From Gaza, with Love

Friday, September 05, 2008

THis is how Palestinan patients are treated

Erez Crossing, by Donna Wallach:

"I along with others from Free Gaza Movement decided not to return withthe SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty to Cyprus and instead to remain in GazaStrip for a while to continue the work of breaking the siege. Throughoutthe time I am staying here I will participate with the others in variousactions in Rafah, Gaza City, and other areas throughout the Gaza Strip,including going out in fishing boats to challenge the Israeli Navypreventing the Palestinian fishermen from fishing more than 6 miles out.In addition, we are re-organizing ISM Rafah, to do Palestinian ledsolidarity work here."This past Friday a 64 year-old Palestinian woman from Beit Hanoun, GazaStrip arrived to the Erez crossing accompanied by all of the remainingmembers of the Free Gaza Movement. She has been suffering for sevenmonths with a tumor on her spine. Without the necessary surgery grantedher by St. Joseph Hospital in Jerusalem, she will become paralyzed andwill live in constant pain, from what I understand. We, FGM members,walked in front of her as a protection for her to not be shot by theIsraeli soldiers guarding their border. She was being pushed in awheelchair. Slowly we approached the Israeli side, holding our arms inthe air and many of us clutching our passports."A Palestinian man was the liaison between Dr. Mona El-Farra and theIsraeli "authorities". Dr. Mona El-Farra was the main organizer for thisaction of bringing this 64 year-old woman to cross the Erez checkpoint.The Palestinian man kept on telling us that we needed to stop becausethe Israelis told him they were going to shoot us. We decided it wasmore important to challenge the Crime Against Humanity of Israel notpermitting this woman to receive the urgent medical treatment sheneeded, so we continued to walk towards the Israeli gate with our armsup in the air. We finally reached the Israeli gate without a shot beingfired, not a bullet not a tear gas canister or a sound bomb. In the endthough, the Israelis heartlessly told the woman she had to go back home,but could return an 8th time."On Sunday 31st August, we from FGM arrived at about 9:00am from Rafah,the southernmost area in Gaza Strip, to Erez crossing, the northernmostarea in Gaza Strip. We came to continue standing in solidarity with thewoman from the village of Beit Hanoun. We arrived late and she and Dr.Mona El-Farra had already left for the border. We gathered inside thecrude fenced in area where all Palestinians and others wait forpermission to cross the dirt pathway to arrive to the Israeli gate. Wewaited hours, then we heard that the woman was turned back again, withridiculous excuse that a member of her family must accompany her intoIsrael to the hospital. This woman came back, yet was not defeated.Almost all the members of her family have been wrongfully blacklistedby Israel, meaning that they cannot enter the Apartheid State of Israel.Finally the woman's 75 year-old husband was granted permission to enterIsrael with her. After he arrived to Erez and the paper work for him wasfilled out, they went off to the Israeli side. We continued to wait inthe heat to hear that she had crossed and was inside the Israeliambulance that would take her to the hospital and to her surgery whichwas supposed to have started on Sunday. Dr. Mona El-Farra told us thatshe continued to tell the Israeli authorities that members of the FreeGaza Movement were waiting at Erez to ensure that the woman would enterthis time and that we were willing to die, we would walk again to theborder even if the soldiers would shoot and kill us, we would do what ittakes so that the Israelis would allow her to enter, which they finallydid. The 8th time was the charm for this very brave and courageous womansitting in a wheelchair who defied the Israelis with all of theirgunpower."31 August 2008Donna Wallach, Free Gaza Movement

hello all iam alive and active , will never give up

Dear all
friends , sisters, brothers , comrades all over the world , all of you who have supported me while writing my blog , just a quick words to let you know:

I am fine , but the whole situation in Gaza is so frustrating and not easy to handle day after day. It is is not easy living under such circumstances , while the borders are closed, and 1.5 million live under collective punishment.

The success of the Free Gaza Movement gave us some hope for the future , it was a small act , but great and courageous too , a few determined , strong activists did the miracle. In an unprecented voyage, the first boats to arrive from international waters to Gaza shores in 41 years. A lot of work can be done to make the change , to ring the bell , to wake up the deaf , silent and blind international community goverments. What is happening in Gaza under the siege and the occupation is not only a human rights violation, it is a war crime.

I was with the Free Gaza movment and the re-constituted Gaza International Solidarity Movement at Erez crossing last Sunday (the northern border between Gaza and Israel ) to make pressure and let one of the patients out for treatment. We succeeded in the end (see the statement below ) but the hard question is, why should it take all these extravagant efforts to let one patient in great need for emergency surgery out of Gaza ?????????????

It is a fundemental basic need , it is the right of each individual to get health care !!!!!!!!!BUT IN PALESTINE UNDER OCCUPATION THE STORY IS DIFFERENT.

238 patients died last year while waiting to be issued a permit to leave Gaza for treatment ,via the borders . Hundreds are waiting, including many children.
We are not talking about Hamas or Fatah, or who is controlling Gaza , it is a basic humanitarian and human rights issue .

from Gaza with love

Thursday, September 04, 2008

a taste of palestinian patients suffering at the Borders

The FREE GAZA MOVEMENT announces the entry of Magdia Abushaweesh at 13:30, Sunday 31st, 2008 through the Erez crossing to Israel.
64-year old Palestinian woman with a tumor on her spine in need of an operation to save her from paralysis, finally accesses Israel after 7 months of rejection. Originally having received an appointment and permission to travel to the St. Joseph hospital in Jerusalem she has since then continuously been denied entry by the Israeli Occupation Forces.
After the seventh attempt on Friday the 29th of August accompanied by a group of 11 international activists attempting to escort magdia Abushaweesh through the Erez crossing, Israel gave permission. The 11 internationals from the Free Gaza Movement followed by a large group of press secured heavy media coverage that eventually put pressure on the Israeli government and achieved the entry permission. The internationals and Magdia walked towards the Israeli gate with the border guards threatening to shoot them. They advanced slowly with their arms raised, holding their passports up high. They finally managed to reach the gate, but the Israeli guards refused to open it.Magdia entry follows in the wake of the forty-five international human rights workers from the Free Gaza Movement arriving to Gaza on two boats sailing through international waters. The 23rd of August was the frist time in 41 years that an international ship has landed in the Gaza port, consequently breaking the Israeli siege. The mission of exposing the illegality of Israel's actions and expressing solidarity with the suffering people of the Gaza-strip (and of the occupied Palestinian territory as a whole) continues with the continuous presence of several members of the Free Gaza Movement in the Gaza-strip. They will be doing many simular activities during the next few months throughout Gaza

ISM and fishermen of Gaza

Yesterday, 1st September 2008, the first day of Ramadan, several volunteers with the Free Gaza Movement and the International Solidarity Movement accompanied a small fleet of seven fishing vessels from Gaza City port. The fishermen exercised their right to fish in Gazan territorial waters, providing them with a livelihood and food for the besieged people of Gaza. The fishing fleet reached approximately nine miles offshore and began trawling along the Gazan coast, well within international limits. Usually the Israeli Navy prevents Gazan fishing vessels from accessing beyond six miles and in many cases only three miles by attacking the boats, sometimes lethally, or by arresting the fishermen. However, this day’s fishing resulted in a highly successful catch due to the ability to access richer fishing grounds further offshore.

Two Israeli Naval gunboats approached the fleet soon after leaving port and began firing “warning shots” shortly afterwards. They were aware that internationals were on some of the boats. The Israeli Navy continued shooting multiple times at the fishing vessels, one of which was fired upon at least seven times. They also deployed explosive charges in the water and attempted to de-stabilise some of the boats by creating a strong wake. Communication was established with the Israeli Navy via VHF radio, informing them that everyone onboard were unarmed civilians and requesting that the Israeli Navy stop shooting.

The volunteers will continue to join Gazan fishing expeditions on a regular basis and will monitor Israeli aggressions towards the fishermen. Video and written documentation will be posted publicly and made available to journalists. The Israeli Navy will not be informed as to when the volunteers will join the fishermen, nor the ports they will sail from, since this is not within their jurisdiction. Also no indication will be made as to which vessels have internationals onboard.