URGENT APPEAL TO PEOPLE OF CONSCIENCE AROUND THE WORLD:
PALESTINIANS IN GAZA URGENTLY NEED YOUR HELP
Snowy weather since Wednesday December 11 — the most severe since 1878 — has further crippled daily life among the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank near Jerusalem.
The central responsibility for the problems this has brought lies with the Israeli occupation, which conducts a policy of deliberate and calculated neglect when it comes to maintaining essential infrastructure. This is aimed at further pressuring our people to leave their homeland.
Adding to the already extremely bitter taste, these outrages are being visited on the Palestinian people on the 65th anniversaries of the United Nations adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of Resolution 194. This resolution called on the Israeli entity to cease obstructing our people’s right to return to the lands and homes taken from them during the Nakba.
Earlier this month, the world’s conscience was shocked to see our people fording through sludge pouring from open sewers that overflowed when power from the Gaza Strip’s sole electricity generating plant had to be cut due to fuel shortages. Many have been shocked to learn of the repeated shortages of fuel deliveries needed for maintaining electric power. These shortages are brought on by the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip which began in 2006. Currently, driven into the streets by flooding, over 40,000 Gaza residents find themselves homeless.
Over the preceding years ‘Israel’ has deliberately left the electricity plant to collapse in the hopes of driving our people out. Two winters ago, their Mossad, acting through Ukrainian military police, went to the extent of kidnapping the plant’s chief engineer, Dirar Abu Sisi, on a train while on a visit with his wife’s family and tossed him in their Eichel prison. There they left him in solitary confinement and declining health to rot, while Gaza’s infrastructure continues further to crumble.
All this comes on top of the Israeli Occupation Forces continuing to use farmers and youth inside Gaza for target practice. On December 14-15, a farmer trying to check his crop inside the 300m so-called “security zone” at the Gaza border was killed by Israeli tank fire. Nearby, in a separate incident, Israeli forces shot a Palestinian youth in the foot. Each day brings more such news of fresh horrors.
Most discouraging of all, the current Egyptian military regime has enthusiastically taken up finding ways to make the Zionist occupation bite with that much more cruelty. It destroyed tunnels used as a lifeline to bring essentials into the Gaza Strip. In addition the regime instituted a completely arbitrary approach to opening and closing the Rafah crossing from the Gaza Strip into Egypt and which remained closed shut at the height of the most recent storm.
Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition (USA) is calling at this time on all activists for the cause of Palestine to marshal whatever resources are available or at hand — write letters to your local newspapers, raise the Palestinian emergency situation in other public venues, speak on local radio stations (especially university-campus-based) and community cable television, and whatever social media outlets are available — And organize local demonstrations (pickets or other publicly-visible manifestations; We can help with speakers, literature, etc).
You can reach Al-Awda’s national office by email at email@example.com; telephone 760-918-9441 and fax 760-918-9442. Or by mail at 2720 Loker Avenue West Suite J, Carlsbad CA 92010, USA. Our national office will connect you with Al-Awda chapter activists in your area.
HERE IS SOME MORE OF WHAT YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL CAN DO:
Communicate this news and additional updated reports of these developments to interested and concerned friends and family.
DEMAND AN END TO THE SIEGE OF GAZA
Call, email, fax:
1 The U.S. State Department. Insist it tell Israel and Egypt to Open the Crossings to the Gaza Strip. Call 202-647-4000; select option 4 and ask the operator for the comment line. (You get one minute to record your message.)
2. The White House at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ Alternatively, write to: President Barack Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500 Call: 202-456-1414 Fax: 202-456-2461
3. The Office of Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Contact the Near and Middle East Desk at The International Committee of the Red Cross Ms. Dibeh FAKHR Tel: +41 22 730 37 23 Mobile: +41 79 447 37 26 or fill out the form at http://www.icrc.org/eng/directory/?contactId=303023