Category Archives: News

AlertNet’s ‘Latest blogs from Gaza’

AlertNet has compiled an impressive list of blog entries from folks inside Gaza.  Most, it seems, are staff of international aid organizations including CARE International, OXFAM, Save the Children and Islamic Relief.  FYI – It is a compilation of filings from aid agency sites.  Here’s a sample:

With international journalists barred from Gaza, local aid workers have become a vital source of information from the ground. Here are some of the best aid worker blogs from inside Gaza:

Trapped in our own homes By Salwa El Tibi (Save the Children) Jan. 9At night, we hear screaming and crying By Jawad Harb (CARE International) Jan. 8

Trials of a Gaza aid worker By Salwa El Tibi (Save the Children) Jan. 8

Dad, when are we going to die? By Jawad Harb (CARE International) Jan. 7

Gaza: Are we not human? Mohammed Ali (Oxfam) Jan. 7

Gaza aid worker diary Hatem Shurrab (Islamic Relief) Jan. 7

Gaza: No words left Islamic Relief/CAFOD Jan. 7

Our house was shaken by six airstrikes Jawad Harb (CARE International) Dec. 31

Read on…

Facebook group ‘throws’ shoe protest in Bosnia

REUTERS/Danilo Krstanovic

REUTERS/Danilo Krstanovic

Civic activists throw shoes at a poster of Bosnian Croat leader Dragan Covic during an action named “Into the New Year with Shoe” in Sarajevo January 3, 2009. A few hundred activists threw shoes at posters of Bosnian Serb, Muslim and Croat political leaders and the top international envoy, protesting against their policy in the ethnically divided Balkan country. Members of the social web-based network Facebook in Bosnia set up the group “With Shoe against Tyranny – Bosnia-Herzegovina Issue”, a part of a global trend of Internet games inspired by an Iraqi journalist who had thrown shoes at outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush. REUTERS/Danilo Krstanovic (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA)

LINK


Reuters – ICRC says Israel broke international law in Gaza

GENEVA, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Relief workers found four starving children sitting next to their dead mothers and other corpses in a house in a part of Gaza City bombed by Israeli forces, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday.

The ICRC accused Israel of delaying ambulance access to the hit area and demanded it grant safe access for Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances to return to evacuate more wounded. “This is a shocking incident,” said Pierre Wettach, ICRC chief for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. “The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded. Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestinian Red Crescent to assist the wounded,” he said. In unusually strong terms, the neutral agency said it believed Israel had breached international humanitarian law in the incident.

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NYTimes – U.N. Suspends Food Aid Into Gaza

Soldiers rested on the Israeli side of the border with Gaza during the three-hour cease-fire on Wednesday. - Moises Saman for The New York Times

The New York Times is reporting that food aid into shipments into Gaza by the UN have been stopped after one of it’s contract drivers was killed, it appears, entering from Israel.  A map of the area is below:

JERUSALEM — The United Nations suspended its food aid deliveries into Gaza on Thursday after one of its contract drivers was killed during an Israeli attack on a delivery convoy at a border crossing, the United Nations said.

The suspension by the United Nations came after rockets were fired from Lebanon on Thursday, landing in northern Israel and raising concerns they could represent a broadening of the conflict. However, both the Israeli and Lebanese governments played down their significance as international efforts to end the 13-day war in the Gaza Strip continued with the arrival of Israeli negotiators in Cairo.

Egyptian officials said the Israeli officials were meeting with the head of Egyptian military intelligence, Omar Suleiman, to explore a proposal devised by Egypt and France as what officials in Paris called a road map to a cease-fire. There was no immediate word on the outcome of the talks.

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‘Ethiopia imposes aid agency curbs’

The BBC is reporting that “Ethiopia’s parliament has passed a controversial bill imposing tight restrictions on aid agencies.”  From the article:

Foreign agencies are prohibited from a number of areas including human rights, equality, conflict resolution and the rights of children.

Local groups that receive more than 10% of their funding from abroad are also banned from working in these areas.

Under discussion for months, the bill has already been considerably modified amid objections from aid organisations.

Read on…

‘Telecommunications Targeted During War’

PalTelGigaOm has written an article about the targeting of telecommunication systems in Gaza.  PalTel, the local provider, has lost 90% of it’s infrastructure.  From the article:

Israel’s strikes into Gaza continue apace, and news stories are pointing out that the conflict is being fought online as well — Twitter, YouTube and hacking web sites are playing a role, as ways to get information out of the country and dispense propaganda. There’s no need to drop pamphlets when you can post video of soldiers destroying a government building on YouTube or send threatening texts. The delivery mechanism is new, but propaganda isn’t.

Neither are the efforts to take out the delivery mechanism and means of communications. However, with Hamas using the same technology as citizens, the scope of such destruction is much wider. On Sunday, Palestinian mobile operator Paltel said that 90 percent of its infrastrucutre in Gaza was down, potentially cutting off communications via cell phone. Warning that the Gaza strip could be “disconnected from the outside world,” Paltel issued a statement that read…

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‘MSF adapting to worsening conditions in Gaza Strip’

Photo courtesy of MSF

Photo courtesy of MSF

I have always looked at MSF as the canary in the coal mine of humanitarian aid.  If they say it is getting bad then other folks should start lining up.  They don’t stray far from their mandate of providing medical aid in the world’s worst situations.  Gaza did not is not on their Top Ten Humanitarian Crises even thoug they were working there full time.  Now, in light of recent events they have switched into emergency mode and is attempting to get additional medical teams into Gaza.  From their site:

More than a week after the first air strikes on Gaza Strip and following the beginning of the land incursion of Israeli forces, surgical services are overwhelmed and in need of surgeons specialised in vascular surgery in order to deal with the number of wounded. In Gaza city, the intensive care unit of Shifa referral hospital has reached the limits of its capacity. The insecurity is preventing patients needing post operative follow up and health personnel from reaching health structures.

Three MSF expatriate volunteers – a field coordinator, doctor and nurse) arrived in Gaza Strip on Wednesday, December 31, to reinforce the local teams composed of 35 health personnel.

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