Skip to content

Palestine – Breaking News

Un says Gaza running out of food

  • by

The UN relief and works agency has said it will run out of food within the next 48 hours as the blockade imposed on Gaza by Israel continues.

Christopher Gunness, the agency’s spokesman, told Al Jazeera the people in Gaza were being put through not just a "physical sense pf punishment but also a mental one".

"That’s how serious it is. We feed 750,000 people in Gaza and these are some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the Middle East," he said on Wednesday.

"Something very unusual is happening here. This is becoming a blockade against the UN itself."

The blockade, which has prevented deliveries of essential items including food and fuel, was imposed after rocket attacks by Palestinian fighters, who said they were responding to an Israeli raid that killed six people on November 4.

Gunness said the agency was trying to get material into a school for blind children but that it had been barred.

‘Blind Children’

"These blind children, as far as I am aware, are not firing rockets. And the material we are trying to get to them would make a pretty floppy rocket if they tried to make one from it," Gunness said.

"We have a situation where hundreds of thousands of ordinary people, including blind children who would have been assisted, are effectively being punished for the irresponsible acts of a few."

He added: "We condemn the firing of rockets. We do it every single time … We cannot punish whole communities. This has got to stop. The blockade against the UN itself has got to come to an end."

Gunness said a team in Gaza was starting a human rights education programme in the run up to the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, but he added that it would be hard telling children to respect people’s rights.

"They are telling children in Gaza that they have to respect rights universally. How can we tell those same children, ‘Oh, by the way, you have to respect rights of people in Israel but they are actually stopping us giving you food?’ It doesn’t make sense," he said.

Gunness said the agency had made phone calls and sent emails seeking permission to deliver aid to Gazans, but it was getting no response

"We are told it is not possible … it is difficult … this stuff and the other. This sort of prevarication is leading to misery. A population is being radicalised in the Middle East," he said.

Renewed Deliveries

On Tuesday, Israel partially renewed fuel deliveries to the Gaza Strip, ending a week-long suspension of supplies that led to blackouts in the homes of Palestinian families.

Palestinian workers said the first delivery was received at the Nahal Oz fuel depot and was sent on to Gaza’s only power plant.

The plant shut down on Monday due to what Palestinian officials said was a lack of fuel, leaving about half of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents without power.

An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that began in June has been disrupted following the imposition of the blockade.

Israeli’s foreign ministry accused Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, of exploiting the situation for political gain.

"The cynical Hamas exploitation of the civilian population in Gaza is contemptible," a ministry statement said.

Kanan Obeid, a Gazan energy official, criticised the move as an example of "Israel’s policy of collective punishment".

The Gaza City plant provides about a quarter of Gaza’s electricity, while most of the rest comes over lines from Israel. Egypt also provides a small amount.
 

(Aljazeera.net English and agencies)

Read More »Un says Gaza running out of food

Torture team “ book review

  • by

Torture Team – Book Review
 
 

rumsfield

‘Many in the Bush administration fall into Sand’s description of complicity in war crimes.’
 
By Jim Miles

Torture Team – Deception, Cruelty and the Compromise of Law. Philippe Sands. Allen Lane, Penguin. New York. 2008.

"Only a few pieces of paper can change the course of history. On Tuesday, 2 December 2002 Donald Rumsfield signed on that did." From such a singular beginning Philippe Sands writes the history of U.S. attempts to abrogate international laws and conventions on the use of torture and the inhumane treatment of prisoners of war. This is the memo Rumsfield approved with the sarcastic comment about standing: “However, I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?” Perhaps Rumsfield should have been subjected to the other seventeen “techniques” that accompanied the memo to see if his limits for them were any better. 

Torture Team begins carefully, reviewing and structuring the trail of evidence and the chain of command. Most of the participants in the chain of command were interviewed, some more willingly than others, and good portraits of their characters come through. They varied from casually ignorant and insouciant to defensively firm in their self-perspectives on the various papers, actions, and36that occurred. Through it all, the only groups/people that appear to be relatively ‘clean’ in these36are the military themselves and the FBI. All others, politicians (starting at the top with Bush, Rumsfield, Douglas Feith, Wolfowitz et al), government lawyers and advisors (Gonzales, Haynes, Jay Bybee, John Yoo et al), medical personnel, psychologists, anthropologists – pretty much anyone who had a hand in the interrogation – become complicit in war crimes under international law. 

Read More »Torture team “ book review

Extreme right racist militia active

  • by
An extreme right racist militia is active in Carmiel, supported by the municipality & with the approval of the police

 

(source: Gush-Shalom.org)

In a letter to the Attorney General, the Gush Shalom movement asks to disband immediately the so-called “City Guard” at Carmiel in the Galilee, which is actually a racist extreme right militia, and to launch an investigation against Deputy Mayor Oren Milstein who founded this body, as well as against police officials who helped in its establishment and operation.

The “City Guard” includes about 150 “volunteers” who turn up daily from 20.00 to 24.00 at the entrances to Carmiel and “check” incomers. The official site of the Carmiel Municipality defines the City Guard’s objectives as “increasing awareness, prevention of crime, apprehending drunk drivers, searching for drugs” and other legitimate and praiseworthy aims. However, Carmiel Deputy Mayor Oren Milstein, who was elected to the municipal council on the basis of a fiery anti-Arab campaign, candidly revealed the City Guard’s true aims.

Milstein has recently published an interview in the extreme right-wing publication “Be’Sheva”, where he said: “Carmiel is a Jewish city, plain and simple. It was founded for the purpose of Judaizing the Galilee. In my opinion it is not proper for Arab families to live here. In recent years, there are attempts by our [Arab] neighbors in the Western Galilee villages to migrate into Carmiel, and we must not ignore this phenomenon. “

Read More »Extreme right racist militia active