Israeli Protesters Block Humanitarian Aid to Gaza
- Israeli Protesters Block Humanitarian Aid to Gaza
June 23, 2009
ReplyAs the 1.5 million residents of the Gaza Strip struggle to rebuild their society with mud in the face of a crippling official blockade by the Israeli government, hundreds of Israeli protesters arrived at the border today to block what little humanitarian aid the government deigns to allow in, forcing the military to close the crossings entirely for much of the day.
Protesters block humanitarian aid from reaching GazaThe protesters are demanding the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held by the Hamas government for three years. Despite progress in the negotiation for his release, the demonstrators have demanded that no aid be allowed into the tiny strip as an effort to win international sympathy for his plight.
"There is no other way but collective punishment," one of the demonstrators declared, but in the face of 1.5 million civilians living in the bombed out remains of their society in the wake of January's Israeli invasion being deprived of humanitarian aid, it seems unfathomable that the international focus will be on a soldier being held to trade for some of the thousands of Gazans held in Israeli detention.
Of the 73 trucks expected to cart humanitarian aid into the strip, only seven were allowed in. In the face of growing opposition to letting food and fuel into the enclave, several Israeli companies have reportedly announced that they will no longer transport goods into Gaza until Shalit is released.
Bad medicine donated to Gaza Strip
Mon, 22 Jun 2009
The patients in Gaza hospitals need medicine.
A report says that about 22% of the medications donated to the Hamas health ministry were either expired, refined or unfit for consumption.
Basim Na'im, Palestinian minister of health, made the comments on Sunday, while attending a workshop on reconstructing the health facilities in the Gaza Strip.
He explained that certain medications have become abundant, while others remained rare due to the donors' inappropriate selection.
One report says that a few months ago, the Palestinian customs officers had to dispose of medicines unsafe for human consumption in the West Bank city of Beit-Lahm (Bethlehem).
Na'im did not say when the bad medicine had arrived or where they had come from.
He pointed out that the Union of Arab Physicians began a distance-training program for Gazans who work in the health sector.
The health minister noted that Dr. Muhammad At-Tawil from Qatar had announced that his country's willingness to host a conference for training health sector workers in Gaza.
Pink Floyd's former frontman compares Israel's separation wall to barriers of apartheid South Africa, Warsaw Ghetto
June 3, 2009
AIDA REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank Pink Floyd's former frontman Roger Waters said Tuesday he'll take to the stage the minute Israel tears down its West Bank separation wall, just as he did in Berlin two decades ago when another wall came down.
Visiting a Palestinian refugee camp in the shadows of the towering concrete structure, the British rocker who co-wrote the iconic 1970s album "The Wall" said he hopes "this awful thing is destroyed soon."
Waters, 65, said the West Bank wall has been on his mind since he first saw it up close in what he described as an eye-opening visit in 2006, following a concert in Israel.
"People who haven't actually seen this, what's going on here, can't actually imagine the impression that it has on you, the sick, kind of churning feeling that you get in your very heart when you see this, how depressing it is," Waters said.
Water's comments didn't sit very well with Israeli government.
Israel began building the barrier a concrete wall in urban areas and fence with sensors and barbed wire along rural stretches in 2002, citing security reasons.
Palestinians says it's a land grab because, once the final third is built, it will slice off 10 percent of the West Bank, part of the lands they want for their state.
The stretch of barrier between occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank town of Bethlehem consists of graffiti-covered gray slabs, with army watchtowers rising up at intervals.
Waters dismissed Israel's security argument, saying he believes the wall "is not here to stop Israelis being blown up on buses." He said if that was the sole reason, "what's it doing in the occupied territories, surrounding settlements and cutting (Palestinian) farmers off from their olive trees and so on and so forth?"
"This is an exercise of colonialism," said Waters.
Waters said he believes the barrier is indefensible.
"When you stand in front of an edifice like this, whether it's here or outside a township in South Africa, or in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Second World War, or in Berlin in the 60s and 70s, it's something you know instinctively that this is wrong. It's a bad thing," he said. "It cannot survive forever."
If it does come down one day, he said, he'll perform at the site, just like he did in 1990, at a spot where the Berlin Wall had fallen just a year earlier. "In fact, I would insist on it," he said.
In the meantime, he's considering performing elsewhere in the West Bank, perhaps in the town of Ramallah, but has not made firm plans. On Monday, Waters visited a refugee camp in the northern town of Jenin to support efforts to reopen a local movie house that closed in 1987.
Waters, who left Pink Floyd in 1985, ruled out a reunion with his former band mates; their last joint performance was in 2005, for a Live 8 concert.
"We had a great career as Pink Floyd. We all enjoyed it. We all worked
together and enjoyed everything and it was brilliant. I think it's
over," he said.
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