Monday, 25 June 2012

Charities' report shows only 5% of Gaza's water is fit for human consumption

The water and waste infrastructure in Gaza has been slowly deteriorating for years now. War damage, political conflict and dwindling resources are all part of the problem – however, the most troubling aspect is that there is little hope for improvement. According to the latest report by Save the Children and Medical Aid for Palestinians, Gaza’s water is too contaminated to drink and the number of children treated with diarrhoea has doubled in the last five years. The report also remarked that Israel’s five year blockade of the territory is preventing important sanitation equipment from reaching the people of Gaza.

The report found that sanitation related diseases – with serious implications for child mortality, such as typhoid fever and watery diarrhoea – had increased in children under the age of three in clinics serving refugees in the Gaza Strip. In 2012 alone, three children also drowned in pools of open sewage and there were calls for an investigation to look into the causes and ways to prevent similar incidents.

It is believed that just 5% of the available water in Gaza is suitable for consumption and so projects such as the desalination plant which is backed by Europe are very important. However, political wrangling and the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip are real barriers that such projects struggle to overcome. more

Negotiator: UN Palestinian statehood bid underway, US asked for delay

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- PLO negotiator Muhammad Ishtayya said Monday that the US and other foreign nations are pressing the Palestinian leadership to suspend their campaign for membership of UN bodies until after the US presidential election.

Ishtayya told official PA radio Voice of Palestine that the leadership has initiated the process of obtaining a UN General Assembly resolution which recognizes a Palestinian state on borders prior to Israel's occupation in 1967.

Palestinian officials have opened talks with Arab states and France to get the process started, he said.

Paris broke from its allies in October when it backed Palestinian efforts to become a full member of UNESCO, the UN's cultural arm and the first UN agency to grant the Palestinians full membership.

The US cut off funds to UNESCO after the vote to admit Palestine last year, and earlier cut Palestinian aid after President Mahmoud Abbas made a bid for recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations Security Council. more

Ronnnie Kasrils, a former leader of ANC's armed wing to speak out against Israeli apartheid

ANC's Ronnie Kasrils (founding member of Umkhonto we Sizwe - the ANC's armed wing - and member of the high command) speaks in Tottenham - Boycott Israeli goods now!
Tuesday 3rd July, doors open 7pm
Also speaking: Gary McFarlane (local community activist and developer of the iGaza iPhone app)
Venue: St John Vianney Church Hall,
386 West Green Road, Tottenham N15 3QL
Buses: W4, 41, 67, 230 Nearest tubes: Turnpike Lane or Seven Sisters
In April and May this year, thousands of Palestinian prisoners went on hunger strike, protesting against their imprisonment without trial (‘administrative detention’) by the Israeli authorities. But it’s not only adults who suffer this way, hundreds of Palestinian children are also incarcerated in Israeli jails.

RONNIE KASRILS, ANC activist and veteran of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, has consistently spoken out against the oppression of the Palestinian people, and we are delighted to be able to welcome him to Tottenham. He has agreed to discuss the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign in support of the Palestinian struggle.

This initiative was directly inspired by the huge boycott campaign that helped undermine the South African apartheid regime. Ronnie was a leading member of the ANC underground struggle that overthrew apartheid. He organised the armed resistance from inside South Africa and from his base in London – much of the resistance work had to be done outside the country after Nelson Mandela and the rest of the ANC had been imprisoned and the Black opposition to apartheid had been temporarily crushed. When the first post-apartheid government finally achieved power under Mandela, Ronnie was made Deputy Minister of Defence. This will be an inspiring meeting – come along to hear how we can help the Palestinians in their struggle against injustice and oppression.

download the flyer here

Egypt closes and then re-opens Rafah crossing with no explanation

On Sunday after Egyptian authorities closed the Rafah Border Terminal on the Gaza Strip without any prior notice and without providing any explanation for the move. The terminal was re-opened late Monday morning.

Security sources in Gaza stated that Egypt closed the terminal approximately at 2 in the afternoon Sunday after allowing five trucks into the coastal region; eight more trucks were preparing to enter Gaza but remained the Egyptian side of the terminal after Egypt decided to shut it down.

The terminal has been closed repeatedly in recent weeks in the lead up to Egyptian elections for parliament and president.

Egyptian media sources reported that Egypt boosted its security measures in Al-Arish area and in Sinai, and also closed the As-Salaam Bridge. more