GAZA HOLOCAUST AND GENOCIDE 27.12.2008-18.01.2009

Saturday, 31 January 2009

"The mood in Gaza has moved from grief to anger" (John Ging, UNRWA)

from United Nations TV

"The mood in Gaza has moved from grief to anger" (John Ging, UNRWA)

United Nations, New York, 30 January 2009: Daily Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. John Ging, Director of the Operations in Gaza for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), is updating on the humanitarian situation in Gaza via video conference link.

UNRWA website:

View the entire video (Real Media, 1 hour and 6 minutes):


Friday, 30 January 2009

UNICEF: Back to school in Gaza

UNICEF: Back to school in Gaza


NEW YORK, 26 January 2009 With the return of hundreds of thousands of children to school in Gaza, UNICEF is providing essential educational equipment and materials to reinstate learning and recreational activities, create safe environments and help restore a sense of normalcy for children in Gaza.

On the first day of my return to school I was expecting to find damage and destruction because I know that war machine didnt leave anything in place no human, no stone. When I first entered, I was shocked from the scenes that I saw—classrooms damaged, windows broken, every corner in the school reminds us of the war, said Hanady Akeela, 17.

On 26 January, UNICEF Occupied Palestinian Territory Representative Patricia McPhillips visited Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza where two UNICEF tents serve as temporary learning spaces for girls whose school was completely destroyed. Four additional tents will be set up in the coming days to accommodate additional students.

UNICEF is working with partners to establish safe areas and to supply educational material for children in Gaza, said Ms. McPhillips. Returning to school provides an important opportunity for children to interact, play, rebuild their routines and overcome distress.

To read the full story, visit:

Gaza Schoolgirl: TRAUMA [cc] Estudante de Gaza TRAUMATIZADA [Legendado em Português]

Gaza Schoolgirl: TRAUMA [cc] Estudante de Gaza TRAUMATIZADA [Legendado]


"Every Gazan has a tale of profound grief to tell" (Karen AbuZayd, UNRWA)

from United Nations TV

"Every Gazan has a tale of profound grief to tell" (Karen AbuZayd, UNRWA)

United Nations, 27 January 2009 - Security Council meeting: With fragile ceasefires holding between Israel and Hamas, Karen AbuZayd, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), appealed to the Security Council to press all the parties for the political action needed ensure safe humanitarian access to the war-ravaged Gaza Strip and the immediate opening of the Strips crossing points to allow the free flow of aid, supplies and commerce.

Press Release:

Entire Meeting of the Security Council (Real Media, 26 minutes):

"Help is urgently needed in Gaza" (Ban Ki-moon, Davos)

from United Nations TV

"Help is urgently needed in Gaza" (Ban Ki-moon, Davos)

United Nations, New York, 29 January 2009: Daily Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. The Secretary-General today announced in Davos an appeal for $613 million to cover the immediate recovery needs of the people of Gaza for the next six to nine months. A formal appeal will be launched next week (February 2) in Geneva.

UN appeals for $613 million to help Gaza recover after Israeli offensive

from United Nations TV

"There is a need for a massive humanitarian effort in Gaza" (John Holmes)

United Nations, 27 January 2009 - John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Kaaren AbuZayd, Commissioner-General of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) brief the press following a meeting of the Security Council on the situation in Gaza.

News Story:

View entire video (Real Media, 20 minutes):

Thursday, 29 January 2009

MAAN NEWS AGENCY::Hamas agrees: Gaza reconstruction funds to be depoliticized

from Ma'an News Agency

Hamas agrees: Gaza reconstruction funds to be depoliticized
Date: 28 / 01 / 2009 Time: 17:35

Gaza – Ma'an – Hamas has accepted a plan to rebuild the Gaza Strip in which funds would be given to international agencies and kept out of the hands of Palestinian factions, a participant in the Cairo negotiations said on Wednesday.

Talal Abu Tharifa, a member of the central committee of the leftist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), said that Hamas had agreed to the proposal, which is based on “the Lebanese experience.”

Palestinian political leaders are in Cairo to discuss a ceasefire with Israel, Palestinian reconciliation, and the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. The question of how to distribute reconstruction funds has been contentious because of an international aid boycott of the Hamas government. At the Cairo negotiations, Hamas had previously demanded that it be allowed to handle the reconstruction funds.

Abu Tharifa told Ma’an that Hamas leaders Abu Hashem, Salah Al-Bardawil and Ayman Taha had agreed to the plan. He also said that the UN’s relief agency for Palestinian refuges, UNRWA, would handle much of the money.

Abu Tharifa also repored that the Hamas delegation had welcomed a DFLP proposal to negotiate any truce with Israel as a united Palestinian front. He also called for Palestinian factions to prepare for national reconciliation talks in Cairo on 22 February.

To read the full story, visit:
Ma'an News Agency

Yusuf Islam, ex-Cat Stevens, faz música para Gaza [Rádio ONU em Português] | AUDIO

Yusuf Islam, ex-Cat Stevens, faz música para Gaza [Rádio ONU em Português] | AUDIO


[*] to download Yusuf 's charity song The Day The World Gets Round (song and inspiration by GEORGE HARRISON) visit:

Mônica Villela Grayley, da Rádio ONU em Nova York.
AUDIO | Fonte: Rádio ONU em Português | Yusuf Islam, ex-Cat Stevens, faz música para Gaza
Canção deverá arrecadar fundos para crianças e famílias, vítimas do conflito de 22 dias na região.

O cantor Yusuf Islam, conhecido anteriormente como Cat Stevens, lançou nesta segunda-feira uma música beneficente para as vítimas do conflito na Faixa de Gaza.

O dinheiro arrecadado com a canção será destinado à Agência da ONU de Assistência aos Refugiados Palestinos, Unrwa, e à ONG britânica Save the Children ou Salve as Crianças.


O conflito na Faixa de Gaza durou 22 dias e matou pelo menos 1,3 mil palestinos e 13 israelenses. Mais de 5,5 mil pessoas ficaram feridas.

Yusuf gravou a música, lançada primeiro pelo ex-Beatle, George Harrison, e disse que espera que o mundo se lembre do legado de paz, amor e felicidade.

A agência da ONU que já opera em Gaza há 60 anos foi a maior organização humanitária atuando durante as três semanas de conflito entre militantes do movimento islâmico Hamas e tropas de Israel.


De acordo com o Fundo das Nações Unidas para a Infância, Unicef, o conflito em Gaza afetou cerca de 840 mil crianças e jovens.

Muitos perderam escolas, postos de saúde e áreas de lazer durante os bombardeios de Israel.

Uma missão de alto nível da ONU visitou a região para avaliar a situação da reconstrução e da ajuda humanitária a médio e longo prazos.

A ONU deve lançar um apelo de emergência para Gaza na próxima semana.

Mônica Villela Grayley, da Rádio ONU em Nova York.

[*] to download Yusuf 's charity song The Day The World Gets Round (song and inspiration by GEORGE HARRISON) visit:
Featuring Yusuf on vocals, 12-string, and acoustic guitar, Klaus Voormann on bass, Luke Potashnick on electric and acoustic guitars, Cassiano De Sa on electric guitar, Nikolaj Torp on piano/keyboards, and Kristoffer Soone on drums.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

UNICEF: Rehabilitating learning centers in Gaza

UNICEF: Rehabilitating learning centers in Gaza


JERUSALEM, 23 January 2009 The recent and extreme levels of conflict in Gaza have affected the lives of 840,000 children and young people. Many have lost their schools, health facilities, play areas and even neighbourhoods, which have been destroyed in the violence.

Women and children are the worst affected. Among them are a special group with one foot still in childhood and another in adulthood: the adolescents.

We lived the worst life humans could live in this world no food or electricity, no water, says Lara Abu Ramadan, a 17-year-old Gaza resident, describing her experience of the conflict.

As a result of the escalation of violence in the recent conflict, many adolescents in Gaza are now experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety, insecurity and intense fear, notes the head of UNICEFs Adolescent Development and Participation (ADAP) programme, Linda Sall. However, as adolescents, they also feel the need to take some action to support their families, friends and community.

To read the full story, visit:

RED CROSS::ICRC: Gaza in Ruins

ICRC: Gaza in Ruins


Three weeks of intense conflict have taken a heavy toll on civilians. In Shijaiya, one of the poorest residential areas of Gaza City, families return to see the full extent of the damage. The ICRC and Palestine Red Crescent Society have started repair work on some of the Strip's shattered infrastructure, but it will take more than emergency aid for people in Gaza to recover from this latest crisis.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Palestinian US student loses 2 brothers in Gaza

-WATCH-Palestinian US student loses 2 brothers in Gaza-1/3


Palestinian US College Grad Loses two Brothers in Israeli Shooting; Father Watched Son Bleed to Death After Israeli Troops Blocked Ambulances

We return to the heart-wrenching tale of Amer Shurrab, who lost two of his brothers on the same day in an Israeli attack in Gaza. Amer is a Palestinian from Khan Yunis living in the United States. He recently graduated from Middlebury College. On Friday, his father and two brothers were fleeing their village when their vehicle came under Israeli fire. Twenty-eight-year-old Kassab died in a hail of bullets trying to flee the vehicle. Eighteen-year-old Ibrahim survived the initial attack, but Israeli troops refused to allow an ambulance to reach them until twenty hours later.

Friday, 23 January 2009

OBAMA: "Gaza's border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid and commerce"

from Washington Post
OBAMA: I was deeply concerned by the loss of Palestinian and Israeli life in recent days and by the substantial suffering and humanitarian needs in Gaza. Our hearts go out to Palestinian civilians who are in need of immediate food, clean water, and basic medical care, and who've faced suffocating poverty for far too long.

Now we must extend a hand of opportunity to those who seek peace. As part of a lasting cease-fire, Gaza's border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid and commerce, with an appropriate monitoring regime, with the international and Palestinian Authority participating.

To read the full story, visit:

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Israel must re-open the border crossing into the Gaza Strip "to allow the flow of aid and commerce," Mr Obama said.

Israel must re-open the border crossing into the Gaza Strip "to allow the flow of aid and commerce," Mr Obama said.


from Washington Post
President Obama Delivers Remarks to State Department Employees
JANUARY 22, 2009

Obama: Israel must open Gaza Strip border crossings
from Maan News Agency

"Now we must extend a hand of opportunity to those who seek peace. As part of a lasting ceasefire, Gaza's border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid and commerce," Obama said.
from Al Jazeera English

from AFP
US President Barack Obama said Thursday he was dispatching new Mideast envoy George Mitchell to shore up the fragile truce in Gaza, as Israel warned it would strike again if Hamas is allowed to rearm.

Both Obama and United Nations officials also called on Israel to open Gaza border crossings.

"As part of a lasting ceasefire, Gaza's border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid and commerce," Obama said, during his first visit to the State Department as president.

UN humanitarian chief John Holmes said the borders must be opened to allow reconstruction of the enclave.
from AFP

He also said Gaza's borders should be opened to allow aid to come in, with appropriate monitoring.

The naming of Mitchell, a veteran international troubleshooter, to the role would signal that Obama was serious about carrying out his campaign pledge to engage early in his administration on the Middle East issue, analysts have said.

UNICEF: The story of Amira, a child of Gaza

UNICEF: The story of Amira, a child of Gaza


NEW YORK, USA, 21 January 2009 Amira, 15, is a survivor. After her two siblings and father were killed during the conflict in the Gaza Strip, she crawled from her familys home and was found three days later in a neighbours house.

She was alone for three days in the street and no one passed in that neighbourhood, Amiras mother recalls.

Amira herself remembers: My father went outside, telling us, I want sit outside with my friends and read the Quran so that you can sleep well and not be scared. Shortly thereafter, she says, her father and the others died in a missile strike.

The three-week conflict, which halted with a ceasefire this past weekend, has left a trail of destruction including thousands of homes destroyed and damaged. Before the ceasefire was declared, some 50,000 people sought refuge in UN shelters. Only now are many Gazans making their way home again.

To read the full story, visit:

5 days after WHITE PHOSPHOROUS still smoldering in the UN compound

Five days after the UN Relief and Works Agency's field office in Gaza City was set ablaze by a barrage of white phosphorous shells in the morning of the 15 January, phosphorous fire was still smoldering in the compound today (20 January), as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon came to see the destruction for himself.

Speaking to reporters outside the UNRWA compound, Ban condemned the attack on UNRWA in the strongest possible terms.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon:
"It's particularly significant for me as Secretary General of the United Nations to stand in front of this bombed site of a United Nations compound. I'm just appalled, I'm not able to describe how I feel, having seen this site of the bombing of the United Nations compound. Everyone is smelling, this is still burning. This is an outrageous and totally unacceptable attack against the United Nations."

UNRWA's two main warehouses, as well as the workshop serving its fleet of cars and trucks in Gaza, were destroyed in the fire.

A major explosion was close, as the flames at one stage was only 30 meters from five fuel tankers parked close to the fires.

Thousands of tons of food and medicine, intended for distribution among the more than 800 000 Palestine refugees dependent on UNRWA, were destroyed.

Used cartridges of the white phosphorous shells were found in among the destroyed buildings.

Conselho de Segurança debate Oriente Médio

Fonte: Rádio ONU em Português

Conselho de Segurança debate Oriente Médio [Rádio ONU em Português] | AUDIO


Mônica Villela Grayley, da Rádio ONU em Nova York.

O Conselho de Segurança da ONU se reúne nesta quarta-feira em Nova York para avaliar a situação no Oriente Médio incluindo a questão palestina.

O Secretário-Geral, Ban Ki-moon, participa da reunião para informar aos 15 países-membros do órgão sobre sua visita de uma semana à região incluindo a última parada na Faixa de Gaza.

Leia o boletim de Leda Letra, da Rádio ONU em Nova York.

"Durante sua viagem a Gaza e à cidade de Sderot, no sul de Israel, Ban Ki-moon, afirmou que as vítimas do conflito precisam de ajuda humanitária urgente.

Os bombardeios de Israel mataram pelo menos 1,3 mil pessoas e deixaram mais de 5 mil feridos. Do lado israelense, pelo menos 13 pessoas morreram.


Ban reafirmou o compromisso da ONU com a reconstrução de Gaza e disse que palestinos e israelenses precisam trabalhar por uma paz duradoura.

De acordo com agências de notícias, Israel teria retirado todas as tropas da região nesta quarta-feira.

O subsecretário-geral de Assistência Humanitária das Nações Unidas, John Holmes, informou que a reconstrução da Faixa de Gaza custará bilhões de dólares. Holmes pediu ainda que Israel autorize a entrada de material de construção na área palestina.


As agências da ONU na região já estão avaliando medidas de emergência para lidar com a situação dos deslocados. Cerca de 50 mil pessoas estão vivendo em abrigos improvisados."

Em seu discurso em Gaza, o Secretário-Geral da ONU pediu a união dos palestinos, atualmente divididos entre o movimento islâmico Hamas, que controla Gaza, e a Autoridade Nacional Palestina, que administra a Cisjordânia.

Na quinta-feira, chegará a Gaza uma missão de alto nível da ONU para discutir ajuda humanitária e reconstrução a longo prazo.

Mônica Villela Grayley, da Rádio ONU em Nova York.

Fonte: Rádio ONU em Português

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Health situation in Gaza - 19 - 20 January 2009

Source: World Health Organization


This is the 19-20 January update on the health sector situation since Israel launched its military offensive in Gaza on 27 December.

  • Emergency status continues at health facilities

  • Post-ceasefire assessments underway to evaluate immediate health needs and damage to health facilities.

  • Immunization and antenatal care resumes with a normal average of attendance.

  • UNRWA and UNICEF dedicated to raise immunization coverage within the Gaza Strip.

  • 34 health facilities have been damaged since 27 December. More may be discovered as areas become accessible again due to the cease-fire.

  • WHO coordinates delivery of 3 trucks of supplies.

  • Electricity supplies improved at health facilities.

International Humanitarian Law requires all medical personnel and facilities be protected at all times, even during armed conflict. Attacks on them are grave violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights laws. Access to heath is a fundamental human right.


All MoH hospitals have declared that the emergency status declared on 27 December with the beginning of hostilities remains intact following the two cease-fire declarations, as many injured patients are still hospitalized.


According to the MoH on 19 January at 16:00, the number of people killed in the Gaza Strip since 27 December was approximately 1300, including 410 children and 104 women. Approximately 5300 people have been injured, including 1855 children and 795 women*.
(*The reason for the high increase in the death count is the identification of many bodies that were previously not identified or found under the rubble or in areas previously not accessible.)

UNRWA reports that 44 out of the 50 emergency shelters established to accommodate the displaced people are still in place for 46 000 displaced people.


Since 27 December 2008, 16 health personnel have been killed and 22 injured while on duty, according to the MoH health information centre in Gaza.

Since the cease-fire, most health personnel have been reporting to work regularly and working for one ore two continuous shifts, each shift for 12 hours.


Since 27 December, 34 health facilities (8 hospitals and 26 PHC clinics) have been damaged or destroyed in direct or indirect shelling.

Of the 8 damaged hospitals, two were not functioning as of 20 January. The 8 are:

  • Al Dorah Hospital – damaged on 3 occasions – 3, 12, 13 January (functioning only for emergency cases)

  • Gaza Pediatrics Hospital – damaged 3 January

  • Al Awda Hospital – damaged 5 January

  • Gaza European Hospital – damaged 10 January

  • El Nasser Pediatrics Hospital – damaged 10 January

  • Al-Quds PRCS Hospital – damaged twice 4, 15 January (not functioning)

  • Al Wafa Hospital – damaged 15 January

  • Al-Fata Hospital – damaged 15 January (not functioning)

Of the damaged PHC clinics, 20 were identified between 17 and 19 January after staff were able to inspect areas previously inaccessible due to insecurity. The number may increase as all sites are visited.


26 PHC clinics have been damaged or destroyed since 27 December (23 MoH, one UNRWA, two NGO).

Most of the MoH PHCs reportedly remain functional despite the damage (50 of 56). Of the six that remain closed, five were severely damaged and one was shut due to its close proximity to a high-risk area. For a detailed list see "ANNEX 2: Functionality status of 56 MoH clinics."

Immunization, antenatal care and management of chronic diseases services have been fully resumed in the 50 functioning MoH PHC clinics. Laboratory and dental services have been partially resumed. Health education and promotion services have recommenced in all the functioning PHC clinics. Internal referrals between PHC clinics and hospitals have been resumed for only severe cases.

Most health personnel have returned to work since the cease-fire, according to the director of the PHC directorate. But some are still supporting hospitals and have not returned to their PHCs.

Related public health measures being carried out include:

  • Collection of water samples 20 January that were sent to Gaza’s central Public Health Lab for routine analysis 21 January.

  • The MoH’s epidemiology department is strengthening the communicable diseases surveillance system among PHC clinics to avoid any communicable disease outbreak.

Also, 15 of UNRWA’s 18 PHC centers are fully functioning. Immunization services began 18 January at the UNRWA displaced people’s shelters. UNRWA is working with UNICEF to immunize all children in Gaza.


Electricity supply improved during 19-20 January as nearly 90 000 liters of industrial gas were emptied from the filling depot at the Nahal Oz Border Crossing. Some hospitals received electricity for 8-12 hours while others received it for 12-18 hours.


3 trucks of medical supplies and consumables donated by Italian Cooperation to WHO, WFP, and UNRWA entered Gaza on 20 January through Karem Shalom.

To read the full story, visit:
World Health Organization

"I sincerely hope that we are going forward not back": UNRWA, Director of operations in Gaza

United Nations, 20 January 2009 - Briefing by John Ging, Director of Operations in Gaza for U.N. Refugee and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) via video conference link from Gaza.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

United Nations: Ban Ki-moon gets first-hand look at Gaza devastation

from United Nations TV

United Nations Daily Briefing: Ban Ki-moon gets first-hand look at Gaza devastation

United Nations, New York, 20 January 2009: Daily Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Mr. Ban Ki-moon visited Gaza today, to demonstrate his solidarity with the population of Gaza, and to assure them of the United Nations and the international community's full support.

Press Conference:

News Story:

Gaza's destruction revealed - 20 Jan 09

Comment left on another blog about the Gaza Holocaust:
"I just saw pictures on BBC of the destruction in Gaza. How does Israel think it will make them more secure by doing this - I just don't understand that logic. They have increased hatred. People who were not pro-Hamas, now are. Families where brothers and sisters were killed indiscriminately only create more hate. By removing the reasons for people to live, you are only giving them more reasons to die and in doing so are giving Hamas exactly what it wants - a larger base. This was a senseless act of genocide on so many levels. I really do not understand how totally irresponsible the Israeli govt was towards it's own people. Security risks for Israelis have increased many fold... The sad part is, those kids who were murdered also lost their chance to sing, laugh and grow old - things we take for granted."

Monday, 19 January 2009

Gaza crossings must be reopened


Gaza crossings must be reopened | AUDIO


PRES: The two parallel ceasefires in Gaza, by Israel and Hamas, seem to be holding according to Christopher Gunness, the spokesman of the UN humanitarian agency in Gaza, UNRWA. He says there is evidence of an Israeli Defense Forces withdrawal and the Hamas rockets have stopped. But for the agency to be able to resume its full-scale operations of feeding 750,000 people and providing health care to a million people, Mr. Gunness told UN Radio's Patrick Maigua, that the crossings into Gaza must be reopened, as demanded by the UN Secretary-General.

Gunness: Before June 2007 there were on average about 475 trucks a day. That's in total for the international community. Now there is around 100 a day or so. I think it's clear that we have to get the crossings properly opened so that we can get fuel, we can get food supplies in industrial quantities to get somewhere with the huge task ahead of us.

MAIGUA: Have all the crossings been opened?

GUNNESS: No, and we are being forced to use mainly the Kerem Shalom crossing point which is, as far as we are concerned, is a hopeless bottleneck. It's the industrial scrub land area where we have to take pellets of goods and dump these pellets in open ground, flood them in on the Israeli side in the morning and then take over form the Palestinian side in the afternoon and the trucks come in and pick them up. That is wholly unsatisfactory. What we want is the Karni trans-shipment point for industrial quantities of, for example, wheat grain to go in and we need the Nahal Oz trans-shipment point for industrial quantities of fuel to go in. Only if that can happen can we really get our operation up to the scale we need it to be at.

MAIGUA: Now, how are Palestinians rebuilding their lives?

GUNNESS: They have been subjected to three weeks of aerial bombardment. There have been rockets. There has been a ground offensive and they are traumatized, they are terrorized. And until now they have been trapped because they have nowhere to flee. UN schools, UN reception centres were coming under direct attacks from the Israeli army. There was nowhere safe in Gaza. At least we hope now the ceasefire coming into effect that there is somewhere safe for them to go. But, imagine in our school, in Beit Lahiya just a few days ago there was a direct hit on the third floor of our school. A mother in front of her very eyes had two of her children a five and a seven old killed. She lost both her legs and is now a double amputee. Now imagine the psychological scars that that person is going to be enduring for the rest of her life.

MAIGUA: You talked about the bombing of UN facilities, now with the ceasefire in place, are you getting any explanation from the Israeli Defense Force as to why the UN facilities were targeted?

GUNNESS: Well, on the ground we are getting factual information from the Israeli army and they have admitted fully that there were not militants in our compound in Gaza City or in our compound in Jabalia, which came under white phosphorus attack. So we are getting honest explanations and disclosure on the ground and we've also had apologies. The Secretary-General himself had an apology from the Israeli Prime Minister, but what we have said is we want an investigation. And where you have a situation where United Nations compounds with hundreds and hundreds of displaced people in them come under attacks, there has to be an investigation to see if a war crime has been committed.

MAIGUA: What are the immediate needs for the Palestinians in Gaza right now?

GUNNESS: They have to be absolutely sure that fighting has stopped. That's number one priority. There will be a huge pressure, I think, for people to get back to their homes. Already overnight between five and six thousand people left shelters to go and see what the situation was in their homes. Many of those returned because their homes are rather destroyed or uninhabitable. Of course, we have to try and restore normal life. That's a huge thing to say because the public health infrastructure is very badly damaged. Sewage, water, electricity. And beyond that, we have got to get people, eventually we've got to get children back to school, because it mustn't be forgotten amid all the talk of bombs and rubble and ceasefires that we are human development agency. We educate 200,000 children in Gaza and we have micro-finance projects to try and give people an escape from the poverty trap. We have a whole range of human development activities and they have got to be staffed as well, so a vast range of tasks for UNRWA today in Gaza.

To read the full story, visit:

Fighting halts in Gaza but humanitarian challenges remain

UNICEF: Supplying water to shelters in Gaza

NEW YORK, USA, 18 January 2009 – UNICEF emergency supplies are ready to go into the Gaza Strip now that a ceasefire has been declared.

“Our first move is to bring in as much supplies as possible. This is our first priority,” said UNICEF Regional Communication Chief Abdel-Rahman Ghandour.

UNICEF has six truckloads of emergency equipment, including 2,200 hygiene kits, waiting at the border and scheduled to cross into Gaza on Monday. They will be distributed in south and central Gaza as soon as possible.

Restoring a sense of normalcy

Aside from delivering life-saving supplies of food, water and medicines to protect children's physical health, UNICEF is concerned about the mental well-being of children in Gaza and the high level of stress they have been under during three weeks of violence. Another top priority, therefore, will be getting their daily lives back to normal.

In particular, the destruction of schools represents a major setback for children in the territory. UNICEF will move as quickly as it can to repair and rebuild school facilities in order to get them up and running.

UNICEF is also preparing to send in teams of counsellors and mental health experts, in order to help children deal with the violence they have witnessed in the past few weeks.

“We’re talking about a very, very traumatized population,” said Mr. Ghandour.

Danger of unexploded ordnance

Another concern in Gaza is the presence of unexploded munitions, which pose a particular danger for children. UNICEF has prepared radio announcements to try and ensure that the conflict takes no further toll of young lives.

The aim of the radio spots, Mr. Ghandour explained, is “to promote awareness among families in a very dangerous situation, in the aftermath of the conflict, on where to go and how to spot mines and unexploded ordnance.”


Sunday, 18 January 2009

Lift Gaza PRESS ban

With the declaration of a cease-fire, CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists) urges Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to begin allowing international journalists to independently report on events in Gaza. Since the Israeli military campaign began last month, journalists have been denied access to Gaza. CPJ also calls on Olmert to promptly investigate the targeting of media facilities in Gaza.

Source: Committee to Protect Journalists


Israel stops aid convoy en route to Gaza from Hebron

Date: 18 / 01 / 2009
Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli authorities seized a UN aid convoy en route to the Gaza Strip in the southern West Bank on Sunday, Palestinian sources claimed.

Israeli forces reportedly apprehended the convoy, which was being taken from Hebron to the Gaza Strip, near the entrance of a tunnel leading to Jerusalem, they claimed.

Witnesses said the UN trucks and two trailers, which belong to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, were all collected en route to Gaza on Sunday.


Saturday, 17 January 2009

UN calls for war crime investigation on Gaza Massacres

17 January 2009

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has said Israel's actions in Gaza should be investigated as possible war crimes.

Spokesman Chris Gunness told the BBC that two children, aged five and seven, were killed when Israeli tank fire hit a UN school where hundreds had taken shelter in the northern town of Beit Lahiya.

At least two Palestinians have been killed after Israeli tank shells hit a UN-run school in Gaza - hours before Israel's security cabinet is expected to vote on a proposal for a unilateral ceasefire.

A woman and a boy died and 25 other Gazans were wounded in the shelling at the school run by the UN relief and works agency (Unrwa) in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza.

The school is the third UN shelter to be hit by Israeli fire in its 22-day war on the territory

The attack came as heavy artillery and aerial bombardment of what Israel described as "Hamas targets" continued on Saturday.

Christopher Gunness, an Unrwa spokesman, said several rounds hit the UN school at about 6:45am. The third floor of the school took a direct hit after a short pause, killing the pair and injuring another 14 people.

Witnesses said four more people were killed when other shells struck nearby as people tried to escape.

Investigation demanded

About 1,600 civilians had sought refuge from the fighting inside the building, Gunness said.

"The Israeli army knew exactly our GPS co-ordinates and they would have known that hundreds of people had taken shelter there," he said.

"When you have a direct hit into the third floor of a UN school, there has to be an investigation to see if a war crime has been committed."

John Ging, the director of Unrwa, told Al Jazeera: "People today are alleging war crimes here in Gaza. Lets have it properly accounted for. Lets have the legal process which will establish exactly what has happened here.

"It is another failure for our humanity and it is exposing the impotence of our [the international community's] inability to protect civilians in conflict."

In Jabaliya refugee camp, Dr Ezzedine Abu al-Aish, a Palestinian doctor from al-Shifa hospital, lost his three daughters and one niece during an Israeli air attack as he was being interviewed on an Israeli television channel.

At least 10 people were also killed late on Friday after a tank shell slammed into their home during a funeral wake in Gaza City.

More than 1,200 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's offensive, including more than 400 children, according to UN and Palestinian medical sources.

At least 13 Israelis have also died in the same period, three of them civilians.

Meanwhile, about five rockets were reported to have been fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Saturday.

'Unilateral ceasefire'

Israel's security cabinet is expected to decide on ending the assault during a meeting later on Saturday, according to Israeli sources.

The move would be seen as preferable to entering into an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Hamas, unnamed sources said.

Tzipi Livni, Israel's foreign minister, earlier said on Israel's Channel 10 television that "the end doesn't have to be in agreement with Hamas, but rather in arrangements against Hamas".

A unilateral ceasefire would allow Israel to avoid agreeing concessions with Hamas, such as easing the 18-month-old blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has prevented medical aid and basic supplies from reaching the Palestinians.

Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's prime minister, called for an immediate ceasefire and the removal of Israel's troops from the Gaza Strip on Saturday.

Egypt has been pushing Israel and the rival Palestinian factions to reach an agreement. A Hamas delegation returned to Cairo on Friday for a second round of talks.

Responding to speculation of a unilateral ceasefire by Israel, Hamas on Saturday threatened to ignore such a cessation and continue fighting.

"Clearly, we have nothing new to propose ... either we hear what we have proposed [is accepted] or we will go back to the battlefield," Osama Hamdan, Hamas's representative in Lebanon, said.

"The [large] number of our martyrs will not push us to surrender, but to insist on resistance."

Speaking at a forum in Beirut, Hamdan called on Arab leaders to stand by the Palestinian "resistance", and urged European nations to cut ties with Israel for
its "crimes" in Gaza.

An unnamed Israeli official told the AFP news agency that Israeli troops would remain in Gaza in the event of any such ceasefire being called.

"If they [Hamas] decide to open fire, we will not hesitate to respond and continue the offensive," the official was quoted as saying.

Israel's stated aim of the war, which it dubbed Operation Cast Lead, was to halt Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israel.


Youtubers against Gaza massacre

John Ging (UNRWA)
Director of Operations, UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Youtubers against Gaza massacre

from fitnaresponses

Youtubers against Gaza massacre

GAZA John Ging (UNRWA)

GAZA John Ging (UNRWA)

Friday, 16 January 2009

(UPDATED) Israeli forces shelled hospitals and UN

15th January 2009 - Fire as Israeli military shells Al-Quds hospital, Gaza City


Israeli forces shelled PRCS headquarter in Gaza, which burnt the 11 floor building, external pharmacy and culture building


Aftermath of attacks on Tar El Hawa district - 16 Jan 09

Patient evacuated from Al-Quds hospital, Gaza City

Gaza truce talks - 16 Jan 09

from AlJazeeraEnglish

Diplomatic efforts to end the conflict are continuing both in and outside of the Arab world.

An Israeli delegation is in Cairo to discuss a ceasefire plan. Egypt says it has obtained agreement from Hamas on the broad outlines of a truce. The group, however, says it still has some reservations.
Part 1

Inside Story - Gaza truce talks - 16 Jan 09 - Part 1

Part 2
Inside Story - Gaza truce talks - 16 Jan 09 - Part 2

Depósitos da ONU em chamas após ataque em Gaza

Fonte: Rádio ONU em Português

Depósitos da ONU em chamas após ataque em Gaza [Rádio ONU em Português] | AUDIO


Mônica Villela Grayley, da Rádio ONU em Nova York.

A Agência das Nações Unidas de Assistência aos Refugiados Palestinos, Unrwa, informou que o ataque de Israel a sua sede, nesta quinta-feira, provocou um incêndio em dois depósitos de ajuda humanitária.

A comissária-geral da Unrwa, Karen AbuZayd, contou à Rádio ONU de Gaza que o bombardeio ao local durou 4 horas. Três funcionários da agência foram feridos no ataque.

Carros e Veículos

Ela explicou que o fogo se espalhou de um depósito pequeno para um maior destruindo todos os produtos usados para distribuir ajuda humanitária.

Ainda não se sabe o tamanho do prejuízo, mas AbuZayd afirmou que pode ser de vários milhões de dólares. Além do material de ajuda humanitária foram destruídos também carros e veículos da Unrwa.


Segundo AbuZayd, há relatos de que forças israelenses teriam visto foguetes lançados do local da agência, mas depois o ministro da Defesa se desculpou pelo engano.

A Unrwa está abrigando 700 pessoas que fugiram da violência, mas segundo a comissária, ninguém está participando do conflito.

Karen AbuZayd contou que não existem militantes, armas ou qualquer ação suspeita em complexos da ONU.


Ela também afirmou que Israel tem o mapeamento claro das instalações através de informações de GPS.

O Secretário-Geral das Nações Unidas, que está visitando o Oriente Médio para discutir o cessar-fogo imediato, exigiu explicações de Israel.

Ban contou que expressou sua indignação aos ministros israelenses do Exterior, Tzipi Livni, e da Defesa, Ehud Barak. Ele disse ainda que é hora de pôr fim ao conflito.

Mônica Villela Grayley, da Rádio ONU em Nova York.

Fonte: Rádio ONU em Português

Israel bombardea complejo de la ONU en Gaza


Israel bombardea complejo de la ONU en Gaza [Radio de Las NACIONES UNIDAS] | AUDIO


El complejo principal del Organismo de la ONU para la Atención de los Refugiados Palestinos (OOPS) en Gaza fue bombardeado este jueves por fuerzas israelíes.

Tres empleados de la ONU fueron heridos y un depósito de medicinas y alimentos sufrió grandes pérdidas

El ataque coincidió con la presencia en Jerusalén del Secretario General Ban Ki-moon. En conferencia de prensa conjunta con la ministra de exteriores israelí Tzipi Livni, expresó su indignación por el hecho.

"Nuestro complejo ha sido bombardeado nuevamente. He transmitido mi más enérgica protesta y cólera a los ministros de Defensa y de Exteriores israelíes y he solicitado una explicación detallada", dijo Ban.

En el momento del ataque, 700 palestinos se encontraban refugiados en una escuela del complejo. Según la ONU, todos han sido evacuados.

La OOPS informó que la ayuda humanitaria será suspendida hasta que se evalúen las pérdidas y se creen las condiciones para continuar con su distribución.

Producción: Jorge Miyares


Thursday, 15 January 2009

Ban exige explicação sobre ataque à ONU em Gaza

Fonte: Rádio ONU em Português

Ban exige explicação sobre ataque à ONU em Gaza [Rádio ONU em Português]


Mônica Villela Grayley, da Rádio ONU em Nova York.

As Nações Unidas exigiram ao governo de Israel que dê explicações sobre o ataque à sede da ONU em Gaza, realizado nesta quinta-feira.

Segundo o porta-voz da Agência de Assistência aos Refugiados Palestinos, Unrwa, três funcionários da ONU foram feridos no ataque.


O Secretário-Geral, Ban Ki-moon que está em visita ao Oriente Médio, expressou sua indignação ao governo israelense ao se encontrar com o ministro da Defesa, Ehud Barak, e a ministra das Relações Exteriores, Tzipi Livni.

Barak disse a Ban que o ataque à ONU foi um erro grave e que o assunto seria tratado de forma muito séria.

Ban afirmou, num comunicado, que o governo israelense garantiu que o caso não se repetiria.

Na semana passada, dois motoristas de um comboio de ajuda humanitária, contratado pela ONU, foram mortos após um ataque de Israel.

Dois Estados

No início do mês, duas escolas da ONU também foram bombardeadas.

Em sua reunião com os ministros, Ban Ki-moon disse que é hora de acabar com a violência em Gaza e prosseguir com as negociações para a criação de um Estado palestino e outro judaico como única solução para segurança duradoura em Israel.

Ban condenou os ataques com foguetes contra civis no sul de Israel e disse que está preocupado com o sofrimento dos palestinos em Gaza.

Segundo agências de notícias, mais de 1 mil pessoas já morreram e cerca de 5 mil estão feridas.

Mônica Villela Grayley, da Rádio ONU em Nova York.

Fonte: Rádio ONU em Português

UN headquarters in Gaza hit by Israeli 'white phosphorus' shells

UN headquarters in Gaza hit by Israeli 'white phosphorus' shells
Source: Times Online

The main UN compound in Gaza was in flames today after being struck by Israeli artillery fire, and a spokesman said that the building had been hit by shells containing the incendiary agent white phosphorus.

The attack on the headquarters of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) came as Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General, arrived in Israel on a peace mission and plunged Israel's relations with the world body to a new low.

Mr Ban told reporters in Tel Aviv that he had expressed "strong protest and outrage" to the Israeli Government over the shelling of the compound and was demanding an investigation. He said that Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defence Minister, had told him it was "a grave mistake".

Source: Times Online

UNWRA, which looks after some four million Palestinian refugees around the region, suspended its operations in Gaza after the attack, in which it said three of its employees had been injured.

Chris Gunness, an UNRWA spokesman, said that the building had been used to shelter hundreds of people fleeing Israel’s 20-day offensive in Gaza. He said that pallets with supplies desperately needed by Palestinians in Gaza were on fire.

"What more stark symbolism do you need?" he said. "You can’t put out white phosphorus with traditional methods such as fire extinguishers. You need sand, we don’t have sand."

The Israeli military has denied using white phosphorus shells in the Gaza offensive, although an investigation by The Times has revealed that dozens of Palestinians in Gaza have sustained serious injuries from the substance, which burns at extremely high temperatures.

The Geneva Convention of 1980 proscribes the use of white phosphorus as a weapon of war in civilian areas, although it can be used to create a smokescreen. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said today that all weapons used in Gaza were "within the scope of international law".

The attack on the UN compound came as Israeli forces pushed deeper into Gaza City and unleashed their heaviest shelling on its crowded neighbourhoods in three weeks of war. At least 15 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli attacks, medical officials said, pushing the death toll up towards 1,100 - a level that Mr Ban described as "unbearable".

It was not clear whether the escalation signalled a new phase in the conflict. Israel has held back from all-out urban warfare in the narrow alleyways of Gaza's cities, where Hamas militants are more familiar with the lay of the land.

Black smoke billowed over Gaza City, terrifying civilians who said they had "nowhere left to hide" from the relentless shelling.

"I am telling you that Gaza is on fire, everything is under attack. We cannot begin to answer all the calls for help, it is desperate. We cannot reach the people, everyone is trapped and we do not know how to help them," said Doctor Moussa El Haddad at Shifa Hospital.

Maha El-Sheiky, 36, said she fled her home in the western suburbs of Gaza City two days ago, moving her family into a school in the centre of the city. "We thought it would be safer here. But now there is shelling everywhere. It is schools and mosques and hospitals. We don’t know what will be next," she said. "We are hiding, it is in God’s hands."

There were reports that the al-Quds hospital in the Tal El Hawa district, Gaza's second-largest, had been shelled, while more than 500 patients were being treated inside.

An explosion also blasted a tower block that houses the offices of Reuters and several other media organisations, injuring a journalist working for the Abu Dhabi television channel.

Reuters journalists working at the time said it appeared the southern side of the 13th floor of the Al-Shurouq Tower in the city centre had been struck by an Israeli missile or shell. Reuters evacuated its bureau.

Several organisations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and Human Rights Watch, said that they were "certain" that Israel was using white phosphorus shells in Gaza. Human rights workers said that the use of phosphorus in the densely populated Gaza City could constitute a war crime.

Israel launched the offensive on December 27 in an effort to stop militant rocket fire from Gaza that has terrorised hundreds of thousands of Israelis. It says it will press ahead until it receives guarantees of a complete halt to rocket fire and an end to weapons smuggling into Gaza from neighbouring Egypt.

To read the full story, visit:
Times Online


Emergency Special Session 10:00am EST (GMT-5) - UNITED NATIONS

Thursday, 15 January 2009
All indicated times are New York time (GMT-5)

Link to UN Webcast LIVE :

View today's archived videos:

Channel 1
10:00am (GMT-5) General Assembly:
Tenth Emergency Special Session
32nd plenary meeting
llegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (resumed)
Emergency special sessions
List of speakers

Channel 2
12:00noon (GMT-5) Daily Noon Press Briefing By the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Guests at noon: John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and U.N. Emergency Coordinator; and John Ging (via video conference link from Gaza), Director of Operations in Gaza for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), to brief on the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Conflito já matou mais de mil em Gaza, diz OMS

Fonte: Rádio ONU em Português

Conflito já matou mais de mil em Gaza, diz OMS [Rádio ONU em Português]


Segundo Organização Mundial da Saúde, número de feridos também subiu para cerca de 5 mil pessoas; Ban já está na Jordânia debatendo cessar-fogo.

Mônica Villela Grayley, da Rádio ONU em Nova York.

A Organização Mundial da Saúde, OMS, informou, nesta quarta-feira, que o número de mortos no conflito em Gaza já passa de 1 mil pessoas.

Segundo a OMS, a quantidade de feridos também aumentou para cerca de 5 mil. A Missão da ONU no Líbano, Finul, afirmou que vários foguetes foram lançados nesta quarta-feira contra o norte de Israel.


O Secretário-Geral da ONU se reuniu com o rei Abullah, da Jordânia, em Amã, capital do país, para discutir um cessar-fogo imediato.

É a segunda parada de Ban numa viagem de uma semana ao Oriente Médio para debater o fim do conflito entre Israel e o militantes do movimento islâmico Hamas.

A primeira visita foi ao Egito, como informou à Rádio ONU, de Amã, o porta-voz de Ban na viagem, Ahmad Fawzi.

Fawzi contou que Ban pediu a suspensão imediata dos combates, a entrada de ajuda humanitária às vítimas de Gaza e um processo de reconstrução incluindo a abertura de passagens entre a região e Israel.


O Secretário-Geral da ONU afirmou que irá à Cisjordânia para se reunir com os representantes da Autoridade Nacional Palestina, que é reconhecida pela ONU como líder dos palestinos.

Ahmad Fawzi explicou que a ONU tem contato com o Hamas para distribuir ajuda humanitária, mas Ban Ki-moon não tem nenhuma intenção de se reunir com a liderança do Hamas nesta viagem.

A reunificação dos palestinos hoje divididos entre o Hamas, que comanda a Faixa de Gaza, e a Autoridade Palestina, que dirige a Cisjordânia, tem sido também sido debatida pelos palestinos.


O vice-ministro palestino do Exterior, Ahmed Sobeh, disse à Rádio ONU, de Ramallah, que a urgência é o cessar-fogo.

"A prioridade é parar a agressão israelense e depois vemos o todo. Hoje, a urgência é poupar sangue, poupar inocentes que estão sendo assassinados em Gaza. Primeiro, parar Israel, depois analisamos tudo incluindo a tranqüilidade na fronteira entre Gaza e Israel e o diálogo interno palestino", afirmou.

De acordo com agências de notícias, até agora, pelo menos 14 israelenses morreram no sul do país com o lançamento de foguetes. A aposentada Léa Zamir, que vive a cerca de 10 km de Gaza, disse que a tensão na região já dura oito anos, e segundo ela a guerra é uma resposta justa aos ataques palestinos.


"Havia dias em que lançavam 70, 80 bombas. Pode imaginar que você está em casa e de repente vem um aviso e a pessoa tem apenas 15 segundos para se esconder. Foram oito anos, até que Israel decidiu acabar com isso. Ninguém se intrometeu e cada vez mais recebíamos foguetes com mais capacidade e alcance, que poderiam chegar mais longe", explicou.

O conflito na Faixa de Gaza começou em 27 de dezembro.

Mônica Villela Grayley, da Rádio ONU em Nova York.

Fonte: Rádio ONU em Português

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Half a million Palestinians in Gaza without water: UNRWA


Half a million Palestinians in Gaza without water: UNRWA | AUDIO


Palestinians in the Gaza Strip lack water.

And according to the UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, the Israeli air and ground offensive has caused extensive destruction to the water supply infrastructure.

UNRWA Spokesman John Ging says water is a huge issue for about 500,000 people particularly in the Gaza City area and also in the north.

"They don't have running water in their homes anymore; there's no way to get it to them because the network is damaged in the areas where the fighting is being conducted. The Coastal Water Utility who are responsible for maintenance of the system have lost three staff over the course of this conflict in the conduct of their duties and so it's not feasible for them to try any further until there's a cessation in the hostilities to get out there to repair the infrastructure."

To read the full story, visit:

Ceasefire Now


Resolution 1860 (2009) Adopted by 14 in Favour, Abstention by United States;
Also Calls for Unimpeded Humanitarian Assistance, Welcomes Egyptian Initiative
ENGLISH S/RES/1860 (2009)
ESPAÑOL S/RES/1860 (2009)
عربي S/RES/1860

UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East)

UNICEF: Delivering emergency supplies to Gaza's children

from unicef

UNICEF: Delivering emergency supplies to Gaza's children

NEW YORK, USA, 11 January 2009 As the conflict in the Gaza Strip escalates into deeper ground incursions, UNICEF is appealing for $16 million in new funding to provide families and children with emergency supplies.

We have a fairly good idea of what are the needs, but we desperately need more resources, especially from UNICEF national committees and their donor partners, said Director of Emergency Operations Louis-Georges Arsenault.

UNICEF emergency supplies bound for Gaza have arrived in Jerusalem. Two charter flights from the organizations supply hub in Copenhagen landed last week; another is due Monday morning with emergency medical supplies, including equipment for specialized obstetrics care.

Meanwhile, UNICEF today managed to deliver 30,000 bottles of water from the West Bank to Gaza, where safe-water supplies are dangerously low. In addition, 500 family kits for water purification were delivered into Gaza from the Israeli port of Ashdod.

To read the full story, visit:

CEASEFIRE NOW!!! - Annie Lennox

Videos of the protest and the speakers at London's massive march against Israel's Gaza massacre



Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls on Israel and Hamas to immediately stop fighting

from United Nations TV

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls on Israel and Hamas to immediately stop fighting

United Nations, 12 January 2009 - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, at his first 2009 press conference, calls on Israel and Hamas to immediately stop fighting.


Gaza Situation Updates 12/01/2009 till 13/01/2009

Gaza Situation Updates 12/01/2009 till 13/01/2009
from PRCS

This report covers the period of 12/01/2009 (09:00am) till 13/01/2009 (09:00am)

For the 17th consecutive day of the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip, PRCS is still at its highest level of alert in the occupied Gaza strip.

Today the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC),
Jakob Kellenberger, visited both Al Shifa hospital and PRCS Al Quds hospital in Gaza City and witnesses at first hand the humanitarian situation in Gaza. PRCS officials in Gaza accompanied Mr. Kellenberger and brief him on the humanitarian situation in general and the PRCS' challenges in particular.

The ICRC surgical team in Al Shifa Hospital confirms a rise in the number of casualties among children arriving at the emergency room. PRCS is deeply concerned over the continuous suffering of civilians particularly women, children, elderly and those with special needs, who lost their protection and human dignity by the current Israeli army aggression on Gaza strip.

" There is a large number of wounded, which so far exceeded 4000, … we expect to have tens of cases of physical disabilities due to the fact that many injuries have lost their higher or lower limbs, in addition to many palsy and hearing impaired cases resulted from the heavy explosions... Moreover, we expect to have cases of language and speech problems resulting from trauma and psychological problems… All of these require a long-term medical treatment, rehabilitation and psychosocial interventions". Mr. Rabah Jaber, PRCS' director of Rehabilitation department, said.

The Israeli army's is targeting medical missions continuously, and hampering its access to casualties. Thus PRCS medical teams could not respond to the tens of calls that they received from the people in need.

Yesterday, one medical personnel from the military medical services was killed and another was injured due to Israeli army airstrike in Jabaliya.

According to MOH sources the Israeli tanks shelled today Mohammad Al Durra hospital while 8 patients and medical staff were inside. The shelling caused the damage of the front wall, the front entrance, the western side of the building, the nursing station, the second floor in addition to the water pipelines, fortunately, no injuries were reported.

Moreover, the Israeli missiles destroyed the clinic of Dan Church Aid's Partner (NECC: Near East Council of Churches) in Al-Shuja'ia area.

Yesterday, PRCS medical teams, with previous coordination through ICRC while trying to access A Zaytoun area were faced by soldiers throwing stun grenade. The team succeeded in evacuating two injuries and two deaths. Another team that tried to access Hujr Al Diek area with previous coordination through ICRC was faced with fire shooting, no injuries was reported. In the case of accessing Al Tuffah area the PRCS team evacuated one death and one injury.

Today, PRCS requested coordination for access to four areas; only one coordination request was approved by the military and that was Al Sheikh Ajleen area to transport a woman in labor.

The health and environmental situation in Gaza Strip is alarming. Many wounded people are dying as a result of not accessing urgent medical attention. Many dead bodies are still scattered in the streets and under the rubbles of the destroyed houses in most of the affected areas. The inability of the medical teams to evacuate the dead led to the decomposition of bodies due to the fact that the medical teams are not able to enter these areas, despite ICRC coordination.

Casualties :

PRCS remains extremely concerned over the number of death and injuries among civilians, including children and women, and considers the Israeli army excessive use of force as flagrantly violation of the principle of proportionality.

During the past 24 hours, the PRCS ambulances and medical teams were dispatched to tens of locations, where Israeli army conducted air strikes, land and see bombardments. According to PRCS records, 33 deaths, including 6 children and 3 women, in addition to 172 injuries were transported using PRCS ambulances and medical teams.

Table of the total number of casualties:

Total number of Deaths 920
Children 256
Women 113
Men & Elderly 551

Total number of injuries 4350
Children 1500
Women 600
Men & Elderly 2250

Please note that the casualties' numbers above are not final since there any unknown number of casualties in areas that the medical teams could not enter till the moment.

Total number of deaths and injuries served by PRCS medical teams and ambulances:
Deaths 604
Injuries 2172

Situation in Gaza hospitals:

All Gaza hospitals continue to partially work on back-up generators. According to ICRC sources most of the hospitals in Gaza Strip, though, continue to run on generators 24 hours a day to keep life-saving equipment operating around the clock. Al Shifa Hospital is running low on fuel, putting treatment of 470 patients at risk, including 60 presently taken care of at the intensive care unit.

Gaza Strip hospitals and medical premises suffer severe shortages of medical supplies and are not equipped enough to receive mass casualties. Hospital Operating Rooms are overflowing, and running out of essential medicines. Hospitals and other medical facilities are also understaffed and not able to respond to the load of injuries. Hospitals were being overwhelmed with patients and were running out of space and supplies.

Palestine Red Crescent Intervention:

According to the PRCS EMS stations records, approximately 2172 injuries and 604 fatalities were transported by the PRCS ambulances since the beginning of the military operation.

PRCS distributed 280 family water kits and 204 bottles of water to Al Quds, Al Shifa, Al Wia'am, Patient's fiends, Al Awda, and Al Wafa hospitals.

PRCS assisted 32 Palestinian families (112 persons) who left there homes for safety.

According to MOH sources, 42 injured were transported from Gaza hospitals to Rafah border during the last 24 hours. Six of the injuries will be treated in Saudi Arabian hospitals and 34 others in the Egyptian hospitals. PRCS ICU ambulances were allocated to assist in transporting wounded cases from the hospitals to the Rafah border.
Since the beginning of the Israeli offensive, around 200 PRCS volunteers, 60 medics and 120 medical staff were actively involved in providing emergency care in Gaza Strip.

PRCS' challenges:

PRCS evacuated some of its premises for safety reasons. Since eleven days, PRCS EMS station in Jabaliya has been evacuated for safety reasons.
In the early morning, the PRCS EMS station in Gaza was not able to function during the Israeli army's military operation near the area.
Although PRCS is doing all necessary coordination through ICRC to allow the ambulances and the medical teams access some locations, but access is still viewed to be a major bearer, which is believed to cause more deaths.
PRCS faces a problem in the communication networks particularly in the northern part of Gaza Strip. In addition, PRCS EMS stations in Gaza faces the cut of telephone network, affecting the respond of the 101 to people's calls. An alternative line was organized, and the PRCS calls upon the people in Gaza city to contact the PRCS operations room in Gaza and PRCS Al Quds hospital if there is any emergency.

Urgent needs:

PRCS medical facilities in Gaza Strip need disposables, medicine, medical equipments, Humanitarian aid, relief items, food, water, fuel etc…for more information on the PRCS urgent needs please see the Preliminary PRCS Emergency Appeal 2009- Gaza Strip at the following link:

Gaza Situation Updates 12/01/2009 till 13/01/2009
from PRCS