Although a few days have passed, the ripples of the weekend are still roughing the surface of our lives, the effects still sifting down into the depths.
You can hear it in the manic laughter of the children as they set off their Ramadan fireworks each evening, feel it in the fright that follows every bang and burst of sparks.
You can almost touch the tension in the public cars on the way to work, the endless overheard conversations about when it will resume – not if.
You can see it in the wearied faces of the hospital workers, whose bloodied weekend still stares from their eyes while they carry on keeping on, and on, and on…
You can smell it in the way everything is heightened; the sharpness of the onions cooking for the Ramadan falafel filling, the must of the natural gas that is propelling the car, the fragrant oil on the man returning from the Mosque, the strawberries fresh from the fields of Beit Lahia, the stench of the garbage.
You can taste it in every mouthful at Iftar; the sweet relief of that first date, the soothing of those first sips of water, the comfort of the bread dipped in hummous, the tang of the rocket leaves, the crunch of the sambousek, the qatayef finale.
It does not consume us – we consume it.
Great Return March spokesman: Nikki Haley’s allegations of children used as human shields are naked lies
Press statement regarding Nikki Haley’s accusations of Hamas using children as human shields during Great March of Returm
The U.S envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley has repeatedly and unashamedly alleged that Hamas is using children as human shields or powder for Cannon during the great march of Return totally supported by the Palestinian people inside and outside Palestine.
In my capacity as international spokesperson of the great March of Return I can categorically and confidently reject such allegations as brazen and naked lies
Ms. Haley is only regurgitating the very words and notorious propaganda of the military spokesman of the Israeli occupation army dubbed as the Israel Massacres Army by the Israeli Journalist Gideon Levy.
Haley keeps using such cheap propaganda to encourage the Israeli occupation for commit more crimes against the Palestinian people, including children.
Haley is incessantly and impertinently blaming the Palestinian victim and exonerating the Israeli criminal army which kills in cold blood, using sniper fire, live ammunition, tank shells and airstrikes.
She has always been justifying the crimes of the Israeli Occupation Forces who are ordered to shoot to kill and shoot to maim.
Let me remind Ms. Haley that the noble goal of this Great March of Return is to peacefully and nonviolently implement our right of return to the homes and property from which we were uprooted and driven out by the Zionist groups in 1948. This right of repatriation and compensation is provided for by the UN resolution 194 Dec 11, 1948. And reinforced by the UN Resolution 3236- Nov 22, 1974 entitled the inalienable national rights including
Our right to self-determination without external interference
Our right of return
Our right to independence and sovereignty
Our right to use all methods to end the Israeli occupation of our lands.
We have been waiting for justice for the last seventy years. It is high time that our right of Return and compensation was implemented. We cannot wait any longer.
The Palestinian people ask the U.S. envoy Nikki Haley to stop using her doubled standard policy and be honest at least once in her lifetime.
We will continue our peaceful and nonviolent march of Return till we achieve our goals and realize our rights.
We can’t be overcome
We will win
We will return.
Dr. Asad abu Sharkh
International Spokesperson of the Great March of Return
This child died today, after being shot in the face with a tear gas canister by the Israeli military at yesterday’s March of Return inside the Gaza border.
As we have reached the third anniversary of the most horrific months of my life, I am re-posting a record of a day in Gaza in July 2014
The scenes as I go to work each day are harrowing – I must walk past the morgue of Al Shifa Hospital. For the first few days I didn’t even realise it was the morgue – a few cars parked outside, small groups of people clustered against the walls, some obviously grieving – in the hospital grounds during a war, not an uncommon sight. But each day the numbers of cars, and of people grew, and one morning the stark reality of what it was hit me. As I walked a car drove past me and stopped, and a man approached it cradling a bright white tightly swaddled body in his arms, that of a very small child. I went around the car to let him through, and met men running with a stretcher with a covered body on it – or so I thought.
As they ran past, a bloodied limb fell onto the ground in front of me. It was not a body on the stretcher, but a collection of body parts – the horrific evidence of the type of weapons being used by Israel, some prohibited, others so new they are still in the testing stages – on Gaza civilians. Norwegian surgeons Mads Gilbert and Eric Fosse who are working in the hospital say they have never seen some of the injuries before, in 30 years of work in war zones.
I carry on, past the young men sitting sobbing against the wall, heads on knees. I can barely restrain my own tears.
The numbers outside the morgue swell, and subside, but the numbers inside continue to grow. Some days I can’t even get through, some days ambulances or cars arrive and bodies are removed in front of my eyes, while relatives scream, faint, or numbly watch as yet another family member is taken from them. The misery, the grief, the sheer human pain is overwhelming. And I walk on past, and go upstairs to report the dead and injured in facts and figures, my heart bursting, my soul shaken, and desperately trying to cling to that thing called humanity when there is so little evidence of it in what I have just seen.
I go upstairs and see the exhausted doctors and surgeons, who two weeks ago were healthy, vibrant human beings now reduced to haggard, pale ghosts of themselves, struggling to keep going, to provide care and save lives when there is so little care to provide, no medicines, no supplies, no equipment, and where lives that might be saved are lost to the sheer numbers demanding their attention. Doctors who must decide on the spot which patients live and which die, not because clinically they couldn’t all be saved, but because there are only resources enough for one.
Doctors, nurses and hospital staff who all now know that even in the hospitals they are not safe, because Israel is now deliberately attacking them. Three hospitals have had to be evacuated since Thursday, seven hospital staff have already been killed or injured. Ambulance drivers and paramedics who know that when they go to retrieve the injured, they may not return – 12 ambulances have been destroyed, one driver killed and five ambulance officers injured. All in a day’s work – and these people have not been paid for months, they are doing this out of their own sense of compassion and duty.
I go to the wards to interview survivors and their families. One might think that this would be less traumatic – at least they are alive, there is hope. It is not – babies whose bodies are blasted with shrapnel so they look more like a pepper steak than a human baby, unconscious children with tubes going in and out crying for mothers and fathers who will never comfort them because they are dead, mothers sharing a room with several of their children, all sliced, diced, minced or shredded by Israeli arms made in or funded by the US, not knowing if or which of them will get out of there, and if and when they do, will they be able to walk, talk, feed themselves, study, work or have any semblance of the normal future she hoped for them. Fathers collapsed into themselves, wracked with guilt that they did not, could not, protect their family.
I walk outside, and the sky is blue, the sun is shining. Birds are even singing. I want to scream at them “Don’t you know what is happening?” I walk home beneath the ever-present drones, the sound of explosions almost keeping pace with my footsteps. I go back past the morgue, now shut up, and deserted – on the outside at least. A group of children run past carrying bottles of water, giggling and falling over, helping each other up. I pass the maternity ward, see a man in the street calling to his wife, who appears in a window and holds up their new-born baby for him to see.
I wonder, was this deliberate, the siting of the maternity unit next to the morgue? So that as one leaves, the affirmation of life is what remains?
After all, this is Gaza, where mere existence is resistance.
by Julie Webb-Pullman
Source: Gaza SCOOP
Flashback. July 16, 2014.
Boys. Beach. Sun. Sea. Sand. Football. Fun. An ordinary summers’ day like that in any other coastal city in the world.
Bomb. Blood. Missile. Martyrs. Mayhem. Mourners. An ordinary summer’s day in Gaza 2014.
Three months later the world has all but forgotten the “Bakr Boys,” the group of cousins playing on the beach that afternoon. Four of them – Ismail, Zakaria, Ahed and Mohamed – were killed. Four more survived the horror, physically at least.
Montasr, Hamada, Sayed and Younis are all now out of hospital, and could even play football again, despite legs peppered with shrapnel scars. But they don’t. (more…)
by the Al Rantisi Family
Source: Middle East Monitor
Over 400 asylum seekers, including 100 children, were drowned in international waters on their way to Italy after the boat they were travelling on was rammed on 10 September, 2014 by people-smugglers angry because the migrants refused to transfer to a smaller boat.
As a report into the mass murder by human rights organisation EuroMid says, the travellers from the Gaza Strip, Syria, Egypt and Sudan had been promised a safe journey to Europe on a secure and comfortable ship.
One of them was our son and brother, Mohammed Al Rantisi, a 23 year old Management and Technology graduate heading to Europe in search of a brighter future. His favourite song was a message of farewell. (more…)
by Mike Carlton
Benjamin Netanyahu has ensured that no Israeli will ever again know peace, writes former ABC war correspondent and naval historian Mike Carlton.
So Hamas wins. No matter how Israel and its friends spin it, the raw fact is that this “indefinite ceasefire” leaves Hamas unbeaten in Gaza.
Bloodied and battered, yes, with an echelon of its senior military and political leadership killed by Israeli airstrikes. But it is only down, not out. It lives to fight another day, which means that Benjamin Netanyahu and his hard-Right Likud-coalition government have failed, and disastrously so, in their stated aim of ensuring Israel’s security by a crushing military and economic dominance of the Palestinian people. They rolled the dice. They lost. (more…)
Israeli Aggression against Palestinians in Gaza Strip from 06-07-2014
Date of report: 21/08/2014 at 1900 hrs
Total number of victims:12,565 (2,083 Martyrs; 10,482 Injured)
Deaths: 2,083 – 561 children, 255 women, 98 over 60 years
Injuries: 10,482 – 3,189 children, 1,994 women, 388 over 60 years
The Ministry of Health in Gaza reports the following statistics as at 2000 hours on Monday August 04, 2014.
Deaths: 1,865 – 429 children, 243 women 18-60 years, 79 persons over 60 years
Injuries: 9,536 – 2,877 children, 1,853 women 18-60 years, 347 over 60 years.
ICU: 153 patients
Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine
August 04, 2014
The Ministry of Health Gaza condemns in the strongest possible terms the Israeli breaking of the humanitarian ceasefire in a murderous attack on the Al-Bakri family home in Al-Shaati refugee camp in west Gaza City, killing an eight-year-old child and injuring 30 other people, mostly women and children.
This attack on a home in one of the most densely populated residential areas on earth only minutes after the commencement of a humanitarian ceasefire can only be seen as a calculated and deliberate attack on civilians. (more…)
The Ministry of Health in Gaza reports the following statistics as at 2000 hours on Sunday August 03, 2014.
Deaths: 1,803 – 401 children, 238 women 18-60 years, 74 persons over 60 years
Injuries: 9,324 – 2,805 children, 1,823 women 18-60 years, 343 over 60 years.
ICU: 140 patients
Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine
August 03, 2014
The Ministry of Health Gaza is reeling from the reports coming out of Rafah, where scores have been killed and injured today, including 10 dead and over 30 injured in yet another attack on an UNRWA school, this time the Anas Ibn Malik Prepatory School sheltering thousands of forcibly displaced persons.
A group of women, children and older people were sitting against the wall at the entrance to the school seeking shade from the sun when they were struck.
This atrocity follows dawn attacks in Rafah on the Ghoul and Abu Jazzar family homes which left 18 dead and dozens injured, and brings the number killed in Gaza today to at least 118. (more…)
The Ministry of Health in Gaza reports the following statistics as at 1900 hours on Thursday July 31, 2014.
Deaths: 1,418 – 324 children, 166 women 18-60 years, 60 persons over 60 years
Injuries: 8,265 – 2,502 children, 1,626 women 18-60 years, 303 over 60 years.
ICU: 140 patients
The Ministry of Health in Gaza reports the following statistics as at 2400 hours on Wednesday July 30, 2014.
Deaths: 1,357 – 315 children, 166 women 18-60 years, 58 persons over 60 years
Injuries: 7.677 – 2,164 children, 1,314 women 18-60 years, 282 over 60 years.
ICU: 140 patients
At least ten ambulances and several carloads of dead and injured children poured into Shifa Hospital thisafternoon after an Israeli strike on a park in Shaati Refugee Camp in Gaza City. There are ten confirmed dead at this time, and 40 injured. The death toll is expected to rise.
This barbaric and deliberate attack on children in a public park on one of the two main Muslim religious holidays seals the Israeli reputation as the most perverse war criminal of all time.
One bomb struck a children’s ferris wheel, and the other a TukTuk taking children on rides.
Many considered the calculated murder of the four children playing football on the beach to be an atrocity and a clear war crime – but the international community remained passive.
Another ten innocent children have now lost their lives, playing in the park.
How many more will it take before the world says “Enough!”
How many more before the UN enforces international law without fear or favour, and demands the rogue state of Israel comply with international law?
When will the UN impose sanctions, and an arms embargo, to prevent the Israeli enabler the United States from furnishing it with the tools of destruction? From financing the pathological Zionist expansionist project?
When will the UN expel this rogue state from amongst its ranks – this rogue state that claims all the benefits of UN membership but scorns each and every resposibility incumbent upon it to behave with even the barest modicum of civilised bahaviour or humanity?
To remain silent now is to be complicit in these war crimes.
The Ministry of Health in Gaza reports the following statistics as at 1800 hours on Saturday July 19, 2014.
Deaths: 338 – 83 children, 24 women 18-60 years, 18 persons over 60 years
Injuries: 2,556 – 755 children, 463 women 18-60 years, 107 over 60 years.
ICU: 23 patients
Read more HERE
Shortly before dawn on Friday 31 January, Israel warplanes carried out a series of air-strikes in locations across Gaza.
In a most cynical exercise in excess, three missiles struck a children’s entertainment centre, “Bissan City.”
Another air-strike targeted a military site of Al-Quds Brigades in Rafah, causing injury.
A residential house in the area of Ferdaws in the city of Rafah was targeted, with injuries reported.
A further attack in the northern Gaza Strip resulted in the arrival of two injured to Balsam Hospital.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, Ashraf Al Qudra, has confirmed that the early-morning strikes caused a total of eight injured, including children.
20 November 2012
Today is the United Nations International Day of the Child. This is how Israel ensures it is celebrated in Gaza. (Warning: some graphic content)
Photos from the internet
20 November 2012
Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville
Subject: 1) Gaza
The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, is acutely concerned about Palestinian and Israeli civilians caught up in the ongoing crisis in Gaza and southern Israel.
She is dismayed by the marked surge in the number of Palestinian civilians, including women and children, killed and injured over the past 48 hours as a result of Israeli military action. According to information gathered by OHCHR monitors on the ground, the civilian death toll has more than doubled during this period. As of this morning, at least 57 civilians, including 18 children, have been killed and hundreds have been injured since 14 November.
The High Commissioner deplores attacks such as the bombing of a house in Gaza which killed at least eight members of the Al-Dalou family, including 4 young children on 18 November.
The High Commissioner appreciates statements made by Israeli officials about the precautions taken to avoid harm to civilians. However, attacks affecting schools and religious sites, as well as the reported targeting of homes and media outlets during the past 48 hours raise serious concerns about Israel’s commitment to its obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law. The High Commissioner therefore calls on Israel to scrupulously meet its legal obligations to distinguish at all times between civilians and combatants, and to take precautions and all possible measures to avoid the loss of civilian life and damage to civilian property.
The High Commissioner reiterates her condemnation of the continuing indiscriminate attacks and targeting of civilians in Israel by militants in Gaza which have killed three civilians as well as causing civilian injuries and damage to civilian property.
High Commissioner Pillay strongly supports the Secretary-General’s efforts toward a cease fire agreement, and hopes that any such agreement contains commitments by both sides to respect international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
The High Commissioner recalls the need to ensure accountability for any violations of international law, including through prompt, impartial, independent and effective investigations into credible allegations of violations.
In response to a follow-up question on attacks on homes, schools and religious site,the spokesperson said that UN human rights staff had received reports that 31 residences had been hit directly as well as two buildings housing media. They had also received reports of damage to some 30 schools, but no direct hits that they were aware of, and reports of damage to ten religious sites, but again with no direct hits.
In response to a question as to whether any of these attacks constituted war crimes, the spokesperson said that would depend on the specific circumstances in each incident, and that the information to make that type of assessment was not yet available. He noted that in this type of situation, under international humanitarian law, three key principles apply: these are ‘distinction’ (making every effort to distinguish between combatants and civilians); ‘precaution’ (taking all possible precautions to avoid civilian casualties); and ‘proportionality’ (refraining from launching an attack when it is expected to cause excessive loss of civilian life in relation to the anticipated military advantage).
Updated 7:00 pm
Martyrs – 69 (20 children, 8 women, and 9 elderly persons)
Injured – 660 (224 children, 113 women and 50 elderly persons)
The Gaza Health Ministry reports that the total of the Zionist aggression on the Gaza Strip has now reached 293 victims, including 23 dead and 270 wounded.
In a press statement released to Al-Ray Online the Ministry informed that the number of martyrs reached 23, pointing out that on the first day of the aggression (Wednesday) there were 8 martyrs,on the next day there were 10, and on Friday another 5.
The Ministry advised that 19 of the fatalities are males, and four are female. There have been 8 children killed, and 15 adults including three elderly persons.
The Ministry said that the number of wounded has reached 270, with 174 males and 96 females, while the total number of children affected is 101, of whom 34 are less than 5 years. Adults numbered 169, including 21 men over 50 years of age.