Union of Health Work Committees
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December, 27th 2008
Massacre In Gaza
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for
good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke
You are probably aware that the Israeli Cabinet has in the last few days approved the launch of a military operation against Gaza by all the forces of the Israeli demolishing forces (IDF). The assault was launched at around 11:30 am and carried out in two separate waves of attacks, during which over 100 bombs were dropped on dozens of targets. Some 80 warplanes and helicopters took part in the assault destroying several civil police compound and civilian homes.
Television footage showed dead bodies scattered on a road and wounded and dead being carried away by distraught rescuers. There was widespread damage to buildings. Till now, (17: pm) more than 205 people were killed and at least 750 were wounded, 125 people out of them with critical injuries, in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip on this black Saturday, according to Ministry of health and human rights organizations.
The military operation makes the Palestinian blood fall like rain. As a consequence, the civilian population in the cities of Rafah, Khan-Younis, middle camps, Gaza City, Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya and in the refugee camp of Jabaliya is suffering from the most horrible onslaught of Israeli military power.
According to statistics received Al-Awda hospital (UHWC), in Jabalia and Beit-lahia, in just 3 hours 18 people were killed . Another 85 people were injured and 16 remain in a critical condition. The number of deaths and injured and the extent of the damage are increasing by the minute.
Infrastructure is being destroyed, leaving many areas without power and water. Military forces curtail all movement, preventing medical and health workers from reaching the injured, as well as the chronic and routine cases needing medical services. Al-Awda Hospital in Jabaliya is very close to the military operation area and medical teams and health workers attempting to evacuate the injured risk are being killed themselves. Medical supplies in the hospital are largely exhausted and already food supplies for in-patients and staff are dwindling.
Beit Hanoun has been hit the hardest and the people there are facing a real health crisis. The men and women of UHWC are working around the clock and at risk to themselves to deal with this humanitarian disaster. All indications are that this latest assault on Palestinian civil society is a repeat of the grave and massive violations of Palestinian human rights by Israel, and, there is no sign of the military easing their offensive.
Unless the international community puts pressure on Israel to stop the mass killing of civilians and the willful destruction of property and infrastructure, the people of Gaza will again be forced to suffer the humiliating and crippling dictates of Israel's military rule. It could also lead to the full re-occupation of the entire Gaza Strip.
UHWC asks you, to issue a strong Last Appeal Statement condemning Israel's human rights violations against the Palestinian people and to demand a cessation of this military offensive. Israel's persistent unilateral attempts to change by force the situation of some 1.5 million Palestinians blatantly contravene international humanitarian law and all human rights conventions. Furthermore, they are morally reprehensible. There are no political considerations which can justify the silence of the international community any longer.
Dr. Yousef Mousa, Executive Director
Union of Health Work Committees, Gaza, Palestine