Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Only the dead enter Gaza

Puruant to my last post, what follows is a gripping press release issued by the Mezan Centre for Human Rights today about the situation on Rafah.

During 45 days of Israel's closing of the Rafah Crossing, the corpses of 19 Palestinian dead men and women have been allowed to cross into the Gaza Strip through Kerem Shalom Crossing. The some living 6,000 people have been denied entry under complete silence from the part of the international community.

Israel closed the Crossing after the eruption of clashes in Gaza on 10 June 2007. Israel claims that the closure is motivated by the fact that there has been no Palestinian acceptable counterpart to coordinate the opening of the Crossing with, after Hamas' taking over of Gaza. Nevertheless, the Crossing had been frequently closed for months before Hamas came to power. Civilians were occasionally allowed to cross in and out Gaza without Israeli or international presence in the Crossing.

According to medical sources, there are 87 medical cases at the Al Areesh town and 103 others in Cairo. Many of those could die before returning to their homes. Until today, 19 people died. Their corpses were allowed to pass into Gaza. In addition, 78 Palestinians have been kept in custody inside Al Areesh Airport because they lack visas to enter Egypt. They will remain there until the Crossing opens.

Considering previous practice, Al Mezan does not see any reasonable reasons justifying Israel's refusal to open the Crossing for a few days and allow Palestinian women, men and children at both sides of the border to access their homes or urgent medical and other services.

Al Mezan views with much concern the continued closure of Rafah Crossing. The prolonged closure represents a form of collective punishment of civilians without any justified necessity. Al Mezan condemns Israel's restrictive measures against civilians, which poses threats on the life and wellbeing of thousands....

20 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laila: I'm just so relieved and glad you're safe, and back.

Thanks, as always, for sharing.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think there will be much news out of Gaza again. Hamas have closed down the Palestinian Broadcasting Authority and the only radio station being allowed to broadcast is theirs. Journalists have been intimidated and silenced.

Hamas are attempting a charm offensive abroad, but everyone knows their history of suicide-bombings and sectarian hatred, and the world is tired of jihadis.

Hamas have plummeted in the latest opinion polls - not surprising. How can Hamas operate border crossing points that they also regularly attack?

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear anonomous

thanks for your reporting on the situation in Gaza and great knowledge about Hamas and how the world feels

and you never leave your basement in tel aviv?

truely amazing :)

6:52 PM  
Blogger Raquel said...

I always come back to see how are you doing. I am happy to see that you are ok.

1:09 AM  
Blogger iNFaMoUsJeSt said...

wait wait wait
if anonymous #1 is right... then that must mean that yousuf al-helou's radio english show is not operating...

=(


can anybody maybe show some evidence of that claim? i'll look something up myself.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Infamousjest- I doubt it. The station Yousef was broadcasting on was an Islamic one (not Hamas, but I think maybe Islamic Jihad). He was given airspace there.

Anyway I'm not sure to what extent channels or air waves are being blocked, but I do know that internet sites (and subsequent radio stations) are alive and well.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Ok, so pursuant to my last comment, here is what a fellow journalist friend in Gaza told me:

"The Palestine TV statin in Gaza and the pro-Fatah radio stations have been closed by Hamas since the first day they took over Gaza
Paltv, al-Horeia and al-Shabab

The PFLP radio was looted by the security forces during the clashes and not by Hamas, it was close to al-Saraya compound.

Hamas tv, Hamas radio, the Islamic Jihad radio, Gaza FM (Yousef's station), Alwan, al-Manar, al-Iman and the BBC FM are broadcasting from Gaza without problems."

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

625 of 6,000 stranded at Rafah crossing to be transported to Gaza on Monday; Hamas objects

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=24347

yep internet news just fine out of gaza and west bank

3:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

assalaam alaikum Laila,
Since we noticed the sudden interruption on your blog we have prayed for you and your family.
We are happy to hear you guys are safe.
salaam
Marilene

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mashalah, this is a great blog..keep up the good work and let the world know.

May Allah ease the pain of the Gazans.

Fellow Gazan

5:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So releived to see your recent posts, even if the news was so gloomy - I've been so worried. I'm so sorry to hear of your Grandmother, and can imagine your mother's distress at not being with the rest of the family.

1:56 AM  
Blogger iNFaMoUsJeSt said...

Laila, Thanks for the info!

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you comment?

Andrew Lee Butters , TIME [with photo http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/timeblogs/middle_east/~3/139912861/what_would_you_do_if.html, 2/08/07. Wat would you do if you lived on a sandy slice of the Mediterranean shoreline that was under an international siege that made it next to impossible to have a normal productive life? Well, If you're like many Gazawis*, you'd hit the beach.

Every evening, the beaches of Gaza are packed with people. On Thursday, the crowds last well into the night, since for those lucky enough to have a job, Friday is their only day off. And yet it doesn't take long to realize that something's not right, and I'm not talking about the floating garbage, the occasional whiff of sewage, or the Israeli spy drone shining in the distance like a lost planet. Gazawis aren't very good swimmers.

Crowds of young men wading in the surf treated me like a visiting Olympian because I wore goggles and could sustain freestyle strokes for more than 5 minutes. And when I swam a couple yards underwater without coming up for air, they were even more impressed. "Do it again!" they shouted.

Swimming classes are turning out to be the most popular activity at a United Nations program this summer for 182,000 Gazawi children. (The UN is making a big point of calling this "Summer Games" rather than summer camps, because for Palestinian kids, a camp is either as an urban ghetto for refugees or a place where fanatics hit you with a stick.) Sixty thousand children signed up for swim classes, far more than the program could handle. Between the years of war, crime, fighting, and the general lack of instructors or resources for kids, perhaps it shouldn't have been surprising to me that almost none of them had ever been swimming before. Though Gaza's future, and the future of these children, still looks bleak, at least it's now safe enough at the beach that all they have to worry about is floating.

* Comment Posted by Jewdy of Jasper August 3, 2007:

"In the English language , I believe we call the citizens of that sandy Strip "Gazans". What is your point? Your usage sounds decidedly odd. Does Time refer to Italianos instead of Italians?"

2:38 PM  
Blogger moomin13 said...

Hi Laila, it's Katie from Postcards from Palestine. I want to ask you some questions about getting humanitarian aid to those waiting on the Egypt side of the border. Can you email me at flo0dland@yahoo.com ?

thanks,
-Katie.

7:16 PM  
Anonymous sarit said...

Glad you're safe. As usual, the governments involved (EU, Egyptian, West Bank, Hamas and Israel) are all jockeying for politics....despite Al Mezan's coverage, other sources variously claim that Egypt, and/or the EU and/or Ramallah have closed the Rafah crossing.....then Hamas, to make it's point, shells Karni and threatens to shell Palestinians returning to Gaza through another route...politics will be the death of us all....

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't find any RSS for your blog. Why?

2:07 PM  
Blogger Bouvard P├ęcuchet said...

I've find this:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1649291,00.html?xid=rss-world
What's your opinion?

10:04 PM  
Blogger blue eyes said...

Dear Laila,
may i have the permission to link to this blog?
your blog inspires me..
thanks before..

7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

..keep up the good work....the world needs to see the truth

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Yousef Al-helou said...

Laila, Thank you so much for your help, you inspire me,
As a journalist I have learnt a lot from you :-) keep up the good work

In fact I halted my English radio program and left the radio in June 2007 before the Gaza takeover. the radio station I was working in is still operating, to be frank, it is neutral station and avoids incitement and sedition, you right it is Islamic radio but not affiliated to Hamas. I'm an independent person and not affiliated to any political faction. I'm working now as a correspondent for 24 hours news English TV channel.

if any one need any help from Gaza, please let me know, Here is my e-mail ydamadan@hotmail.com, mobile: 00972599697254

1:49 PM  

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