A baby fighting for his life.
Parents are panic stricken.
Doctors desperate for help.
Permission to get medical help denied.
Welcome to Gaza!
The world’s largest open air prison in the world, with a population of 1.7 million Palestinians, 50% of which are children under the age of 18 years old. 80% of the population living on less than $2 per day with unemployment at 45%. Desperately needed medical supplies not being allowed in. Thanks to Tel Aviv and Cairo, Gazans are denied to get in or out of the strip, not even the mail.
The illegal Israeli siege on Gaza continues to take innocent lives daily. Adham Baroud was the latest casualty. A seven month old baby who died on December 26th in a slow and painful death from renal failure when he could be easily treated.
On December 1, Adham was referred to Israel for emergency treatment by his doctors in Gaza after his condition became terminal following a catheter inserted four months earlier in a previous operation in Israel gets infected. Adham never made it.
Julia Hurley, a New York City area human rights advocate, lecturer, and blogger has posted Adham’s tragic story on her blog, (see here) with this comment:
“This story in particular broke my heart because it was completely avoidable. This is dangerous. This is inhumane. There is NO excuse for denying medical treatment to ANYONE. This, right here, is collective punishment. It cannot, and should not, be tolerated.”
Adding salt to the injury, Israel has, according to a December 28, 2011 issue of the British Guardian, ‘upped’ the ante for those wishing to exercise their right to freedom of movement by requiring them to become informants:
“Palestinian patients and business people hoping to leave the Gaza Strip are being asked to collaborate with Israel in exchange for an exit permit, a leading Israeli human rights organization claims. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) say that 172 people, mostly men aged 18 to 40, were called for interrogation by the Shabak, Israel’s internal intelligence agency, last month. Some who attended interviews were granted exit permits.”
The Guardian story revealed more stunning information about Israel’s typically- ruthless and inhumane method of taking advantage of Palestinians who are seeking medical treatment in Israel. Case in point is the story of Ahmad Hamada, a 20-years-old who has suffered serious head injuries, including memory loss. His father Emad, arranged for him to receive treatment in Israel. He had worked there as a laborer for years and was stunned when a week before the appointment, his son was summoned for an interview with the Shabak on September 19. He was led to an interrogation room deep beneath the Erez crossing terminal north of Gaza where an Israeli officer introduced himself in Arabic. Littering his conversation with Gaza slang, he asked briefly about his medical condition.
“I know everything,” he warned him. “You didn’t fall off a wall did you? Why are all those tubes inside you? Tell me the truth. Is your father Hamas? Who is Hamas in the port? Who in your neighborhood?”
“He became very angry when I kept answering that I didn’t know,” Hamada recalled. “I explained I couldn’t remember much since my fall. I was in pain and I just wanted to go home.”
After an hour of questioning, Ahmad was left alone in a locked interview room. The entire process had lasted four hours and he needed the toilet. As his knocks and calls went unanswered, he was forced to pee on the carpet.
Ahmad was eventually sent home and told he would be called for a second interview. He has not heard from them again but says he will refuse to go if they call. He now has a referral for treatment in Egypt but hasn’t gone due to the turmoil there.
The simple truth is, Israel wanting to continue punishing the people of Gaza for voting for Hamas in democratic elections that took place years ago is inhumane and barbaric. The siege on Gaza is one of the greatest moral travesties of our time and we all have a role we can play in bringing the siege to an end. We have to wake up and educate ourselves and others about this crisis.
If we leave it to the mainstream media and to politicians who take their marching orders from Tel Aviv, this bully of the Middle East will continue oppressing the innocent people of Palestine and defy the rules of civilized nations and those of human decency. In other words, we will continue to read and hear more about needless death and tragic stories similar to those of Adham Baroud and Ahmad Hamada of Gaza, Palestine.
- Mahmoud El-Yousseph is a retired USAF Veteran.
In a historic move, the National Union of Students (NUS) in the UK has thrown its weight behind campaigns targeting companies complicit in Israel’s occupation and breaches of international law.
A new page on the NUS website that went online today calls on students to campaign against the campus presence of Eden Springs and Veolia. In the preamble, NUS notes:
In a similar move to the South African Anti-Apartheid movement, activists in Palestine – from Students’ Unions to LGBTQ organisations – have asked international supporters to refrain from supporting companies and institutions that profit from or maintain the occupation.
For both Eden Springs and Veolia, NUS acknowledges the work already done on a number of campuses, and offers “resources and support” to any students wishing to organise their own campaign.
This comes soon after the NUS’ National Executive Committee voted to condemn a collaboration between King’s College London (KCL) and Ahava, an Israeli company located in an illegal West Bank settlement. In fact, NUS President’s subsequent letter to KCL’s Principal is also featured in the ‘Global Justice’ section of the website.
James Haywood, member of NUS’ NEC, commented: “NUS has historically been good on global issues – with the exception of Palestine. This is an encouraging step that Palestinians are being treated as equals in their demand for basic rights and protection from breaches of international law.”
Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah condemned the deadly Damascus suicide bombing that killed at least 25 people on Friday, accusing the United States and its regional allies of perpetrating the attack.
This attack “is the second round of the evil American power and its submissive powers’ scheme in our region, and is aimed at punishing Syria for its firm supportive stance to the resistance forces against the Zionist enemy and its supporters in the West,” a statement released from Hezbollah’s press office read.
Hezbollah said the attack was aimed at undermining attempts to resolve the Syrian uprising, and were carried out by those intending to internationalize the crisis.
“It is also evidence that these forces’ [reject] any reformatory measures that could save the Syrian people from being dragged towards bloodshed,” it said.
Meanwhile, Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood – a staunch opponent of President Bashar Assad – accused the regime of orchestrating the attack, and called for an international probe into the blast.
“We hold the regime, its agents and its gangs fully responsible for this crime… they are legally responsible for every drop of blood that falls in Syria,” the Brotherhood said, adding that the “regime, its agents, its gangs and its shabiha [militias] are the only ones to benefit from this explosion.”
“They are the only ones who have the tools and are capable of doing it,” a statement from the banned Muslim Brotherhood said.
“We in the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria call for an international probe and an Arab probe into this explosion before the criminal hides the evidence of his crime,” it said.
Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood has long been a nemesis of the Assad regime, having waged an armed insurrection against Bashar’s late father, former President Hafez Assad, during the 1970s and 1980s, before government forces crushed the Islamists in Hama in 1982, killing thousands.
The Brotherhood, long dormant following the crackdown in the 1980s, resurfaced when popular anti-regime protests erupted last year in March.
The Islamists have steered opposition efforts within the Syrian National Council (SNC) in an effort to topple the regime.
Hezbollah, however, has voiced support for its long-time ally Assad throughout the crisis.