Israelis' Cloudy Autumn & Palestinians’ Blood Rainstorm
Health Work Committees Gaza
06 November 2006
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter."
Dear friends and supporters
You are probably aware that the Israeli Cabinet has approved in the last few days the invasion of the northern Governorate of Gaza by all forces of the Israeli demolishing forces (IDF). The name of the military operation is “cloud of autumn”, but its real name is “bloody rains” that makes the Palestinian blood fall like rain. As a consequence, the civilian population in the cities of Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya and in the refugee camp of Jabaliya is suffering from the most horrible onslaught of Israeli military power.
According to statistics received from MoH and Al-Awda hospital (UHWC), in just 3 days 26 people were killed - 2 of whom were women who tried to break the siege imposed on their sons, husbands and relatives imprisoned in a mosque, the women were in a pacifist march. Another 85 people were injured and 21 remain in a critical condition. Just as tragic, are the 1000 and more people who have been rendered homeless by house demolitions - to date, 46 homes have been totally demolished and 82 partially demolished. The number of deaths and injured and the extent of the damage are increasing by the minute.
Infrastructure is being destroyed leaving many areas without power and water especially after targeting the only power plant and destroyed it. Military forces curtail all movement preventing medical and health workers from reaching the injured, as well as, the chronic and routine cases needing medical services. Al-Awda Hospital in Jabaliya is very close to the military operation area and medical teams and health workers attempting to evacuate the injured risk are being killed themselves. Medical supplies in the hospital are largely exhausted and already food supplies for in-patients and staff are dwindling.
Beit Hanoun has been hit the hardest and the people there are facing a real health crisis. The men and women of UHWC are working around the clock and at risk to themselves to deal with this humanitarian disaster. All indications are that this latest assault on Palestinian civil society is a repeat of the grave and massive violations of Palestinian human rights by Israel since September, 2000. And, there is no sign of the military easing their offensive.
Unless the international community puts pressure on Israel to stop the mass killing of civilians and the wilful destruction of property and infrastructure, the people of northern Gaza will again be forced to suffer the humiliating and crippling dictates of Israel's military rule. It could also lead to the full re-occupation of the entire Gaza Strip.
UHWC asks you, to issue a strong Last Appeal Statement condemning Israel’s human rights violations against the Palestinian people and to demand a cessation of this military offensive. Israel's persistent unilateral attempts to change by force the situation of some 4 million Palestinians blatantly contravene international humanitarian law and all human rights conventions. Furthermore, they are morally reprehensible. There are no political considerations which can justify the silence of the international community any longer.
Dr. Yousef Mousa
Chair of the board of directors,
Uinion of Health Work Committees-Gaza.
Note: The Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) is a Palestinians non-governmental organization which provides holistic health care to the population in Palestine. Through its focus on marginalized sectors of society, the UHWC is committed to raising the level of primary and secondary health care services within the Gazan community through its four primary health centres and one hospital (Al-Awda) and to concentrate its efforts to ensure that individuals and families have equal access to quality health care.