Sunday, December 28, 2008

Witnesses to Murder

Palestinians carry the body of a victim of an Israeli air strike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip,
27 December 2008. (Hatem Omar/MaanImages)

(taken from Electronic Intiada site,

INTERNATIONAL human rights activists and aid workers in Gaza have been witnessing and recording the current Israeli attacks, which have left over 250 dead, including children.

The air attacks, hitting Gaza city, refugee camps in Rafeah, and other populous areas, come after months of siege which has hit food supplies, employment and essential services. Israel stepped up the siege last month.

Some of the witnesses came into the besieged Gaza strip with the blockade-busting Free Gaza boats bringing in aid while Israeli forces denied access to reporters as well as essential supplies.

(see for continuing information)

Their witness testifies that Israeli forces are targeting civilian areas. Here are some of them:

"At the time of the attacks I was on Omar Mukhtar street and witnessed a last rocket hit the street 150 meters away where crowds had already gathered to try to extract the dead bodies. Ambulances, trucks, cars - anything that can move is bringing injured to the hospitals. Hospitals have had to evacuate sick patients to make room for the injured. I have been told that there is not enough room in the morgues for the bodies and that there is a great lack of blood in the blood banks. I have just learned that among the civilians killed today was the mother of my good friends in Jabalya camp."

- Eva Bartlett (Canada) International Solidarity Movement

"Israeli missles tore through a children's playground and busy market in Diere Balah, we saw the aftermath - many were injured and some reportedly killed. Every Hospital in the Gaza strip is already overwhelmed with injured people and does not have the medicine or the capacity to treat them. Israel is committing crimes against humanity, it is violating international and human rights law, ignoring the United Nations and planning even bigger attacks. The world must act now and intensify the calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel; governments need to move beyond words of condemnation into an active and immediate restraint of Israel and a lifting of the siege of Gaza"

- Ewa Jasiewicz (Polish and British) Free Gaza Movement

"The morgue at the Shifa hospital has no more room for dead bodies, so bodies and body parts are strewn all over the hospital."

- Dr. Haidar Eid, (Palestinian, South African) Professor of Social and Cultural Studies, Al Aqsa University Gaza

"The bombs began to fall just as the children were on the streets walking back from school. I went out onto the stairs and a terrified 5 year old girl ran sobbing into my arms."

- Sharon Lock (Australian) International Solidarity Movement

"This is incredibly sad. This massacre is not going to bring security for the State of Israel or allow it to be part of the Middle East. Now calls of revenge are everywhere."

- Dr. Eyad Sarraj - President of the Gaza Community Mental Health Centre

"The home I am staying in is across from the preventive security compound. All the glass of the house shattered. The home has been severely damaged. Due to the siege there is no glass or building materials to repair this damage. One little boy in our house fainted. An eight year little boy was trembling on the ground for an hour. In front of our house we found the bodies of two little girls under a car, completely burnt. They were coming home from school. This is more than just collective punishment. We are being treated like laboratory animals. I have lived through the Israeli bombardment of Beirut and the Israel's message is the same in Gaza as it was in Beirut- The killing of civilians. There was just another explosion outside!"

- Natalie Abou Shakra (Lebanon) International Solidarity Movement

he reports clearly expose the Israeli government's claims, repeated by the media, that it is only retaliating for rocket attacks or that its planes are just hitting Hamas "security compounds". In Israel itself peace campaigners had already warned beforehand that political leaders like defence minister Ehud Barak wanted to take military action to enhance their macho image in competition before elections. In contrast to this sickness of a militarist society , and in protest at the Gaza bombing, estimated 1,000 demonstrators marched through Tel Aviv on Saturday night to demonstrate outside the Defence Ministry. Mounted police stood guard, as prime minister Ehud Olmert met with minsiters then held a press conference inside Five young demonstrators were arrested.

There is a demonstration this afternoon in Bethlehem. Christians, Muslims, and people of whatever religious or political affiliation are being urged to assmble outside the Church of the Nativity and Omar's Mosque to join in condemning "the massacre in Gaza", and ending the siege on the Gaza territory..

Protests have also been called in Rome, and in some British cities. Scottish demonstrators will gather this afternoon at 4.30pm in George Square, Glasgow, and at the Foot of the Mound, Princess Street, Edinburgh. Two members of the Scottish Parliament, Pauline McNeill and Sandra White, are supporting the demonstrations called by Scottish Friends of Palestine, Scotland Stop the War, and Glasgow Central Mosque.

In London, there are emergency demonstrations today and tomorrow opposite the Israeli embassy.

Sunday 28 December 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm and
Monday 29 December 4.00pm – 6.00pm
Both protests opposite Israeli Embassy - Kensington High Street
Nearest tube: High Street Kensington

Letters/messages of protest can also be sent to

 David Miliband-Secretary of State- Foreign and Commonwealth Office
 You can write to the PM at the following address:
10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA 
You can fax the Prime Minister on 020 7925 0918.
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Tel. +972 2 530 3111
The British Embassy in Tel Aviv
+972 3 725 1222
Write to: Ron Prosor, Israeli ambassador to Britain, Embassy of Israel, 2 Palace Green, London, W8 4QB

British Consulate, Jerusalem

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