|Humanitarian and Advocacy Information
|| DARFUR ARCHIVES|
|Click here to see my photo journal from Central African Republic and Chad|
|Read "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin|
|View a timeline of events in the humanitarian crisis in Darfur|
|June 1, 2010|
It was evident everywhere I went in Gaza that ‘Operation Cast Lead” the December 2008 Israeli attacks by air, land and sea upon the civilian population, in addition to the three-year blockade of essential supplies has devastated the livelihoods of Gaza's 1.5 million Palestinians. Hospitals, homes and schools were bombed. The children are traumatized.
Three quarters of the people are food insecure
Gaza's agricultural and fishing industries are decimated. Nearly half of agricultural land in Gaza is inaccessible because of the bombing or because the fields are now within the no-go area along the borders with Israel.
Restricted access to fishing grounds has depleted catches and revenues.
The waste treatment facility was bombed and the water is not drinkable. As waste pours into the sea, the odor is overwhelming. Still the fishermen go out in chains of small boats, one pulling the rest because fuel supplies are rationed by Israel. Israeli gun boats are highly visible and audible along the shores, firing off the fishermen’s bows if they go out too far.
Restrictions on imports of building supplies have made reconstructing of most bombed building impossible.
Gaza's population experiences rolling blackouts of up to 12 hours every day.
Complex treatments such as for complex heart surgery and certain types of cancer, are not available in Gaza. Many patients have had their applications for exit permits denied or delayed by Israeli authorities and have have died while waiting for referral. Hospitals and primary care facilities, damaged during operation 'Cast Lead', have not been rebuilt because construction materials are not allowed into Gaza.
Medical staff frequently lack the medical equipment they need and cannot obtain spare parts. The hospital I visited did not have enough incubators and doctors told me they are cut off from the outside word and cannot receive essential training to maintain and update their skills.
300,000 Palestine refugee families are living in conditions of abject poverty, unable to secure access to food and lacking basic items such as soap, school stationary and safe drinking water. This situation is sure to have long term effects on the physical and mental health of the population, especially the children.
U.N. Security Council Statement on Gaza Flotilla
June 1, 2001
The Security Council deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force during the Israeli military operation in international waters against the convoy sailing to Gaza. The Council, in this context, condemns those acts which resulted in the loss of at least ten civilians and many wounded, and expresses its condolences to their families.
The Security Council requests the immediate release of the ships as well as the civilians held by Israel. The Council urges Israel to permit full consular access, to allow the countries concerned to retrieve their deceased and wounded immediately, and to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance from the convoy to its destination.
The Security Council takes note of the statement of the UN Secretary-General on the need to have a full investigation into the matter and it calls for a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards.
The Security Council stresses that the situation in Gaza is not sustainable. The Council re-emphasizes the importance of the full implementation of Resolutions 1850 and 1860. In that context, it reiterates its grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Gaza and stresses the need for sustained and regular flow of goods and people to Gaza as well as unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza.