Sunday, 1 January 2012

Seven-month Gaza baby dies awaiting Israeli permission for operation

MaltaToday (Re-posted on Occupied Palestine blog)

A seven-month-baby suffering from renal failure died in a Gaza hospital while awaiting the go-ahead from Israeli authorities – who enforce a blockade around the Palestinian enclave – for an urgent operation.

Seven-month-old Adham Baroud died at the Al Rantissi Children’s Hospital’s in Gaza City at around 1am on 26 December. He had been referred to Israel for emergency treatment by his doctors in Gaza on 1 December.

By the 19th December, when this photo was taken, Adham was described by doctors at the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit as “terminal”.

Acting Hospital Director Dr Mustafa Al Aqila told Oxfam that Adham was referred to Israel after a catheter inserted four months earlier in a previous operation in Israel got infected. The boy was born suffering from congenital renal problems requiring specialised treatment that is unavailable in Gaza.

“Adham needed immediate surgery and we couldn‟t provide that kind of service in Gaza,” Dr Al Aqila said. “We waited for Israel‟s permission to send him for treatment, like we did in the past, but the more time passed the more complicated his situation became.”

“We want to expand our services but the siege limits our development,” Dr Al Aqila said.

While emergency beds for patients waiting for permission to travel for treatment may not always be immediately available in Israeli hospitals, Israel, as the occupying power, is obliged under international law to ensure the welfare of Palestinian civilians whenever the existing resources do not suffice.

At the moment, the Gaza Strip is also suffering from a serious shortage of kidney dialysis filters that is putting the lives of 450 Palestinians, including 15 children, at risk. more

Israel’s mythological borders: an interview with Rachel Havrelock

by David Zlutnick (Mondoweiss)

Rachel Havrelock is a scholar of the Hebrew Bible and its historical interpretation. She is an associate professor of Jewish Studies and English at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the author of three books as well as the writer/director of the play, From Tel Aviv to Ramallah. Her latest work, River Jordan: The Mythology of a Dividing Line (2011, University of Chicago Press), examines five national myths in the Hebrew Bible and examines which have had political currency and which have been repressed.

While in San Francisco to promote River Jordan, I interviewed Havrelock about the Israel of biblical mythology and its impact on the present day conflict in Israel/Palestine. She argues that while certain interpretations favor expansion and conquest, others may provide an inspiration for coexistence, while colonial ideas of partition and rigid borders need to be thrown out to favor a new post-national model. What follows is an edited transcript of the full interview. To view an eleven minute edited selection of the video click here.

DZ: What led you to take on the subject of your book, River Jordan?

RH: I initially approached the topic with an interest to how biblical paradigms impacted modernity, or in other words: what is the connection between Biblical Israel and Modern Israel? So I really began almost with the issue of the map. How is it that in both Israeli and Palestinian national traditions that the Jordan is a central border that seems to define the collective, impact national identity in a very dramatic way, and how did this biblical symbol become realized in modernity?... Ultimately what I write about is that those things—the line from one to the other, especially the line from the bible to modernity is not so straight, and rather contested and circuitous. more

Palestinian man injured by Israeli gun fire after approaching Gaza border fence

Palestinian medical sources reported Saturday that a Palestinian man was shot and wounded by Israeli military fire, north of Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, the Arabs48 news website reported.

The sources stated that medics transferred the wounded 32-year-old man to Kamal Odwan Hospital after he was shot in the leg.

Israel imposes an illegal buffer-zone along the border, preventing the Palestinians from entering their own lands that are close to the border fence. Dozens of casualties, including several fatalities were reported in similar attacks. more