Thursday, January 31, 2008

Another day in Palestine/ Un autre jour en Palestine

(c) Anne Paq/ Demolition of a building in Shufat and funerals after the military invasion of Bethlehem, 28 and 29 January 2008.

Une journee en Palestine/ A day in Palestine.

Dans la meme journee, demolition de maison le matin a Shufat et invasion militaire de Bethlehem l'apres midi.

Here I am back home and I am still trying to make a sense of this day but I definitly cannot.
A typical day in Palestine. Soldiers, demolitions; checkpoints; military invasions, clashes; bullets, sound bombs; stones throwing; death; new demolitions. And in between some joke,s laughs; good food and small talks. At the end of the day, you feel reckless and confused because you had been through so many emotions. I have too many pictures, mud on my pants and I cannot focus on any thought. How did it start? My day started as usual until I got a message on my phone warning me about a house demolition in Shufat, next to Jerusalem. It is something I document so I went and dropped all other plans. As I reached the site there were many soldiers around and they prevented me to go close without any justification. I managed to go around and ended up in somebody’s appartement with a perfect view on the spot to see the monsterous Caterpillar mouth eating another Palestinian building, one of its favourites. It felt awful to watch that show for three hours, and it was not over when I left. That building is the home of five families. Two floors will be destroyed. People were gathering around and watched, including kids and against witnessing another brutal act of the occupyier.
I went back to Bethlehem; and I thought I took enough photographs for the day. But there is always more here. And it is draining. As I passed the checkpoint, I saw five military jeeps entering Bethlehem; which is quite unusual in the middle of the day so I knew something was up. I went to work anyway, and then after one hour I was interrupted by a phone call of a journalist friend telling me that the Israeli army was actually in the middle of Bethlehem with a bulldozer. They wanted to arrest somebody, a militant from Islamic Jihad. It was obvious that some clashes would occur with the young Palestinians from the city. I had to take another card as mine was full with the ones of the house demolition from the morning. I jumped into a taxi and went to the street where the army was in position. There was one jeep blocking the street and a truck with the Israeli flag. I went around and found the young Palestinians throwing stones; doing all over again the same deadly game with the soldiers. The soldiers are far, they are all fully protected and still they may shoot live bullets to the teenagers throwing stones. They know that if a kid fell and died they would never be punished by law. I moved to another part of the city where there were even more clashes, the Palestinians were throwing stones behind a trash bin that had been put on fire. There were shootings; at one point it was non-stop for 5 minutes and everybody ran away. One of my friends who was there told me earlier that he saw one kid falling down, full of blood. I stayed for a while; protected against a wall. I was not risking anything but still my heart was beating fast. I will never get used to the sound of live bullets.
Then we went up to a building to look at where the army was and we saw a bulldozer moving towards houses but it was too dark to see anything. A cameraman next to me received a phone call and he said “Shaeed”; the Arabic word for martyr. A teenager, aged 17; has been killed from Deheishe camp. His name was Qusai. I went to the hospital. A lot of people were there already from the camp; many of them were hugging, in tears. As I walked inside the room where the body was rested, I saw a boy crying. He was Qusai’s brother. I did not stay long.
Once at home, I tried to organize my thoughts but I could not. I think I still cannot. Just another exhausting day in Palestine.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Military invasion in Bethlehem/ Invasion militaire à Bethlehem.

(c) Anne Paq/, Bethlehem, 28 January 2008.
Military invasion of bethlehem. Time of mourning for the brother and family of
17-year old called Qusai al-Afandi killed by live bullet.

Invasion militaire de Bethlehem. Temps de deuil pour le frere et la famille de Qusai al-Afandi, agé de 17 ans tué par balles reélles lors de l'invasion.

Army ends its invasion into Bethlehem after killing one reisdent and injuring seven
author Monday January 28, 2008 22:15author by Ghassan Bannoura & George Reshmawi -

The Israeli army left the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem on Monday evening, leaving one civilian dead and seven others injured. One resistance fighter was also kidnapped.

Medical sources at Beit Jala hospital told IMEMC that Qusai al-Afandi, 17, from Bethlehem was killed by Israeli gunfire. On Monday afternoon Israeli troops invaded Bethlehem and surrounded a house located in the southern part of the city in an attempt to kidnap what the army calls "wanted Palestinians".

Eyewitnesses told IMEMC that the Israeli troops forced journalists into a nearby house, belonging to Mohammad Abdeh, preventing them to document the attack. They added that the troops attacked residents' homes and searched them.

Six civilians were injured during several hours of clashes between locals youth and the invading troops.

Medical sources reported that Abdulkareem al-Atrash, 19, from Deheishe refugee camp, was wounded in his head with a rubber-coated steel bullet causing a moderate injury. The source added that Yousef Abu Srour, from Aida refugee camp was wounded in his leg, in addition to Salem Al-'Orouj, 29, from the nearby Tiqua village who was wounded by live ammunition that penetrated his knee as he was walking home from work.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Za'areer 13, was hit with a live bullet in his head and a rubber-coated steel bullet in his arm. His condition was described as serious but stable after surgery in Beit Jala hospital, according to the medical source.

During the five hour attack the Israeli army used bulldozers to demolish part of Mohammad Abdeh’s home. He was kidnapped by the troops before they left Bethlehem.

A Palestinian security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told IMEMC that he believes Israeli troops were chasing three Palestinians, claiming they are wanted by the Israeli authorities. The three were identified as Ahmad Al-Balboul from the Al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, and Mohammad Shihade and Mohammad Abdeh of the Islamic Jihad movement.

The Israelis say Mohammad Shihade has been on the ‘wanted’ list for almost 7 years. He ran for the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in January 2006, as an independent candidate, yet he failed to make it to the parliament.

Update from
One Palestinian killed, four wounded as Israeli troops invade Bethlehem
Time 20:20

One Palestinian young man was killed and two others were injured as Israeli soldiers invade the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Monday afternoon.

Medical sources at Beit Jala hospital told IMEMC that Qusai al-Afandi, 17 from Bethlehem was killed by Israeli soldiers' gun fire.

Local sources told IMEMC that Israeli troops surrounded a house located in the southern part of Bethlehem city in an attempt to kidnap what the army calls "wanted Palestinians".

Eyewitnesses told IMEMC that the Israeli troops forced journalists into a nearby house, which belongs to Mohammad Abdeh and did not allow them to document the attack; they added that the troops are attacking residents' homes and searching them.

Palestinian security official who spoke on condition of anonymity told IMEMC that he believes Israeli troops are after three Palestinians claimed to be wanted by the Israeli army. The three were identified as, Ahmad Al-Balboul from Al-Aqsa Brigade, the armed wing of Fatah, and Mohammad Shihade and Mohammad Abdeh of the Islamic Jihad movement.

Mohammad Shihade has been claimed wanted since almost 7 years and has ran for the Palestinian legislative council elections in January 2006, as an independent candidate, yet he failed to make it to the parliament.

The witnesses added that invading Israeli troops brought army bulldozers into the area an indication that the house being surrounded will be demolished by the army.

Local youths that are throwing stones are still clashing with invading troops; medical sources reported at least four injuries.

Medical source reported that Abdulkareem al-Atrash 19 from Deheishe refugee camp, was wounded in his head with a rubber-coated steel bullet causing a moderate injury. The source added that Yousef Abu Srour, from Aida refugee camp was wounded in his leg, in additino to Salem Al-'Orouj 29, from the nearby Tiqua village was wounded by live ammunition that penetrated his knee as he was walking home from his work.

Meanwhile, young boy, Mohammad Za'areer 13, was hit with a live bullet to his head and rubber-coated steel bullet to his arm. His condition was described as serious, but stabel after he was operated on in Beit Jala hospital, according to the medical source.

As of the time of writing this report Israeli troops are still in Bethlehem, sinpers has taken position on roof-tops and others prevent vehicles to move in the area including ambulances.

Military invasion in Bethlehem/ Invasion militaire à Bethlehem.

(c) Anne Paq/, Bethlehem, 28 January 2008.
Military invasion of bethlehem. Several were injured and one 17-year old called Qusai al-Afandi was killed. The army fired live bullets to the kids throwing stones some hundreds meters away.

Invasion militaire de Bethlehem/ Plusieurs ont été blessés et un jeune, Qusai al-Afandi, agé de 17 ans a tué par balles. L'armée israélienne a tiré à balles reelles contre les jeunes jetant des pierres a plusieurs centaines de metres.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

For Gaza demo at Erez Crossing / Pour Gaza, manifestaition au checkpoint de Erez

c) Anne Paq/; Eretz Crossing between Israel and Gaza, 26/01/2006.
Checkpoint de Erez a l'entree de Gaza, 26/01/2008.

For Gaza demo at Erez Crossing / Pour Gaza, manifestaition au checkpoint de Erez

(c) Anne Paq/; Eretz Crossing between Israel and Gaza, 26/01/2006.
Checkpoint de Erez a l'entree de Gaza, 26/01/2008.

Protest against Israel's blockade of Gaza, at the Erez crossing just outside the northern Gaza Strip, Israel, 26/1/2008.

Plus de 1000 personnes ont protesté contre le blocus de Gaza au checkpoint de Erez.
Le convoi comprenait des voitures et bus provenant de plusieurs villes d’Israel. De la nourriture de base a été rassemblée et apres de longues negociations l’armée a accepté de laisser rentrer les denrées à Gaza le lundi suivant.

More than 1000 activists took part in a protest on the Israeli side of Erez Crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip, calling the Israeli government to stop the siege of Gaza. 26/1/2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

Convoy to Gaza

Press release 25/1/2008

Army closes down hilltop site of planned Saturday rally at the conclusion of Gaza supply convoy; rally will take place instead outside Erez Checkpoint, after car convoy and protest march by foot
Parallel Palestinian demonstration due inside Strip

This morning police suddenly informed organizers of the countrywide Gaza Supply Convoy, due tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 26) that the army has forbidden the holding of the concluding rally on a hilltop overlooking the Gaza Strip (to which no objection was made earlier). The army even intends to surround the site with barbed wire to prevent access. There is no time to lodge a Supreme Court appeal, and organizers decided to have the rally at Erez Checkpoint, use of which is denied to Gazans.

The authorities’ move makes it impossible to have direct eye contact between the simultaneous Israeli and Palestinian rallies tomorrow, but there will still be phone contact and exchange of a message of peace and solidarity across the sealed border.

As noted in earlier messages, the humanitarian supply convoy will set out tomorrow morning, Saturday, 26 January 2008, from Nazareth , Haifa , Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beer Sheva and meet up at 12.00 noon at Yad Mordechai Junction. From Yad Mordechai the protest convoy will go southwards, a long line of trucks, buses and private cars all decked with “Lift the Blockade!”signs. About half a kilometre ahead of the checkpoint, participants will march on foot, carrying signs and personal packages of supplies prepared by Israeli families for the Gazans. At 13:00 the rally will take place outside the locked gates of Erez Checkpoint. Speakers will include Shulamit Aloni, Uri Avnery, Nurit Peled-Elhanan, Issam Makhoul, Fatmeh el-Ajou, Rana Nashashibi, Suliman Al-Hatib and Jeff Halper. The convoy and rally will take place under all weather conditions.

As noted, there will be a phone link with the parallel demonstration due at the same hour in Gaza City at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where the keynote speaker will psychiatrist and human rights activist Dr. Eyad Sarraj. A parallel Palestinian demonstration is also expected in Ramallah. Simultaneous demonstrations will take place in Rome, Modena, Bologna, Grosseto, Naples, Milan, Paris, Poitiers, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Nantes, Orleans, Cleveland, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, London, Montreal, Los Angeles, Chicago, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Sydney, New York, Phoenix, Seattle, San Diego, Toronto, Cape Town and elsewhere across the globe – with a considerable participation of Jewish groups opposed to the policies of the Government of Israel.

You may go with us at 8.30 am from Reading Terminal in Tel Aviv, 8.45 a.m. from Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem , or go independently to be at 12 noon to Yad Mordechai Junction, where the convoy will set out.

For further details: Adam Keller, Gush Shalom (0506-709603), Adi Dagan, Coalition of Women for Peace (0508-575730), Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, ICAHD (0547- 366393). Dr. Eyad Sarraj ( Gaza ), End the Siege on Gaza campaign, (0599-408438), Marwan Diab ( Gaza ), End the Siege on Gaza campaign, (0599-462037).

Participating organisations: Gush Shalom, Combatants for Peace, Coalition of Women for Peace, ICAHD – The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Bat Shalom, Bat Tzafon for Peace and Equality, Balad, Hadash, Adalah, Tarabut- Hithabrut, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, AIC – The Alternative Information Center, Psychoactive – Mental Health Workers for Human Rights, ActiveStills, The Students Coalition (Tel Aviv University), New Profile, MachsomWatch, PCATI – The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Yesh Gvul, Gisha, Local Television on the Internet, Committee for Israeli-Palestinian Dialogue, “On the Left Side”, and Faculty for Palestinian-Israeli Peace (Israel).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

For Gaza/ Pour Gaza

(c) Anne Paq/, Bethlehem; 22 January 2008
Veillee a la bougie a Bethlehem en protestation du bouclage de Gaza. Les punitions collectives sont interdites par le droit international.
Candles Vigil in Bethlehem in protest against the siege of Gaza. Collective punishment is illegal according to international law/

Scores of Palestinians and internationals protest in Bethlehem against the Siege imposed on Gaza
author Tuesday January 22, 2008 19:46author by Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC Newsauthor email ghassanb at imemc dot org Report this post to the editors

About 150 Palestinians and internationals gathered on Tuesday evening in front of the Nativity church located in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem in protest of the Israeli imposed Siege of the Gaza Strip.

Protesters in Bethlehem Today – Photo by IMEMC's Ghassan Bannoura
Protesters in Bethlehem Today – Photo by IMEMC's Ghassan Bannoura

The event was organized by local NGOs including Al Ruwwad cultural center in Aida Refugee Camp, Al Khader Popular Committee, Mithaq center, the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People, the mother organization of IMEMC, Al Fineeq Center, and Sirage center.

Protesters held banners calling for the end of the Israeli Siege of Gaza, after Short Speeches were delivered in Both Arabic and English, the participants chanted slogans calling for the end of the Israeli Siege and attacks against Palestinians in Gaza.

Hussam Jubaran, one of the Organizers of the event told IMEMC that this protest is a symbolic action to show support for the people in the Coastal Region, " our hearts are with our brothers in Gaza, we demand an immediate halt to this illegal Siege and the violent attacks Israeli is doing in the Gaza strip." Jubaran said

On Thursday last week, the Israeli government decided to keep up the pressure on the Gaza Strip by further attacking Palestinian resistance groups. On Friday Israel declared all Gaza's border crossings completely closed, with a total ban of the delivery of fuel and supplies to the coastal region. By Sunday Gaza had no electricity as the only power plant in Gaza depends entirely upon Israeli Fuel.

After a widespread international outcry following Israel cutting off of all fuel into Gaza, the Israeli authorities agreed to allow fuel and medicine into the Palestinian coastal region on Tuesday for one day only.

Israeli government sources stated on Tuesday that the latest fuel shipment Israel allowed into the Gaza strip is an attempt to sabotage any Security Council condemnation of the siege imposed on the Gaza strip by Israel. Arab states that have representation in the UN Security Council called of an emergency session on Tuesday in an attempt to win UN Security Council condemnation of the Israeli siege of the Gaza strip.

For Gaza

(c) Anne Paq/
Manifestation a Bethlehem contre le siege de Gaza, 22 Janvier 2008.
Demonstration in Bethlehem against the siege of Gaza, 22 January 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Gaza will not be forgotten

Gaza will not be forgotten!

End the siege of Gaza.

We want to appeal to all concerned, whether it be official bodies in the International community, those in Israel and/or those within the Palestinian community to work together to prevent the crimes being committed against the civilians in Gaza because it is our responsibility to take a stand against this oppression.

We would particularly like to raise awareness about the effect the fuel shortage is having on everyday life. The civilians left without fuel are left without the basic rights stated in Article 25 of Universal declaration of Human Rights: "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including medical care". These standards have been removed because without fuel there is no source of heating, ability to cook or clean water supply. In addition some of the hospitals have been forced to limit their energy usage to only essential life-saving equipment, and heating cannot be one of these priorities even in this particularly harsh winter.

We, Palestinians and Internationals together, invite u to join us in solidarity with those in Gaza suffering from the sanctions Israel have imposed upon them. We are here to protest against the collective punishment from which the people of Gaza are suffering. Collective punishment is illegal according to international law.

We will not stay silent in front of blatant injustice.

Please join us, bring a candle in front of the Nativity Church, at 6pm, Tuesday 22 January and spread the word,


We, the Israeli organizations signed below, deplore the decision by the Israeli government to cut off vital supplies of electricity and fuel (and therefore water, since the pumps cannot work), as well as essential foodstuffs, medicines and other humanitarian supplies to the civilian population of Gaza . Such an action constitutes a clear and unequivocal crime against humanity.

Prof. John Dugard, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories , called the Israeli government’s actions “serious war crimes” for which its political and military officials should be prosecuted and punished. The killing of more than 40 civilians this past week violates, he said, “the strict prohibition on collective punishment contained in the Fourth Geneva Convention. It also violates one of the basic principles of international humanitarian law that military action must distinguish between military targets and civilian targets.” Indeed, the very legal framework invoked by the Israeli government to carry out this illegal and immoral act – declaring Gaza a “hostile entity” within a “conflict short of war” – has absolutely no standing in international law.

We call on the Secretary General of the UN, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, to lead the Security Council to a decisive decision to end the siege on Gaza when it meets in emergency session on Wednesday.

We call on the governments of the world, and in particular the American government and the European Parliament, to censure Israel ’s actions and, in light of recent attempts to revive the diplomatic process, to end all attacks on civilians, including the continuing demolition of Palestinian homes at an alarming rate.

We call upon the Jews of the world in whose name the Israeli government purports to speak, and upon their rabbis and communal leaders in particular, to speak out unequivocally against this offense to the very moral core of Jewish values.

And we call upon the peoples of the world to let their officials and leaders know of their repudiation of this cruel, illegal and immoral act – an act that stands out in its cruelty even in an already oppressive Israeli Occupation.

We condemns attacks on all civilians, and we acknowledge the suffering of the residents of Sderot. Still, those attacks do not justify the massive disproportionality of Israeli sanctions over a million and half civilians of Gaza , in particular in light of Israel ’s oppressive 40 year occupation. Such violations of international law by a government are especially egregious and must be denounced and punished if the very system of human rights and international law is to be preserved.

The Israeli government’s decision to punish Gaza ’s civilian population, with all the human suffering that entails, constitutes State Terrorism against innocent people. Only when Israeli policy-makers are held accountable for their actions and international law upheld will a just peace be possible in the Middle East .

The Alternative Information Center * Bat Tsafon * Gush Shalom * The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) * Physicians for Human Rights * The Women’s Coalition for Peace

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Gaza into darkness- how far they can go?/ Gaza dans les tenebres- jusqu"ou vont-ils aller?

Blackout in besieged Gaza City

Darkness descended on Gaza as the second of the plant's two working turbines was switched off on the third day of a crippling Israeli blockade of the territory.

Sunday's shutdown has prompted fears of a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians said the worst affected could be the health sector, with hospitals failing to provide services in the absence of electricity.

"At least 800,000 people are now in darkness," Derar Abu Sissi, general director of the plant, said.

"The catastrophe will affect hospitals, medical clinics, water wells, houses, factories, all aspects of life."

Panic buying

However, Arye Mekel, an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, said that the shutdown was unnecessary. "They have an interest in exaggerating," he said.

Israel says the blockade imposed on Gaza is in response to rockets being fired from the territory.

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Mekel said that supplies of petrol used in cars, as well as diesel, had been halted but not fuel oil and cooking gas.

"The ball is in their court," he said. "If they stop the rockets today, everything would go back to normal."

Power outages have become commonplace in the Gaza Strip in recent months after Israel declared the area a "hostile entity" and began restricting fuel supplies.

Ahead of the shutdown, residents bought up batteries and candles, as well as basic foods like rice, flour and cooking oil. Bakeries stopped operating because they did not have power or flour.

UNRWA, the UN organisation supporting Palestinian refugees, warned the shortages would drastically affect hospitals, sewage treatment plants and water facilities.

"The logic of this defies basic humanitarian standards," Christopher Gunness, UNRWA spokesman, said.

Patients at risk

Dr Medhat Abbas, head of the crisis management unit at the health ministry in Gaza, said that electricity from generators would only be available for a few more hours at the Al-Nasser children's hospital.

In video

-Jacky Rowland reports on the impact of the Gaza blockade
- Nour Odeh reports on the pressure mounting on the Palestinian president
"These patients and these children are facing their destiny and they will die soon," he told Al Jazeera.

"They escaped from their poor houses were they have very cold weather ... The families brought them here to be saved in the incubator. Now the incubator and the nursery will be out of electricity.

"What sort of humanitarian law is this?"

He said the blackout would also deprive cancer and intensive care patients of their treatment as well as spoiling blood and vaccines that were being stored.

Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland in Gaza said that it was not only power generation that would be affected.

"It also means no fuel for the generators that fuel the water pumps - a lot of the water in Gaza is deep beneath the surface, and it has to be pumped to the surface - so no fuel can also mean no water."

'Collective punishment'

The UN has said Israel should not collectively punish Gaza's population while responding to security threats.

The organisation has criticised Israel's decision to close border crossings into Gaza, preventing aid deliveries to the 1.5 million people living in the territory, saying on Saturday that the move could provoke a humanitarian crisis.

Palestinians fear the power cut could be
disastrous for the health sector [AFP]
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, also urged an immediate end to violence in Gaza and Palestinian sniper and rocket attacks into Israel.

Zeev Boim, an Israeli cabinet minister, said that rather than condemning Israel's move, the UN should condemn Palestinian rocket attacks.

"I don't hear the UN's voice," he said.

Israel has continued to push ahead with its military offensive against Palestinian fighters in both Gaza and the West Bank in recent days.

Late on Sunday, an Israeli air raid killed at least one Palestinian and critically wounded another in the northern Gaza Strip. Hamas officials said that the target was a group of fighters who launched makeshift rockets into southern Israel.

Around 230 such rockets and mortars have been fired over the border since Tuesday, according to the Israeli military. At least 36 Gazans have been killed by Israeli fire in the past week.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

e blocus israélien est maintenu à Gaza, où les coupures d'électricité se multiplient
LEMONDE.FR avec AFP et Reuters | 20.01.08 | 16h01 • Mis à jour le 20.01.08 | 21h14

a bande de Gaza, placée sous blocus total par Israël depuis jeudi, était frappée par d'importantes coupures d'électricité, dimanche 20 janvier. Celles-ci risquent de s'aggraver avec l'arrêt de l'unique centrale du territoire, qui fournit 30 % de sa consommation. "Nous avons dû arrêter la centrale faute de fioul", a déclaré le directeur la centrale, Rafik Mliha, ajoutant que "cette fermeture va avoir de très graves conséquences pour les habitants, pour le fonctionnement des hôpitaux, des stations de pompage d'eau".

Les coupures de courant, fréquentes depuis qu'Israël a déclaré le territoire "entité hostile" après la prise de contrôle du Hamas, se sont empirées quand Tel-Aviv a cessé les fournitures de carburant, de produits alimentaires et humanitaires, en riposte aux tirs de roquettes palestiniennes. La plupart des quartiers de la ville de Gaza – où vivent plus de 400 000 personnes – sont privés de courant, alors que les stocks de gaz domestique et ceux de fuel étaient déjà épuisés.


Des responsables du Hamas ont indiqué qu'après l'arrêt de la centrale, la ville de Gaza sera plongée dans le noir. Les habitants ont déjà commencé à stocker des produits de première nécessité dans le calme. Le ministre de la santé du territoire a mis en garde contre les conséquences d'une telle situation. "Nous sommes obligés soit de débrancher les salles d'opération, soit de couper l'électricité dans les maternités", a-t-il notamment affirmé.

Le président palestinien Mahmoud Abbas "a appelé le gouvernement israélien à lever immédiatement le bouclage (...) pour faciliter la vie des innocents et permettre aux hôpitaux, qui font face à une crise mettant des vies en danger, de fonctionner", selon son porte-parole, Nabil Abou Roudeina, qui ajoute que M. Abbas a appelé à une "réunion spéciale" du Conseil des ministres de la Ligue arabe et pourrait saisir le Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU dans les prochaines heures.

Selon des chiffres fournis par des responsables palestiniens et israéliens, la bande de Gaza consomme 200 mégawatts, dont 120 sont directement fournis par Israël, 17 proviennent d'Egypte et 65 sont produits par la centrale locale. "C'est un système très fragile, explique Sari Bashi de l'ONG israélienne Gisha, qui souffre depuis plusieurs mois en raison du bouclage. Chaque nouveau coup a des effets sur les hôpitaux, sur l'eau ainsi que les habitations".


Le gouvernement israélien a décidé de maintenir le blocus sur le territoire lors d'une réunion des ministres, dimanche. "Nous rendons plus difficile la vie quotidienne à Gaza, nous visons des éléments terroristes et nous essayons de montrer à la communauté internationale que nous épuisons toutes les options avant de décider d'une vaste opération", a affirmé le ministre de la défense israélien, Ehoud Barak.

La décision des autorités israéliennes intervient alors que les appels à reprendre les approvisionnements, pour éviter une crise humanitaire, se sont multipliés ces derniers jours. Parmi eux, celui de l'Unrwa, l'agence de l'ONU pour les réfugiés à Gaza, qui a mis en garde contre contre les "effets dévastateurs" de la poursuite du blocus. "Priver les gens de choses fondamentales comme l'eau revient à les priver de la dignité humaine. Il est difficile de comprendre la logique qui consiste à faire souffrir des centaines de milliers de personnes pour rien", a lancé son porte-parole, Christopher Gunness. Le secrétaire général adjoint de l'ONU aux affaires humanitaires, John Holmes, a pour sa part dénoncé une "punition collective visant la population de Gaza".

Samedi, au moins deux membres du Hamas ont été tués au cours d'un raid aérien israélien dans le nord de la ville de Gaza, portant à 36 le nombre de Palestiniens tués depuis le 15 janvier.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Demonstration against Bush's visit; in Jerusalem

(c) Anne Paq/, Jerusalem, 9 January 2008.
See also protest in Ramallah

During Bush's visit to Ramallah

(c) Anne Paq/, Ramallah, 10 January 2008.
Ramallah transformed into a ghost town.
See text below

During Bush's visit to the West Bank

(c) Anne Paq/, Ramallah and Qalandia checkpoint, 10 January 2008.
See text below

Maan news-
Bush responded flippantly to a question about the removal of Israeli checkpoints that carve up the territory of the West Bank, saying he was able to pass through the checkpoints in his motorcade without being stopped. "I don't think it's like that for the average citizen," he quipped.

Demonstration against Bush's visit violently repressed by Palestinian Authority

(c) Anne Paq/, Ramallah, 10 January 2008.
See text below

Demonstration against Bush's visit violently repressed by Palestinian Authority

(c) Anne Paq/, Ramallah, 10 January 2008.
See text below

Demonstration against Bush's visit violently repressed by Palestinian Authority

(c) Anne Paq/, Ramallah, 10 January 2008.
See text below

Demonstration against Bush's visit violently repressed by Palestinian Authority

(c) Anne Paq/, Ramallah, 10 January 2008.
See text below