Monday, 25 May 2009

Living with 75 tons of depleted uranium in Gaza

Gaza is littered with the depleted uranium Israel uses to strengthen its warheads. Now there will be many children born with deformities and even more precious land beyond human habitation or farming.
Gaza / PNN - 'Citizens Action to Dismantle Nuclear Weapons Completely' has prepared a 33 page report showing the presence of tens of tons of depleted uranium in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli attacks of late December and January are the culprit, report the international organization.
“The quantity of depleted uranium may amount to no less than 75 tons found in the soil and subsoil in the Gaza Strip,” is the study’s quote.

As many have suggested, the Israeli military used or may have used depleted uranium in the ground and air assaults on the Strip during the operation in the period between 27 December 2008 and January 18, 2009.

The report indicated that Norwegian Dr. Mads Gilbert, during the first few days of participation in voluntary humanitarian work at Gaza City’s Al Shifa Hospital, condemned the presence of radioactive material that may have been depleted uranium in the bodies of the victims.

And now the accusation emerged more strongly after several months of investigations carried out in close association with the peoples concerned, and with the assistance of international expert on sustainable development and use of prohibited weapons Jean - Francois Feacheno.

The international mission itself was composed of four members, including expert Feacheno, adviser to the reduction of pollution, and experts accredited to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). more

Latest news - Hope convoy blocked at Rafah by Egypt

Report by the Anti-imperialist Camp's delegation

Rafah, May 24, late night

For 10 days we have been waiting in Egypt to get into Gaza with the caravan "Hope" initiated by the "European Campaign to end the siege on Gaza". The caravan is composed of 120 people from a dozen European countries and about 40 vehicles (ambulances and trucks packed with medical goods).

It has been planned to take over the vehicles coming from Genoa by ship in Alexandria. But the Egyptian authorities imposed a change of programme claiming "security reasons". We had to go to Port Said were we were forced to wait for the ship which in the meantime had to go the long way round.

These – foreseeable – difficulties did not break our determination but helped to highlight once again the gravity of the situation in Gaza. Humanitarian help is still systematically blocked from entering Gaza. And the so-called "international community" keeps silent!

Eventually on May 23 the convoy was allowed to move ahead accompanied by Egyptian army and police. Once again we had to stop, this time in Al Arish.

On May 24 the decisive moment seemed to have arrived. All of us have the necessary visa to enter Gaza but the Egyptian border control continued to raise problems. So we could not enter and were forced to sleep at the border station.

Tomorrow morning we will see.

Maria Grazia Da Costa
Italian participant to the Caravan Hope
Member of the Anti-imperialist Camp

Anti-imperialist Camp

OIC medical aid convoy arrives in Gaza

Gaza – Ma’an – A convoy of medical aid arrived in Gaza on Saturday, delivered by the Organization of Islamic Conference in support of the Palestinians.

A’wni Al-A’klouk, head of the public service hospital in Gaza, said, "The hospital received this delivery which contained eight truckloads of medication, equipment and other aid to be distributed among all hospitals and non-governmental health centers in Gaza according to the need of each."

Manal Siyam, head of the hospital's projects department, expressed gratitude for the efforts made by the Islamic Conference "and the role it is playing in supporting the Palestinians," affirming that the hospital will continue with efforts and contacts with international organizations and donor parties to continue delivering aid.