Friday, December 26, 2008

News from Gaza

What is going on in Israel and Gaza is critical to all of our lives. It is important to receive ongoing information that is accurate and truthful. I will use this blog to share information provided to me by responsible officials. Here is today's report. Dear -- ,

Thank you for your e-mail. I would like to share some important information with you in addressing your concerns.

First and foremost, it is critical to note that Israel has continued its import of humanitarian aid including medical supplies, food and fuel into the Gaza Strip since the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. At times when the borders have been closed to other imports as a result of rockets attacks from Gaza into Israel, Israel has continued its import of humanitarian aid. This aid has also continued through Hamas' attempts to destroy border crossings to stop these imports.

Hamas is an internationally recognized terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel in Article One of its charter. Hamas' hostile takeover of Gaza in 2007, in which Fatah leaders were exiled or killed, left this terrorist organization in complete control of this strip of land on Israel's border.

Israel has been under a constant barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip since 2005, primarily on the southern town of Sderot and Ashkelon. On a daily basis, instead of Israeli children being allowed to go outside during recess, they are required to stay in their classrooms with awareness of where the nearest shelter is at all times. If a "code red" alert sounds, these children have 15-30 seconds to take cover before a rockets lands.

In the last year, rockets have landed on a kindergarten classroom and in the yard of a preschool. Over 1300 rockets and 1400 mortars were fired from Gaza in 2008. Over 80 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel on Thursday, Dec 24, 2008 alone.

Despite the constant barrage of rockets into Israel, imports of humanitarian aid have continued. Intelligence records and media reports have shown that the fuel and medical supplies that Israel imports into Gaza have, on multiple occasions, been seized by Hamas and used for Hamas' own purposes. This occurred while hospitals and schools in Gaza remained without power.

It is in Hamas' interest to create a humanitarian crisis for the civilians in Gaza in order to gain international sympathy and increase pressure on Israel. They have prevented humanitarian aid not only from Israel, but also from the UN and the EU from reaching the civilian population in Gaza.

The London Independent reported on 24 April 2008, on the artificial crisis caused by Hamas, which even caused the UN to suspend food aid to 650,000 refugees in the Gaza Strip after running out of fuel for its delivery vehicles. An emergency tanker sent to the Nahal Oz terminal to collect fuel was turned back by demonstrators, and was forced to return empty. EU condemned Hamas actions which lead to further suffering of the Palestinian population.

'Gaza fuel crisis forces UN to stop food aid deliveries':

On 24 April 2008, the Presidency of the EU stated that Hamas activities were obstructing and even preventing humanitarian work by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

EU Presidency statement on fuel shortage in Gaza!OpenDocument

The Israeli government has the responsibility to protect and ensure the well being of its citizens. Likewise, Hamas has the responsibility to protect and ensure the well being of the citizens in Gaza. Article One of the Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel. Hamas is open that this is their number one priority, even if it is at their civilians' expense.


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