Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Gaza doctors rebuild medical center destroyed by Israel


GAZA CITY (IPS) - The Abu Shabaan complex in eastern Gaza City hosted a medical center. The center was severely damaged when eight Israeli bombs struck a government compound 10 meters across the road on 21 November.

The bombings also took a considerable toll on the homes and businesses nearby, including the Gaza bureau of Al Jazeera.

More than 50 percent of the private medical center in the Abu Shabaan building was destroyed, said Dr. Naim Shariff, 42, owner of the Benoon In Vitro Fertilization clinic.



Two weeks after the bombing tore apart the sixth floor and ravaged the fifth floor, Shariff put new panes in the windows, ordered new specialized machinery, and re-opened for clients.

“The problem with replacing my machines and equipment is that most of it doesn’t exist in Gaza. It takes months to arrive and costs more money than it would elsewhere,” he said.

“What else can I do but start again? There’s no insurance here for war damages.”

Three floors down, a privately-run dentist’s office has replaced broken windows and office glass, and installed a new reclining dental chair in place of the destroyed one.

“The walls were completely black before,” says Doaa Moshaawi, 32, a dentist. “Everything was damaged here, all the jars of medicine and instruments we use in our practice were destroyed.”

The blown-out Abu Shabaan building, and the testimonies of its tenants, add to the mounting body of evidence that Israel’s bombing sprees in the Gaza Strip disproportionately affect civilian property, homes and lives.

The Geneva Conventions prohibit attacks that will lead to “loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof.” All of these things are inevitable in the overcrowded Gaza Strip. more

Israel to withhold Palestinian funds until March, at least


JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Israel will withhold tax revenues from President Mahmoud Abbas's administration until March at least in response to his statehood campaign at the United Nations, Israel's foreign minister said.

Under interim peace deals, Israel collects some $100 million a month in duties on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank -- money that is badly needed to pay public sector salaries.

"The Palestinians can forget about getting even one cent in the coming four months, and in four months' time we will decide how to proceed," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a speech on Tuesday night.

Israel says Abbas violated previous peace accords by sidestepping stalled negotiations and securing a Palestinian status upgrade in the United Nations last month.

Israel has already withheld the December transfer, saying the money would be used to start paying off $200 million the Palestinians owe the Israel Electric Corporation. more