02 December 2007 16:47 To:
Creating hatred in Gaza
PRESS RELEASE from SFOP for immediate release
Scottish Friends of Palestine endorses the prompt action of
HMG and the Muslim peers in trying to bring an end to the ordeal
of British teacher, Gillian Gibbons, in the Sudan.
We are prompted to ask, however, as to why this humanitarian
concern is totally absent when it comes to the ordeal and severe
humanitarian crisis now unfolding in the Gaza Strip as the Israeli
imposed siege creates further hatred in that small stretch of
land - home to some 1.5 million impoverished, desperate and
imprisoned Palestinian people.
Where, now, are the humanitarian and, for some, the religious
principles which underpin their professed actions? Scottish
Friends of Palestine call upon Gordon Brown, the UK government,
the opposition parties, those Zionist, Jewish or otherwise,
peers to exert pressure on the government of Israel to end its
totally inhumane blockade imposed on one and a half million
Noting the presence and influence of groups such as Labour
Friends of Israel, we also call upon such groups to recognise
that the current actions of the state of Israel only serve to
further undermine its legitimacy as a proclaimed democratic
state, with democratic values at its heart, and pressure the
Israeli state to adopt policies and practices towards the Palestinian
people which reflect its ideals.
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel firstname.lastname@example.org
Deaths in Gaza due to denial of access of medical care:
According to the records of the Palestinian Ministry of Health
in Gaza and the World Health Organisation (WHO), 44 people have
died since June 2007 in connection with denial or delay of access
to medical care by the Israeli authorities. Thirteen of these
patients died in November alone.
The number of deaths is rising each month, as the policy of
Shortage of medicines:
Hospitals and medical centers in Gaza suffer a severe shortage
in medicines and medical supplies that are essential to minimal
functioning of the health system. According to data collected
by the WHO, 85 types of medicines defined as essential are out
of stock, including medicines for cancer, heart conditions,
kidney disease, as well as 12 different types of medicines for
psychiatric conditions. 138 other types of medicines will be
out of stock within a period ranging between one and three months.
Shortage of medical equipment and supplies:
The hospitals in Gaza suffer severe shortage in medical equipment
and supplies in a manner damaging to their ability to provide
emergency and routine services, the need for which is rising
due to the growing daily needs of the patient population. According
to Palestinian MoH data, the shortage in medical equipment is
felt in all the hospitals in Gaza, due to inability to maintain
the equipment, which is in need of spare parts.
Malfunctioning and missing equipment includes dialysis machines,
laboratory equipment, cardiology equipment and test tubes. The
functioning of the hospitals is also impaired by a shortage
of other essential supplies such as cleaning materials, parts
for electric generators, parts for refrigerators, parts for
washing machines, toilet paper, sheets, winter bedclothes, stationary,
paper and more.
Although these materials are quickly running out, the State
of Israel is preventing their entry, claiming that they are
not considered part of the humanitarian needs which it publicly
undertook to meet.
A Call From Gaza (Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
"Drivers can't work," "Gas is getting very expensive. I can't
even pay my telephone bills, so soon customers can't call to
book a taxi."
"We've run out of everything. After every Israeli attack something
more is ruined. Electrical poles, wires, water pipes, and we
can't replace them. Why are we being punished? What is our crime?Is
it because we were born Palestinian?
"We can't fix generators or even keep them running,"
"When there is no electricity we can't distribute water. We've
run out of chlorine to clean the water. It's full of bacteria.
A water heater used to cost 10 shekels, but now it costs 40
or 50 shekels-if you can find one. So we don't have hot water
for bathing. Our sewage system has collapsed. There's no power
to pump sewage out and no chemicals to clean it. Look at the
garbage in the streets. There is no fuel for the trucks to come
to haul it away."
"Israel is only allowing basic food supplies into Gaza: sugar,
rice, flour, and oil,"
"Every day my little girl asks me to bring home a chocolate
bar. I can't find any in Gaza. I disappoint her every night.
We can't even buy Arabic coffee. There are no razors, no shaving
materials. We'll all have to grow beards. [Laughter] There isn't
stone, not even cement, to make headstones for graves. We're
using pieces of metal to write names on graves. We can't buy
diapers. Gazans are starting to smoke molokhiya [a green leaf
vegetable] because we can't buy cigarettes. We can't buy shoes
and soon we'll have to make them from tires. There is no printing
The words overlap as they tumble out-we can no longer tell
who is saying what.
"You can't find jackets, wool clothes, underwear, or even socks
for winter in the shops.
"Medical supplies in hospitals are exhausted. There's no oxygen;
drugs aren't available. We cannot find the basic needs for life.
"For God's sake open the border."
"My son has had a visa to study in the United States since
last year. He was admitted to San Francisco State. He speaks
good English. He has high grades-everything. Last year he missed
going because the border was closed. He's ready to travel today.
He's missing a second year. If my son doesn't have a future
where will he go? Hamas is begging him to join its militia,
but he doesn't want to. He's volunteering for [psychiatrist
and peace activist] Dr. Eyad al-Sarraj's International Campaign
to Break the Siege on Gaza. Help prevent our children from becoming
extremists. They're so hopeless they could find al-Qaeda. We
want them educated. Don't punish our children."
"History will never forget. Israel and America are creating
hatred in Gaza. The whole table will collapse if Gaza is excluded
from the peace talks. Who is responsible for us?The U.N.?The
European Union? We are not beggars. We are hard workers, educated,
intelligent. We need our international human rights. We want
to live like anyone in the world.
"We hope you can get our message out. Please open the borders
and end this siege."
Scottish Friends of Palestine is a firm advocate of the total
boycott of all Israeli institutions, academicand cultural bodies
and Israeli products - until as such times that the Israeli
state ceases to boycott the rights of the Palestinian people,
and international law as it pertains to the Palestinian people.
Friends of Palestine
Scottish Friends of Palestine was formed in 1982 in response
to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the subsequent attacks
on the Palestinian refugee communities. It is an independent
organisation with no political or religious affiliations. SFoP
supports the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to
self-determination, national independence and sovereignty and
the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.
These rights have all been acknowledged by the United Nations.
SFoP campaigns for immediate and unconditional Israeli withdrawal
from all territories illegally occupied, including East Jerusalem.
We work for educational, social and cultural links between the
Scottish and Palestinian peoples.
End of Press Release
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