Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Protests - End the Gaza Siege




End the Siege on Gaza

International Day of Action

Saturday 26th January


Opposite No10 Downing Street

Withehall, London

And please write to your MP asking them to sign Early Day Motions 305, 624 and 698 on Gaza

On Sunday 20 January, Gaza ’s only power station was forced to shut down, after Israel cut fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip.

Israel has imposed a total closure on the Strip's border crossings, even preventing the delivery of essential humanitarian aid. Over 80 per cent of Gaza ’s population rely on food aid from the United Nations or other agencies. Over 70 Gazans have died as a result of Israel preventing patients with serious medical conditions from accessing treatment outside the Gaza Strip.

This catastrophic cutting of fuel supplies is already seriously affecting hospitals, supplies of fresh water and sewage systems, has removed heating and lighting from 800,000 people, and making it impossible for those few factories which have managed to remain open despite the blockade.

In carrying out these actions, the Israeli government is violating the strict prohibition on collective punishment of a civilian population in the Fourth Geneva Convention.

We are particularly appealing to medical staff to join us in uniform to visibly express their opposition to the medical impact of the blockade.

More details: www.palestinecampai gn.org; www.endgazasiege. net;

View a short film about the 400 strong protest on the 12th of January outside Downing Street : http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=BWhBC6hP6cM


This is still being sorted out, but there is likely to be a protest at the Israeli blockade of Gaza on Friday 25th in George Square, possibly around 7 p.m., watch this space for further details.
URGENT! Gaza in darkness as Israel continues bombing raids

The only power plant in Gaza was shut down yesterday - the inhabitants of Gaza, 1.5 million people, now have no electricity, water or functional medical facilities.

Join the protest:
Wednesday 23 January 2008, 5.30pm at the foot of the Mound, Princes Street, Edinburgh

We calls on all human rights groups and campaigns to join the protest and to end the silence on Israel's genocidal actions against the people of Gaza. Please contact us at campaign@scottishps c.org.uk to confirm your support.

"Death and Darkness in Gaza, People are dying, Help us!

A humanitarian crisis is underway as the Gaza Strip's only power plant began to shut down on Sunday, and the tiny coastal territory entered its third full day without shipments of vital food and fuel supplies due to Israel's punitive sanctions.

The Gaza Strip's power plant has completely shut down on Sunday because it no longer has the fuel needed to keep running. One of the plant's two electricity- generating turbines had already shut down by noon.

This will drastically reduce output to 25 or 30 megawatts, down from the 65 megawatts the plant produces under normal conditions. By Sunday evening the plant will shut down completely, leaving large swaths of the Gaza Strip in darkness.

Omar Kittaneh, the head of the Palestine Energy Authority in Ramallah, confirmed that by tonight, the one remaining operating turbine will be powered down, and the Gaza power plant will no longer be generating any electricity at all.

“We have asked the Israeli government to reverse its decision and to supply fuel to operate the power plant”, Dr. Kittaneh said. “We have talked to the Israeli humanitarian coordination in their Ministry of Energy [National Infrastructure] . We say this is totally Israel’s responsibility, and that reducing the fuel supplies until the plant had to shut down will affect not only the electrical system but the water supply, and the entire infrastructure in Gaza – everything.”

After months of increasingly harsh sanctions, Israel imposed a total closure on the Strip's border crossings, even preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid. The Israeli government says the closure is punishment for an ongoing barrage of Palestinian homemade projectiles fired from the Gaza Strip.


180 fuel stations have shut down after Gaza residents to buy gas for cooking.

A Palestinian economist Hasan Abu Ramadan said the current humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip will be deepened by the blockade on fuel and food supplies. He warned that Gaza Strip could go from a situation of deep poverty to all out famine, disease, and malnutrition.

Abu Ramadan said that more than 80% of the Strip's 1.5 million residents have been surviving with the help of food aid from international organizations such as UNRWA for Palestinian refugees.

International condemnation

Most international actors in the region believe there already is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, including the UN's Emergency Relief Coordinator, the Undersecretary- general for humanitarian affairs John Holmes, who said at a press conference at UNHQ in New York on Friday that "This kind of action against the people in Gaza cannot be justified, even by those rocket attacks".

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon expressed particular concern, in a statement issued later on Friday through his spokesperson, about the "decision by Israel to close the crossing points in between Gaza and Israel used for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Such action cuts off the population from much-needed fuel supplies used to pump water and generate electricity to homes and hospitals".

The UN Human Rights Council's Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied territories, John Dugard, also issued a much sharper statement on Friday, saying that Israel must have foreseen the loss of life and injury to many nearby civilians when it targeted the Ministry of Interior building in Gaza City.

This, and the killings of other Palestinians during the week, plus the closures, "raise very serious questions about Israel's respect for international law and its Commitment to the peace process", Dugard said. He said it violates the strict prohibition on collective punishment contained in the Fourth Geneva Convention, and one of the basic principles of international humanitarian law: that military action must distinguish between military targets and civilian targets."

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