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Newsletter 37 web Presentation Transcript

  • 1. On14May2008,Palestinians around the world marked the day as the beginning of the Nakbaorcatastrophewhichleft 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 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. Jimmy Carter: Israel has 150 Nuclear Weapons Children killed in Gaza attack Palestinians killed as they protest against seige Aqsa Israeli missile targets journalists 60 Years of Catastrophe Palestinians mark Al-Nakba, while Israel celebrates its birth
  • 2. I N B R I E F 2 Israeli missile targets journalists Children killed in Gaza attack Palestinians killed as they protest against siege 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 products or services that “harm the Palestinians and Israelis” 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. Environmental disaster in Gaza The lack of fuel and raw materials in Gaza has led to an environmental disaster due to the inability of the sewage systems to run effectively. There have been incidences neighbourhoods, such as the 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. 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 On 16 April 2008, the 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 positionclosetowherethepress 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 attack, which was followed by another missile in under 5 minutes. The deaths brought worldwide attention to the while attempting to report what is happening in the occupied territories. Fadel Shana’a himself, only aged 23 when he died, had already sustained 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 lives at risk by entering ‘areas of combat’. The deaths of worldwide. 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 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 ruin. Market prices for basic foods have rocketed, including a 156% increase in the price of some produces such as tomatoes. Basic medicines are also no longer available making it almost impossible to treat basic illnesses. On top of this, Israeli incursions continue on a daily basis, killing many 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 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. On11and12April,theIsraeli occupation forces launched a ground attack within the Al- Gaza, killing seven children. The Israeli troops broke into a number of civilian homes and took sniper positions on their roofs. The troops were backed by tanks, military vehicles, and drones. Civilian witnesses reported indiscriminately in the area and olive trees. A group of children year old Riyad Sherif al-Owais A short time later, the Israeli at a group of children and 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. crowds of Palestinians also 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 the critically wounded to hospitals. Despite strong condemn- ations 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.
  • 3. I N B R I E F 3 Leicester Tigers in deal with Caterpillar Israel’s promise to dismantle checkpoints was a lie 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 families and 300 orphans. It also educated over 7,000 students, provided aide to an additional 4,000 students and employed 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.” Jimmy Carter: Israel has 150 Nuclear Weapons Charities helping orphans closed down Judaising Jerusalem Christian leaders call for peace In May 2008, while Israel celebrated 60 years of statehood, over 140 Christian leaders made 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 the Independent Newspaper, ex- Israeli 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 TortureinIsrael(PCATI)accusedthe 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.Theinvestigationinvolved discussions with many Palestinians who were arrested and faced torture by the Shin Bet. Thousands rally around the world for Palestine. Druring themonthofMay,thousands of people took to the streets of 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. Israeli efforts to Judaise Jerusalem and remove all Muslim claims to the Holy City have been felt most by PalestinianslivingintheSilwan 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 movementbegantoimplements 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 guards which are clearly visible. Despite Elad’s in Israel is obvious from the fact that it runs the National park and visitors’ centre in Silwan, providing tourists with a one-sided version of history. Palestinians in Silwan have 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 lawsuit in April 2008, had their homes stormed by the police arrested. Elad is now leading an excavation in the area around the Dung Gate of the Al- Aqsa 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 Al- Bushtan neighbourhood, Elad is also attempting to destroy 88 Palestinian homes to expand the “archeological park”, 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. 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. vehicles with armour plating and gun mounts and uses 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 believe the reputation of the Rugby Club will be put in believe Caterpillar is entering thedealtorevivetheirtarnished image. There are numerous examples of well-publicized for Caterpillar, including the Church of England who disinvested £2.2 million in Caterpillar due to their supply of machinery to Israel. 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 by citing statistics which show that the nutritional intake of some Palestinian children was below that of children in Sub- Saharan Africa. This condition viability of Palestine, and is the result of a deliberate policy to starve the people of equivalent to that in Europe and the rest of the developed world. 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 roadblockshadbeenashowand 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, 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.
  • 4. 4 Message from Friends of Al-Aqsa Leaflets Name: Address: Postcode: I enclose a cheque for £ (make cheques payable to ‘Friends of Al-aqsa’) Books Forty Ahadith Concerning Masjid Al-Aqsa Dome of the Rock Qubbat As Sakhra Palestine Beginners Guide Medina to Juresalem - Encounter with the Byzantine Empire A History of Palestinian Resistance Virtues of Jerusalum ‘OFFER: All 4 books for Children Palestine Colouring Book Free Qty: Free Qty: £9.95 Qty: £5.95 Qty: £5.95 Qty: £5.95 Qty: Free Qty: £2.00 Qty: MerchandiseFLAG LAPEL BADGE MASJID LAPEL BADGE AL-AQSA KEY RING PALESTINE WRIST BAND FRIDGE MAGNET 7 DVD SET SCARF (SQUARE) SCA £1.50 Qty: £1.50 Qty: £1.50 Qty: £1.00 Qty: £1.50 Qty: £20.00 Qty: £5.00 Qty: £5.00 Qty: £3.00 Qty: £5.00 Qty: Friends of Al-Aqsa, P.O.Box 5127, Leicester, LE2 0WU, Tel: 07711 823 524, (0116) 2125441,Email: info@aqsa.org.uk, www.aqsa.org.uk Complete set of information leaflet on Palestine Issues A set of 20 information leaflets including the following... £20.00 Qty: TOTAL: Please add 10% of the total cost to cover postage expenses. L, XL and XXL only dark or light colour. Exact colours cannot be guaranteed. Book CCoooo llooo uuu rrr iiiiinnnggggggggg Palestine BookBookBookBook Palestine hWord-searches Colouring Crosswords Spot the difference And much more… AAAAAAccccccccccctttttt iiivviiii tttttttttty Palestine ActivityP Book £3.00 Qty: Nasser Jabber 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,andnow,diseaseandmalnutrition. 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.” 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 brothers” 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.” 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, left. “It would have been too dangerous to come to the farm while they were destroying everything” he says. “This 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.” 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 estimates that between them, he and his brothers have already lost more than a million dollars. “I am a peaceful farmer” he says. “But they destroy our homes, our land - everything.” 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.” As we drive north east towards Sofa 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. 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 (Adonum 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, ruiningvegetableallotmentsandfamily owned farms, and contributing to the devastating economic destruction of the Gaza Strip. Fifteen kilometers away from the remainsofNasserJaber’schickenfarm, 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 2007” 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.” 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.”
  • 5. 5 i i iHow Palestinian children 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 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.” arbitrary injury or death from the air and the surrounding 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 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. TheydonotneedtosayanythingaboutIsrael:theactionsofits armyandauthoritiesdominateeverysingleaspectoflifeinGaza. 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 Venue: Olympia, Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX
  • 6. C O M P E T I T I O N Enter the competition for your chance to win a £20 Argos voucher and a Friends of Al-Aqsa goody bag!!! There will be one winner per competition. 13 years old or under??? the wordsearch below? Musa, God, Destroy, Children, Nile, Royal, Pharaoh, Queen, Palestine. 14-18 years old??? Can you re-arrange the letters below 1.sinay 2.uusfy 3.uunsy 4.damaih 5.aammyr 6.klum 7.afhk 8.isan 9.quranf 10.saadj Deadline for both competitions: 31st July 2008 Send your answers with your name, age and address to: Friends of Al-Aqsa, PO Box 5127, Leicester, LE2 0WU. Or email us on info@aqsa.org Winners of the last competition: Anieka Hanif, age 13 from Bradford. Haleema Sadia, age 18 from Manchester. Order your free copies of these posters from Friends of Al- Aqsa today. These handy posters can be displayed anywhere including at home or in the office. The Shrinking Map tells the story of Palestine; the Wall poster shows how Palestinians are being caged in; and the Boycott poster is a great reminder of which companies to boycott. To order your copies, email us at info@aqsa.org.uk with your details and specify how many posters you require. Fun & Games 6
  • 7. 7 The UN issued a report at the end of April 2008 summarising the catastrophic conditions 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 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 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. Ascoolah pumping station in the Zeitoun area of Gaza City 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 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 were: fears (40%), behavioural disorders (26%), psychosocial disorders (50%) and speech Do something today… The supermarket giant Tesco is stocking herbs produced on illegal Israeli settlements and labelling them as ‘Produce of the West Bank’. 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. 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.
  • 8. 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 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 He died instantly. There are numerous witness testimonies suggesting the Occupation 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 individualsremainindetention. 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. Indiscriminate killing in the Gaza Strip AWAKEN YOUR SENSES THIS SUMMER L O N D O N ENQUIRIES 0845 108 5101 TICKETS 0871 230 7138 WWW.ISLAMEXPO.COM VISIT EUROPE'S LARGEST CELEBRATION OF ISLAMIC CULTURE PERFORMERS INCLUDE ABU RATEB JUNAID JAMSHED KHALEEL MUHAMMAD KAREEM SALAMA MO AMER OUTLANDISH PRINCE ABDI RACHID GHOLAM SOUND OF REASON AL-YARMOUK ZAIN BHIKHA CONCERTS FASHION FOOD GARDENS COMEDY SPORTS DEBATES ART FILM PARTICIPANTS INCLUDE ANAS ALTIKRITI JAMAL BADAWI JOHN ESPOSITO JON SNOW MOAZZEM BEGG RAGI OMAR SALMA YAQOOB TARIQ RAMADAN YUSUF ISLAM 14 SPECTACULAR ZONES INCLUDE CAREERS COOKERY FASHION HEALTH & LIFESTYLE ISLAMIC ART ISLAMIC FINANCE ISLAMIC GARDENS FUN RIDES SPORTS SOUK