Sunday, 15 December 2013

New UK drones “field tested” on captive Palestinians

Amna al-Dam kept the deflated red football her 12-year-old son Mamoun was playing with when he was killed by an Israeli drone strike in the occupied Gaza Strip on 20 June 2012.

“I held my Mamoun in my arms when he died and everything felt destroyed for me,” his mother said. “I hope that he is the last child to be killed in Palestine.”

She described how his body was torn apart, his clothes burned off him – and she recalled his tenderness. “You are my darling, I just want to keep you locked inside my heart,” he used to tell his mother.

Mamoun is profiled in a new report by the charity War on Want, “Killer Drones: UK complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.”

He is one of more than 800 Palestinians killed in Israeli drone attacks since 2006. more

Thousands in Gaza shelters as blackouts cripple emergency response

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Gaza Ministry of Information announced Saturday that the numbers of residents staying in shelters in the besieged coastal enclave had hit 5,000 as streets and homes remain flooded in large swathes of the territory.

Separately, the Gaza Health Ministry said that the number of people injured in storm-related incidents over the last four days throughout Gaza had hit 96 on Saturday, after flooding hit dangerously high levels due to record rainfall on Friday.

Gaza's civil defense force media spokesperson Muhammad al-Midna told Ma'an that civil defense teams had successfully evacuated 1,190 people from their homes since the beginning of the storm, in addition to pumping water out of flooded homes and rescuing cars trapped on flooded streets.

Al-Midna said that the hardest hit neighborhood was Nafeq Street near Sheikh Redwan, which was inundated with flood water and led to a dramatic rise in water levels in the surrounding areas.

The civil defense forces assisted many local residents in evacuating their homes, he said.

Al-Midna added that the lack of electricity had exacerbated the difficulties faced by Gaza residents as it limited the ability of civil defense forces to pump water from flooded areas.

He highlighted that blackouts of over 12 consecutive hours and the lack of fuel to run generators during those blackouts had effectively crippled the ability of civil defense forces to respond for large periods of time. more