Monday, November 17, 2008

Drones, Hunger, No Fuel and Collective Punishment for Peace

Collective punishment continues in the Gaza strip.
We know there are many who care about this situation but the world as a whole sits idly by.


The bodies of two Palestinian militants lay near a mortar launcher after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza November 16, 2008. An Israeli air strike killed four Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Sunday and two rockets fired from the Hamas-controlled territory hit Israel as a five-month-old ceasefire continued to unravel.

Israeli drone kills 4 militants in eastern Gaza city

An Israeli drone killed four Palestinian militants in eastern Gaza city on Sunday morning as Israel extended closure of crossing points for the 12th day in a row, witnesses and medical sources said.

The witnesses said an Israeli drone fired a missile towards the group of fighters who apparently were preparing to launch a home-made rocket into Israel.

Medical sources said the bodies of the four arrived at al-Shifa hospital and were cut into pieces with burns.

The group belongs to the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a military group loyal to Islamic Hamas movement which controls Gaza Strip and observes a ceasefire with Israel.

Earlier in the morning, two rockets landed into Western Negev of Israel, according to Israeli sources.

Hamas fired tens of rockets over the past days, including Grad missiles, in response to the Israeli air strikes that mostly targeted Hamas militants. The violence started when Israeli forces suddenly rolled into central Gaza Strip and a Hamas fighter was killed while engaging the invading forces.

Since then, Israel sealed off crossing points into Gaza, forcing its only power plant to shut down due to lack of fuel. The United Nations refugee agency, the UNRWA, also halted aid distributions to 750,000 Palestinians on Friday after its storage facilities ran out of food.

The ceasefire calls on Israel to ease Gaza blockade in exchange for halting Palestinian rocket attacks and cross-border violence.


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Israel out to bring Gaza to its knees


A man mourns the loss of a relative, killed in an Israeli air strike, at the mortuary of a hospital in Gaza City yesterday. Mohammed Abed / AFP

The latest tightening of Israel’s chokehold on Gaza – ending all supplies into the Strip for more than a week – has produced immediate and shocking consequences for Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants.

The refusal to allow in fuel has forced the shutting down of Gaza’s only power station, creating a blackout that pushed Palestinians bearing candles on to the streets in protest last week. A water and sanitation crisis are expected to follow.

And on Thursday, the United Nations announced it had run out of the food essentials it supplies to 750,000 desperately needy Gazans. “This has become a blockade against the United Nations itself,” a spokesman said.

In a further blow, Israel’s large Bank Hapoalim said it would refuse all transactions with Gaza by the end of the month, effectively imposing a financial blockade on an economy dependent on the Israeli shekel. Other banks are planning to follow suit, forced into a corner by Israel’s declaration in Sept 2007 of Gaza as an “enemy entity”.

There are likely to be few witnesses to Gaza’s descent into a dark and hungry winter. In the past week, all journalists were refused access to Gaza, as were a group of senior European diplomats. Days earlier, dozens of academics and doctors due to attend a conference to assess the damage done to Gazans’ mental health were also turned back. more

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