Renewed Punishment of Gaza
Posted by uscsjp on November 18, 2008
Israel sends tanks into Gaza
“Jerusalem Israeli tanks entered the southern Gaza Strip yesterday, drawing mortar fire from Palestinian militants and undermining a tenuous truce. The tanks, backed by a bulldozer, drove 500 metres into the strip and levelled earth near Rafah, Gaza’s southeastern border crossing with Egypt. Israel said that the operation was mounted to uncover explosives, while the Palestinians accused Israel of trying to increase violence. The latest fighting began two weeks ago and there is now a near-daily cycle of mortar attacks on southern Israeli towns and Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. At least 17 Palestinians have died, and several Israelis have been wounded..”
—November 19, 2008
Foreign Reporters’ Group Fights Israeli Prohibition on Entering Gaza
“An association representing international news organizations is campaigning for an end to an unusual Israeli policy barring foreign reporters from entering Gaza that has lasted for almost two weeks… Mr. Dror added that he was not ‘shedding tears’ over the journalists’ frustration. He said that Israel, in any case, considered much of their previous coverage from Gaza unfair…”
–New York Times, November 18, 2008
UN condemns Israel for Gaza closure
“The United Nations has criticised Israel’s closure of the Gaza crossings as a ‘direct contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law’.
The charge by Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, came as Israel moved to re-seal the crossings into the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, a day after allowing trucks carrying aid into the besieged coastal territory.
‘It must end now,’ Pillay said in a statement released in Geneva on Tuesday.
‘Only a full lifting of the blockade followed by a strong humanitarian response will be adequate to relieve the massive humanitarian suffering evident in Gaza today’…”
–Al Jazeera English, November 18, 2008
Gaza flare-up threatens truce
“…Clashes began on November 4 when Israeli forces killed six Hamas fighters in a raid to destroy a secret supply tunnel.
Israeli troops shot dead four Hamas gunmen in a further incursion on Wednesday, and Hamas responded with more rocket and mortar attacks, ratcheting up tensions in what Ayman Taha, a Hamas spokesman, called a ‘dangerous escalation’.
Short of fuel, Palestinian officials shut down Gaza’s sole power plant on Thursday, causing partial blackouts in Gaza City…”
–Al Jazeera English, November 15, 2008
Israel executes four in Gaza; siege affects access to drinking water
“The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued to seal off the Gaza Strip for the eleventh day in a row, in an escalation of the collective punishment of Gaza’s population imposed since 2000. The IOF resumed its military attacks and killed four Palestinians this morning in an air strike in east Gaza.
The humanitarian conditions have quickly deteriorated in the Gaza Strip as Israel’s tight siege has affected all aspects of Palestinians’ lives and violated their human rights, which are protected by international human rights and international humanitarian law.
Gaza’s power plant has suspended its work for the third day in a row due to lack of fuel necessary to run it. Hospitals and clinics are greatly affected. Not only do they suffer from suspension of surgery sections and intensive care unis, but also from the damage to vaccines and serums that are preserved in refrigerators. Moreover, tens of thousands of Palestinians suffer from a severe shortage of drinking water, especially those who live in tall buildings and have no access to water even when municipalities manage to pump water to their area…”
—Press release, Al Mezan, 16 November 2008
Israel-Gaza border clash kills 4 Palestinians
“Reporting from Gaza City and Jerusalem — A 5-month-old truce along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip came under new strain Wednesday after an armed clash there, the second in just over a week, left four Palestinian gunmen dead.
The fighting raised the possibility that the truce will break down or will not be renewed when it expires next month, bringing a new round of heavy fighting in the region as the United States and Israel change administrations…”
–LA Times, November 13, 2008