Richard Falk on Gaza, and two emergency appeals for Gaza aid

In reading coverage of the Israeli attack on Gaza, I was struck by Richard Falk’s opinion piece in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, in which he provides a very humanizing, and intensely distressing, account of what it is like to live under the Israeli bombardment:

We are now witnessing one of Israel’s most brutal attacks on Gaza in memory. On Saturday, Israeli warplanes screamed across the sea in seemingly endless waves, setting fire to buildings and wreaking devastation in one of the most densely populated areas in the world. By the end of the first day, more than 200 people had been killed and 700 wounded, many of them civilians.

Hospitals were overwhelmed. Frantic parents searched for their children after they fled school when a bomb struck the building next door. Morgues overflowed with bodies, many of them still bleeding. On Monday morning, Israeli planes bombed a mosque. The house next to the mosque collapsed and inside, five sisters — aged 2 to 10 — were killed.

Two weeks prior to this carnage, I arrived at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel in my capacity as the United Nations special investigator on the Palestinian Territories. I planned to visit Gaza, meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and tour the West Bank. Israeli officials had been given an advance itinerary for my trip.

I was, however, taken from the passport line by Israeli authorities. I was driven a mile from the airport, placed in a filthy detention facility, which smelled of urine, for 20 hours and deported.

Was my expulsion from Israel part of a calculated move designed to remove as many Western observers as possible from the carnage that was to come? …

The deadly attacks and the blockade of Gaza are defended by Israeli authorities as retaliation for the rockets that have been fired across the border into Israel. The firing of such rockets is also a violation of international law. It, too, targets innocent civilians and is a crime. I condemn those attacks. The current spate of rocket attacks, which has caused one Israeli death, however, does not give Israel the moral or legal license to punish the entire population of Gaza, including the sick, children, the elderly and the majority of Palestinians who have no involvement whatsoever…

Read the rest of Falk’s commentary at http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/394211_falk31.html. Below are details on two emergency appeals for funds to provide aid to the population of Gaza: the UNRWA Special Gaza Appeal, and the Physicians for Human Rights Gaza Emergency Appeal.

Please take the time to send a donation by mail or online, and distribute this information to your friends and families.

1) UNRWA SPECIAL GAZA APPEAL:

http://www.un.org/unrwa/emergency/donation/index.html

——————————————————————————–
2) PHYSICIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS GAZA EMERGENCY APPEAL:

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, Gaza Emergency Appeal: Gaza Hospitals Already Filled to Capacity; Medical Supplies on the Verge of Depletion

Since the beginning of attacks in Gaza three days ago, over 300 people have been reported dead, more than 1000 wounded, and many hundreds more are in need of immediate medical attention. With a medical system already on the verge of collapse as a result of the ongoing closure, 1.4 million civilians are in desperate need of urgent medical help from outside the Gaza Strip. PHR-Israel has the means to transfer this help within days and is seeking to raise 700,000 USD during the next week for purchase and direct transfer of supplies to Gaza hospitals.

Palestinian hospitals in the Gaza Strip have asked us for help in securing the following items:

• Basic Sterilization equipment
• Needles
• Dressings
• Anesthetics
• Catheters
• Medical gases
• Endo-tracheal tubes
• Laryngoscope
• Oxygen
• Portable monitors, ventilators, ultrasounds and x- ray machines
• Clothing for medical teams
• 105 Essential Medications
• 225 Additional Medical Supplies
• 93 Laboratory items
• Electric Shaving Machine
• Trolleys
• Hospital beds

As the situation stands, Palestinian doctors are performing surgeries without surgical gloves, local or general anesthetics, gauze, sterilized equipment or sufficient oxygen for patients. All together, there are only 1,500 hospital beds available in Gaza’s 13 publicly run hospitals. A fleet of 60 ambulances is now reduced by half. The endless flow of new wounded and the need for beds has led to a suspension of care for dozens of other patients, including cancer, cardiac, and other chronically ill patients, who have all been sent to their homes for the duration of the crisis. Patients are not being permitted entry to Egypt and all referrals out of Gaza via Erez crossing have been suspended.

We are turning to organizations and individuals like you who have demonstrated your respect for the right to health by generously supporting PHR-Israel in recent years.

PHR-Israel accepts donations via check or bank transfer. To send a check by post, make check payable to Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and send to:

PHR-Israel
Attn: Gila Norich, Director of Development
9 Dror St.
Jaffa Tel Aviv 68135 ISRAEL.

To make a bank transfer, our details are as follows:
Account Holder: Physicians for Human Rights-Israel
Bank: Hapoalim #12
Branch: Hashalom #662
Address: 106 Levinski Street, Tel Aviv, Israel
Account Number: 25938
SWIFT: POALILIT
IBAN: IL-70-0126-6200-0000-0025-938

US residents may make a tax-exempt donation via the New Israel Fund (NIF). Checks should be made payable to “New Israel Fund”. A note with the check should be marked “donor-advised to Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, ID# 5762.”

NIF Address in Washington:
New Israel Fund
P.O.Box 91588
Washington DC
20090-1588
U.S.A

NIF Bank details:
Citibank
1000 Vermont Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005
ABA #254070116
Acc# 66796296

UK residents may make a tax-exempt donation online via the British Shalom/Salaam Trust. Checks should be sent, together with your name and address and a completed gift aid form to:
British Shalom Salaam Trust
PO Box 39378
London SE13 5WH

For additional information on the current health crisis gathered by Physicians for Human Rights, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Gaza) and the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) on the current crisis please click here.

For more information on donations please contact Gila Norich, Director of Development: gila@phr.org.il or by phone, +972.3.5133.102

To contact Ran Yaron, Director of PHR-Israel’s Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt) Department send mail to: ranyaron@phr.org.il, or call +972.547.577696.

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