Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, November 2008
Israeli War Criminals Tighten Siege of Gaza, Causing Extremely Severe Conditions and Civilian Suffering
Barak: Gaza Strip crossings to remain closed Thursday
The Israeli occupation government defense minister, Ehud
Barak, instructed Israeli forces to keep crossings into the Gaza Strip
closed on Thursday, following his reevaluation of the current situation
with concerned parties.
Israeli defense minister keeps up closure of Gaza's crossings
The Israeli occupation government defense minister, Ehud Barak,
decided Wednesday to keep up Gaza's commercial crossings closed for the
sixteenth day consecutively, under the pretext of continued homemade
shells fire into nearby Israeli towns.
Barghouthi: Israeli occupation government measures against Gaza war crime
[ 20/11/2008 - 10:36 AM ]
MP Dr. Mustafa Al-Barghouthi has charged that the Israeli occupation government's (IOG) measures against the Gaza Strip, siege and closure of crossings, constituted a war crime and a blatant violation of the international laws and the Geneva Convention.
The MP also denounced the Israeli occupation forces' detention of Palestinian fishermen and foreign activists off the Gaza coast, describing it as "a kidnapping".
He said in a press statement on Wednesday that the deteriorating conditions in the Strip herald a humanitarian disaster as the IOA was blocking the entry of fuel, foodstuff and other basic materials into the Strip for more than two weeks.
The IOG has turned Gaza into a big prison and is exercising collective punishment against it, Barghouthi said.
The lawmaker called for an immediate end to the IOG "crimes" against the Palestinian people and urged the world not to treat Israel as a "state above the law".
Israeli practices aim to torpedo the calm since it no longer served Israeli interests with the approach of general elections, he said, warning of military escalation as the elections approach.
The IOG is exploiting the internal Palestinian division to endorse its agenda especially in separating the West Bank from the Gaza Strip, opining that the only answer to such policies is restoring national unity.
UNRWA suspends financial assistance to refugees in Gaza
[ 20/11/2008 - 01:20 PM ]
The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees has announced that it would be forced to suspend its financial assistance to refugees in the Gaza Strip due to the lack of Israeli currency in Gaza banks.
UNRWA said that financial assistance to 90,000 Palestinians would be halted because of the Israeli siege that stopped entry of Israeli shekels to the Palestinian banks in Gaza.
Karin Abu Zaid, the UNRWA commissioner general, told the agency's annual meeting in Amman on Wednesday that her agency's' basic services would suffer an 87 million dollars deficit, which would lead to an overall 160 million dollars deficit when other un-financed and suspended projects are added.
Hamas's agriculture ministry warns of a nutrition crisis due to the Israeli blockade
The Hamas-run agriculture ministry warned today of a nutrition
setback in the coastal Strip, unless the commercial crossings are
UN Secretary-general phones Olmert, expresses concern over the deteriorating conditions in Gaza
United Nations Secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, phoned on Tuesday the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, and expressed deep concern over the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip. He also urged Olmert to allow UN personnel into the Gaza Strip.
The office of Ki-Moon issued a statement saying that the UN secretary general phoned Olmert and urged him to ease the entry of humanitarian supplies into the Gaza Strip.
The UN secretary-general said that he is deeply concerned as the humanitarian situation In Gaza continues to deteriorate.
Israel kept all border crossings sealed but on Monday and after repeated warnings issued by the UNRWA regarding a humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip, Israel only allowed the entry 33 trucks filled with food and aid.
In spite of the disastrous condition in Gaza and the power blackout, Olmert said during his meeting with the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, on Monday, that he “will not allow a humanitarian disaster in Gaza”.
Israel has been barring the UNRWA form bringing humanitarian supplies into the Gaza Strip since its invasion to the coastal region on November 4. The invasion led to the death of 12 Palestinians and the Palestinian resistance retaliated by firing homemade shells into adjacent Israeli areas.
The Higher Commission for Human Rights in Geneva issued a statement on Tuesday urging Israel to lift the siege as it violates international law.
Navanethem “Navi” Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated that the siege is barring 1.5 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip from enjoying their basic human rights.
She added that the siege violates international law and human rights laws.
Free Gaza Movement call for aiding Gaza through the sea
The Free Gaza Movement issued on Wednesday this open letter to all
organizations delivering humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.
Khudari: Gaza out of wheat
[ 20/11/2008 - 10:02 AM ]
MP Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the popular anti siege committee, has affirmed that the flour mills in the Gaza Strip have come to complete halt due to the Israeli closure of all crossings for 16 days running.
Khudari, who visited the Palestinian flour mill company along with foreign activists on Wednesday, said that the company's stores were empty, noting that they could accommodate up to 200,000 tons of wheat.
He told a press conference after touring the facility that the company used to produce 230 tons of flour daily and worked 24 hours a day but it reduced working to 8 hours a day then stopped completely on Wednesday.
The MP recalled that the company met 50% of the Gaza Strip needs, and underlined that it was the first time for the company to completely stop functioning, which indicates that the current siege and closures of crossings is the toughest against the Strip.
He charged that the Israeli occupation authority was targeting the basics of life in the Strip, and appealed to the world community to shoulder its responsibility and to pressure the IOA into ending the siege and to open all commercial crossings.
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