by Julie Webb-Pullman
Source: Middle East Monitor
CAIRO’S Gaza Reconstruction Conference, you ask incredulously? And well you might – after all, Egypt is currently preventing the entry of materials to complete Qatari-funded projects in Gaza addressing the destruction of previous Israeli offensives. Building of roads, housing estates and hospitals have all ground to a halt despite being underway well before the latest Israeli war crimes in Gaza – crimes which have only further increased the need. (more…)
by Saleh Orouq
After I was chosen for a week summer school in New York from among more than 15,000 applicants -yes, more than 15,000 applicants-, I got jubilant to the extent that I couldn’t study for my final exams. I got so happy that I unvoluntarily kissed my brother before even telling him that I was chosen; I rushed and kissed my parents and my little brother as well. I promised my little brother to buy him the best gift I could get from the U.S.
My friends, my true ones, were so happy that I got such an opportunity of lifetime. I planned to have sheets on which my friends’ names to be written and to picture these sheets in front of the Statue of Freedom- I don’t know why I just smiled mockingly while typing “Freedom”. (more…)
WTF? Israel carries out ANOTHER blatant act of piracy in international waters? And expects the world to believe the fiction they were headed for Gaza? A country under Israeli naval blockade for the last seven years??? Even the BB boys Bush and Blair managed better Words of Mass Deception than THAT!
Of course it is AIPAC week, so we can expect a series of attention-seeking missiles across the bows to distract the public from the spectacle of servility and sycophancy assaulting our senses from Washington. But a freaking great shipload of M302’s to go where even Gaza’s fishermen fear to row?!! I don’t think so.
Such nonsense is surpassed only by Netanyahu’s AIPAC-aired demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, which is neither part of the agreed negotiating terms nor even part of any recognised approach to international diplomacy. Does EVERY country have to recognise Israel as such? When and where can we all join the “Israel is a Jewish state” club? At the same time as we join the “Egypt and the Ukraine are democracies” clubs, perhaps?
Not only is it AIPAC week, but also Ukraine week, where the self-proclaimed government in Kiev just appointed dual Israeli-Ukranian citizen Igor Kolomoysky as governor of Dnepropetrovsk. He also happens to be the third richest man in the Ukraine, which may help overcome the difficulty of governing a Ukranian region from his home in Switzerland…
And Cairo week was also a bit of a coup, with a court managing to ban purported activities in Egypt of Palestinian political party Hamas. Who cares about legal niceties such as presenting evidence, or the right to mount a defence when you have enough kangaroos jumping around to keep all eyes off who is filling their pouches?
And Gaza week – well, that is every week. Forget the truce – that is only for the Palestinians. Israel assassinated two young men this week in a drone strike, in a blatant breach. And militants aren’t their only targets. From the scrap collector shot in the head to the middle-aged woman shot in the stomach, the football players shot in the legs and feet to end their potential careers, civilians are being killed and maimed daily. Since 20 December 2013, 55 Gazan civilians have been injured ON THEIR OWN SIDE OF THE BORDER by Israeli soldiers – 43 by live fire, 10 by rubber-coated metal bullets, and two hit in the head by canisters.
But that’s Israel. That’s Egypt. That’s Gaza.
Gaza, the elephant at the so-called peace talks.
Gaza, already reeling from seven years of siege and the theft of its water by Israel, now facing certain strangulation from the south.
Gaza, the Yarmouk about to happen, but from which everyone turns away.
Gaza, bordered by the magnificent Mediterranean – but which they can barely enter. Gaza, Bordered by Egypt, whose enmity has now been slammed on the tabletop, and by Israel, whose ongoing crimes speak for themselves – to a deaf world.
Gaza, land of life and love, and love of life and Allah, whatever the faction.
Gaza, between the devils and the deep blue sea.
As the situation in Gaza deteriorates due to snow and freezing temperatures on top of electricity cuts, the Minister of Health Dr Mufiz al-Makhalalati has declared a state of emergency, and called on all his personnel to assist the Civil Defence crews and municipalities in alleviating the distress.
Already 146 households accounting for 734 people have been forced to take emergency shelter in nearby schools and police stations, while 500 families, or more than 3200 people, have received assistance such as food, clothing and blankets.
The situation is dire and will get worse, with the current temperature at 3 degrees Celsius, and more bad weather predicted. The young and the old are particularly vulnerable, and desperately need electricity for warmth, and medications.
International governments and all people of good conscience must act quickly to ensure that Gaza’s suffering ends now, by forcing an end to the Israeli siege thus letting in the fuel required to run the power plants, essential medicines and medical supplies, and the equipment needed to provide emergency civil defence services – not only for this particular crisis, but on a permanent basis.
The Gaza Government has strongly condemned today’s Israeli attack on a tent full of mourners in the eastern Gaza City neighbourhood of Shujaiyeh late this afternoon.
At least four are dead, ten are still fighting for their lives, and another twenty are injured following the cowardly shelling of grieving civilians.
18 year-old Ahmad al-Dardasawi and 17 year old Muhammad Hararah died immediately, while two unidentified men died later from injuries sustained in the attack.
“The Palestinian Government in Gaza condemns the continuous aggression against our people, and holds the enemy government responsible for the large number of civilian deaths and injuries,” they said in a statement released by the Government Media Office this evening.
“The Palestinian Government calls on the world to stop Israeli aggression, and stresses the right of Palestinians to self defence as long as the aggression continues.”
They added that they are attending to the treatment needs of the many injured, despite the siege and the difficult conditions.
“We condemn the Zionist escalation in the strongest terms, and call on the international community and the world powers to rein it in,” they said.
Israeli tanks also shelled an area east of Khan Younis late afternoon, injuring at least another four people.