Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Delayed update

The phone network still doesn't seem to be operating outgoing calls, but incoming international calls sometimes get through.

Late Sunday afternoon, the Israeli air strikes on the southern Gaza town of Rafah (which have been ongoing since Saturday morning) escalated with a multiple hit on the area bordering Egypt. Over 10 missiles were fired in quick succession, targeting tunnels which have allowed a certain amount of food and other basic necessities into the besieged Gaza Strip. In the chaos following the bombardment, Palestinians charged the border fence, reflecting their mood of outrage and desperation. 

The Free Gaza Movements boat Dignity was rammed by an Israeli gunship and fired upon early this morning as it attempted to deliver 3 tonnes of urgently needed medical supplies and several surgeons, among them a Devon aquaintence of OJ's, Dr. David Halpin. It is taking in water and has been forced to change course to Lebanon, but its passengers are all uninjured and other shipping in the area is preparing to respond should it's second engine fail.

Troops are now massing on the border and a land invasion is expected imminently. There are no international journalists in the Rafah area.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

URGENT! Israeli Navy Attacking Civilian Mercy Ship! TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY!

[this is an email that was forwarded to us]

URGENT! Israeli Navy Attacking Civilian Mercy Ship! TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY!

The Dignity, a Free Gaza boat on a mission of mercy to besieged Gaza, is being attacked by the Israeli Navy in international waters. The Dignity has been surrounded by at least half-a-dozen Israeli warships. They are firing live ammunition around the Dignity, and one of the warships has rammed the civilian craft causing an unknown amount of damage. Contrary to international maritime law, the Israelis are actively preventing the Dignity from approaching Gaza or finding safe haven in either Egypt or Lebanon. Instead, the Israeli navy is demanding that the Dignity return to Cyprus - despite the fact that the ship does not carry enough fuel to do so. Fortunately, no one aboard the ship has yet been seriously injured.

There are 15 civilian passengers representing 11 different countries (see below for a complete list). At approximately 5am (UST), well out in international waters, Israeli warships began surrounding the Dignity, threatening the ship. At 6:45am (UST) we were able to establish brief contact with the crew and were told that the ship had been rammed by the Israeli Navy in international waters, and that the Israelis were preventing the ship from finding safe harbor. We heard heavy gunfire in the background before all contact was lost with the Dignity.

It is urgent that you TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION!

CALL the Israeli Government and demand that it immediately STOP attacking the Dignity and endangering the lives of its passengers!

CALL Mark Regev in the Prime Minister's office at:
+972 2670 5354 or +972 5062 3264
mark.regev@it.pmo.gov.il

CALL Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence at:
+972 33697 5339 or +972 50629 8148
mediasar@mod.gov.il


BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Dignity departed from Larnaca Port in Cyprus at 7pm (UST) on Monday 29 December, bound for war-devastated Gaza with a cargo of over 3 tons of desperately needed medical supplies donated by the people of Cyprus. At our request, the ship was searched by Cypriot Port authorities prior to departure, to certify that there was nothing "threatening" aboard - only emergency medical supplies.

TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY TO STOP THE ISRAELI NAVY FROM ENDANGERING THE DIGNITY AND ITS PASSENGERS!

Civilians aboard the Dignity being threatened by the Israeli military:

(UK) Denis Healey, Captain
Captain of the Dignity, Denis has been involved with boats for 45 years, beginning with small fishing boats in Portsmouth. He learned to sail while at school and has been part of the sea ever since. He's a certified yachtmaster and has also worked on heavy marine equipment from yachts to large dredgers. This is his fourth trip to Gaza.

(Greece) Nikolas Bolos, First Mate
Nikolas is a chemical engineer and human rights activist. He has served as a crewmember on several Free Gaza voyages, including the first one in August.

(Jordan) Othman Abu Falah
Othman is a senior producer with Al-Jazeera Television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(Australia) Renee Bowyer
Renee is a schoolteacher and human rights activist. She will remain in Gaza to do human rights monitoring and reporting.

(Ireland) Caoimhe Butterly
Caoimhe is a reknowned human rights activist and Gaza Coordinator for the Free Gaza Movement. She will be remaining in Gaza to do human rights monitoring, assist with relief efforts, and work on project development with Free Gaza.

(Cyprus) Ekaterini Christodulou
Ekaterini is a well-known and respected freelance journalist in Cyprus. She is traveling to Gaza to report on the conflict.

(Sudan) Sami El-Haj
Sami is a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, and head of the human rights section at Al-Jazeera Television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(UK) Dr. David Halpin
Dr. Halpin is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon, medical professor, and ship's captain. He has organized humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza on several occasions with the Dove and Dolphin. He is traveling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics.

(Germany) Dr. Mohamed Issa
Dr. Issa is a pediatric surgeon from Germany. He is traveling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics.

(UK/Tunisia) Fathi Jaouadi
Fathi is a television producer and human rights activist. He will remain in Gaza to do human rights monitoring and reporting.

(USA) Cynthia McKinney
Cynthia is a former U.S. Congresswoman from Georgia, and the 2008 Green Party presidential candidate. She is traveling to Gaza to assess the ongoing conflict.

(Cyprus) Martha Paisi
Martha is a senior research fellow and experienced human rights activist. She is traveling to Gaza to do human rights work and to assist with humanitarian relief efforts.

(UK) Karl Penhaul
Karl Penhaul is a video correspondent for CNN, based out of Bogotá, Colombia. Appointed to this position in February 2004, he covers breaking news around the world utilizing CNN's new laptop-based 'Digital Newsgathering' system. He is traveling to Gaza to report on the ongoing conflict.

(Iraq) Thaer Shaker
Thaer is a cameraman with Al-Jazeera television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(Cyprus) Dr. Elena Theoharous, MP
Dr. Theoharous is a surgeon and a Member of the Cypriot Parliament. She is traveling to Gaza to assess the ongoing conflict, assist with humanitarian relief efforts, and volunteer in hospitals.
###

Monday, December 29, 2008

Interviews with residents of Rafah following Sunday's bombing

Download original film:
https://download.yousendit.com/Q01Ia3NUaytJMHNLSkE9PQ

Same film on You Tube:



Background
Shortly before 7:00am on Sunday 28th December, yet another Israeli missile strike hit the residential neighbourhood of Hi Alijnina in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. This time a pharmacy was targeted, totally destroying the building and causing severe damage to surrounding homes. Electricity lines were torn down during the blast and the street was littered with medicines. This footage was filmed within minutes of the attack as fire fighters battled to control the blaze. Shocked residents poured into the streets, some still wearing pyjamas.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

#Gaza - Twitter Search

Follow all Twitter posts using #Gaza hashtags

#Gaza - Twitter Search

Hundreds dead, injured in Gaza as Israeli airstrikes continue - CNN.com

Hundreds dead, injured in Gaza as Israeli airstrikes continue - CNN.com: "Israeli airstrikes continued pounding targets in Hamas-ruled Gaza Sunday, killing at least 225 and injuring 400, in what Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said was a response to escalating rocket attacks against southern Israel."

c/o rivervision

27th December attack on Gaza Strip - bombing in Rafah

Bombing in Rafah

A massive Israeli military operation began throughout the Gaza Strip today. Multiple Israeli air strikes hit many different areas this morning and continued sporadically throughout the day. Attacks targeted police stations and security bases, but spilled over into civilian areas. The destruction was widespread. At the time of writing over 200 people have been killed with the death toll still rising. Hundreds of people have been injured, many severely.

These images were filmed shortly after one of the bombings in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. They show the devastation at the site of a police station in the Hi Alijnina neighbourhood which was hit at approximately 11:30am local time. There were also missile strikes in the Tel Al Sultan, Moraj and Mashrua districts of Rafah. This assault occurred during the busy weekly market in Rafah and as school sessions were ending, so the streets were crowded and full of children.

Some of the walking wounded were interviewed at the Al Najar Hospital in Rafah. This basic local facility was massively overstretched, the atmosphere chaotic. Serious cases were transferred to the European Hospital in Khan Younis. Hospital mortuaries could not cope with the level of fatalities, many of which were described as arriving in pieces.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pls read this

From Contemplating from Gaza

My Final Post


You do not know when you lose a perfectly bad situation until it becomes worse. Any sense whatsoever in this sentence? Actually I do not know what's been holding me back from writing. I had all these ideas buzzing in my ears at night but articulating them was for some reason difficult.

The situation in Gaza, which was absolutely horrible, started to deteriorate day by day until we found ourselves again with no electricity , no clean water, no bread and a huge overwhelming fear of what's coming next.

First the Palestinian dialogue between Hamas and Fateh failed (as had been expected). And then the cease fire became history and a full closure was imposed, limiting fuel and food supplies to the Strip –and all that was accompanied by the Egyptian authorities strictly preventing the tunnel trade.

And what shall I say? I will not speak of my daily misery having to put up in Friday with a 24 hour power cut; nor will I like to mention my father standing in a long queue in front of the bakery at 7 a.m. to buy some bread; nor will I mention the 3 empty gas cylinders awaiting to be filled since a month; nor will I lament the patients living on respiratory support or kidney washing machines and are afraid the hospitals will have no electricity ; I find it enough to say that all those I meet,including myself and my family, are psychologically and emotionally tired .

Since I do realize that writing about it is not actually contributing to changing any of it at the decision making level (I am perfectly aware that millions do have interest in our crisis and sympathize with us), I decided -in my blog second birthday- to end this beautiful fulfilling experience. I did consider contemplating as my baby but I can't nurture it anymore. I am no longer convinced that I should. Blogging worked out for me just fine for the last two years. It absolutely filled a void. Many of my posts were popular and well-read. However, I think I need to stop right here. I would like to thank heartily all those who read it and took the initiative to send supportive comments. Pray for Gaza.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ALHUMDULALLAH! SS Dignity arrive in Gaza!

ALHUMDULALLAH!

LARNACA - The Free Gaza Movement is delighted to announce that their third boat, the SS Dignity carrying 27 crew and passengers arrived in Gaza at 8:10 Gaza time, in spite of Israeli threats to stop them. In the pouring rain, the boat pulled into port amid cheers from the people of Gaza and tears from the passengers.

For More Information, Please Contact:
Greta Berlin (Cyprus) +357 99 081 767 / iristulip@gmail.com
Osama Qashoo (Cyprus) +44 (0)78 3338 1660 / osamaqashoo@gmail.com
Angela Godfrey Goldstein (Jerusalem) +972 (0)54 736 6393 / angela@icahd.org

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The boats are coming again!!



mabruk another operation to send boats with goods and aid is planned so please send what you can. if you have somehting you can send please email me at rafahkid at yahoo dot com shukran jazilan

Friday, September 12, 2008

ISRAELI MILITARY GUNBOAT RAMS UNARMED PALESTINIAN FISHING VESSEL

"The gunboat smashed through the upper hull of the fishing boat, careened over the top, and landed on the other side" ....

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ISRAELI MILITARY GUNBOAT RAMS UNARMED PALESTINIAN FISHING VESSEL

For More Information, Please Contact:
(Gaza) Donna Wallach, +972 59 883 6420 / cats4jazz@gmail.com
(Gaza) Andrew Muncie, +972 59 883 6309 / muncie88@hotmail.com



For photos of the damage, see:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29205195@N02/sets/72157607231701711/

Saturday, September 6, 2008

"End of an Odyssey" By: Jeff Halper

This is small part of a longer article from ICAHD founder:

When we finally arrived in Gaza after a day and a half sail, the welcome
we received from 40,000 joyous Gazans was overwhelming and moving. People
sought me out in particular, eager it seemed to speak Hebrew with an Israeli
after years of closure. The message I received by people of all factions during
my three days there was the same: How do we ("we" in the sense of all
of us living in their country, not just Palestinians or Israelis) get out of
this mess? Where are WE going? The discourse was not even political: what is
the solution; one-state, two-state, etc etc. It was just common sense and
straightforward, based on the assumption that we will all continue living in
the same country and this stupid conflict, with its walls and siege and
violence, is bad for everybody. Don't Israelis see that? people would ask
me.


The only place I can find whole article is here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

All of the Rafahkid from the internet

I am on FreindFeed at http://friendfeed.com/rafahkid so please comment me there if this is better for you

Friday, January 25, 2008

Mohammed Omer in Rafah

Viewpoints from Sderot and Rafah: "I went to the border at Rafah today and saw several hundred thousand people crossing to buy things such as milk, cheese, medicines, cows, goats and washing powder."