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Friday, 9 January 2009

a whole lot sooner

The full story is told here . A blog from a volunteer for the International Solidarity Movement. You can find her blog (Tales to Tell) in the blog roll.

Why condemnation should have come a whole lot sooner. Though maybe it would have made no difference. After all, "Israel has never agreed for any outside influence to decide on its right to defend its citizens" (a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert). But, at least people would not have felt they had been forgotten. I am sure this is going to escalate greatly, and internationally it is going to be even less pretty if it continues for too much longer. It was a humanitarian mess from day one, and the human rights abuses should never be condoned, and it is too late for almost 800 people. Even if it ends any time soon, what is left of the infrastructure of the place? Maybe this offer should have been taken up? (Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha told AFP news agency that his group was open to any ceasefire propositions as long as they meant an end to the air strikes and a lifting of the Israeli blockade of Gaza. BBC, 31st December, 2008. Israel Rejects Truce Calls).

Today Amira Hass at the Israeli paper Haaretz says :

Between 600,000 and 700,000 Gazans have no water, some of them going on a week.

About one million have no electricity, raw sewage is running in the streets in some places and various localities, especially in the northern Gaza Strip, face the threat of sewer backups.

and later in the article:

Gaza's water and sewage pumps run on electricity. When there is not enough electricity, they run on standby generators, which are powered by diesel fuel. If the supply of fuel is not renewed to these generators within two days, the remaining 25 operating fresh-water pumps in Gaza City and the rest of the Strip will stop pumping. In Rafah, for example, 70 percent of residents could be without water within two days.

Spare parts, such as tubing, pipes, and air and water filters, are in short supply because Israel has prohibited their entry into the Strip since during the cease-fire.

The Red Cross yesterday was negotiating with the Israel Defense Forces over the transfer of about 20,000 liters of diesel fuel that arrived at the Erez border terminal yesterday. The drivers are afraid of being hit by IDF fire, in addition to the dangers of negotiating Gaza's poor roads.

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this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr