicines have run out, while about
120 other healthcare drugs are running low. Additionally Gaza's health
ministry has run out of over 300 essential medicines as Israel bans the
imports of these.

• UNRWA have expressed concerns about rising anemia amongst children as a result of malnutrition.
http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article704
http://www.metimes.com/International/2008/11/24/hungry_gazans_resort_to_animal_feed_as_un_blasts_israel/9217/


Israel forced to respect freedom of the press following petition to Supreme Court.
Israel
lifted its two week ban on international journalists entering Gaza
following pressure from the Foreign Press Association which called on
the Supreme Court to overturn this ban. The Israeli government had
ignored a letter signed by the world's largest news organizations
including the New York Times, the BBC, CNN, calling for the ban to be
lifted. Israel clearly did not want the outside world to see the impact
of its blockade on Gaza.

What you can do:
Write to your MP outlining the crisis in the Gaza Strip and ask them
to call on the Foreign Office to support the UN’s calls for an
immediate end to the siege on Gaza.

You can send an email to your MP using www.theyworkforyou.com
Please inform PSC of any responses. Email info@palestinecampaign.org
Coming soon!
PSC will be launching a postcard campaign to MPs in the New Year
campaigning against hunger in Gaza, while food from stolen Palestinian
land is sold in Britain.

See Press Releases for PSC's latest statements on Gaza
Other links
Free Gaza. Get the latest on the solidarity boats sailing to Gaza to break the siege.
End Gaza Siege. Palestinian International Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza.
Popular Committee Against the Siege. Campaign from Gaza.
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