Yesterday, Mona El Farra wrote from Gaza:
Gaza 11-3-2012 4pm
The Israeli army continues its military attacks against the Gaza Strip. The attacks started Friday, March 10 at 5:30pm. I heard the first terrible explosion as I drove back to Gaza City from Khan Younis. There was a lot of smoke, shattered windows, and a fire in this blue car that was targeted by a missile from an Israeli drone. These offensive acts, though supposedly targeting Palestinian armed resistance men, are illegal according to international law. Every human is entitled a trial.
As usual, the entire civilian population including women and children, pays the highest price and bears the brunt of this terrible situation. Already several children have been killed, one was on his way to school when he was hit by shrapnel.
Our concern is not just the attacks but also the lack of medications and supplies. If Israel continues this operation, the number of causalities will increase. The toll is 16 dead and 30 injured until this minute.
Gaza’s population already lives in a dire humanitarian situation. We are still under Israel’s military occupation and the internal conflict between Palestinian political groups is not solved. But worst of all, the governments of the world are silent and indifferent.
We at the Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip and the Middle East Children’s Alliance appeal to the international community, and to our friends and supporters to spread the word about what is happening now in Gaza and pressure your governments to stop these attacks soon.
The humanitarian situation in Gaza is on the verge of collapse, the military attacks continue while we lack electricity and our medical facilities and hospitals have little amounts of fuel to operate their backup generators. We have insufficient medications. 186 basic medications are lacking in our pharmacies. Besides the insufficient medical supplies, children in the special neonatal intensive care units as well as renal dialysis patients are in great danger due to the power outage. Our cancer patients are dying unnecessarily, unable to have their treatments. Our diabetic and asthmatic patients, as well as many others with chronic illnesses who need their medications regularly cannot get it. The list of the victims is too long to mention.
Please act immediately to stop this attack against Gaza population. You have been always great supporters and showed your solidarity, at the most difficult times.
Dr. Mona ElFarra
Vice President, Red Crescent Society for the Gaza Strip
As usual, Israel started the assault by assassinating Palestinian militants. I will use the Israeli terminology, as there is nothing wrong with it. The men Israel assassinated in the ongoing counterinsurgency campaign that is euphemistically called the Israel-Palestine conflict were people who, when they are not living with their families, are militantly defending their homeland. There is nothing wrong with that.
The usual rogue’s gallery, ever-eager to aggravate the race war, has weighed in to condemn the retaliatory rocket fire out of Gaza. Their words are worthless when their deeds make that rocket fire almost inevitable. One result of the Egyptian insurrection is that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces now has to make an occasional gesture to popular sentiment to take the boil off the social pressure that is slowly building against its collaborationist policies. Thus Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said that “Egypt is highly distraught by the Israeli attacks…Egypt is currently exerting efforts and making crucial calls for an immediate end to this Israeli escalation to end bloodshed of our brothers.” Translated into English that means, Israel, when you bomb a territory full of Arabs right next to our own our people notice. The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi-dominated parliament passed a motion calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Egypt and the halting of gas exports to Israel.
Neither will happen, as the parliament is powerless. But the pressure is not just building in Cairo but elsewhere: in El Arish solidarity marches took place today and more are planned for later this week. El Arish is a medium sized city an hour from the Egyptian border with Gaza. There, Muslim Brotherhood cadres are also more sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle than they are in places further afield where the impacts of Egyptian policies lack such clear immediacy. The Egyptian leadership, trying to calm the situation, offered Palestinians in Gaza fuel if a “ceasefire” takes hold. The Popular Resistance Committees are rejecting a “ceasefire” until they can extract a promise that Israel will refrain from targeting their militants and leadership. They will never get that promise merely from negotiations. Indeed, Israel insists that it will not stop “preventive targeting” operations: “The Israeli army will continue to attack the terrorists in Gaza with strength and determination,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In other words, Israel will attack at will and reject on principle any ceasefire with the Palestinians in Gaza. Meanwhile the death toll inches upwards: 25 since Friday, with over thrice that injured.
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