Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, December 2008
Half Gaza Children Suffer from Anemia, Amnesty International Says Israeli Siege of Gaza Leaves People Barely Alive
Half Gaza children suffer from anemia
[ 09/12/2008 - 11:34 AM ]
A Palestinian human rights commission has warned that 46% of Gaza children were suffering from anemia due to their parents' inability to feed them properly as a result of the brutal siege imposed on Gaza by the Israeli occupation government, which deprived those parents of work.
The independent commission for citizens' rights said in a report that the Israeli collective punishment against the people of Gaza had greatly affected the children's health.
It said that the lives of 23 children suffering kidney failure, 58 children with cancer and 43 children suffering heart diseases were in great danger in the event power outage affected the medical machines on which they depend to remain alive.
Meanwhile, in the West Bank Israeli occupation forces detained nine Palestinian in Bethlehem, Al-Khalil and Ramallah districts on the first day of Eidul Adha on Monday.
The Israeli border guards and intelligence on Sunday night kidnapped a Palestinian young woman from her home in Ras Al-Amod suburb in occupied Jerusalem.
Local sources said that Amal Obeidi was twice before held in Israeli custody, and added that the Israeli security elements confiscated Amal's mobile phone, documents and a video camera along with her brother's personal computer.
Amnesty International: Siege in Gaza leaves people barely alive
[ 09/12/2008 - 08:32 AM ]
London-based Amnesty International has warned that the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip was gravely affecting the life of its inhabitants in an unprecedented manner.
Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International's chief researcher for the Arab-Israeli conflict zone, said in a report that last month the humanitarian aid assistance to Gaza along with other basic necessities were reduced to the minimum requirements to keep those inhabitants alive.
She pointed out that the siege was more stringent than any time before ever since the ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian resistance factions took place over five and half months ago.
Israel allows entry of whatever is necessary to keep the people in Gaza barely alive, Rovera charged, adding that Gazans are deprived of basic food materials and at certain times do not even find bread.
Families do not know whether in the next day their children will have anything to eat, the AI researcher said, adding that even if foodstuff is available in the Strip the people lack gas and/or electricity to cook it.
She said that the whole crisis is man made, pointing out that relief material and foodstuff are about to rot in stores only a few kilometers away from the Strip due to the gate closed by the Israeli army.
"There is no acceptable reason to prevent the passage of basic humanitarian assistance and basic materials" into the Strip, she elaborated.
Rovera added that the infrastructure in Gaza was rapidly deteriorating due to the lack of fuel, electricity and spare parts, and warned that hospitals are in great shortage of basic materials. She noted that tens of Palestinian patients have died over the past year in the Strip while they could have been saved if they were allowed to travel for treatment abroad.
Haniya renews call for national unity, breaking siege
[ 09/12/2008 - 09:07 AM ]
Ismail Haniya, the premier of the PA caretaker government in Gaza, has renewed his call for unity of national lines and reiterated calls for breaking the siege on Gaza.
Haniya, speaking to reporters after the Eid prayers on Monday, said that his government and the Hamas Movement were keen on achieving national unity without any conditions attached.
He also asked the Arab countries to break the siege on Gaza and to immediately intervene to end the catastrophic conditions in the Strip that are badly affecting the lives of one and a half million Palestinians.
The premier said that Egypt should urgently open the Rafah border terminal. He vowed, however, that the Israeli siege and aggression would not subdue the Palestinian people or dissuade them from insisting on their rights and constants.
Israeli occupation government decides to keep tight closure on Gaza on Eid
[ 08/12/2008 - 08:54 AM ]
The Israeli occupation government decided on Monday, the first day of Eid, to keep all crossings in the Gaza Strip closed for the sixth consecutive week threatening the Strip with unprecedented humanitarian, health and environmental disasters.
The Hebrew radio quoted political sources that the Israeli war minister Ehud Barak decided to keep all crossings with the strip closed because Palestinian home made missiles continue to fall on nearby Israeli settlements.
Furthermore, Barak met Thursday night with Salam Fayyad, the Prime Minster of the Ramallah government, where he showed Fayyad a number of Israeli measures to bolster Fayyad's government.
Barak also told Fayyad that the occupation government is studying allowing the deployment of Palestinian police in the city of Bethlehem in time for Christmas.
For his part, Salam Fayyad asked Barak to stop the settlers' attacks on Palestinians in al-khalil, but did not mention of the siege on the Gaza Strip.
The conditions caused by the siege were aggravated by the failure of Fayyad's government to pay the salaries for public employees this month claiming that this was because of Israeli measures that did not allow Shekels into the Gaza Strip.
It is worth noting that the Gaza government manages to pay the salaries of those public employees whose salaries have been cut by Fayyad because they carried on working after the Hamas take over in the Strip.
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