❶ On 10th anniversary of siege, Gaza reaching humanitarian and political breaking point
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) Gaza braces itself for ‘collapse’ after Israel approves reduction of electricity supply
. . . . . ❶― (ᴃ) PLO Ashrawi condemns Netanyahu’s call to shut down UNRWA
- BACKGROUND: One million Palestinian refugees in 8 Gaza Strip camps
❷ MOH warns of stopping heart catheter in Gaza
- BACKGROUND: Shalev G. “A Doctor’s Testimony: Medical Neutrality and the Visibility of Palestinian Grievances in Jewish-Israeli Publics.”
- HISTORICAL NOTE: Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza War, Congress and International Humanitarian Law.”
❸ POETRY by Harun Hashim Rasheed (b. 1927, Gaza)
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❶ ON 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF SIEGE, GAZA REACHING HUMANITARIAN AND POLITICAL BREAKING POINT
Ma’an News Agency
June 15, 2017 As the Gaza Strip marked the ten-year anniversary of Israel’s siege of the small Palestinian enclave on Thursday, the humanitarian situation has continued to alarm rights groups, which have denounced the “inhuman conditions unparalleled in the modern world.”
___Gaza, which has often been compared to an “open air prison” for its 1.9 million inhabitants crowded into 365 square kilometers, has suffered from a decade of isolation and deprivation, made all the worse by three devastating Israeli military operations, and persistent intra-Palestinian political strife.
___The recent decision by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to request that Israel reduce its supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip has made many fear that the situation in Gaza could soon reach a political and humanitarian breaking point with unforetold consequences. MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) GAZA BRACES ITSELF FOR ‘COLLAPSE’ AFTER ISRAEL APPROVES REDUCTION OF ELECTRICITY SUPPLY
Ma’an News Agency
June 12, 2017 The Israeli security cabinet has approved a 40 percent reduction in Israel’s electricity supply to the besieged Gaza Strip, where Palestinians are already coping with a crippling power crisis and daily, hours-long blackouts, according Israeli media reports.
___While Gaza’s electricity company said it had not received an official order regarding the impending power cut, it called upon Palestinians in Gaza to prepare for the worst, while human rights groups urged Israel to reconsider the move — expected to have immediate and disastrous effects on the medical sector in particular.
___The approval came after Israeli authorities announced plans to make the cuts last month, upon request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in occupied West Bank, which foots Gaza’s monthly electricity bill from Israel, by subtracting from taxes collected by Israel on behalf of the PA. MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) PLO ASHRAWI CONDEMNS NETANYAHU’S CALL TO SHUT DOWN UNRWA
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 16, 2017 PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi strongly condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand to shut down the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
___”Netanyahu’s call to disband UNRWA is the epitome of arrogance, particularly since Israel itself is responsible for creating the Palestinian refugee problem,” Said Ashrawi in a press statement issued on Thursday.
___The statement said Israeli government bears a moral and legal responsibility for Palestinian refugees and the serious injustices of the past.
___“It should not be permitted to defame or slander UNRWA which still remains a lifeline for millions of Palestinian refugees residing in Occupied Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, providing them with essential services, assistance and opportunities for work, growth and development.”
BACKGROUND: ONE MILLION PALESTINIAN REFUGEES IN 8 GAZA STRIP CAMPS May 16, 2013 Alray-Palestinian Media Agency The Gaza Strip is home to more than 1.1 million registered refugees, of which more than half a million live in the eight refugee camps established by UNRWA.
___The refugee camps have one of the highest population densities in the world. The blockade on Gaza has had a devastating impact on refugees across the Gaza Strip, including those living in camps. Unemployment continues to be at unprecedented levels particularly affecting young people in Gaza. MORE . . .
❷ MOH WARNS OF STOPPING HEART CATHETER IN GAZA
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
June 15, 2017 The head of cardiac catheterization at Al-Shifa Medical Compound, Mohammad Habib, warned that the cardiac catheter service will be stopped in the coming weeks if the basic items are not supplied, confirming that the department uses only sterile tools.
___Habib said that many of the basic types were run out, such as pharmacological blockers, pacemaker of various types, and catheterization of the arteries.
[. . . .] He pointed out that the cases are now transferred to treatment abroad, such as catheter therapy for the heart and peripheral arteries, due to stopping the remittances. [. . . .] the heart catheter section at Al-Shifa carries out 1500 operations every year, an average of 150 operations a month between diagnosis and treatment. MORE . . .
BACKGROUND: Shalev G. “A Doctor’s Testimony: Medical Neutrality and the Visibility of Palestinian Grievances in Jewish-Israeli Publics.” Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry [serial on the Internet]. (2016, June), 40(2): 242-262. Abstract: This paper follows the testimony of Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian physician who bears witness to his experiences working, living, and suffering under Israeli rule. He presents his story as a doctor’s story, drawing on his identity as a medical professional to gain credibility and visibility and to challenge the limited legitimacy of Palestinian grievances. . . . at once recounts the suffering and loss endured by the Palestinian people and also struggles to negotiate the values associated with being a ‘‘reliable’’ witness. . . In comparison with most Palestinian narratives, Abuelaish’s testimony achieved an extremely rare degree of visibility and sympathy, a phenomenon that calls out for analysis. I identify the boundaries that typically render Palestinian grievances invisible to Israeli publics and suggest how medicine’s self-proclaimed ethos of neutrality served as a channel for crossing them. . . . the political possibilities and limitations of medical witnessing to render suffering visible and arouse compassion toward those construed as a dangerous/enemy Other. SOURCE: RELATED . . .
HISTORICAL NOTE: Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza War [2008-2009], Congress and International Humanitarian Law.” Middle East Policy, vol. 17, no. 1, Spring2010, pp. 68-81. Support for the impending war began months earlier, in June 2008, when 77 senators — including future Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — signed a letter . . . to President George W. Bush defending Israeli air strikes on the heavily populated Gaza Strip. The letter also urged the Bush administration to block any UN Security Council resolution critical of Israel, claiming that UN opposition to Israeli attacks against crowded urban areas constituted a refusal to “acknowledge Israel’s right to self-defense.” ___An almost identical letter in the House, drafted by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). . . received 268 signatures. Americans for Peace Now (APN), a liberal Zionist group, warned that these letters were designed to build “a defense, in advance, for a large Israeli military offensive in Gaza.” APN, among others, also noted that such an Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip would likely result in large-scale civilian casualties.
___In apparent anticipation of such a scenario, the House of Representatives had passed a resolution that March, during an upsurge of fighting between Hamas militiamen and Israeli forces, which claimed, “Those responsible for launching rocket attacks against Israel routinely embed their production facilities and launch sites amongst the Palestinian civilian population, utilizing them as human shields.” . . . . However, human-rights groups monitoring the situation at that time noted that, while Hamas had failed to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians in the densely populated Gaza Strip, they found no instances of the use of human shields by Hamas. (Footnote: Interview, Joe Stork, Middle East division, Human Rights Watch, June 18, 2008.) ARTICLE . . .
“LET IT BE KNOWN,” BY HARUN HASHIM AL RASHID (b. 1927, Gaza)
Let it be known:
there will be no peace.
because the lodgers in the tents
have become fed up with humiliation of
become tired of suffering, misery and illness,
bored with the death creeping in their bones,
sick of life itself,
because they are homeless,
walking in darkness.
About HARUN HASHIM AL RASHID