Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Reality of Israel's War on Gaza: "Hospitals at Breaking Point, Families Devastated, People Forced from Their Homes With Nowhere to Go"

Reuter's Alertnet reports today that an paramedic working for an Oxfam-supported Palestinian health company was killed Sunday and his colleague badly injured when their ambulance was destroyed by an Israeli shell. Oxfam
GB Country Director John Prideaux-Brune, in Jerusalem observed:

Hospitals in Gaza are overflowing with dead and wounded while facing severe shortages of essential medical supplies and spare parts. Oxfam and local partners have had to suspend all our work, apart from emergency medical aid. Many of our colleagues in Gaza are trapped in their homes, and in fear of their and their families' lives. Others, such as the paramedic Arafa, have lost their lives trying to save others.

He noted that 80% of Gazans rely on humanitarian aid and that the "trickle" that has been allowed in through the single available crossing is inadequate. Reuters adds:

Oxfam is calling for a binding UN Security Council resolution to demand: an immediate halt to violence in Gaza and Israel by all parties, all parties to commit to an immediate, comprehensive and permanent truce, Israel, Hamas and other parties to permit immediate and unhindered access
to and from Gaza for humanitarian and commercial goods, and for people, thereby ending the blockade.
Oxfam is also calling on the European Union to suspend the EU-Israel upgrade process until there is a comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza, and Israel provides unimpeded humanitarian access.

Reuters Alertnet also notes that Save the Children

is calling for a peaceful solution to the current crisis that endangers the life of nearly every child in Gaza, and the lives of Israeli children in areas subject to attacks. Thousands of children, who are already suffering from the physical and psychological effects of the violence, are now facing an increased risk of malnutrition due to acute food shortages.

These agencies can use your support: Oxfam; Save the Children; International Committee of the Red Cross.

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