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8 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I January 2009
‘End unlawful attacks and meet
Gaza’s emergency needs
Amnesty
Palestinian civilians are being killed International. being allowed into Gaza, the reality is
and injured in the Israeli air strikes Israel must grant the wounded that the quantity of humanitarian aid
and are increasingly lacking adequate access to hospitals in Israel and and supplies which has been allowed
medical care, food, medicines, to Palestinian hospitals in East into Gaza in recent months is only a
electricity, water and other necessities, Jerusalem and the rest of the West fraction of what is required.
Amnesty International said the Israeli Bank. The Egyptian authorities should “It is utterly unacceptable for Israel
military offensive in the Gaza Strip in also open Egyptian hospitals to those to continue to purposefully deprive 1.5
which more hundreds of Palestinians in need of medical care which is not million people of food and other basic
have been killed. available in Gaza and must ensure necessities. Such a policy cannot
“The horrific death toll risks that its border guards do not resort to be justified on any security or other
growing due to the unavailability excessive use of force against those grounds and must end immediately,”
of adequate medical care for the fleeing the bombing . The Hamas de- said Amnesty International. “Israel
hundreds of injured. The health facto administration must also ensure must allow international humanitarian
sector in Gaza lacks equipment, that its security forces and militias and human rights workers immediate
medicine and expertise at the best of do not, under any circumstances, and safe access to Gaza.”
times and has been further depleted hinder or prevent the passage of the Amnesty International reiterates
due to the prolonged Israeli blockade. wounded or others patients trying to its call for an end to reckless and
It is now completely overwhelmed leave Gaza. unlawful Israeli attacks against
and unable to cope with the large Despite assurances from the Israeli densely populated residential areas
number of casualties,” said Amnesty authorities’ that humanitarian aid is which have killed thousands of
Palestinians since 27 December, provide information about the fate of since.
including scores of unarmed civilians the detainees to their families and The threatening calls seem to
and police personnel not taking part allow families to visit them where aim to spread fear among the civilian
in the hostilities, and injured several possible. population, as in most cases no air
hundred others. Civilian residential homes strikes were carried out against the
Amnesty International also calls and other buildings, including a buildings. If this is the purpose, rather
once again on Hamas and all other university, have been targeted by than to give effective warning, this
Palestinian armed groups in Gaza Israeli air strikes. Compounding the practice violates international law and
to stop firing indiscriminate rockets atmosphere of fear resulting from must end immediately.
against towns and villages in southern the Israeli bombardments, Israeli The international community,
Israel, which have killed two Israeli forces have been sending seemingly especially the members of the Quartet
civilians and injured several others in random telephone messages to (the United Nations, the European
the past three days. many inhabitants of Gaza telling Union, Russia and the United States
Following reports that an them to leave their homes because of America) as well as countries of
unconfirmed number of detainees, of imminent air strikes against their the League of the Arab States, must
including political detainee members houses. Such messages have been go beyond the rhetoric and exert
of Palestinian Authority President received by residents of multi-storey concrete pressure on both parties
Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, were apartment building, causing panic to the conflict to end the abuses of
killed and injured in Israeli air strikes not only for those who received the international law they are committing.
on security installations and detention calls but for all their neighbours. Such The High Contracting Parties to the
centres, Amnesty International calls practice was widely used by Israeli Geneva Conventions should also
on Israel not to target detention forces both in Gaza and in Lebanon consider holding an emergency
facilities. Hamas should also promptly in 2006, but has not been reported meeting to address the situation.
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