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Jimmy Carter: Israel has 150 Nuclear Weapons

Israeli missile targets journalists

Children killed in Gaza attack

Aqsa

Palestinians killed as they protest against seige

60 Years of Catastrophe

Palestinians mark Al-Nakba, while Israel celebrates its birth On 14 May 2008, Palestinians around the world marked the day as the beginning of the Nakba or catastrophe which left them homeless, landless, and victims of Zionist aggression. In 1948, the state of Israel was declared by Zionists who ethnically cleansed many

Palestinian towns and villages of all their inhabitants. 750,000 Palestinians became refugees, and to this day, most of these people and their descendants continue to live in squalid conditions in densely packed refugee camps. The Israeli occupation

of the West Bank and Gaza Strip continues and with each passing year, Palestinians witness greater oppression, greater brutality and economic ruin engineered by Israeli policies. The Gaza Strip is now an open air prison caging its 1.4 million inhabitants.

Israeli incursions ensure that any viable businesses are all destroyed, including DJULFXOWXUHDQGÂżVKHU\ The West Bank is now being divided up further, with the increasing isolation of population centres away from one another. This is creating a

divided territory reminiscent of Apartheid South Africa’s Bantustans. Supporters of the Palestinian cause have marked the 60th anniversary of the Nakba worldwide with calls for an end to this brutal and inhumane occupation.


2

IN BRIEF Norman Finkelstein denied entry to Israel The Shin Bet security service detained and deported the American Jewish professor Norman Finkelstein, a prominent critic of the Israeli occupation, when he recently attempted to visit Israel. Professor Finkelstein was interrogated for several hours and held in an airport cell in Ben Gurion before being put on a plane back to Amsterdam, his point of departure. He was told he could not return to Israel for 10 years. This is seen as yet another attempt by Israel to silence its critics by denying them access to Israel and the occupied territories.

Methodists abandon Israel Divestment The US United Methodist Church abandoned plans to divest from companies that support Israel after a protracted Zionist campaign to stop them succeeded. Five divestment resolutions which the Church considered at its General Conference in May 2008, called on the denomination to identify FRPSDQLHVWKDWSURÂżWIURPVDOHVRI products or services that “harm the Palestinians and Israelisâ€? and begin a phased divestment from them. Firms targeted included Caterpillar, which supplies bulldozers used to demolish Palestinian homes and raise olive groves; and Motorola, which manufactures security systems. This was seen as a blow to the divestment movement, but the issue of boycott remains on the Church’s agenda.

Israeli missile targets journalists On 16 April 2008, the ,VUDHOL DUP\ ÂżUHG RQ D SUHVV crew travelling in a car clearly marked ‘TV’ killing Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana’a and his colleague Wafa’a Younis Abu Mazeed. The attack was caught on camera by Fadel as he trained his lenses on an Israeli army position close to where the press crew were. It is clear from the footage that they were targeted directly by the soldiers, and the camera goes blank on impact of the missile. Two children who were passing by at the time were also killed in the

more Palestinians, including children. Because of these conditions, Gazans continue to protest against the blockade at all of the border crossings across

Gaza. Israeli forces respond to these protests with live ÂżUH 2Q  0D\ IROORZLQJ a demonstration at the Karni crossing, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian child

and wounded 17 others. Such scenes of senseless violence by Israeli soldiers and loss of life of Palestinians remain prevalent across Gaza.

Children killed in Gaza attack

roofs. The troops were backed by tanks, military vehicles, and drones. Civilian witnesses reported WKDWWKH,2)WDQNVRSHQHGÂżUH indiscriminately in the area and EXOOGR]HG ÂżHOGV SODQWHG ZLWK olive trees. A group of children ZHUH DOVR ÂżUH XSRQ DQG  year old Riyad Sherif al-Owais ZDVNLOOHGDQGÂżYHRWKHUVZHUH LQMXUHG A short time later, the Israeli WURRSV ÂżUHG DQ DUWLOOHU\ VKHOO at a group of children and WHHQDJHUVNLOOLQJÂżYHRIWKHP 18 year old Shihab Mohammad Ahmad Abu Zubeida, 19 year old Jihad Mohammad Salem Abu Zubeida, 18 year old Yousif Ali al-Maghari, 18 year

old Abdul-Raziq Atta Nofal, and 15 year old Yousif Sarhan. ,QGLVFULPLQDWH ÂżULQJ DW crowds of Palestinians also LQMXUHG  SHRSOH RI ZKRP 15 were children. Due to the lack of fuel in the Strip, medical assistance for the wounded was severely delayed causing immense suffering. Medical crews also faced great GLIÂżFXOWLHV LQ WUDQVIHUULQJ the critically wounded to hospitals. Despite strong condemnations against such attacks, the Israel occupation forces continue to invade Gaza on an almost daily basis. These incursions create even greater misery on the ground.

Female prisoners denied family visits The Israeli Prisons Authority (IPA) has come under criticism from Palestinian law makers for denying some female Palestinian prisoners family visits to Gaza. Some of these women have not been allowed visits for over 2 years. Former captives have described prison conditions as harsh with inadequate medical care for those being held. Be a part of Friends of Al-Aqsa. Join our mailing list, To receive updates and information about our events, log in your email at our website www.aqsa.org.uk

lives at risk by entering ‘areas of combat’. The deaths of WKH MRXUQDOLVWV ZHUH PRXUQHG worldwide.

Palestinians killed as they protest against siege

Since the isolation of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli siege, the living conditions have deteriorated to unbearable levels. The restricted fuel supplies have led to crisis in every industry and sector, deeply damaging the public services Palestinians would RWKHUZLVH EHQH¿W IURP ,Q April, the supply of fuel was halted completely making it impossible for ambulances to run and forcing the UN refugee agency for Palestinians to suspend food distribution to the 650,000 people depending on it, for 4 whole days. The economy in Gaza is in Environmental disaster in ruin. Market prices for basic foods have rocketed, including Gaza a 156% increase in the price The lack of fuel and raw materials of some produces such as in Gaza has led to an environmental tomatoes. Basic medicines disaster due to the inability of the are also no longer available sewage systems to run effectively. making it almost impossible to There have been incidences treat basic illnesses. On top of ZKHUH UDZ VHZDJH KDV ÀRRGHG this, Israeli incursions continue neighbourhoods, such as the on a daily basis, killing many Ascoolah area of Zeitoun, close to Gaza city. This is having a dire impact on the health and sanitary conditions of the people in the area.

attack, which was followed by another missile in under 5 minutes. The deaths brought worldwide attention to the GDQJHUVZKLFKMRXUQDOLVWVIDFH while attempting to report what is happening in the occupied territories. Fadel Shana’a himself, only aged 23 when he died, had already sustained  VHSDUDWH LQMXULHV IURP ,VUDHOLDUP\¿UHRQHRIZKLFK occurred in 2006 while he was travelling in another clearly marked press vehicle. Despite the overwhelming evidence suggesting there could be no

mistake that they were a press crew, the Israeli army drew anger when it suggested that WKHMRXUQDOLVWVKDGSXWWKHLU

On 11 and 12 April, the Israeli occupation forces launched a ground attack within the Al%XUHLMUHIXJHH&DPSLQ

Gaza, killing seven children. The Israeli troops broke into a number of civilian homes and took sniper positions on their


3

Leicester Tigers in deal with Caterpillar

The Leicester Tigers Rugby team has come under heavy criticism after the announce-

ment of a multi-million pound sponsorship deal with Caterpillar; a company condemned by human rights organisations globally for its supply of bulldozers to the Israeli army, which are used to demolish Palestinian homes and kill people. 7KH ,VUDHOL DUP\ ÂżWV WKH vehicles with armour plating and gun mounts and uses

Judaising Jerusalem

Israeli efforts to Judaise Jerusalem and remove all Muslim claims to the Holy City have been felt most by Palestinians living in the Silwan District close to the Dung Gate of the Al-Aqsa complex. The extremist Israeli ‘Elad’ (a Hebrew acronym meaning ‘To the City of David’) settler movement began to implements steps to take over Silwan in the 1990’s. Since then, extremist Israeli’s have moved into the

area making life even more miserable for the Palestinians there. Elad now fully controls Silwan and the Palestinian neighbourhood has dozens of settler outposts with ZDWFKWRZHUV ÀDJV DQG DUPHG guards which are clearly visible. Despite Elad’s H[WUHPLVWDFWLRQVLWVLQÀXHQFH in Israel is obvious from the fact that it runs the National park and visitors’ centre in

Jimmy Carter: Israel has 150 Nuclear Weapons Former US President Jimmy Carter used his speech at the annual literary Hay Festival in Wales in May to highlight the atrocities being committed by Israel against the Palestinian people. He stated that Israel had about 150 nuclear weapons, a fact that Israel has never been monitored for. Mr Carter described the events in Gaza and said “one of the greatest human rights

crimes on earth is the starvation and imprisonment of 1.6m 3DOHVWLQLDQV´ +H MXVWL¿HG WKLV by citing statistics which show that the nutritional intake of some Palestinian children was below that of children in SubSaharan Africa. This condition GRHV QRW UHÀHFW WKH HFRQRPLF viability of Palestine, and is the result of a deliberate policy to starve the people of *D]D ZKLOH MXVW EH\RQG WKHLU

them to continue to entrench the occupation of Palestinian land. In 2003, British peace activist Rachel Corrie was killed when an Israeli soldier deliberately ran over her with a D9 Caterpillar bulldozer while she peacefully demonstrated against the demolition of a Palestinian home. Local people in Leicester are outraged by this deal and Silwan, providing tourists with a one-sided version of history. Palestinians in Silwan have QR UHFRXUVH WR MXVWLFH LI WKH\ are forced from their homes by Elad or face any other wrong. Elad has the full backing of the Jerusalem Municipality, the National Park Authority, the Israel Land Administration, and the Jerusalem Police. A few residents, who were FRXUDJHRXV HQRXJK WR ÂżOH D lawsuit in April 2008, had their homes stormed by the police DQG ÂżYH LQGLYLGXDOV ZHUH arrested. Elad is now leading an excavation in the area around the Dung Gate of the AlAqsa Sanctuary, and beneath some Palestinian homes in the area. Thus, it is effectively using archaeology as a tool for dispossession, as the Palestinians whose homes are affected face miserable living conditions and may even choose to leave. In the AlBushtan neighbourhood, Elad

IN BRIEF believe the reputation of the Rugby Club will be put in MHRSDUG\ DV D UHVXOW 6RPH believe Caterpillar is entering the deal to revive their tarnished image. There are numerous examples of well-publicized ZLWKGUDZDORIÂżQDQFLDOVXSSRUW for Caterpillar, including the Church of England who disinvested ÂŁ2.2 million in Caterpillar due to their supply of machinery to Israel. is also attempting to destroy 88 Palestinian homes to expand the “archeological parkâ€?, and past experience suggests they may be successful. Elad led excavations have meant that not even a single Muslim building in the national park was preserved, and some were not even documented. Some Israeli archaeologists are unhappy with the actions of Elad, however, and are lobbying to remove Elad from the site.

Charities helping orphans closed down

The Israeli army closed down two charities in the West Bank town of Hebron which provided shelter, food and education for hundreds of orphans in the area. The Islamic Charitable Society (ICS) and the Muslim Youth Society (MYS) were accused of supporting ‘terrorism’, a charge with no evidence. The ICS’s functions included providing shelter and care to more than 4,000 needy ERUGHUV,VUDHOLÂśVHQMR\DZHDOWK families and 300 orphans. It also equivalent to that in Europe educated over 7,000 students, and the rest of the developed provided aide to an additional 4,000 students and employed world. over700 teachers, counsellors, and other support staff. The consequences of the closure have been dire for the orphans. Peace activists reacted in anger, stating: “How can we teach Palestinian children non-violence when Israel is doing to them all this, when Israeli soldiers are throwing kids from their orphanages onto the streets. Israel is destroying all our efforts.â€?

Israel’s promise to dismantle checkpoints was a lie The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem have reported that despite Israel’s promise to the US to lift some restrictions of movement on Palestinians by dismantling some of the 700 roadblocks and checkpoints which exist across the occupied territories, it was all a show and no such freedoms have been granted. The Israeli government

had announced that at the end of March 2008, the army began removing 61 physical obstructions such as dirt piles, boulders, and blocks, which it had placed inside the West Bank. Israel claimed it had removed these obstructions following the commitment it made in March to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, to reduce restrictions on

Palestinian movement in the West Bank. However, human rights groups such as B’Tselem found that this was far from the truth. B’Tselem investigations revealed that the removal of roadblocks had been a show and the Israeli army deliberately staged the removal of some roadblocks, which did not actually exist. For example, in

some areas such as Tulkarem, local residents reported that obstructions were deliberately placed on the road by the army, ZKR WKHQ ÂżOPHG WKHP ZKLOH they were being removed in a mock dismantling of the roadblock. Roadblocks and obstructions which cause real restriction of movement for large numbers of Palestinians were left un-touched.

Christian leaders call for peace In May 2008, while Israel celebrated 60 years of statehood, over 140 Christian leaders made D XQLÂżHG FDOO IRU D MXVW SHDFH between Israelis and Palestinians. Their declaration was published in The Independent newspaper, and acknowledged the fact that for Palestinians, Israel’s celebration marked their ‘Catastrophe’ (Nakba). Signatories include Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, New York Times’ bestselling author of ‘God’s Politics’ Jim Wallis, Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding, biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann and Oxford professor Christopher Rowland.

Mother and four children killed by Israeli shelling On 28 April, a Palestinian mother and four of her children all under the age of 5 were killed when an Israeli army shell hit their home in Ezbet Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. 40 year old Myassar Abu Me’teq was at home with her children, only one of whom survived the attack. Those killed included one year old baby Mos’ad.

Israeli soldiers confess to beating and torturing Palestinians ,Q LQWHUYLHZV ZLWK MRXUQDOLVWV IURP the Independent Newspaper, exIsraeli soldiers have confessed to beating, torturing and abducting Palestinians as a matter of course. Soldiers who were posted around the Hebron area confessed how they stole from traders, physically assaulted those who complained, threw stun grenades through mosque windows and much more. Similar confessions are being made by increasing numbers of ex-soldiers who are no longer able to contain the details of the brutal way in which Palestinians are treated.

Shin Bet accused of Torturing Prisoners and their relatives The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) accused the Shin Bet security service of torturing relatives of individuals under interrogation to extract confessions. The PCATI investigation found that it is a common method of interrogation to psychologically abuse a detainee using family members. The investigation involved discussions with many Palestinians who were arrested and faced torture by the Shin Bet.

Thousands rally around the world for Palestine. Druring the month of May, thousands of people took to the streets of DOPRVWHYHU\PDMRUFLW\LQWKHZRUOG to show their solidarity with the Palestinian people as they marked 60 years of ‘Nakba’. In London tens of thousands of people gathered in Trafalgar Square to show they had not forgotten the struggle.


4

Message from Friends of Al-Aqsa Since the last edition of Aqsa News was published, the term ‘misery’ has taken on a new meaning for Gazans. Death and destruction has always been the Israeli way of dealing with Palestinians, but the depth to which these crimes against humanity are now being perpetrated is only equalled by the appalling nature of the international silence on the issue. Palestinians are being killed every day by bombs, bullets, lack of medical care, and now, disease and malnutrition. But this is not on our TV screens, it is not marked by mass vigils around the world, and there is a strange apathy to the appalling crime. This must come to an end, and it is our role, as friends of the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, to bring these atrocities to the attention of the world. Below is the narrative of a Palestinian who has lost everything.

Narratives under Siege

“They came at four in the morning, with two bulldozers, and they left before 8am. I own this chicken farm with my three brothers, and we worked day and night for eighteen years to build up our business. The Israelis destroyed everything in less than four hours.â€? Nasser Jaber’s chicken farm was bulldozed by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in the early morning hours of May 16, while he was sleeping at home in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. He still looks stunned. Wearily he guides us round the ruins of his eighteen-year business. “This was a lifetime project for me and my brothersâ€? he says as we clamber over rubble, wire, shattered sheets of metal and thousands of putrefying chickens. “I have never belonged to any political faction, and I have never been to jail. I don’t know why they did this.â€? The farm workers who are starting to clear some of the rubble are all wearing facemasks. Forty thousand dead chickens lie smashed amidst the rubble and the stench is sickening. When his workers raised the alarm that the chicken farm was being bulldozed, Nasser Jaber didn’t rush out to the farm, but stayed at home, ZDLWLQJ XQWLO WKH ,VUDHOLV KDG ÂżQDOO\ left. “It would have been too dangerous to come to the farm while they were destroying everythingâ€? he says. “This LV QRW WKH ÂżUVW WLPH WKH ,VUDHOLV KDYH been here. The [Israeli] border is only two and a half kilometres away, and they invade this area every month. They had already destroyed one of our walls, and then the water tanks. But nothing like this.â€? One section of the chicken farm, a large barn containing 9,000 chickens, was spared the attack, though Nasser Jaber says the poultry are traumatized, and laying few eggs. The farm used to produce 45,000 eggs a day – now production is down to 2,000 eggs per day, and Nasser Jaber is worried the Israelis may return WRÂżQLVKRIIZKDWÂśVOHIWRIKLVIDUP+H estimates that between them, he and his brothers have already lost more than a million dollars. “I am a peaceful farmerâ€? he says. “But they destroy our homes, our land - everything.â€? Abdul Halim Abu Samra, Head of Public Relations at the nearby Khan Yunis branch of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, says the

IOF is systematically destroying farm land in the Gaza Strip, especially in border areas. “We have good fertile agricultural land in Gaza, but Palestinian farmers have been driven off their land in these border areas by intimidation and attacks like this. The land is now almost empty a kilometre before the eastern border, because it is too dangerous for people to live and work there.â€? As we drive north east towards Sofa &URVVLQJ RQH RI WKH ÂżYH FURVVLQJV between Gaza and Israel) we see very few people, only an occasional elderly man leading a donkey and cart. These rural eastern border areas of the Gaza Strip are emptying, because farmers, many of whom have farmed here for generations, are now too frightened to live and work on their own land. 7KHFRQÂżQHVRIWKH*D]D6WULSZKLFK is just forty kilometres long and ten kilometres wide, are being shrunk even further by relentless Israeli invasions. The deliberate destruction of civilian property is illegal under international human rights law and humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention (articles 33 and 53). Since the beginning of the second Intifada in September 2000, the deliberate destruction of more than 40,000 donums (A donum is equivalent to 1,000 square metres) of agricultural land in the Gaza Strip has been documented. This year alone, almost 3,000 donums of agricultural land around Rafah and Khan Yunis have been destroyed by the Israeli military, ruining vegetable allotments and family owned farms, and contributing to the devastating economic destruction of the Gaza Strip. Fifteen kilometers away from the remains of Nasser Jaber’s chicken farm, Mohammed Hamdan Abu Daggah stands amidst the ruins of his cement factory, which lies four kilometers from Sofa Crossing, and was bulldozed by the IOF on May 24. “I started this business in January 2007â€? he says. “My family invested everything in this factory. We managed to import good equipment under license, and we had lots of work from local clients, and the United Nations here in Gaza. But the Israelis arrived in three bulldozers, and they tore up everything.â€? Abu Daggah’s factory was employing forty local men who now have no jobs. Like Nasser Jaber, Abu Daggah says he has no idea why his business was targeted. “I have never been in any trouble and have never been arrested. They had absolutely no reason to do this – but now we have nothing left, except heavy debts that we cannot afford to pay.â€?

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5 How Palestinian i i children i really learn By Carol Scheller. First published in The Electronic Intifada, April 2008

On 22 March, The Miami Herald published an article entitled “Dreaming of a peaceful Mideast.” The initial reaction to such a headline is naturally one of pleased interest. Reporter Frida Ghitis praises the Israel/Palestine Centre for Research and Information for “working to create” a “culture of peace” in order to “put a stop to incitement and hatred.” However, Ghitis goes on to state: “It is absolutely imperative to recast the poisonous message drilled into Palestinian children. In Gaza, in particular, even the youngest children are taught that killing Jews is a duty of Muslims ...” This is the stuff of much sensationalist, biased journalism which does its best to neutralize all genuine attempts to foster trust and cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis. Having visited and lived in Gaza four times since a month before the beginning of the second intifada and known many families and children there, I was deeply dismayed. It is a common mistake to hold religion as the core issue LQ WKH FRQÀLFW EHWZHHQ ,VUDHOLV DQG 3DOHVWLQLDQV 7KLV LV incorrect and harmful. The issue is territorial: two peoples lay claim to the same land, land which they are going to have to somehow share, someday, no matter what form of religion they happen to profess, if they indeed practice a religion. Ghitis’s statement is empty of everything except the very things she criticizes: “incitement and hatred.” 7KH PDLQ LQÀXHQFH RQ FKLOGUHQ LQ *D]D LV WKH IHDU RI arbitrary injury or death from the air and the surrounding ODQGLQÀLFWHGE\DOOWKHGLIIHUHQWDUPVDYDLODEOHWRWKH,VUDHOL army. Gaza children can identify all sorts of munitions they scavenge after attacks. They know the names of all the different kinds of Israeli aircraft and can identify them by their sound. Thousands of children have lost their homes to demolition by the Israeli army. Some children have had the terrifying experience of seeing their homes occupied and used by Israeli soldiers who crowd the family into one room preventing them even from using the bathroom. Some children can tell you about the sonic booms caused by Israeli warplanes for the sole cruel purpose of frightening and disorienting civilians: their force has even knocked children out of their beds and broken their bones. The children can tell you about the massacre of an entire family in Beit Hanoun in November 2006 and RI FRXUVH DERXW WKH UHFHQW KRUUL¿F HYHQWV DOO RYHU *D]D Just going to school is a major act of courage and in school, children lack the basic necessities: books and paper, to start with, because (and this the children can tell you), the Israeli authorities will not permit their importation. Worse, many children can no longer go to school at all, as their families cannot afford to pay for their transport, uniforms or even pencils. Despite this, the main message in school in Gaza, as in many schools the world over, is that if you want to succeed, you need to get good grades. The children know that their big brothers and sisters can no longer hope to travel abroad to complete their education because Israel will not permit them to leave. A young man I know who graduated brilliantly from secondary school in June has shelved his dreams of studying medicine abroad, like some of his aunts and uncles. He is now studying to be a pharmacist, well aware that at the moment, thanks to the Israeli blockade, most of the products he might someday want to offer to clients are unavailable. Ever so many children in Gaza know that their fathers no longer have jobs because the border is closed, and they cannot go to Israel to earn a living. A lot of joy has gone out of family life. Children know that there is no gas for cars or trucks or ambulances and that they must often go without electricity (no television, no clean clothes) because Israel has decided this. Many of the things children like to eat have also disappeared. All the children in Gaza can tell you how their elders are worried, terribly worried, especially about them and their future. The children hate this situation. They do not understand it. They think it is unfair. They ask why. Children in Gaza indeed dream of “a peaceful Mideast.” It is their deepest wish, as it is the deepest desire of Israeli children and their parents, especially those now suffering from Qassam rockets.

The Muslim and Christian families and the families who go to neither mosque nor church who I know in Gaza teach their children to live correctly, respecting themselves and others. They do not need to say anything about Israel: the actions of its army and authorities dominate every single aspect of life in Gaza. Parents in Gaza tell their children that they hope things will get better. They tell them to work hard in school and to be patient. But what does the Israeli army teach the children? Children listen to adults, but then they observe and form their own opinions on the world. Ghitis’s article is a prime example of intentionally slanted reporting which needs to be criticized and corrected. Her references to “peace” cannot mask the fact that she is appealing to basic fears and prejudices that only reinforce negative, false stereotypes guaranteed to stalemate any progress in dialogue between Israelis (many of whom, we should remind Ghitis, are not Jewish) and Palestinians. Carol Scheller, a retired public school teacher, lives in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Palestinian Nakba, A 60 Year Catastrophe With guests: Dr Azzam Tamimi, Dr Ilan Pappe, Nur Masalha and Dr Eugene Rogan A Conference to be held at IslamExpo 2008

Saturday 12 July 2008 Time: 2.45pm – 4.00pm

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7

812IÂżFHIRU&RRUGLQDWLRQRI+XPDQLWDULDQ$IIDLUV *D]D5HSRUW$SULO The UN issued a report at the end of April 2008 summarising the catastrophic conditions LQ *D]D 7KH ÂżQGLQJV VHW RXW details of the humanitarian catastrophe, and included the following: Due to lack of fuel, the UN Refugees Agency (‘UNRWA’) was forced to suspend its food distribution to 650,000 Palestinians between April 25 and 29. 110,000 children in UNRWA schools suffer from lack of food due to inadequate supplies of fuel to transport food from the crossings to the warehouses, packing centres, distribution centres, or schools. Record price increases for produce have been noticed. Over 70 per cent of Gaza’s agricultural wells rely on

diesel to power water pumps, and lack of fuel means farmers have stopped watering their crops. Out of Gaza’s 16 institutions caring for the disables, 11 had either no cooking gas or stocks for up to one week. Food assistance cost UNRWA less than 8 USD per person in 2004, but costs 20 USD now. Fuel shortages have led to four major hospitals in Gaza suspending all elective surgical operations in the last two weeks of April. 162 patients are currently under treatment at Intensive Care Units, Cardiac Care Units and Special Care Baby Units in Gaza hospitals and a total of 412 patients are receiving dialysis treatment. If there is

$&7,21$/(57 Do something today‌ The supermarket giant Tesco is stocking herbs produced on illegal Israeli settlements and labelling them as ‘Produce of the West Bank’. :ULWHDOHWWHURIFRPSODLQWWRGD\ Tesco is stocking herbs such as Mint, Sage, Tarragon and Basil in boxes which are labelled with ‘Produce of the West Bank’. Most customers would assume that these originate in Palestinian farms, but queries with Tesco have revealed that they are actually the produce of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Please make a complaint (or several) to Tesco and strongly criticise their decision to stock produce from illegal settlements, especially as Palestinian farmers are denied even basic freedoms of exporting their produce to the international market. In addition, this labelling is deliberately misleading and needs to be stopped immediately. :ULWHULQJHPDLO Tesco Customer Services Freepost SCO2298 Dundee DD1 9NF Telephone: 0800 505555 Email: customer.service@tesco.co.uk Make your case and force Tesco to take responsibility and act ethically by ceasing to stock products from illegal entities.

no electrical supply and fuel for emergency generators, these patients cannot continue receiving treatment. 1,077 patients applied for permits to cross the Erez crossing for medical treatment in April. 54 had their applications denied and 314 were still awaiting approval. 54 patients who were scheduled to travel to Jordan and Egypt for treatment were denied permission to leave Gaza on 15, 16 and 17 April. 30% of Gazans have access to running water for four to eight hours once every week; 40% once every four days and 30% once every two days. The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) has no fuel to power generators to pump sewage or fresh water. They

received no fuel in April. As a result of the lack of fuel, 150,000 people do not have regular access to drinking water in Gaza City and the central Gaza Strip. Approximately 80 million litres of raw and partially treated sewage is dumped into the Mediterranean Sea every day as there is not enough fuel WR WUHDW LW 6HZDJH ÀRZV LQWR RYHUÀRZ ODJRRQV LQ -DEDOLD Camp, Sheikh Redwan, and Gaza City during times of power cuts and is pumped out when the electrical supply resumes. This leaves a large surface area of sewage and sludge in densely populated residential areas at all times.  6HZDJH ÀRZHG IURP Ascoolah pumping station in the Zeitoun area of Gaza City

RQ  $SULO ÀRRGLQJ QHDUE\ groves and streets. Rubbish collection has been paralysed by the fuel shortage and rubbish all over Gaza has been collected by animal carts during April. The collected rubbish has been dumped at transfer stations but often FDQQRWEHWUDQVIHUUHGWRODQG¿OO sites due to the lack of fuel. The population in Gaza is also suffering from the psychological effects of the siege. The Main symptoms of those who received individual counselling by the Palestinian Centre for Democracy and &RQÀLFW 5HVROXWLRQ WHDPV were: fears (40%), behavioural disorders (26%), psychosocial disorders (50%) and speech GLI¿FXOWLHV  


Indiscriminate killing in the Gaza Strip

Israel has continued to use heavy weaponry in densely populated urban areas of the Gaza Strip causing a large number of deaths and injuries among Palestinian civilians. Since January 2008, 420 Gazans have been killed by the Occupation Forces, including 62 children and 16 women. In May 2008 alone, 77 Palestinians were killed

including 20 children. The attacks against civilians are disproportionate to the threat, and many family’s have been torn apart by such random violent attacks. On 7 May, during an incursion into the New Abasan district, Occupation Forces raided the home of Majdi Abd al-Raziq al-Daghma. They blew up the front door and the force of the

blast killed Wafa in view of her three children. For six and a half hours after her death, her children, who included a two \HDUROGZHUHNHSWFRQÂżQHGLQ one room of the house. Other killings included 17 year old Hamdi Salemeh Khader, who was riding his bicycle 500 meters away from troops when he was shot twice E\PDFKLQHJXQÂżUHIURPDWDQN

He died instantly. There are numerous witness testimonies suggesting the Occupation )RUFHV ZHUH ÂżULQJ UDQGRPO\ GHVSLWHQRWEHLQJÂżUHGXSRQ In addition to the deaths and injury, since January 2008, the Occupation Forces also detained 127 Palestinians during 30 incursions into the Gaza Strip. 17 of these individuals remain in detention.

The physical destruction of land and property has also continued, and 372 dunams of agricultural land was razed and 15 homes destroyed. Israel’s actions in Gaza seem intent on destroying the will of the people and reach new levels of inhumanity with each passing day. The population of Gaza has shown amazing resilience despite extreme conditions.

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