From Gaza, with Love

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

IN Jabalia refujee camp -usual Isreali Army practise

Dear Friends
Today in the early morning hours , and while the health emergency teams on duty in Jabalia were trying to evacuate the injured and dead , they were targeted by the Israeli army. One of the paramedics was killed, and another injured. (I will provide more details when I have the names and time of the incident )

I warned in a previous entry in my blog , and several times in my writing while reporting from Gaza since 2000, of the targeting of health teams while on duty and in clear uniform .
Who is violating human rights? And, talking of terrorism - what about state terrorism!
In Gaza we have much evidence of daily human rights violations. We do not need the world to say they did not know, when this genocide is such a prominent fact.

I am travelling from Manchester to Cairo this week to send medication, emergency supplies, and very important orthopaedic equipment, for Al Awda hospital and the Red Crescent society. Also, some very important children's medication, and medications for chronic diseases. While the hospitals are overwhelmed with the injured, it is important to secure the rest of the patients - a very difficult balance for us in such crisis, with the health services at the point of collapse.

PS
I highly recommend this website for more information about Palestine
http://www.ifamericansknew.org/

19 Comments:

  • I wish you good luck Mona! Hopefully you will get trough with your medicines! Can you tell us, how we best can help the Palestinians? I just want to be usefull!

    From Belgium...with love and respect!

    By Blogger Alia, at 12/31/2008 11:13 AM  

  • Salam, I make Dua' for you and all the Palestinians, may Allah SWT give you strength in all ways to face these severe challenges. All sacrifices will not be in vain.

    By Blogger Norma Kassim, at 12/31/2008 11:51 AM  

  • Dear Mona,
    Our complete solidarity with all courageous Gazan health workers! We here in Belgium are trying our best to mobilise support for the Palestinian people and for the Al Awda Hospital. Yesterday, I wrote the following to Dr. Yousef Mousa, Executive Director of the Union of Health Work Committees:

    Dear Dr Mousa,

    It was nice talking to you over the phone this morning, and I greatly
    admire your calm and determination, against all odds.
    Just to say that the interview I made of you has been published in Dutch
    and French on at least 5 different websites (among them
    http://www.g3w.be/fr/article.php/m1/f113/a163 ), together with an appeal
    for support for the UHWC.
    Tomorrow, thousands of protesters will march in solidarity with the
    people of Gaza through the streets of Brussels. We will be collecting
    support for the UHWC during the rally.
    Warm regards,

    Dr Bert De Belder
    Medical Aid for the Third World / Third World Relief Fund

    By Blogger Bert, at 12/31/2008 12:11 PM  

  • Salam Mona,

    One feels very guilty being unable to help.Please advise if there's a way to send medicines to Gaza. We have some medicines and some money we would like to send and we don't know how. Please let me know if you know a way.

    By Blogger Haddad, at 12/31/2008 12:13 PM  

  • I'm Majd...It's a very good idea to make a blog about gaZA
    and I have one ..
    sekaroz-4gaza.blogspot.com

    By Blogger SekaroZ, at 12/31/2008 12:44 PM  

  • Im support palestina dan HAMAS. Go ahead!!!!

    By Blogger A. Rohman, at 12/31/2008 6:08 PM  

  • All the best of luck with everything.
    My prayers are with you- it's enlightening to see that someone helping so resourcefully.
    May Allah reward you for your efforts.Ameen.

    By Blogger hfm, at 12/31/2008 6:14 PM  

  • Good luck. Keep faith.

    Hicham from London

    By Blogger hicham, at 12/31/2008 9:40 PM  

  • Mona,
    I live near London and read your blog often. Until recently I sent money via PCWF for a family in Rafah Camp.

    I am looking for an alternative charity or NGO to send funds - any suggestions?

    Maybe at an appropriate time it may be possible to find the family and access their needs.
    Malcolm Chapman

    By Blogger Malcolm Chapman, at 12/31/2008 10:21 PM  

  • Hi... I don't speak English very well, i'm from Venezuela... I don't know if i can say Happy New Year to anyone... and i still don't know how can all the world celebrate this new year... I find this site because i need to know the truth. I know the people in Gaza is suffering... and i'm feeling sad.. because the world does nothing, i don't understand that... I'm just 16 years old... and I know we don't believe in the same god, but Palestina is in my mind and my prays and one of my wishes this years.. is that all this war, all this genocide just come to an end...
    Hugs and Kisses from Venezuela

    By Blogger ·!¦[·ŊäŦħy·]¦!·, at 1/01/2009 1:18 AM  

  • Dear Dr. El-Farra,

    I am sorry to hear about your loss. Please accept my condolences. Unfortunately Hamas's provocations cause a lot of casualties both in the Israeli side and on the Palastenian one. Civilians are being hit daily, and like yourself I also believe it's a tragedy.

    As I'm sure you know, Hammas terrorists hide in hospitals and disguise themselves as doctors and and medical staff. Reason being they're using civil population as shield. Please understand that Israel has nothing against civilians, we do try to target only Hamas terrorists. If you doubt me, please see how Palastenian terrorists use UN Ambulance to terror Israel - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRmYYSp0-B8 . Again, unlike Hamas, Israel does not try to target civilians, but when Hamas uses them in a cold way as it does, civilians are bound to get hurt.

    You are using the term "genocide". There is an old Jewish phrase saying that you should not judge a person when they're grieving, and so I will not. I would just reiterate the face that there is no systematic action, nor will, nor wish , no intention what so ever to kill the palastenian population. We wish to live peacefully side by side with our Palastenian neighbours. I'm sure this is the wish of most of the Palastenians as well, and hope most of you don't support Hamas formal aim (it's in the terrorist organization manifest) to destroy Israel by force.

    I have looked at the site you've attached. As an academic person to an academic person, I'm a bit surprised you tend to believe those very mis-interperated numbers and terms.

    Again, I wish you and your family all the best, and hope the conflict between our people will end with a peaceful resolution.

    By Blogger Bgp, at 1/01/2009 11:45 AM  

  • To Bgp

    Thanks for your peaceful comment. But what do you say when Israel attack to the Dignity boat? What do you say of several months blockade? What do you say of 41 years occupation? What do you say when we see U.S. has used their veto right in the U.N. Security Council 28 times since 1983 to cancel all the U.N. and international oppositions against Israel? If you and Mona are academic persons, I am an academic person too. But I think those numbers are true and they have lots of things to say. Please search "Palestine Map" in the google images, you may find some interesting maps. Anyway, being an academic person does not mean that we can learn the truth easily.

    I think when someone occupies one of the rooms in my house, I have this right to push him out, first by asking poiltely and when I see he is not going to go out (stay for 41 years!) and none of my neighbors are trying to help me, then I will use force to push him out. However, I believe if any of the Hamas rockets hit a civilian Israeli, this is wrong too.

    By Blogger Meead S., at 1/01/2009 7:49 PM  

  • Again to Bgp:

    I'm not from Israel, nor Palestine. I'm originally from Iran but live in the US. It's for a few years that I'm doing some personal research to find out the truth. Let me tell you some details. United States used its veto 32 times to shield Israel from critical draft resolutions between 1972 and 1997 and 9 more times between 1997 to 2006. If you are interested to know what were those UN resolutions, visit this link http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/UN/usvetoes.html

    I'm open up to know more to find the truth. However, I know all of these numbers can only tell half of the story. Bgp, let us know if you have any information that look at this conflict in another way, with another perspective. Thanks.

    By Blogger Meead S., at 1/01/2009 8:30 PM  

  • In view of all the one-sided views on the present situation in Gaza, I would like to present you with an article by a well-known British columnist. It is long, but I hope you, and all who send you comments, will read it cafrefully:

    Groundhog Day for the Fifth Column of Malice
    by Melanie Phillips
    Spectator.co.uk, 12/30/2008

    So there is indeed now a war. In Gaza. Actually, there are two wars going on: one involving rockets and warplanes, and the other involving the media, as Barry Rubin notes:

    Nothing is clearer than Hamas’s strategy. It gives Israel the choice between rockets and media, and Hamas thinks it is a situation of, ‘‘We win or you lose.’’...The smug smiles are wiped off the faces of Hamas leaders. Yet they have one more weapon, their reserves, they call up the media. Those arrogant, heroic, macho victors of yesterday--literally yesterday as the process takes only a few hours--are transformed into pitiful victims. Casualty figures are announced by Hamas, and accepted by reporters who are not on the spot. Everyone hit is, of course, a civilian. No soldiers here. And the casualties are disproportionate: Hamas has arranged it that way. If necessary, sympathetic photographers take pictures of children who pretend to be injured, and once they are published in Western newspapers these claims become fact.

    All too predictable ­­ and going to plan, with assistance from the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who condemned ‘‘excessive use of force leading to the killing and injuring of civilians’’, and Navi Pillay, the ludicrous UN High Commissioner for ‘‘Human Rights’’, who ‘‘strongly condemned Israel’s disproportionate use of force.’’ Of course, the UN has been silent about the actual violations of international law by the Palestinians, as pointed out here by Justus Reid Weiner and Avi Bell:

    The Palestinian attacks violate one of the most basic rules of international humanitarian law: the rule of distinction, which requires combatants to aim all their attacks at legitimate targets - enemy combatants or objects that contribute to enemy military actions. Violations of the rule of distinction - attacks deliberately aimed at civilians or protected objects as such - are war crimes.

    Furthermore, say Weiner and Bell, Israel actually has a legal duty to take action against Hamas under the Genocide Convention:

    In carrying out their attacks on Israeli Jews as part of a larger aim to kill Jews, as demonstrated by the Hamas Covenant, many of the Palestinian terrorists are also violating the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. Under Article 1 of the Genocide Convention, Israel and other signatories are required to ‘‘prevent and punish’’ not only persons who carry out such genocidal acts, but those who conspire with them, incite them to kill and are complicit with their actions. The Convention thus requires Israel to prevent and punish the terrorists themselves, as well as leading figures that have publicly supported the Palestinian attacks. Article 2 of the Convention defines any killing with intent ‘‘to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such’’ as an act of genocide.

    But for exercising its legal duty in accordance with international law, Israel is condemned and told to stop by politicians such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband. The moral inversion is staggering. Miliband has called for an immediate ceasefire by Israel. The implication is that Israel should suffer the Palestinian rockets attacks indefinitely.

    If anything has been ‘‘disproportionate’’, it’s been Israel’s refusal to take such action during the years when its southern citizens have been terrorised by rockets and other missiles raining down on them from Gaza. No other country in the world would have sat on its hands for so long in such circumstances. But whenever Israel defends itself militarily, its response is said to be ‘‘disproportionate’’. The malice, ignorance and sheer idiocy of this claim is refuted here comprehensively by Dore Gold, who points out that Israel’s actions in Gaza are wholly in accordance with international law. This permits Israel to launch such an operation to prevent itself from being further attacked. Moreover, it defines ‘‘disproportionate’’ force as when force becomes excessive if it is employed for another purpose, like causing unnecessary harm to civilians.

    But Israel has demonstrably not been targeting civilians but Hamas terrorists. Despite the wicked impression given by the media, most of the casualties in this operation have been Hamas operatives. Even Hamas itself has admitted that the vast majority of sites Israel has hit were part of their military infrastructure. UNRWA officials in the Gaza Strip have put the number of deaths at 310, of whom 51 were civilians. The rest were Hamas terrorists.

    Certainly, some civilian casualties are regrettably inevitable in any such situation ­­ but particularly so in Gaza, since Hamas has deliberately sited its terrorist infrastructure amongst the civilian population.

    Those who scream ‘‘disproportionate’’ think ­­ grotesquely -- that not enough Israelis have been killed. But that’s in part because Israel cares enough about human life to construct air raid shelters where its beleaguered civilians take cover; Hamas deliberately stores its rockets and other apparatus of mass murder below apartment blocks and in centres of population in order to get as many of its own people killed as possible as a propaganda weapon. Hamas is thus guilty of war crimes not just against Israelis but against the Palestinian people. Yet on this there is ­­ fantastically, surreally ­­ almost total silence in the west, which blames Israel instead. Historical resonances, anyone?

    In any event, if by ‘‘disproportionate’’ is meant merely an imbalance in the numbers who are killed on either side, this is actually inescapable if the infrastructure of aggression is to be defeated. Many more died in Afghanistan than in the 9/11 attacks; yet that war was necessary to destroy the Taliban. Many more died in Nazi Germany or Japan than in Britain or America during World War Two. Yet the scale of the Allied offensive was necessary to defeat Nazism and prevent yet more carnage amongst its designated victims.

    The disgusting fifth column in the Gaza conflict, however, is ­­ as ever ­­ the western media. It was telling to witness the sight of British TV camera crews heading out to Israel on Saturday night. The point was that they weren’t already there ­­ because their editors had not thought it necessary to send them to cover the resumed rocket attacks on southern Israel. Indeed, hardly anyone in Britain is aware that Israel is only now finally responding to some 6000 rocket attacks since 2001, with a fifty per cent increase after Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. British journalists were only dispatched to the battle zone when Israel finally retaliated ­­ because, appallingly, it is only Jewish violence that is ever the story.

    As a result, Israel is painted ­­ wholly unjustly and untruthfully -- as the aggressor. The ineffable BBC reported in radio bulletins on Saturday that Israel’’s attack had ‘‘put back the chance of peace in the region’’. Most sane people would think that the reason peace in the region had been put back was that Hamas was continuing to wage aggressive war. And indeed, even now it is still firing rockets at Israel, including Katyushas and Iranian Grads which are reaching as far as Ashkelon and Ashdod. Today they killed another Israeli in Ashkelon and injured many more -- including several Israeli Arabs.

    If the media have mentioned the attacks on Israel at all, they have done so as an afterthought. The main story is ‘‘disproportionate’’ Israeli violence. As far as I can see, there has been no mention of the extraordinary fact that on the day prior to the start of the Israeli operation, a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip was admitted to hospital in Israel for medical treatment for a severe wound -- inflicted upon him by a stray Hamas rocket which had been fired at Israel.

    What other country would treat its enemies in own hospitals ­­ which Israel does routinely with Palestinians from Gaza -- even when they are wounded as a direct consequence of their own side trying to murder yet more Israelis? What other country would provide or enable the supply of electricity, gas and other essentials to people who use such facilities to continue trying to murder as many Israelis as possible? On Sunday, for instance, as Ha’aretz reported, the Kerem Shalom crossing was opened to let through 26 trucks carrying food and medical equipment. Today it was opened again and about 40 trucks had entered with food and medical supplies by midday. Yet organizations such as Amnesty International have condemned Israel's imposition of all ‘‘blockades’’ on the Gaza Strip as ‘‘collective punishment’’, and Jeremy Hobbs, Director of Oxfam International, has called on Israel ‘‘immediately [to] lift its inhumane and illegal siege’’.

    Yet it is Hamas that is refusing wounded Gazans access into Egypt for treatment -- and indeed the Egyptians even opened fire on them. So where are the screams about Egyptian and Hamas brutality? Where are Amnesty and Oxfam’s condemnation of Hamas and Egypt? And might all those from the Foreign Secretary down screaming about a ‘‘humanitarian disaster’’ in Gaza pause for one second and look at the well-fed, healthy Gazans parading across their TV screens? If that’s a ‘‘humanitarian disaster’’ ­­ with supplies constantly pouring through the illegal tunnels from Egypt, along with billions of dollars-worth of missiles with which to commit mass murder -- what do they call what’s happening in Zimbabwe, which for some unaccountable reason inspires among the high-minded merely indifference?

    Such bigotry and malice are not confined to British media and NGOs. On Salon, Glenn Greenwald whines about America’s one-sided support for whatever Israel does from our political class, and one-sided condemnation of Israel's enemies (who are, ipso facto, American enemies) -- all of it, as usual, sharply divergent from the consensus in much of the rest of the world.

    Oh really? Well, Hamas has been blamed for this war by Mahmoud Abbas, who said Hamas could have avoided this attack if it had prolonged its ‘‘cease-fire’’. It has been blamed for this war by Egypt; and Arab states which are terrified of Islamism in general and Iran in particular are privately rooting for Israel to wipe Hamas out. Even the Israeli left is supporting this operation. The only people taking the side of the genocidal terrorists of Hamas are the western media, parroting their propaganda and thus inciting yet more to join the murderous rampage against Israel as well as ratcheting up the pressure on world leaders to force Israel to stop before Hamas is destroyed.

    Isn’t there a case for legal action against these media outlets on account of their blood libels, for indirectly aiding the perpetrators of attempted genocide?

    Melanie Phillips is a British social commentator and author and a columnist for the Daily Mail. Her articles can be found on her website, http://www.melaniephillips.com.

    By Blogger A Nobody's thoughts on the World, at 1/01/2009 10:53 PM  

  • Dear BGP,

    Thanks for your sincerity and deep feelings of concern.

    By Blogger ColoredOpinions, at 1/02/2009 12:56 AM  

  • I wish you all the luck and courage in the world. If there are photographs coming out of gaza that you would like to see published, I will happily place them on my blog so the whole world can see what is happening.

    JS
    www.gonecity.blogspot.com

    By Blogger John Sevigny, at 1/04/2009 1:02 PM  

  • I wish you all the luck in the world.

    js
    www.gonecity.blogspot.com

    By Blogger John Sevigny, at 1/04/2009 1:03 PM  

  • My name is María Orfila, I’m journalist from Uruguay of the El Observador newspaper (www.observa.com.uy; www.elobservador.com.uy). I would like to contact you to know your work in Gaza. Can you write me to my e-mail: mariaorfila@gmail.com?
    Best reguards.

    By Blogger María, at 1/08/2009 3:33 PM  

  • As much as the Palestinians want to destroy Israel they will never succeed as the Jews are God's chosen people and as he had promised them the land of Israel who can take that from them.

    Shame on the Hamas COWARDS for sacrificing Palestinian children by launching rockets within civilian populations! You are to be blamed for the civilian deaths instead of blaming Israeli military. You will die! Lest you do not know, most of the Western powers are behind Israel and your days are numbered.

    By Blogger Mere, at 1/09/2009 3:15 AM  

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