Medical care in Palestine

GAZA, (PIC)– An official at the Palestinian health ministry said that the list of medical supplies that ran out in the Gaza Strip rose to 180 types of medicines and 149 of medical disposables.

The ministry’s public relations and information director Ashraf Al-Qudra warned on Saturday that this acute shortage of medical supplies escalates the crisis and constitutes a real threat to the health work in hospitals and primary care centers.

Qudra criticized international human rights and health institutions for not moving swiftly to find radical solutions to the crisis that have plagued Gaza over the past five years and threatened the lives of patients.

He pointed out that the last victim of this crisis was five twins who suffer from lung atrophy and incomplete growth and they are in dire need for a vital injection to save their lives.

(Facebook / 31.07.2011)

Settlers Set Fire to 150 Dunums of Palestinian Land in Nablus

NABLUS, July 31, 2011 (WAFA)- Israeli settlers from the settlement of ‘Shvut Rahel,’ built on Palestinian land in Jaloud, a village south of Nablus, set fire to 150 dunums of the village’s land, Sunday said Ghassan Douglas, Palestinian official responsible for the settlement file in the northern West Bank.

Douglas said, “The fires are still burning in the Palestinian fields. This is not the first time that settlers attack these lands.”

( / 31.07.2011)

Palestinian lady miscarries after choking on tear gas in Al-Khalil


Al-KHALIL, (PIC)– A Palestinian pregnant woman miscarried at dawn Saturday when tear gas grenades fell onto her home in the old city of Al-Khalil.

Local sources said that Israeli troops during a raid on Palestinian neighborhoods in the old city fired without reason a heavy barrage of tear gas grenades randomly and some of them fell on the house of this woman.

They said the woman miscarried after she choked on tear gas and was rushed to hospital for medical treatment.

The incident generated popular outrage among the Palestinians in the city, according to the sources.

( / 31.07.2011)

Syrian Military Attacks Protesters in Hama

Once again, it seems an Assad is trying to make an example of the defiant, religiously conservative Syrian city of Hama. Some three decades after his father and predecessor Hafez al-Assad ruthlessly crushed an Islamist uprising in the city in 1982 — leaving at least 10,000 dead and imposing a fear of rebellion so formidable that it was only recently cracked — President Bashar al-Assad’s tanks stormed into Hama at dawn on Sunday, killing dozens and wounding hundreds.

The Syrian army, which had been on the outskirts of Hama for about a month, also attacked the eastern towns of Deir ez-Zour and Al-Boukamal, as well as Mouathamiya near the capital Damascus, and the village of al-Harak in the southern province of Dara’a, where the uprising erupted in mid-March. Details continued to emerge throughout the day, but at least 100 people were killed by mid-afternoon on Sunday, activists said. (See pictures of Syria’s bloody protests.)

The security forces tend to attack one renegade city at a time. Sunday’s simultaneous offensives in several parts of the country marked a key departure, several activists said.

“Attacking them all at once would either mean that the regime will utilize more of the army and face defections … or will not have enough troops to fully put down the demonstrations, which will only serve to agitate the demonstrators as more residents behold the regime’s atrocities,” says Ausama Monajed, a leading Syrian opposition member.

Hama, about 200 kilometers north of Damascus, has always been a thorn in the regime’s side. In recent months it has emerged as a key center of anti-Assad dissent. It basically fell outside Damascus’ control in early June, when security forces withdrew to its perimeter after killing more than 60 people in a day. Residents have set up makeshift checkpoints in their neighborhoods, as well as barricades in a bid to prevent the military and its gangs of armed thugs, or “shabiha,” from re-entering, although security forces have conducted nighttime raids. (See protesters’ best chance for toppling Assad’s regime.)

The timing of the ferocious offensive — just a day before the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan — was also hugely symbolic. Although the period is traditionally one of reflection, prayer, feasting and family, Syrian activists expect an escalation in protests during Ramadan, as more people pay daily visits to mosques, which have served as launching pads for weekly demonstrations after Friday afternoon prayers. Numerous activists have said that they expect every day during Ramadan to be like Friday, increasing pressure on the regime and its security forces.

Wissam Tarif, executive director of the rights group Insan, says Sunday’s events suggest the regime is panicked. “It’s a fear of Ramadan,” he told TIME from Beirut. “Assad lost Hama for a month. Hama announced itself to be a liberated city. If it continued to be a liberated city in Ramadan, then they would lose Deir ez-Zour next, and then Damascus, starting in its suburbs. That’s something which makes them panicked,” he said.

The death toll in Hama continued to spiral throughout the day. If Assad’s show of force was intended to cow the city’s residents, it wasn’t working, according to Omar al-Habbal, a 57-year-old Hama resident who is also a member of the Local Coordination Committees, a leading activist group. “People would see a tank advancing toward them and they’d stand their ground, thousands of them,” he told TIME by phone from the besieged city. Bursts of intense gunfire could be heard during the interview. “The tank would be firing and the people would be attacking it; with stones, with their hands, with sticks,” he said.

Habbal denied reports of military defections in the city. Three or four tank crews did claim to have switched sides, he said, “but it turned out to be a ploy.” The “thousands” surrounding the tanks — two of which reportedly entered from the north and two from the south — started celebrating, Habbal said. “They were chanting ’the people and the army are one’ and ’this is a great victory.’ It was a trick, so that (the tanks) could move deeper into the town. They started firing on the citizens.” (See why Assad’s regime stifles the opposition’s voice.)

“I haven’t heard that, it is possible,” says Monajed, the leading Syrian dissident, “but it conflicts with other reports of deliberations between Hama elders and the army to end the incursion in the section where the army had defected, in around a quarter or a third of the city.”

Syria’s state news agency said Sunday that “two law enforcement members were martyred by armed groups in Hama who set police stations on fire, vandalized public and private properties, set roadblocks and barricades and burned tires at the entrance of the city and in its streets.”

Amateur video posted online showed bloody, presumably dead individuals in civilian garb. In one video, captured from a higher vantage point that provides a panning shot of the city, plumes of thick black smoke can be seen rising above Hama, as faint cries of Allahu Akbar ring out. Residents were burning tires, Habbal said, in a bid to block the advance of tanks and as a way of communicating with other parts of the city. “Whenever we feel or see a threat, we set fire to the tires,” he said. “There’s been intense indiscriminate fire for the past hour or so,” he said, just before noon local time. “I counted at least 50 shells falling on the city in that period, I don’t know where. Listen, the shelling is starting up again.”

( / 31.07.2011)

ICCO wijzigt beleid niet na gesprek met Uri Rosenthal

ICCO wijzigt beleid niet na gesprek minister Rosenthal!!!

ICCO sprak vanochtend met minister Rosenthal van Buitenlandse Zaken over de financiering door ICCO van de website Electronic Intifada. Het was een pittig en openhartig gesprek, maar ICCO ziet geen reden om haar beleid te wijzigen. Voor haar werk is het internationaal recht de belangrijkste leidraad.

Die site biedt volgens de minister een platform aan de oproep voor een boycot van Israël. Het steunen van deze site staat hiermee volgens de minister diametraal tegenover het Nederlands buitenlands beleid. ICCO verschilt hierover van mening met de minister.

Sinds 2005 roepen meer dan 170 Palestijnse en enkele Israëlische organisaties op tot boycot, desinvestering en sancties tegen het Israëlische beleid. Doel is dat Israël zich houdt aan het internationaal recht en de mensenrechten. Omdat de Israëlische bezetting van de Palestijnse gebieden voortduurt, is deze druk gerechtvaardigd. Het is een vreedzame en legale manier om de Israëlische bezetting van de Palestijnse gebieden te beëindigen en te komen tot een vreedzame en rechtvaardige oplossing.


In 2004 verklaarde het Internationaal Gerechtshof in Den Haag dat de door Israel gebouwde muur illegaal is, omdat die voor het grootste deel gebouwd is op Palestijns grondgebied. Het Hof bevestigde verder de illegaliteit van de Israëlische nederzettingen. Het hof riep staten op zich te onthouden van steun aan de bouw van de muur. Deze uitspraak is bevestigd door de Algemene Vergadering van de Verenigde Naties (UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004). Nederland heeft hier vóór gestemd.

Ondanks de uitspraak van het hof en vele VN-resoluties, zet Israël de bouw van de muur en nederzettingen door.


ICCO heeft deze oproep tot boycot niet zelf ondertekend. Wel hebben vrijwel alle maatschappelijke Palestijnse organisaties, en sommige Israëlische, die oproep ondertekend, onder wie organisaties die steun ontvangen van ICCO, maar ook van andere Nederlandse organisaties en het ministerie zelf. ICCO steunt het Kairos-document, waarin Palestijnse christenen oproepen om meer druk uit te oefenen tegen het Israëlische beleid.

Voor ICCO zijn internationaal recht en internationale humanitaire verdragen de belangrijkste leidraad. Ook artikel 90 van de Nederlandse grondwet stelt: ,,De regering bevordert de ontwikkeling van de internationale rechtsorde.”

ICCO maakt zich sterk voor mensenrechten en internationaal recht in alle landen waar ze werkt, of dat nou Soedan, Congo, Guatemala of het Midden-Oosten is. ICCO roept dan ook zowel de Palestijnse als Israëlische autoriteiten op de mensenrechten te respecteren. ICCO streeft samen met haar Palestijnse en Israëlische partners naar een duurzame en rechtvaardige vrede voor iedereen: Palestijnen en Israëliërs.

Het is in Nederland goed gebruik dat maatschappelijke organisaties zelfstandig hun beslissingen nemen. ICCO ziet dan ook geen reden haar beleid te wijzigen.

(Facebook / J. Jansen / 31.07.2011)