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Gaza in Crisis

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In
Solidarity
with 
Gaza

Urgent Need for Medical Aid to Gaza

There is an urgent need for medical aid to Gaza.  Israeli airstrikes over the past weeks have killed at least 1400 Palestinians and injured more than 5,000. [At least 45 Israeli soldiers have also died.] The ongoing Israeli-and-Egyptian-imposed blockade had already left Gaza short on 30% of its essential medications and 50% of its disposable medical supplies before the current hostilities even began.


The onslaught of Israeli missiles, including airstrikes on El-Wafa HospitalAl-Ahli Arab Hospital, and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, has exacerbated these conditions. Gaza’s Ministry of Health, along with the World Health Organization, have estimated that $60 million is needed to meet the basic medical needs of Gazans. 

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We, therefore, urge you to consider making a donation to the following medical relief organizations so that Gazans can get the medical care they so desperately need:

Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City
ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid)
Medical Aid for Palestinians
Middle East Children’s Alliance
Norwegian Refugee Council
Oxfam
Palestine Red Crescent Society
UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East)

Our partners in Israel/Palestine tell us that more than anything else, the health and safety of all Palestinians and Israelis are dependent upon an immediate cease-fire, an end to the blockade, and an end to the occupation.  So, please also continue contacting President Obama and your Congressional Representative and Senators, demanding that the US government use its considerable leverage toward bringing about these ends. (Tips for contacting Congress here).

In peace and hope,mitri_message_july_14

The Israel/Palestine Mission Network
of the Presbyterian Church (USA)

Please watch this 3 min. video message
from our church partner
Rev. Mitri Raheb
The Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church
Bethlehem, Palestine

Israeli Assault on Gaza in Numbers

Aug. 26 marked the 50th and final day of the Israeli campaign against Gaza, which began on July 8. The death toll currently stands at 2,147 people, of which 530 were children, according to Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights.

The cost borne by Gaza includes:

People

  • 2,147 Palestinians were killed, including 530 children and 302 women. 81% were civilians, compared to 9% of the 70 Israelis killed.
  • Among the dead were 16 journalists, 23 health care personnel and 11 UNRWA employees.
  • 10,870 Palestinians were wounded, including 3,303 children and 2,101 women. A third of the injured children (around 3,000) will suffer permanent disabilities.
  • 100,000 Palestinians were evacuated from their homes either because of Israeli threats or because their homes were destroyed or seriously damaged. They have found refuge in UN facilities or with other families, with dozens of people housed in the same home.

Buildings and equipment

  • The total number of homes partially or completely destroyed since the start of this latest war on Gaza reached 17,132: 2,465 homes were completely destroyed and 13,644 homes seriously damaged. Tens of thousands of additional homes suffered less-sever damage.
  • The number of mosques targeted totaled 171; 62 mosques were totally destroyed.
  • 10 churches were damaged.
  • 222 schools were destroyed, including 141 government, 76 UNRWA and five private institutions. In addition, six universities were demolished.
  • 29 hospitals and primary health care clinics were damaged, along with 36 ambulances.
  • 55 fishing boats also were destroyed affecting 3,000 individuals dependent on them for a living, along with 48 NGO‘s that provide the civilians with services.
  • 372 businesses, factories and other industrial or commercial operations were damaged, as well as 19 financial institutions.

Economic impact

  • The direct and indirect economic losses from the war are estimated to be $3.6 billion.
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Freedom for All
an excerpt from a Jewish Voice for Peace message, July 28, 2014:

People all over the world are stepping up - many for the first time - to send a clear, urgent message:
We Choose Freedom for All.
If you are with loved ones or colleagues—ask them to sit down and watch with you.
 
And take it in.JVP_names_video
 
For this heartbreaking but necessary video, we asked for help from Jewish Voice for Peace members worldwide, and every hero, every artist, we knew.
 
And they all said yes. Yes to an end to all bombing. Yes to justice for Palestine.  Yes to freedom for all people.
 
Gloria Steinem said yes, Chuck D and Brian Eno said yes, Angela Davis and Jonathan Demme said yes. Diana Buttu and Tony Kushner said yes. Alison Bechdel and Eve Ensler said yes. Noura Erakat, Maya Wind and Remi Kanazi said yes. 
Rigoberta Menchu and Desmond Tutu said yes.
 
In short, the people in this video represent the human family, standing on the side of freedom— for Palestinians and Israelis alike. And we say No to this unspeakable carnage wrought by one of the world’s most powerful militaries dropping explosives on an imprisoned and defenseless population.
 
Watch the video, share it on Facebook and via email, join the campaign and add your own photo. Invite others to do the same.
 
Click here: Freedom4Palestine.org
Click here: list of video Participants
click here to submit your own photo holding a name card.


List of Names of those who have died...

Below is a link to a list of all the Palestinians killed by Israeli air bombardment and ground assault since Tuesday, July 8th. This list is being updated regularly. There is also a list of Israelis killed. 

click here for list.


 

Stated Clerk of PC(USA) issues statement on Gaza CrisisPCUSAseal

July 16, 2014 -- “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Christians, Jews, and Muslims are all commanded by God to love God and our neighbor with our whole lives. Yet in the cradle of all three of these faiths, The death toll continues to rise. Palestinian and Israeli fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and children weep for those dear to them. This particular chain of events, another tragic evidence of the impact of the illegal Israeli occupation, began with the unjustifiable murder of three Israeli youth by Palestinians, Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel.  The Israeli Military unjustifiably killed five Palestinians in pursuit of their murderers, Mustafa Hosni Aslan, Mahmoud Jihad Muhammad Dudeen, Ahmad Famawi, Ahmad Said Suod Khalid, and Mahmoud Ismail Atallah Tarifi.  Then Mohammad Abu Khedair was abducted and murdered by Jewish citizens of Israel.  In the wake of these terrible events, Hamas rockets have been indiscriminately fired, and Israeli Defense Forces have used overwhelming force.


Now another 174 Palestinians* must be named as victims of this violence: Haitham Ashraf Zaboub, Ramzyeh Abed el-Alem, Ezzeddin Bolbol, Laila al-Ewedat, Deir el-Balah. Musap Daher, Abu-Shanab, Moua’yad al-Araj, Hijaziyya al-Hilo, Huwaida abu Harb, Husam Ibrahim Najjar, Samir Hamdan, Hussein Abdul-Qader Mheisin, Maher Thabit Abu Mar, Mohammed Salim Abu Bureis, Ibrahim Nabil Hamadah, Hasan Ahmad Abu Ghush, Ahmad Mazen al-Bal’awy, Nabil Basal, Mohammad al-Halaby, Rifat Siyouti, Ola Wishahi, [read more...]

 


Five things you can do about Gaza

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from Defence for Children International, Palestine

 click here for 5 things

 

Take Action!

Tell the US Government to Stop Supporting Israeli Aggressions against Palestine

Click here for our message on contacting President Obama and Congress.


Displaced Palestinian boys play on carts at a UN school in Jabalia in northern Gaza on July 28.

 


Photo Essays by Activestills on 972Mag

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On a daily basis, photographers working with Activestills.org have been documenting the Gaza invasion and humanitarian crisis. On an almost daily basis, Israeli news magazine 927Mag has been posting photo essays by these photographers.

You can view the day-to-day photo essays here.


 

 

Displaced Palestinians pass the first day of Eid Al Fitr in an UNRWA school that became a shelter, Gaza, July 28, 2014.

83 UNRWA schools and many hospitals have become shelters for more than 200,000 displaced Palestinians. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

 


Vice News Videos

For 9 video dispatches from Vice News, click here.

from Vice News: 

Published on Jul 26, 2014

On Sunday, the Israeli military carried out the single deadliest offensive in its nearly three-week assault on Gaza, killing as many as 100 Palestinians in the neighborhood of Shejaiya. The operation — which many have called a massacre — has forced most of the remaining residents of Shejaiya to flee their homes and seek refuge in hospitals or UN schools because there is nowhere else for them to escape in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

VICE News was in Gaza to see the aftermath of the bombing of Shejaiya. We visited the central morgue in Gaza City, which holds the bodies of many who were killed. We then went to see the immediate aftermath of the shelling of yet another house in the city, and later saw another shelling site where residents were still trying to uncover family members in the rubble.

Video Dispatch #8

  vice_news_gaza

Warning: This video contains graphic content.

Thousands Protest Israel's Ground Invasion in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris: http://bit.ly/1o4sbGi

Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News

 



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For the latest information and press briefings on Gaza, IPMN recommends Institute for Middle East Understanding at IMEU.org.

Below is an IMEU daily factsheet on Gaza - (for other full factsheets, click here).
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On August 24, nearly half a million Palestinian children in Gaza who were scheduled to start a new school year were unable to do so because of Israel’s latest military assault on the occupied and besieged coastal strip, “Operation Protective Edge," which began on July 8 and killed more than 2100 people, including at least 1462 civilians. With a fledgling ceasefire agreed to on August 26 taking hold, the children of Gaza are struggling to cope with the horrors they experienced during Israel’s brutal attack, and to return to some semblance of normalcy.

For journalists covering the recent hostilities and their aftermath, the IMEU offers the following fact sheet, The Children of Gaza: A Generation Scarred & Under Siege. For further reference, see our recently released fact sheet, Gaza Crisis Update (August 22).

 

The Children of Gaza: A Generation Scarred & Under Siege

Children Killed & Injured by Israels Latest Assault

  • According to the United Nations, between July 7 and August 25 the Israeli military killed at least 495 Palestinian children in Gaza during “Operation Protective Edge.” The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights puts the number at 518, while the Palestinian Center for Human Rights puts it at 519. All three figures exceed the number of Palestinian children killed in the last two major Israeli assaults on Gaza combined, approximately 350 during “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008-9 and 35 in November 2012. The number of children killed also exceeds the total number of Israelis, civilians and soldiers, killed by Palestinians in the last decade.

  • According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, between July 7 and August 20, 3106 Palestinian children were injured by the Israeli military in Gaza. 

  • Of the more than 3100 children wounded, the UN estimates that 1000 of them will suffer a permanent disability as a result of their injury.

  • Thousands of unexploded bombs and shells pose a danger to civilians returning to areas they fled from during the fighting, putting children at particular risk.

 

Children Traumatized by Israels Latest Assault

  • The UN estimates that 373,000 children require direct and specialized psychosocial support (PSS), while all of Gaza’sapproximately 900,000 children have been affected by the war and need some level of psychosocial support. On July 28, UNICEF released a statement entitled “No safe place for children in Gaza.” In it, the head of the organization’s Gaza field office, Pernille Ironside, declared: “The physical and psychological toll that the violence is having on people is almost indescribable… We see children killed, injured, mutilated and burnt, in addition to being terrified to their core.”

  • Symptoms of trauma being evidenced by children include wetting of the bed, clinging to parents, and nightmares. 

  • At least one Palestinian minor, a 16-year-old boy (now 17) named Ahmad Abu Raida, was held hostage for five days by invading Israeli soldiers and used as a human shield during their search for tunnels near his home near Khan Younis in southern Gaza, according to an investigation carried out by Defence for Children International - Palestine

  • Most children six and older in Gaza have lived through three major Israeli military assaults during their short lifetimes: the first in the winter of 2008-9, and the second in November 2012.

 

Families Devastated 

  • According to the UN, between July 7 and August 22 at least 140 Palestinian families had three or more members killed in a single Israeli attack, for a total of 735 lives lost.

  • According to the UN, as many as 1500 children may have been orphaned by Israeli attacks that killed their parents. 

  • The UN estimates that 6000 children will have a parent with a lifelong disability.

 

Homes & Livelihoods Destroyed, Families Struggling to Survive
 

  • Since July 7, more than 100,000 people have been displaced by Israeli attacks that destroyed or severely damaged their homes. (Prior to Israel’s latest assault, there were 12,000 Palestinians still displaced from Israel’s 2008-09 attack on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead.) 

  • Even before Israel’s recent onslaught destroyed thousands of homes and much of Gaza’s industry and civilian infrastructure, families were struggling under Israel’s siege, with 70% of the population receiving humanitarian aid and an official unemployment rate of 40.8% as of the first quarter of 2014.

  • According to UNICEF, eight out of 10 of Gaza’s approximately 900,000 children are dependent on humanitarian assistance. 

  • Most children seven and younger in Gaza have lived their entire lives under Israel’s suffocating, illegal siege and blockade.

 

(Additional) Obstacles to Education for Gazas Children 

  • On August 24, nearly half a million Palestinian children in Gaza who were scheduled to start a new school year were unable to do so because of ongoing Israeli attacks. 

  • According to UNICEF, 244 schools were damaged during Israel’s latest assault and are in need of repair, including at least two kindergartens. According to the UN, at least 25 schools were severely damaged and can no longer be used.

  • Many of Gaza’s schools continue to serve as shelters for the more than 100,000 Palestinians made homeless by Israeli attacks since July 7. According to the UN: “Schools currently used as shelters will require varying degrees of rehabilitation in order to be ready for normal schooling. Initial repairs must also be carried out in war-damaged schools, and unexploded ordnance will need to be cleared to restore safety.” 

  • Despite repairs made to infrastructure since the implementation of a ceasefire on August 26, most parts of Gaza still suffer electrical outages of up to 18 hours a day (up to 20 hours a day in Gaza City) hindering the ability of children to read indoors and at night, and to use computers.

  • Even before Israel’s latest assault, Palestinian children in Gaza faced severe, Israeli-imposed restrictions on their ability to receive an education. Although Israel does not specifically prohibit the importation of books into Gaza as part of its siege, doing so is extremely difficult, leading to a shortage of books on all subjects. At one point, Israel barred the importation of writing papernotebooks, and pencils, leading to a shortage of the latter two. Additionally, since 2000 Israel has prevented students in Gaza from traveling to study at universities in the occupied West Bank, some of which offer fields of study and degrees not available in Gaza. According to a report from Haaretz newspaper, between 2000 and 2012 Israel let just three Gazans travel to study at universities in the West Bank, all of whom had received US government scholarships. (See here for fact sheet on Israel’s violations of Palestinian academic freedom and right to education.)

 

 

 

 

 

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