My Assignment in Gaza

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I didn’t expect to feel joy in the middle of an area that’s been divided by struggle for decades.

But there they were – a group of girls, like rays of light, bringing the history of human rights to life through art and storytelling.

(c) Amnesty International

It was December 10th – Human Rights Day – and a girls’ school located in Deir El-Balah, a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, was hosting a play and an art show. I was in Gaza on assignment for the United Nations and was honored to be invited to speak.

In Gaza – as well as hundreds of other global human rights hot spots like China and Myanmar (also called Burma), Amnesty International’s work at its core is about people – the people we aim to protect, the people who believe in us and the people who lift our cause up for the world to witness, and act on.

While visiting the school in Gaza, I realized that these young girls represented all of those qualities. Will you stand up for human rights along with them?

So far, we are more than halfway to our goal of 10,000 pledges by September 30th. Until then, generous donors will match your gift dollar-for-dollar, up to $300,000.

During the events that day, I was captivated as the girls took turns re-creating the different articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

I am the right to education.
I am the right to health.
I am the right to equality.

But it was the artwork of a student that was perhaps most remarkable.

She had painted her vision of key moments and heroes in human rights history. There, next to Gandhi, Buddha, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. was the birth of Amnesty International in May of 1961.

This is what Amnesty means to girls in Gaza: a beacon of hope in a war-torn area of the world. And today, I hope you will consider being a part of this legacy.

Join before Sept. 30 and generous donors will double your gift.

I left Deir al-Balah with a renewed sense of purpose. Our work as human rights defenders is not done until the Declaration of Human Rights is a reality for children in Gaza and everyone struggling for freedom and justice.

So I pass the candle to you. We must never let it fade. Together we are hope. We are light. We are Amnesty International.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

42 thoughts on “My Assignment in Gaza

  1. Yes, I agree 100%

    Let us all stand up against the cruel satanic oppressors who seek to destroy these UN run schools in Gaza and prevent girls from being educated and especial do not want them taught that they have human rights.

    example: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010

    28 Jun 2010

    A group of armed men has vandalized a UN summer camp in the Gaza Strip, the second such attack in just over one month.

    The attackers destroyed tents, toys, a plastic swimming pool and set much of the camp's equipment on fire on Monday.

    John Ging, the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, called it a "cowardly act," and vowed to rebuild the camp quickly.

    "This is another example of the growing levels of extremism in Gaza, and further evidence, if that were needed, of the urgency to change the situation on the ground," Ging said.

    The previous camp attack happened on May 23, when dozens of masked men tied up a night watchman, set fire to equipment and left a threatening letter for Ging.

    The attacks have been widely attributed to extremist groups in Gaza that view the camps as religiously unacceptable, because boys and girls mingle freely.

  2. Yes, I agree 100%

    Let us all stand up against the cruel satanic oppressors who seek to destroy these UN run schools in Gaza and prevent girls from being educated and especial do not want them taught that they have human rights.

    example: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010

    28 Jun 2010

    A group of armed men has vandalized a UN summer camp in the Gaza Strip, the second such attack in just over one month.

    The attackers destroyed tents, toys, a plastic swimming pool and set much of the camp's equipment on fire on Monday.

    John Ging, the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, called it a "cowardly act," and vowed to rebuild the camp quickly.

    "This is another example of the growing levels of extremism in Gaza, and further evidence, if that were needed, of the urgency to change the situation on the ground," Ging said.

    The previous camp attack happened on May 23, when dozens of masked men tied up a night watchman, set fire to equipment and left a threatening letter for Ging.

    The attacks have been widely attributed to extremist groups in Gaza that view the camps as religiously unacceptable, because boys and girls mingle freely.

  3. Yes, I agree 100%

    Let us all stand up against the cruel satanic oppressors who seek to destroy these UN run schools in Gaza and prevent girls from being educated and especial do not want them taught that they have human rights.

    example: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010

    28 Jun 2010

    A group of armed men has vandalized a UN summer camp in the Gaza Strip, the second such attack in just over one month.

    The attackers destroyed tents, toys, a plastic swimming pool and set much of the camp's equipment on fire on Monday.

    John Ging, the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, called it a "cowardly act," and vowed to rebuild the camp quickly.

    "This is another example of the growing levels of extremism in Gaza, and further evidence, if that were needed, of the urgency to change the situation on the ground," Ging said.

    The previous camp attack happened on May 23, when dozens of masked men tied up a night watchman, set fire to equipment and left a threatening letter for Ging.

    The attacks have been widely attributed to extremist groups in Gaza that view the camps as religiously unacceptable, because boys and girls mingle freely.

  4. Yes, I agree 100%

    Let us all stand up against the cruel satanic oppressors who seek to destroy these UN run schools in Gaza and prevent girls from being educated and especial do not want them taught that they have human rights.

    example:
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/06/201062819215601151.html

    28 Jun 2010

    A group of armed men has vandalized a UN summer camp in the Gaza Strip, the second such attack in just over one month.

    The attackers destroyed tents, toys, a plastic swimming pool and set much of the camp’s equipment on fire on Monday.

    John Ging, the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, called it a “cowardly act,” and vowed to rebuild the camp quickly.

    “This is another example of the growing levels of extremism in Gaza, and further evidence, if that were needed, of the urgency to change the situation on the ground,” Ging said.

    The previous camp attack happened on May 23, when dozens of masked men tied up a night watchman, set fire to equipment and left a threatening letter for Ging.

    The attacks have been widely attributed to extremist groups in Gaza that view the camps as religiously unacceptable, because boys and girls mingle freely.

  5. Ah yes, here's Judo once again !!

    The champion of the Zionist blockade of Gaza !!

    In the name of "agreeing" with Amnesty, he uses again his favorite tactic …

    … of SABOTAGING Amnesty's message by raising red herrings that completely derail you from pursuing the goal of the rights campaign in each instance !!

    Now he is "worried" for the young girls of Gaza !!

    Not when they get blown up by israeli missile strikes !!

    Not when israel refuses to let in ships or consignments with toys & chocolate for the girls !!

    Not when the girls suffer the effects of poverty & dependence on outside aid brought on by the unemployment produced by the Siege !!

    Not when the girls are forced to live in shelters of mud !!

    Because the israeli army won't let buiilding material into Gaza !!

    Oh, i forgot — the building material would be used by Hamas, Judo insists, for defense or worse purposes !!

    So what's Judo's red herring this time ??

    The rise of "extremism" in Gaza !!!

    Not in the israeli universities, where Zionist extremism is crippling academic freedom !!

    But inside besieged Gaza itself !!

    How does Judo put it ?

    "The cruel satanic oppressors" !!

    My, my !!

    What righteous indignation from the very champion of the Siege of Gaza !!

    And this at a time when Hamas has acccomplished one necessary thing …

    The disarming of armed groups within Gaza…

    Thus checking internal strife & violence within the population !!

    But enough !!

    Enough of being sidetracked & derailed by this propagandist of the Zionist Establishment !!

    i wholeheartedly support Amnesty's efforts for the besieged children of Gaza & for freedom & justice.

    Which means freedom & justice primarily & predominantly from the lunatic state of israel, its warmongering army, & its illegitimate Siege.

  6. Ah yes, here’s Savage once again !!

    The champion of opening Gaza to unlimited Iranian heavy weapons importation by sea into Gaza !!

    That will certainly help the innocent little Palestinian girls in this article gain human rights, won't it, right A. Savage, having another war with Israel break out in the middle of a dense civilian population? Just the perfect recipe for human rights improvement right ?

    You want the sea blockade down for only one reason: so Iran and Hezbollah can flood Gaza with offensive weapons to rain down on Israeli civilians and destroy any hope for the peace negotiations success, that President Obama got started only last week.

    Peace with Israel is these little Palestinian girls only really hope of living a life free of war, just as it is the only hope for little Israeli children for a life free of war, which all true human rights for both sides will flow out of at the end of the day.

    Gaza is no longer under aid blockade as the whole world will see next week. An open land link from Egypt exists for the importation of all humanitarian aid into Gaza. You and the whole world will see next week the Viva Palestina Lifeline 5 convoy, organized by former British lawmaker George Galloway arrive at the Egyptian port of El Arish, peacefully unload its cargo for inspection and proceed to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza without delay.

    The direct sea connection to Gaza Port without any Egyptian inspection as you want is just a code word for an Iranian Revolutionary Guard takeover of Gaza and the end of any hope for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, and the end of any hope for these little Palestinian girls and for the little Israeli children too for the real human right, to live in peace and quiet and security and prosperity as two countries for two peoples, Israel and Palestine, existing side by side as happy, peaceful, cooperating, good neighbors, as President Obama, as well as almost all Israelis and Palestinians and almost every other sane person on earth dreams of.

    Almost everyone it seems except for you, A. Savage, and your despicable racist genocidal Iranian heroes.

  7. Ah yes, here’s Judo once again !!

    The champion of the Zionist blockade of Gaza !!

    In the name of “agreeing” with Amnesty, he uses again his favorite tactic …

    … of SABOTAGING Amnesty’s message by raising red herrings that completely derail you from pursuing the goal of the rights campaign in each instance !!

    Now he is “worried” for the young girls of Gaza !!

    Not when they get blown up by israeli missile strikes !!

    Not when israel refuses to let in ships or consignments with toys & chocolate for the girls !!

    Not when the girls suffer the effects of poverty & dependence on outside aid brought on by the unemployment produced by the Siege !!

    Not when the girls are forced to live in shelters of mud !!

    Because the israeli army won’t let buiilding material into Gaza !!

    Oh, i forgot — the building material would be used by Hamas, Judo insists, for defense or worse purposes !!

    So what’s Judo’s red herring this time ??

    The rise of “extremism” in Gaza !!!

    Not in the israeli universities, where Zionist extremism is crippling academic freedom !!

    But inside besieged Gaza itself !!

    How does Judo put it ?

    “The cruel satanic oppressors” !!

    My, my !!

    What righteous indignation from the very champion of the Siege of Gaza !!

    And this at a time when Hamas has acccomplished one necessary thing …

    The disarming of armed groups within Gaza…

    Thus checking internal strife & violence within the population !!

    But enough !!

    Enough of being sidetracked & derailed by this propagandist of the Zionist Establishment !!

    i wholeheartedly support Amnesty’s efforts for the besieged children of Gaza & for freedom & justice.

    Which means freedom & justice primarily & predominantly from the lunatic state of israel, its warmongering army, & its illegitimate Siege.

  8. Ah yes, here’s Savage once again !!

    The champion of opening Gaza to unlimited Iranian heavy weapons importation by sea into Gaza !!

    That will certainly help the innocent little Palestinian girls in this article gain human rights, won’t it, right A. Savage, having another war with Israel break out in the middle of a dense civilian population? Just the perfect recipe for human rights improvement right ?

    You want the sea blockade down for only one reason: so Iran and Hezbollah can flood Gaza with offensive weapons to rain down on Israeli civilians and destroy any hope for the peace negotiations success, that President Obama got started only last week.

    Peace with Israel is these little Palestinian girls only really hope of living a life free of war, just as it is the only hope for little Israeli children for a life free of war, which all true human rights for both sides will flow out of at the end of the day.

    Gaza is no longer under aid blockade as the whole world will see next week. An open land link from Egypt exists for the importation of all humanitarian aid into Gaza. You and the whole world will see next week the Viva Palestina Lifeline 5 convoy, organized by former British lawmaker George Galloway arrive at the Egyptian port of El Arish, peacefully unload its cargo for inspection and proceed to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza without delay.

    The direct sea connection to Gaza Port without any Egyptian inspection as you want is just a code word for an Iranian Revolutionary Guard takeover of Gaza and the end of any hope for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, and the end of any hope for these little Palestinian girls and for the little Israeli children too for the real human right, to live in peace and quiet and security and prosperity as two countries for two peoples, Israel and Palestine, existing side by side as happy, peaceful, cooperating, good neighbors, as President Obama, as well as almost all Israelis and Palestinians and almost every other sane person on earth dreams of.

    Almost everyone it seems except for you, A. Savage, and your despicable racist genocidal Iranian heroes.

  9. Judo.

    On the heels of every mass crime of Zionism & the US in the Middle East walks this practitioner of israeli psywar propaganda.

    You stand against any horrendous rights violations ?

    You're set up for a character assassination by these Zionist operatives.

    Eg.

    He accuses me of championing the importation of Iranian heavy weaponry BY SEA into Gaza.

    This is news about me even to me.

    But that "by sea" is a master touch.

    Surely such a detail is telling — attesting to the authenticity of the charge !!

    But if you try to look up if i ever said or advocated such a thing, you'll look in vain.

    That's the Judo / Zionist tactic .

    Throw in a huge red herring to deflect attention from Amnesty's focus on the real problems.

    But enough of such sideshows & diversions !

    Iran is not the issue here.

    The Iranian Revolutionary Guards aren't the issue for Amnesty either.

    Neither is Hezbollah.

    Let's go back to what Mr Curt Goering tries to focus us on.

    Making the Declaration of Human Rights a reality for the children of Gaza.

    Like the 6 month old girl ( six MONTHS !! ) who suffered from kidney failure in Gaza.

    She urgently needed dialysis.

    There's no dialysis machine in Gaza — due to ISRAEL'S BLOCKADE.

    Her parents desperately pressed for permission from israel to take her to a hospital in israel.

    israel delayed the process — as she always does when it comes to treatment for critically sick or injured Palestinians.

    The permission came too late.

    The little girl died.

    Or the 10 year boy in Gaza, sick for some indefinable reason.

    The doctors suspected a brain tumor.

    He needs an MRI scan.

    No scanner machine in Gaza — due to the israeli BLOCKADE.

    Permission to take him outside the blockade for treatment urgently applied for.

    israel can't be bothered — until it is too late.

    The boy died too.

    You care about the children ??

    Think of the children of Gaza whose families woke up in the middle of the night to find the darkness shaking & crashing & shrieking around them.

    The israel bulldozers are here !!

    No time to take anything.

    They only have time tro run for their lives as behind them their homes crumble to dust.

    Afterwards, the now roofless children are sent to live with relatives.

    But night after night they wake up screaming from nightmares & wet their beds.

    You're concerned for their education ??

    But their schoolbooks& notebooks are buried under the rubble of their homes.

    Some good people came & gave the children new textbooks.

    The Hamas Palestinian government's Ministry of Education gave the children a schoolbag & fifty dollars each.

    You don't need to stop MRI scanners from coming in to Gaza in order to check an arms flow.

    You don't need to block dialysis machines either if heavy weapons are what you're after.

    No blockade could stop weapons from coming in if a people need them.

    No.

    The blockade's a failed israeli tactic in provoking a frustrated Palestinian populace into overthrowing Hamas.

    The tactic has backfired.

    The blockade has strengthened & entrenched Hamas & given it immense cred when Abbas is seen as the sellout he is.

    But in one respect the blockade is an immense success.

    israel has succeded in her crushing collective punishment of the Palestinians of Gaza.

    Not least of all the children.

  10. Judo.

    On the heels of every mass crime of Zionism & the US in the Middle East walks this practitioner of israeli psywar propaganda.

    You stand against any horrendous rights violations ?

    You’re set up for a character assassination by these Zionist operatives.

    Eg.

    He accuses me of championing the importation of Iranian heavy weaponry BY SEA into Gaza.

    This is news about me even to me.

    But that “by sea” is a master touch.

    Surely such a detail is telling — attesting to the authenticity of the charge !!

    But if you try to look up if i ever said or advocated such a thing, you’ll look in vain.

    That’s the Judo / Zionist tactic .

    Throw in a huge red herring to deflect attention from Amnesty’s focus on the real problems.

    But enough of such sideshows & diversions !

    Iran is not the issue here.

    The Iranian Revolutionary Guards aren’t the issue for Amnesty either.

    Neither is Hezbollah.

    Let’s go back to what Mr Curt Goering tries to focus us on.

    Making the Declaration of Human Rights a reality for the children of Gaza.

    Like the 6 month old girl ( six MONTHS !! ) who suffered from kidney failure in Gaza.

    She urgently needed dialysis.

    There’s no dialysis machine in Gaza — due to ISRAEL’S BLOCKADE.

    Her parents desperately pressed for permission from israel to take her to a hospital in israel.

    israel delayed the process — as she always does when it comes to treatment for critically sick or injured Palestinians.

    The permission came too late.

    The little girl died.

    Or the 10 year boy in Gaza, sick for some indefinable reason.

    The doctors suspected a brain tumor.

    He needs an MRI scan.

    No scanner machine in Gaza — due to the israeli BLOCKADE.

    Permission to take him outside the blockade for treatment urgently applied for.

    israel can’t be bothered — until it is too late.

    The boy died too.

    You care about the children ??

    Think of the children of Gaza whose families woke up in the middle of the night to find the darkness shaking & crashing & shrieking around them.

    The israel bulldozers are here !!

    No time to take anything.

    They only have time tro run for their lives as behind them their homes crumble to dust.

    Afterwards, the now roofless children are sent to live with relatives.

    But night after night they wake up screaming from nightmares & wet their beds.

    You’re concerned for their education ??

    But their schoolbooks& notebooks are buried under the rubble of their homes.

    Some good people came & gave the children new textbooks.

    The Hamas Palestinian government’s Ministry of Education gave the children a schoolbag & fifty dollars each.

    You don’t need to stop MRI scanners from coming in to Gaza in order to check an arms flow.

    You don’t need to block dialysis machines either if heavy weapons are what you’re after.

    No blockade could stop weapons from coming in if a people need them.

    No.

    The blockade’s a failed israeli tactic in provoking a frustrated Palestinian populace into overthrowing Hamas.

    The tactic has backfired.

    The blockade has strengthened & entrenched Hamas & given it immense cred when Abbas is seen as the sellout he is.

    But in one respect the blockade is an immense success.

    israel has succeded in her crushing collective punishment of the Palestinians of Gaza.

    Not least of all the children.

  11. If i critique the Zionist position for championing the blockade of Gaza, it's because that IS what it champions — the blockade.

    This Zionist position is becoming increasingly untenable.

    A proof of this is, any opponents of the blockade ( me for instance ) are accused by Zionists ( Judo for instance ) of automatically championing….what ?? The supply of Iranian / Hezbollah arms to Gaza !! Nothing less !!!

    If you make this accusation against any of the millions around the world who oppose the blockade, that THIS is what they ARE chanmpioning, they will all find it ludicrous in the extreme.

    Because, like me, blockade opponents are motivated only by thoughts of taking care of the needs of the People of Gaza.

    Not by any consideration remotely to do with Iran or Hezbollah.

    Neither is Hezbollah so stupid that it'll hand israel the excuse she's itching for to start a third Lebanese war, by offloading arms shipments for Gaza .

    Nor is Iran going to give israel the excuse to strike her with missiles by unloading shiploads of arms off Gaza.

    The accusation is ridiculous & clueless…

    & shows israel's growing isolation from world opinion.

  12. http://www.paltelegraph.com/eng/palestine/gaza-st

    Monday, 20 September 2010

    Syrian aid ship arrives Egypt en route to Gaza

    Written by Omar_Ghraieb,
    Palestine Telegraph

    Gaza, September 20, (Pal Telegraph) A Syrian ship carrying 650 tons of aid arrived today to the port of El Arish Egypt in preparation for its transit to the Gaza Strip through Rafah border crossings with Egypt.

    Capt. Hisham Ganini, deputy director of El-Arish port said:" The Syrian ship docked at eight and a half on the morning of Monday at Egypt’s local time, coming from the Syrian port of Tartous on the Mediterranean, carrying 650 tons of aid provided to Gaza.

    Ganini added that the ship will unload its loads into trucks in preparation for their transfer to the Gaza Strip, where the transfer of 610 tons of food and aid will take place through the crossings of Awja and Karem Abu Salem, and the remaining 40 tons will be transferred through the Rafah crossing.

  13. Al Jezeera, August 7th, 2010
    http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2010/08/07

    As you approach Gaza’s main dump by road you see a massive wall of trash looming over the plain.

    It’s crawling with around one hundred scavenger dogs and dozens of poor children, combing through the trash for anything they can sell.

    In this cesspit of disease is 20 percent of all the donated medicine Gaza has received since the end of the January 2009 war with Israel.

    The Health Ministry in the deposed government of Hamas and the World Health Organisation say this aid had already expired or was close to expiring, before it arrived in Gaza.

    So now officials are left with the job of disposing of it. But how? Gaza doesn’t have the proper facilities to do it, so it’s dumped in a landfill and bulldozed along with the rest of the garbage.

    Millions of dollars of aid – going to waste.

    Men use their bare hands to push boxes of medicine off the back of a truck, into the dump. The stench is disgusting and flies are everywhere.

    Not only are donors sending expired medicine, the Health Ministry says most of the aid they receive is unsuitable, poor quality, and the wrong types of drugs.

    As for medical equipment, doctors say it’s often outdated, up to 10 years old, broken, and incompatible with the local electricity supply.

    In total, the Ministry claims they have to dispose of 70 percent of all the medical aid they’ve received in the last 18 months.

    A dumping ground for aid?

    One doctor told us he believes Gaza has become a dumping ground for aid. But Gaza isn’t alone. He says sometimes medicine is sent to El Arish in Egypt, before going overland to Gaza. When Gaza’s officials are told it’s expired, they reject it, and it’s then sent to Darfur in Sudan!

    The Health Ministry says two months ago it received $2 million worth of Tamiflu drugs for the H1N1 virus, enough for a third of Gaza’s population. The ministry didn’t want these drugs, saying the H1N1 threat had passed. So the Tamiflu is also in the rubbish dump now.

    They also say sometimes donors send huge supplies of drugs, more than Gaza could use in five years. Unable to get through it all, it expires and has to be dumped.

    Co-ordination with Hamas

    Dr Ehab Hjazi, the Head of the Donations Committee in the Health Ministry for the deposed government of Hamas, says if countries and organisations co-ordinated with the ministry directly, they would find out exactly what Gaza needs. And the list is long. Hospitals are critically short of 115 drugs, including antibiotics and cancer drugs.

    But while Hamas is listed in many countries as a ‘terrorist’ group, donors’ hands are tied. If they deal with Hamas, they risk being banned and losing their funding.

    However, donors can find out what Gaza needs from the World Health Organisation.

    So it’’s time for the international community to get it right.

    Sending millions of dollars worth of aid may give a country or Non Government Organisation (NGO) some positive short-term publicity. But if it’s ending up in landfill where children and dogs sift through it, then it’s more than a problem for the people of Gaza, it’s an insult.

  14. http://www.paltelegraph.com/eng/palestine/gaza-st

    Monday, 20 September 2010

    Syrian aid ship arrives Egypt en route to Gaza

    Written by Omar_Ghraieb,
    Palestine Telegraph

    Gaza, September 20, (Pal Telegraph) A Syrian ship carrying 650 tons of aid arrived today to the port of El Arish Egypt in preparation for its transit to the Gaza Strip through Rafah border crossings with Egypt.

    Capt. Hisham Ganini, deputy director of El-Arish port said:" The Syrian ship docked at eight and a half on the morning of Monday at Egypt’s local time, coming from the Syrian port of Tartous on the Mediterranean, carrying 650 tons of aid provided to Gaza.

    Ganini added that the ship will unload its loads into trucks in preparation for their transfer to the Gaza Strip, where the transfer of 610 tons of food and aid will take place through the crossings of Awja and Karem Abu Salem, and the remaining 40 tons will be transferred through the Rafah crossing.

  15. http://www.paltelegraph.com/eng/palestine/gaza-st

    Monday, 20 September 2010

    Syrian aid ship arrives Egypt en route to Gaza

    Written by Omar_Ghraieb,
    Palestine Telegraph

    Gaza, September 20, (Pal Telegraph) A Syrian ship carrying 650 tons of aid arrived today to the port of El Arish Egypt in preparation for its transit to the Gaza Strip through Rafah border crossings with Egypt.

    Capt. Hisham Ganini, deputy director of El-Arish port said:" The Syrian ship docked at eight and a half on the morning of Monday at Egypt’s local time, coming from the Syrian port of Tartous on the Mediterranean, carrying 650 tons of aid provided to Gaza.

    Ganini added that the ship will unload its loads into trucks in preparation for their transfer to the Gaza Strip, where the transfer of 610 tons of food and aid will take place through the crossings of Awja and Karem Abu Salem, and the remaining 40 tons will be transferred through the Rafah crossing.

  16. Al Jezeera, August 7th, 2010
    http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2010/08/07

    As you approach Gaza’s main dump by road you see a massive wall of trash looming over the plain.

    It’s crawling with around one hundred scavenger dogs and dozens of poor children, combing through the trash for anything they can sell.

    In this cesspit of disease is 20 percent of all the donated medicine Gaza has received since the end of the January 2009 war with Israel.

    The Health Ministry in the deposed government of Hamas and the World Health Organisation say this aid had already expired or was close to expiring, before it arrived in Gaza.

    So now officials are left with the job of disposing of it. But how? Gaza doesn’t have the proper facilities to do it, so it’s dumped in a landfill and bulldozed along with the rest of the garbage.

    Millions of dollars of aid – going to waste.

    Men use their bare hands to push boxes of medicine off the back of a truck, into the dump. The stench is disgusting and flies are everywhere.

    Not only are donors sending expired medicine, the Health Ministry says most of the aid they receive is unsuitable, poor quality, and the wrong types of drugs.

    As for medical equipment, doctors say it’s often outdated, up to 10 years old, broken, and incompatible with the local electricity supply.

    In total, the Ministry claims they have to dispose of 70 percent of all the medical aid they’ve received in the last 18 months.

    A dumping ground for aid?

    One doctor told us he believes Gaza has become a dumping ground for aid. But Gaza isn’t alone. He says sometimes medicine is sent to El Arish in Egypt, before going overland to Gaza. When Gaza’s officials are told it’s expired, they reject it, and it’s then sent to Darfur in Sudan!

    The Health Ministry says two months ago it received $2 million worth of Tamiflu drugs for the H1N1 virus, enough for a third of Gaza’s population. The ministry didn’t want these drugs, saying the H1N1 threat had passed. So the Tamiflu is also in the rubbish dump now.

    They also say sometimes donors send huge supplies of drugs, more than Gaza could use in five years. Unable to get through it all, it expires and has to be dumped.

    Co-ordination with Hamas

    Dr Ehab Hjazi, the Head of the Donations Committee in the Health Ministry for the deposed government of Hamas, says if countries and organisations co-ordinated with the ministry directly, they would find out exactly what Gaza needs. And the list is long. Hospitals are critically short of 115 drugs, including antibiotics and cancer drugs.

    But while Hamas is listed in many countries as a ‘terrorist’ group, donors’ hands are tied. If they deal with Hamas, they risk being banned and losing their funding.

    However, donors can find out what Gaza needs from the World Health Organisation.

    So it’’s time for the international community to get it right.

    Sending millions of dollars worth of aid may give a country or Non Government Organisation (NGO) some positive short-term publicity. But if it’s ending up in landfill where children and dogs sift through it, then it’s more than a problem for the people of Gaza, it’s an insult.

  17. Al Jezeera, August 7th, 2010
    http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2010/08/07

    As you approach Gaza’s main dump by road you see a massive wall of trash looming over the plain.

    It’s crawling with around one hundred scavenger dogs and dozens of poor children, combing through the trash for anything they can sell.

    In this cesspit of disease is 20 percent of all the donated medicine Gaza has received since the end of the January 2009 war with Israel.

    The Health Ministry in the deposed government of Hamas and the World Health Organisation say this aid had already expired or was close to expiring, before it arrived in Gaza.

    So now officials are left with the job of disposing of it. But how? Gaza doesn’t have the proper facilities to do it, so it’s dumped in a landfill and bulldozed along with the rest of the garbage.

    Millions of dollars of aid – going to waste.

    Men use their bare hands to push boxes of medicine off the back of a truck, into the dump. The stench is disgusting and flies are everywhere.

    Not only are donors sending expired medicine, the Health Ministry says most of the aid they receive is unsuitable, poor quality, and the wrong types of drugs.

    As for medical equipment, doctors say it’s often outdated, up to 10 years old, broken, and incompatible with the local electricity supply.

    In total, the Ministry claims they have to dispose of 70 percent of all the medical aid they’ve received in the last 18 months.

    A dumping ground for aid?

    One doctor told us he believes Gaza has become a dumping ground for aid. But Gaza isn’t alone. He says sometimes medicine is sent to El Arish in Egypt, before going overland to Gaza. When Gaza’s officials are told it’s expired, they reject it, and it’s then sent to Darfur in Sudan!

    The Health Ministry says two months ago it received $2 million worth of Tamiflu drugs for the H1N1 virus, enough for a third of Gaza’s population. The ministry didn’t want these drugs, saying the H1N1 threat had passed. So the Tamiflu is also in the rubbish dump now.

    They also say sometimes donors send huge supplies of drugs, more than Gaza could use in five years. Unable to get through it all, it expires and has to be dumped.

    Co-ordination with Hamas

    Dr Ehab Hjazi, the Head of the Donations Committee in the Health Ministry for the deposed government of Hamas, says if countries and organisations co-ordinated with the ministry directly, they would find out exactly what Gaza needs. And the list is long. Hospitals are critically short of 115 drugs, including antibiotics and cancer drugs.

    But while Hamas is listed in many countries as a ‘terrorist’ group, donors’ hands are tied. If they deal with Hamas, they risk being banned and losing their funding.

    However, donors can find out what Gaza needs from the World Health Organisation.

    So it’’s time for the international community to get it right.

    Sending millions of dollars worth of aid may give a country or Non Government Organisation (NGO) some positive short-term publicity. But if it’s ending up in landfill where children and dogs sift through it, then it’s more than a problem for the people of Gaza, it’s an insult.

  18. Palestine News Agency – WAFA.

    CAIRO, August 28, 2010 (WAFA)- As many as 843 Palestinians crossed Thursday 26/08/2010 the Rafah terminal; 469 from the Gaza Strip into Egypt and 374 in the opposite direction, Government of Egypt reported.

    The passengers were medical patients, students, Palestinians living abroad and humanitarian cases.

    On June 1, 2010 President Hosni Mubarak issued directives that Rafah crossing be opened to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people living under the Israeli siege for about four years now. Since then, at least 67,191 persons have crossed the border.
    ==============================

    CAIRO, September 20, 2010

    Rafah land crossing is still open for stranded Palestinians, medical patients, and relief assistance to the Gaza Strip.

    The crossing has been opened in line with directives of President Hosni Mubarak since June 1st to ease the suffering of the Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave.

    Since June 1st, 2010 until now up to 84,851 Palestinians have crossed the terminal into Egypt .

  19. If i critique the Zionist position for championing the blockade of Gaza, it’s because that IS what it champions — the blockade.

    This Zionist position is becoming increasingly untenable.

    A proof of this is, any opponents of the blockade ( me for instance ) are accused by Zionists ( Judo for instance ) of automatically championing….what ?? The supply of Iranian / Hezbollah arms to Gaza !! Nothing less !!!

    If you make this accusation against any of the millions around the world who oppose the blockade, that THIS is what they ARE chanmpioning, they will all find it ludicrous in the extreme.

    Because, like me, blockade opponents are motivated only by thoughts of taking care of the needs of the People of Gaza.

    Not by any consideration remotely to do with Iran or Hezbollah.

    Neither is Hezbollah so stupid that it’ll hand israel the excuse she’s itching for to start a third Lebanese war, by offloading arms shipments for Gaza .

    Nor is Iran going to give israel the excuse to strike her with missiles by unloading shiploads of arms off Gaza.

    The accusation is ridiculous & clueless…

    & shows israel’s growing isolation from world opinion.

  20. Judo & a.savage – We truly appreciate your passion and interest in our issues, but please take all personal discussions offline as a courtesy for our other readers and commenters. Thank you.

  21. http://www.paltelegraph.com/eng/palestine/gaza-strip/7067-Syrian-aid-ship-arrives-Egypt-en-route-to-Gaza.html

    Monday, 20 September 2010

    Syrian aid ship arrives Egypt en route to Gaza

    Written by Omar_Ghraieb,
    Palestine Telegraph

    Gaza, September 20, (Pal Telegraph) A Syrian ship carrying 650 tons of aid arrived today to the port of El Arish Egypt in preparation for its transit to the Gaza Strip through Rafah border crossings with Egypt.

    Capt. Hisham Ganini, deputy director of El-Arish port said:” The Syrian ship docked at eight and a half on the morning of Monday at Egypt’s local time, coming from the Syrian port of Tartous on the Mediterranean, carrying 650 tons of aid provided to Gaza.

    Ganini added that the ship will unload its loads into trucks in preparation for their transfer to the Gaza Strip, where the transfer of 610 tons of food and aid will take place through the crossings of Awja and Karem Abu Salem, and the remaining 40 tons will be transferred through the Rafah crossing.

  22. Al Jezeera, August 7th, 2010

    http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2010/08/07/what-waste

    As you approach Gaza’s main dump by road you see a massive wall of trash looming over the plain.

    It’s crawling with around one hundred scavenger dogs and dozens of poor children, combing through the trash for anything they can sell.

    In this cesspit of disease is 20 percent of all the donated medicine Gaza has received since the end of the January 2009 war with Israel.

    The Health Ministry in the deposed government of Hamas and the World Health Organisation say this aid had already expired or was close to expiring, before it arrived in Gaza.

    So now officials are left with the job of disposing of it. But how? Gaza doesn’t have the proper facilities to do it, so it’s dumped in a landfill and bulldozed along with the rest of the garbage.

    Millions of dollars of aid – going to waste.

    Men use their bare hands to push boxes of medicine off the back of a truck, into the dump. The stench is disgusting and flies are everywhere.

    Not only are donors sending expired medicine, the Health Ministry says most of the aid they receive is unsuitable, poor quality, and the wrong types of drugs.

    As for medical equipment, doctors say it’s often outdated, up to 10 years old, broken, and incompatible with the local electricity supply.

    In total, the Ministry claims they have to dispose of 70 percent of all the medical aid they’ve received in the last 18 months.

    A dumping ground for aid?

    One doctor told us he believes Gaza has become a dumping ground for aid. But Gaza isn’t alone. He says sometimes medicine is sent to El Arish in Egypt, before going overland to Gaza. When Gaza’s officials are told it’s expired, they reject it, and it’s then sent to Darfur in Sudan!

    The Health Ministry says two months ago it received $2 million worth of Tamiflu drugs for the H1N1 virus, enough for a third of Gaza’s population. The ministry didn’t want these drugs, saying the H1N1 threat had passed. So the Tamiflu is also in the rubbish dump now.

    They also say sometimes donors send huge supplies of drugs, more than Gaza could use in five years. Unable to get through it all, it expires and has to be dumped.

    Co-ordination with Hamas

    Dr Ehab Hjazi, the Head of the Donations Committee in the Health Ministry for the deposed government of Hamas, says if countries and organisations co-ordinated with the ministry directly, they would find out exactly what Gaza needs. And the list is long. Hospitals are critically short of 115 drugs, including antibiotics and cancer drugs.

    But while Hamas is listed in many countries as a ‘terrorist’ group, donors’ hands are tied. If they deal with Hamas, they risk being banned and losing their funding.

    However, donors can find out what Gaza needs from the World Health Organisation.

    So it’’s time for the international community to get it right.

    Sending millions of dollars worth of aid may give a country or Non Government Organisation (NGO) some positive short-term publicity. But if it’s ending up in landfill where children and dogs sift through it, then it’s more than a problem for the people of Gaza, it’s an insult.

  23. Judo & a.savage – We truly appreciate your passion and interest in our issues, but please take all personal discussions offline as a courtesy for our other readers and commenters. Thank you.

  24. Judo & a.savage – We truly appreciate your passion and interest in our issues, but please take all personal discussions offline as a courtesy for our other readers and commenters. Thank you.

  25. Palestine News Agency – WAFA.

    CAIRO, August 28, 2010 (WAFA)- As many as 843 Palestinians crossed Thursday 26/08/2010 the Rafah terminal; 469 from the Gaza Strip into Egypt and 374 in the opposite direction, Government of Egypt reported.

    The passengers were medical patients, students, Palestinians living abroad and humanitarian cases.

    On June 1, 2010 President Hosni Mubarak issued directives that Rafah crossing be opened to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people living under the Israeli siege for about four years now. Since then, at least 67,191 persons have crossed the border.
    ==============================

    CAIRO, September 20, 2010

    Rafah land crossing is still open for stranded Palestinians, medical patients, and relief assistance to the Gaza Strip.

    The crossing has been opened in line with directives of President Hosni Mubarak since June 1st to ease the suffering of the Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave.

    Since June 1st, 2010 until now up to 84,851 Palestinians have crossed the terminal into Egypt .

  26. Judo & a.savage – We truly appreciate your passion and interest in our issues, but please take all personal discussions offline as a courtesy for our other readers and commenters. Thank you.

  27. Infact, Editors ought take note… FACTS are something you should gather before making your mind up.

  28. Infact, Editors ought take note… FACTS are something you should gather before making your mind up.

  29. Dear editors & Brian,

    Thank you all.

    As for facts, Brian,
    Amnesty invariably updates our informed understanding of situations on the ground.

    As for facts, they can be, & often are, used to cover the truth

    Indigenous peoples' journalism — as distinct from the corporate media — focuses on uncovering the truth of a situation from under the mounds of facts hiding it from us.

    The truth is the Gazan children's physical / mental health crisis is the direct result of the israeli blockade.

    There's a school for 300 kids in Gaza run by the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children.

    The children use hearing aids run by batteries.

    A shipment of 3,000 batteries sent for the hearing aids was blocked by the israeli army at the crossing points in Gaza it has closed.

    Without the batteries, many of those 300 children were plunged back into a world of silence.

    The intensive care unit at Gaza's Nasser Hospital was closed for lack of machine parts or ventilators to keep the patients alive.

    Dr Bushra Lubbed watched as one by one the patients died.

    Because the israeli blockade cut off many medications & prevented the patients from leaving Gaza at the same time.

    One of them was the 7 ( not 6 ) month old girl whose death from kidney failure i mentioned earlier, who lacked the pediatric dialysis machine to treat her .

    "I sat in front of the patient," says Dr Lubbed, "& I could do nothing for her. I knew exactly what she needed & we tried giving her all kinds of other treatment, but in the end she needed dialysis & we couldn't give her dialysis."

    According to Gaza's health ministry, stocks of 85 essential medications, including chemotherapy drugs, strong antibiotics, & varous psychiatric drugs, were completely depleted due to the blockade.

    The lives of 1.5 million people have been throttled, & WILL CONTINUE TO BE ON HOLD, because of the socalled threat of Iran, the Revolutionary Guards & Hezbollah !!!

    Perpetual siege & permanent war.

    The Zionist plan & vision.

    Or is it "Eyeless in Gaza" ?

  30. Dear editors & Brian,

    Thank you all.

    As for facts, Brian,
    Amnesty invariably updates our informed understanding of situations on the ground. A role the mainstream media has abdicated.

    As for facts, they can be, & often are, used to cover the truth

    Indigenous peoples' journalism — as distinct from the corporate media — focuses on uncovering the truth of a situation from under the mounds of facts hiding it from us.

    The truth is the Gazan children's physical / mental health crisis is the direct result of the israeli blockade.

    There's a school for 300 kids in Gaza run by the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children.

    The children use hearing aids run by batteries.

    A shipment of 3,000 batteries sent for the hearing aids was blocked by the israeli army at the crossing points in Gaza it has closed.

    Without the batteries, many of those 300 children were plunged back into a world of silence.

    The intensive care unit at Gaza's Nasser Hospital was closed for lack of machine parts or ventilators to keep the patients alive.

    Dr Bushra Lubbed watched as one by one the patients died.

    Because the israeli blockade cut off many medications & prevented the patients from leaving Gaza at the same time.

    One of them was the 7 ( not 6 ) month old girl whose death from kidney failure i mentioned earlier, who lacked the pediatric dialysis machine to treat her .

    "I sat in front of the patient," says Dr Lubbed, "& I could do nothing for her. I knew exactly what she needed & we tried giving her all kinds of other treatment, but in the end she needed dialysis & we couldn't give her dialysis."

    According to Gaza's health ministry, stocks of 85 essential medications, including chemotherapy drugs, strong antibiotics, & varous psychiatric drugs, were completely depleted due to the blockade.

    Gaza resembles a bleached bone, gnawed & nudged by a giant Beast right up to the edge of the land, nowhere to go anymore, & the vast Mediterranean at her back…

    The lives of 1.5 million Palestinian refugees are throttled by israel's strangling garote, & must CONTINUE TO BE in this state of paralysis, & why ?? because of the socalled "threat" of Iran, the Revolutionary Guards & Hezbollah ???

    Perpetual Siege & Permanent War.

    The Zionist logic & "vision"….

    Eyeless in Gaza .

  31. Dear editors & Brian,

    Thank you all.

    As for facts, Brian,
    Amnesty invariably updates our informed understanding of situations on the ground.

    As for facts, they can be, & often are, used to cover the truth

    Indigenous peoples’ journalism — as distinct from the corporate media — focuses on uncovering the truth of a situation from under the mounds of facts hiding it from us.

    The truth is the Gazan children’s physical / mental health crisis is the direct result of the israeli blockade.

    There’s a school for 300 kids in Gaza run by the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children.

    The children use hearing aids run by batteries.

    A shipment of 3,000 batteries sent for the hearing aids was blocked by the israeli army at the crossing points in Gaza it has closed.

    Without the batteries, many of those 300 children were plunged back into a world of silence.

    The intensive care unit at Gaza’s Nasser Hospital was closed for lack of machine parts or ventilators to keep the patients alive.

    Dr Bushra Lubbed watched as one by one the patients died.

    Because the israeli blockade cut off many medications & prevented the patients from leaving Gaza at the same time.

    One of them was the 7 ( not 6 ) month old girl whose death from kidney failure i mentioned earlier, who lacked the pediatric dialysis machine to treat her .

    “I sat in front of the patient,” says Dr Lubbed, “& I could do nothing for her. I knew exactly what she needed & we tried giving her all kinds of other treatment, but in the end she needed dialysis & we couldn’t give her dialysis.”

    According to Gaza’s health ministry, stocks of 85 essential medications, including chemotherapy drugs, strong antibiotics, & varous psychiatric drugs, were completely depleted due to the blockade.

    The lives of 1.5 million people have been throttled, & WILL CONTINUE TO BE ON HOLD, because of the socalled threat of Iran, the Revolutionary Guards & Hezbollah !!!

    Perpetual siege & permanent war.

    The Zionist plan & vision.

    Or is it “Eyeless in Gaza” ?

  32. Dear editors & Brian,

    Thank you all.

    As for facts, Brian,
    Amnesty invariably updates our informed understanding of situations on the ground. A role the mainstream media has abdicated.

    As for facts, they can be, & often are, used to cover the truth

    Indigenous peoples’ journalism — as distinct from the corporate media — focuses on uncovering the truth of a situation from under the mounds of facts hiding it from us.

    The truth is the Gazan children’s physical / mental health crisis is the direct result of the israeli blockade.

    There’s a school for 300 kids in Gaza run by the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children.

    The children use hearing aids run by batteries.

    A shipment of 3,000 batteries sent for the hearing aids was blocked by the israeli army at the crossing points in Gaza it has closed.

    Without the batteries, many of those 300 children were plunged back into a world of silence.

    The intensive care unit at Gaza’s Nasser Hospital was closed for lack of machine parts or ventilators to keep the patients alive.

    Dr Bushra Lubbed watched as one by one the patients died.

    Because the israeli blockade cut off many medications & prevented the patients from leaving Gaza at the same time.

    One of them was the 7 ( not 6 ) month old girl whose death from kidney failure i mentioned earlier, who lacked the pediatric dialysis machine to treat her .

    “I sat in front of the patient,” says Dr Lubbed, “& I could do nothing for her. I knew exactly what she needed & we tried giving her all kinds of other treatment, but in the end she needed dialysis & we couldn’t give her dialysis.”

    According to Gaza’s health ministry, stocks of 85 essential medications, including chemotherapy drugs, strong antibiotics, & varous psychiatric drugs, were completely depleted due to the blockade.

    Gaza resembles a bleached bone, gnawed & nudged by a giant Beast right up to the edge of the land, nowhere to go anymore, & the vast Mediterranean at her back…

    The lives of 1.5 million Palestinian refugees are throttled by israel’s strangling garote, & must CONTINUE TO BE in this state of paralysis, & why ?? because of the socalled “threat” of Iran, the Revolutionary Guards & Hezbollah ???

    Perpetual Siege & Permanent War.

    The Zionist logic & “vision”….

    Eyeless in Gaza .

  33. Nothing personal to anything i have to say.

    Just the truth.

    Gaza's PRIMARY problem is NOT internal.

    NEITHER is it external aid sent for her suffering people ( NOT AT ALL !!! ).

    The crisis in Gaza will remain AS LONG AS the CRIMINAL ISRAELI BLOCKADE remains.

    No fact can hide this truth today.

  34. Nothing personal to anything i have to say.

    Just the truth.

    Gaza’s PRIMARY problem is NOT internal.

    NEITHER is it external aid sent for her suffering people ( NOT AT ALL !!! ).

    The crisis in Gaza will remain AS LONG AS the CRIMINAL ISRAELI BLOCKADE remains.

    No fact can hide this truth today.

  35. September 23, 2010
    President Obama to the UN General Assembly:

    "Those of us who are friends of Israel must understand that true security for the Jewish state requires an independent Palestine — one that allows the Palestinian people to live with dignity and opportunity. And those of us who are friends of the Palestinians must understand that the rights of the Palestinian people will be won only through peaceful means — including genuine reconciliation with a secure Israel.

    I know many in this hall count themselves as friends of the Palestinians. But these pledges of friendship must now be supported by deeds. Those who have signed on to the Arab Peace Initiative should seize this opportunity to make it real by taking tangible steps towards the normalization that it promises Israel.

    And those who speak on behalf of Palestinian self-government should help the Palestinian Authority politically and financially, and in doing so help the Palestinians build the institutions of their state.

    Those who long to see an independent Palestine must also stop trying to tear down Israel. After thousands of years, Jews and Arabs are not strangers in a strange land. After 60 years in the community of nations, Israel’s existence must not be a subject for debate.

    Israel is a sovereign state, and the historic homeland of the Jewish people. It should be clear to all that efforts to chip away at Israel’s legitimacy will only be met by the unshakable opposition of the United States. And efforts to threaten or kill Israelis will do nothing to help the Palestinian people. The slaughter of innocent Israelis is not resistance — it’s injustice. And make no mistake: The courage of a man like President Abbas, who stands up for his people in front of the world under very difficult circumstances, is far greater than those who fire rockets at innocent women and children."

  36. September 23, 2010
    President Obama to the UN General Assembly:

    “Those of us who are friends of Israel must understand that true security for the Jewish state requires an independent Palestine — one that allows the Palestinian people to live with dignity and opportunity. And those of us who are friends of the Palestinians must understand that the rights of the Palestinian people will be won only through peaceful means — including genuine reconciliation with a secure Israel.

    I know many in this hall count themselves as friends of the Palestinians. But these pledges of friendship must now be supported by deeds. Those who have signed on to the Arab Peace Initiative should seize this opportunity to make it real by taking tangible steps towards the normalization that it promises Israel.

    And those who speak on behalf of Palestinian self-government should help the Palestinian Authority politically and financially, and in doing so help the Palestinians build the institutions of their state.

    Those who long to see an independent Palestine must also stop trying to tear down Israel. After thousands of years, Jews and Arabs are not strangers in a strange land. After 60 years in the community of nations, Israel’s existence must not be a subject for debate.

    Israel is a sovereign state, and the historic homeland of the Jewish people. It should be clear to all that efforts to chip away at Israel’s legitimacy will only be met by the unshakable opposition of the United States. And efforts to threaten or kill Israelis will do nothing to help the Palestinian people. The slaughter of innocent Israelis is not resistance — it’s injustice. And make no mistake: The courage of a man like President Abbas, who stands up for his people in front of the world under very difficult circumstances, is far greater than those who fire rockets at innocent women and children.”