1,000 Children Left Disabled by 2014 War on Gaza

2 Sep

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International Middle East Media Centre report, Gaza 26 August 2015

Defense for Children International said, in a special report, on Tuesday, that about a thousand Palestinian children have sustained permanent disabilities as a result of the Israeli aggression on Gaza in 2014.

DCIP also documented cases in which at least 30 children sustained permanent facial or physical deformation, according to WAFA.

In July of 2014, Israel waged a relentless offensive on Gaza which claimed the lives of almost 2,240 people, most of them civilians and mainly children and women, while more than 40,000 homes were destroyed either totally or partially.

An estimated 500,000 people have become homeless or left their homes seeking shelter in safer places during the offensive.

IMEMC

Related articles:

Study: 51% of Gaza Children, 31% of Adults Suffer Post-War Trauma

Dangerous Trends In Palestinian Health Caused by Occupation: UNRWA

Law, not Bombs and Band-Aid – Dr. Mads Gilbert on Palestine

 

Smearing NZ decency with Palestinian blood & tears

2 Sep

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Dr Vacy Vlazna, gaza.scoop.ps 1 September 2015

“One child has been killed every hour in Gaza over the past two days.”
Kyung-Wha Kang UN Asst. Sec.Gen for Humanitarian Affairs 23-7-14

“All these dead and maimed civilians should weigh heavily on all our consciences. I know that they weigh heavily on mine. All our efforts to protect them have been abject failures”. Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

On its New Zealand Now website, the New Zealand (NZ) government truthfully describes the welcoming characteristics of New Zealand as “Open spaces, open hearts, open minds. That’s New Zealand and its people in a nutshell”: a people with “in-built expectations of ‘fair play’, integrity, honesty and trust.” who live in one of “the world’s most peaceful, least corrupt countries”.

And yet..and yet..the NZ government via its New Zealand Super Fund (NZSF) has deviously exploited the trust of its citizens and besmeared their good reputation with the blood and suffering of innocent Palestinians.

The NZSF is a progressive universal ‘pension’ scheme to which all taxpaying citizens contribute and from which all retirees over 65 benefit. On members’ behalf, the managerial and administrative Guardians, headed by the arrogant CEO, Adrian Orr, are responsible for the investment decisions which under the ethical standards of the Responsible Investment Framework (RIF) must avoid “prejudice to New Zealand’s reputation as a responsible member of the world community”.

“Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial.” Shakespeare

NZSF’s investments in Israeli companies which profit from Israel’s war crimes and illegal settlement grabs of Palestinian land violates the standards of the RIF and the decent fair play and integrity of its members.

Since Israel’s monstrous war on Gaza in 2014, there have been energetic public demands on NZSF to divest from its portfolio of Israeli companies with emphasis on Israel Chemicals because of the horrific effect of white phosphorus burns on Palestinians such as little Hamza Almidani, 3 – white phosphorus which Adrian Orr deceptively announced is so benign you can clean your teeth with it.

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Hamza Mus’ab Almadani
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Trade Aid from Palestine to Auckland

2 Sep

Trade Aid - Palestine - 16092015 copyGuest speaker, Saleem Abu Ghazaleh talks on olive oil and occupation, food and farming in Palestine.

Major boycott victory: Veolia withdraws from the occupation

29 Aug

photoA protest at the Auckland Railway Station demanding Veolia withdraw from Apartheid Israel. (Veolia also runs Auckland’s rail services).

by Anna Baltzer, National Organizer ‘US Campaign to End the Occupation’, 28 August 2015

MAJOR BDS WIN! Veolia sells all remaining ties to the occupation!

We are thrilled to share with you some exciting news we just received from Palestine: Veolia — the flagship global boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement campaign — has withdrawn completely from the Israeli market!

The French multinational was targeted by BDS because of its complicity with the Israeli occupation in four ways: (1) operating Israeli settler bus lines on segregated roads in the occupied West Bank, (2) operating a landfill dumping Israeli and settler trash on Palestinian land, (3) providing wastewater services to illegal Israeli settlements, and (4) investment in the Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR), which connects the settlements with 1948 Israel, further entrenching Israel’s colonization of the West Bank.

Veolia lost more than $20 billion in contracts following BDS campaigns worldwide, and began by selling off its Israeli bus services in September 2013. Then, this past April, Veolia sold off its settlement landfill and wastewater contracts. And as of this week, Veolia had sold off its final JLR shares in the occupation, making this one of the most extraordinary global BDS victories to date, showing the unprecedented power of this movement!

Even in the movement challenging South African apartheid, many corporate targets like Shell never entirely withdrew from South Africa. Far beyond symbolic victories, the Palestinian-led BDS movement is forcing major multinational corporations to change their behavior. Just a few weeks after BDS turned 10, this victory illustrates the extraordinary heights of economic influence that BDS has achieved in its first decade. These corporate changes send a clear message to Israel, the U.S. government, and corporations that participation of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people is costly and unsustainable. And they send the message to activists worldwide that together we can affect real change, and now is a critical moment to redouble our effort.

Nowhere is the growing power of BDS clearer than in the latest top-down attempts by legislators to stifle it, including through a recent Congressional hearing on BDS that featured no Palestinians or BDS supporters! If you haven’t yet, make sure to sign this important petition calling on Congress to hold a pro-BDS hearing!

The US Campaign has been proud to support member groups in Yolo County, Sonoma County, and Los Angeles, California; Baltimore; Boston; and beyond on municipal BDS campaigns to dump city contracts with Veolia. In St. Louis, a broad-based coalition of Palestine advocates, environmental justice activists, water workers, Organization for Black Struggle, and others waged a historic campaign to stop a proposed city water contract, forcing Veolia to withdraw its bid — a watershed, precedent-setting win. The United Church of Christ, Quaker Friends Fiduciary Corporation, and retirement fund TIAA-CREF Social Choice Fund also divested from Veolia. These many successful U.S. campaigns have shown the multinational that no matter where it sought business, it would be held accountable.

Of course, Veolia, the largest water privatizer in the world, must still be held accountable for its egregious environmental and labor rights violations, mismanagement, corruption, and other disastrous practicesfor which it is infamous. And Veolia owes a great debt to the Palestinian communities it has harmed in its violations of human rights and international law, and must pay reparations.

Nonetheless, let’s take a moment to celebrate this incredible achievement, and get back to the important work of supporting our allies and BDS campaigns for freedom, justice, and equality.

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One year after Israel’s 50-day war, Gaza is still in crisis

28 Aug

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Gaza, Summer 2015. (Photo: Robert Ross)

By Robert Ross, Mondoweiss, Gaza, 26 August 2015

“The real victims of the war are the survivors,” my friend Hamza, a Palestinian journalist, told me earlier this month, as we drank mango juice at a beach café in Gaza City.

Indeed, despite 12 months of relative peace, Gazans are still enduring the aftermath of three Israeli wars in the past six years, an ongoing Israeli and Egyptian imposed blockade, a crippled economy, and internal political strife.

“Everyone here—100 percent of the people—are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder,” Hamza said. Just moments earlier, he and his brother instinctively ducked their heads upon hearing a nearby firework explode.

This sentiment was echoed numerous times by the doctors, public health officials, journalists, artists, and aid workers I spoke with throughout my visit to Gaza.

“The war ended on the 26th of August, 2014,” said Dr. Ghada al-Jadba, the Chief Field Health Program officer for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). “But another crisis began. You will see the destruction of the houses but behind the houses you will see more and more destruction of the people. Behind each house, there will be a very sad story, a disaster, a humanitarian disaster.”

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One year later: In search of Ayman

26 Aug
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Ayman loved birds, keeping several for pets until the day he died.

By Yousef Aljamal, We are Not Numbers, Gaza, 24 August 2015

Palestinians are sentenced to sadness. Death haunts us as if it is our own shadow. Even when we want to celebrate, death infiltrates into our backyard, replacing our little joyful moments, which soon vanish in a twinkle of an eye—replacing smiley faces with tear-streaked cheeks. When someone is gone, things are never the same. With Ayman gone, Gaza has never been the same. Ayman’s birds stopped singing.

As bombs were falling on Gaza in the summer of 2014, I landed in Amman to celebrate my cousin’s wedding and meet my West Bank family there, whom I had not seen for nearly 15 years. My uncle and I were driving back from his sister’s house, after we paid her a short visit and distributed some wedding invitations, when I got a text message notification on my cell phone. It was from my sister in Gaza telling me, “your friend Ayman was killed by Israeli shelling just now.” It was so direct and blunt that I could not read it a second time. Silence fell. I had lost my childhood friend.

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UNRWA workers in Gaza strike & protest funding cuts

26 Aug
UNRWA was set up in 1949 “provide assistance and protection for some five million registered Palestine refugees to help them achieve their full potential in human development.” Many fear the current cuts will seriously undermine this goal, leaving poverty-striken Palestinian refugees to fend for themselves.

RT video report, 24 August 2015

Thirteen thousand employees of the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) went on a strike and took to the streets of Gaza city, Monday, to protest against overcrowding at UNRWA schools, unpaid vacations, downsizing, and postponing the academic year. According to the workers’ union, there are over 50 children in each classroom, and employees have been urging the agency to reduce the maximum capacity to 38 before the school year started, but their demands were not met.

“Stop the injustice. Refugees rights” and “The UNRWA is the only witness to the refugee catastrophe,” said the protesters’ banners. The rally started at the agency’s headquarters and ended outside the Commissioner-General of UNESCO’s office in Gaza.

UNRWA employees protest against overcrowding at UNRWA schools, unpaid vacations, downsizing, and postponing the academic year.

The demonstration was called in response to the agency’s new rules that would impose one-year of unpaid leave on staff members and increase the number of students in UN-run classrooms, Associated Press reports.

According to the union, after the rule change comes into effect, more than 50 schoolchildren are to be taught in each classroom. Employees had unsuccessfully urged the agency to decrease the maximum number of pupils to 38 per classroom.

Despite Monday being the first official day of the school year, UN-led schools in Gaza remain closed because of the protests and more than 220,000 Palestinian pupils had no classes as a result.

The protest was the largest in a series of demonstrations against the cost cutting measures.

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