The Real News Network – Rafah – report from the ground

Sameh Habeeb reports on the humanitarian crisis taking place inside Gaza’s sealed borders with vodpod

As the fifth day of Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip begins, Rafah and Gaza City, the two main targets, have witnessed hundreds of deaths. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blames Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza, for inciting Israel’s attack. Hamas, vows to keep shelling Southern Israel with rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.

Lia Tarachansky spoke to Fida Qishta in Rafah, located in Southern Gaza. Qishta reports one of the first targets of the Israeli bombardment were the tunnels dug by Palestinians under the wall, which separates Rafah in two, half in Palestine and half in Egypt. These tunnels, says Qishta, have been used since the beginning of the siege to smuggle food, and according to Israel, weapons.

Qishta also reports of the wall being breached by Palestinians desperate to escape to Egypt. Though unsuccessful, this is the fifth attempt since the beginning of the second Intifadah to breach it.

Fida Qishta is a freelance journalist and schoolteacher. Qishta has founded a children’s center and an afterschool program in Rafah, where she teaches English, French, Arabic, and German from Rafah, Gaza. In 2004 Qishta survived her home being demolished by Israeli Forces.

Adam Sheets: The Facts about Israel’s War on Gaza

31 December, 2008

It is crucial that one has her/his facts straight about Israel’s war on Gaza. What events brought about this dreadful situation? What needs to be done to make it stop? These questions will be answered in the content of this article, using concrete facts from a variety of news sources.

Let’s first investigate the recent cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. The cease-fire began in June 2008. The terms were as follows:

  1. Israel would drastically reduce its military blockade of Gaza.
  2. Israel would halt all military incursions into Gaza.
  3. Hamas would halt all rocket attacks into Israel.

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Dennis Rahkonen: The Truth About Those Hamas Rockets

1 January, 2009 ‘Online Journal’ — Five years ago, the Bush administration lied about weapons of mass destruction to dupe us into supporting an illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq.

A few days ago, Israel trotted out only an infinitesimally more credible excuse — the Hamas rockets case — as justification for its own murderous shock and awe in Gaza, a long-planned campaign perniciously aimed at ousting a ‘regime’ that came to power via popular, democratic vote.

Yes, such rockets exist, but they’re little more than slingshots against Israel’s incredible military might, and they’re used out of desperation by Palestinians who’ve never been accorded the democratic space within which to gain redress of their eminently just grievances.
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KHALID AMAYREH: The world must say NO to Jewish Nazism before it’s too late

31 December, 2008 06:32 AM CST

gaza-destruction.jpgThe genocidal Israeli onslaught against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip is strikingly similar to the German blitz in the initial stage of the Second World War. The pretexts are nearly the same and the behaviors of both Nazi and Israeli political and military leadership are nearly identical.

And as the German Nazis sought to justify their blitz against their neighbors to the east, using a plethora of carefully concocted  lies and pretexts, Israel is doing virtually the same thing.

However, unlike the Nazis whose naked aggression was widely condemned around the world, the ongoing Israeli onslaught against the Gaza Strip is being condoned, even celebrated, by a huge media network throughout the western world from Sydney to Los Angeles.
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Note from the founder of Action4Palestine in Gaza, Akram Habeeb “Why Would Israel Bomb a University?”

31 December, 2008 06:56 AM CST

gaza-university.jpgIt’s a simple legal dream to graduate and to start my way in life, i was supposed to graduate in 20 days. Maybe i was worried about finding a job, regarding the siege here in Gaza and how hard is to find one.

But now it would be silly if i think further than staying safe with my family, 2 nights ago they bombed my university the IUG, i watched my future, my hard work is burning in front of me. Whatever the reason they say, it doesn’t matter, the real reason is the same, to kill to destroy and to leave pain.

We have realized a long time ago, that being a Palestinian and living in Gaza Strip, is something different, we have to stand the hard situations and keep going, i have big faith we will rebuild the IUG again and I’ll graduate, maybe not soon, but it’s my ambition and Israel can’t stop that, neither by war nor by threatening.
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The world reacts on the attacks on Gaza – 31 Dec 08

The world condemns Israel’s massacre in Gaza as massive rallies continue worldwide. In Dubai, official New Year Day`s celebrations have been cancelled as a sign of solidarity with people of Gaza.

Across the Arab world as well as in the US, protests are being held against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza.

In Dubai, official celebrations have been cancelled as a sign of solidarity with people of Gaza.Mohamed Vall gathers reactions from around the world.

Posted with vodpod

PCHR: Re: Gross Human Rights Violations and War Crimes in the Gaza Strip

The UN Human Rights Council must urge the General Assembly to act under Resolution 377

Dear Member State of the UN Human Rights Council,

Representing the Palestinian human rights community, we write to you with an urgent request for intervention by the UN Human Rights Council to put an end to the war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) as a result of the Israeli occupying forces‘ ongoing attacks on the Gaza Strip. At least 310 persons, including 37 children, have been killed and over 1000 Palestinians have been injured. The civilian population of the occupied Gaza Strip will inevitably continue to suffer heavy losses without the external intervention of the international community; this is confirmed by Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak’s assertion that this is a “war to the bitter end.”
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GazaFriends: Eyewitness account of Israeli terror in Gaza

29 December, 2008 6:05 PM, Marna house, Gaza city, Vittorio Arrigoni, Volunteer, International Solidarity Movement

An acrid smell of sulphur fills the air while the sky is shaken by earth-shattering rumbles. My ears are now deaf to the explosions, while my eyes are all out of tears from all the corpses. I stand in front of Al Shifa hospital, Gaza’s main hospital, and we’ve just received Israel’s terrible threat that they intend to bomb its wing under construction. This would be nothing new, as Wea’m hospital was bombed just yesterday, along with a medicine warehouse in Rafah, the Islamic university, which was also destroyed, along with various mosques scattered along the Strip. Not to mention many CIVILIAN structures.
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Gaza Friends: Oh What a Day! by Cynthia McKinney

30 December, 2008

I‘m so glad that my father told me to buy a special notebook and to write everything down because that’s exactly what I did.

When we left from Cyprus, one reporter asked me “are you afraid?” And I had to respond that Malcolm X wasn’t afraid; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn’t afraid. But little did I know that just a few hours later, I would be recollecting my life and mentally preparing myself for death.

When we left Cyprus, the Mediterranean was beautiful. I remember the time when it might have been beautiful to look at, but it was also filthy. The Europeans have taken great strides to clean it up and yesterday, it was beautiful. And the way the sunlight hit the sea, I remember thinking to myself that’s why they call it azure. It was the most beautiful blue.
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