Sunday, 9 August 2015

One year after shelling Gaza’s hospitals, Israel starves them of power

From the Electronic Intifada - Nabeel Muhammad’s job would be demanding under any circumstances. He is a nurse working with seriously ill patients. The difficulties that he faces have been multiplied by a power crisis in the Gaza Strip.

“The machines in the intensive care units do not work without electricity,” he explained. Incubators for premature babies in al-Aqsa hospital in central Gaza, where he is based, have even been affected.

The problems besetting this hospital illustrate how it has been under constant attack by one means or another for many years. In July 2014, it was shelled during Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s 51-day bombardment of Gaza. The power cuts that imperil the provision of basic services across Gaza have occurred repeatedly since Israel bombed the Strip’s only power plant in 2006.

Zauhdia Attia — also known as Um Waleed — receives treatment for a kidney complaint at the same hospital. The 56-year-old is supposed to undergo dialysis four or five times a week, she said.

“The number of machines in the hospital is few,” she added. “And during a power cut only one or two machines can be operated for more than 100 patients — using a small generator on our ward.”

The crisis has been especially acute since Egypt closed tunnels between it and Gaza in 2013. Those tunnels were used to smuggle fuel on which the people of Gaza depended. more

Silwan: zionists issue eviction notices to drive out Arabs

A lawyer representing a right-wing Israeli Jewish organization, Sunday, issued evacuation notices for three Palestinian homes in the Batn al-Hawa area of Silwan, occupied East Jerusalem.

The lawyer, representing Ateret Cohanim, told the Sarhan family that the land, on which the three houses were built, allegedly belongs to Jewish settlers.

The Silwan-based Wadi Hilweh Information Center reported that the Sarhan family was given 30 days to respond to the claims in court.

Ateret Cohanim, an organization which tries to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem at the expense of Palestinian communities, claims that the land on which the Sarhan family lives belonged to three Jewish men from Yemen who lived there before 1948.

The chief of a local committee representing the Batn al-Hawa area, Zuheir al-Rajabi, said the Sarhan family has been living in the property for more than 80 years. The land and the houses, he said, belong to Ali Sarhan, his son Muhammad and another family member, Muhammad Mahir Sarhan.

Each home measures 80 square meters (861 square feet).

Al-Rajabi highlighted that a few days earlier, another Palestinian family, Abu Nab, received an evacuation notice from the same organization “which has been working on displacing the residents of the area.”

Attempts to aquire meters (56000 square feet) in the central quarter of Batn al-Hawa, the Wadi Hilweh Center told Ma'an News Agency.

The land in question houses around 300 Palestinians (80 families) living in more than 30 buildings, according to the Wadi Hilweh Center.

The center added that it released a report published in May that highlighted Ateret Cohanim's claims that a Jewish community from Yemen have owned six pieces of land in Batn al-Hawa since 1881. more

Hamas requests opening Rafah crossing for humanitarian cases

The Hamas-run Ministry of the Interior in the Gaza Strip on Saturday sent an urgent request to the Egyptian authorities to open the Rafah crossing and allow humanitarian cases to exit the beleaguered coastal enclave.

Iyad al-Buzm, a spokesperson for the ministry, said in a statement that conditions in Gaza represent a "humanitarian catastrophe," with up to 20,000 humanitarian cases and thousands of other Palestinians waiting to leave the territory.

He warned that the continued closure of the border crossing into Egypt threatens the lives of hundreds of patients with cancer and heart and lung-related illnesses, who are in urgent need of operations.

He said that it also threatens the future of thousands of students and holders of foreign passports.

Al-Buzm said that the Egyptian authorities have only opened the Rafah crossing for 15 days since the beginning of this year. more