Wednesday, 7 January 2009
Those of the young waiter (an economics graduate he claimed) serving tables in the Marrakech hotel where I stayed for a few days over New Year. Asked for his views of the situation in Gaza he broke down in tears before me, denouncing the killing of innocent people by Israelis. Asked about the Hamas rocket attacks directed at Israeli civilians he replied: "But what can you expect when you imprison a million people and deny them all opportunity and hope?"
Tzipi Livni, Israeli Foreign Minister, speaking yesterday, defending the actions of her government on the basis that the "terrorists" must be stopped.
Tony Blair, speaking yesterday morning on the Today programme, his entire position stemming from an acceptance of the Israeli arguments. Hamas and the Palestinians must do this and that, he explained in his most reasonable terms, but where was his outrage directed at Israeli behaviour, and what demands did he make of Israel? I heard none.
Then consider what is actually happening in Gaza:
Israel bombed a UN run school building full of civilians, killing 40 people. Israel says it came under fire, the UN says it did not.
Children suffering, children dying
International aid agencies get 3 hours a day to feed 750,000 people while hundreds have died and thousands have been wounded
Here are some excerpts from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs report on Gaza
"Gaza is now divided into two sections with internal movement within the Strip extremely dangerous. It is increasingly difficult for humanitarian staff to distribute aid or reach casualties. More than a million Gazans still have no electricity or water, and thousands of people have fled their homes for safe shelter. In addition to the destruction of essential infrastructure including electricity, water and waste water, communications and roads, hospitals are unable to provide adequate intensive care to the high number of casualties."
"A paramedic working for the UHWC,an Oxfam-funded organisation, was killed when an Israeli shell struck an ambulance trying to evacuate an injured person in the Beit Lahiya area; another paramedic lost his foot and a driver was injured in the same incident."
"Over 530,000 people (approximately 400,000 people in Gaza and North Gaza, 100,000 people in Rafah, and 30,000 people in the Middle Area) are entirely cut off from running water, and the rest are receiving water only intermittently, every few days."
Here are a few weblinks showing news on the situation from points of view you may not see that often