Sunday, March 2, 2008
"02/03/2008 Five days have passed on the Israeli aggression against the unarmed Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the Arab world seems to be in a coma. More than 120 martyrs and over 300 injured in the latest Israeli crimes amid suspicious International silence. Most of the martyrs and the injured are unarmed civilians, including tens of children and women.
New Israeli occupation strikes martyred seven more Palestinians in the north of the Gaza Strip early on Sunday. Three people, including one civilian and one Hamas resistance fighter, were martyred in two separate strikes early in the day in the north, where Israeli ground and air troops were operating for a second day. Two other people, whose identities were not immediately available, were fatally wounded near the northern town of Jabaliya. Moreover, one Palestinian died of wounds from Saturday’s Israeli attacks and two bodies of women were pulled out on Sunday from beneath the rubble of houses destroyed in the previous day.
A 13-year-old Palestinian boy was also martyred in clashes with Israeli occupation soldiers during protests against the Jewish state's blitz on the Strip. Mahmud al-Musalmi was martyred in the southern town of Al-Khalil. At least 15 people had been injured by rubber bullets in the clashes around the flashpoint town of Al-Khalil in the south of occupied West Bank.
Thousands of Palestinians poured out into the streets throughout the occupied West Bank on Sunday to protest an Israeli air and ground assault on Gaza. Since the military began its assault early on Saturday, more than 68 people have been martyred by the Israeli occupation military in Gaza, the bloodiest 24 hours in the territory since the start of the second Palestinian uprising in September 2000. The martyrs have included seven children and nine women in addition to other civilians.
GAZA HOSPITALS ON VERGE OF COLLAPSE
Medical sources in Gaza reported Sunday that some 200 people were injured over the weekend, in the heavy fire exchanges between Israeli occupation forces and Hamas, resulting in the Strip's hospitals arriving at the brink of collapse. "The situation is very hard. I have a new intensive-care patient coming in every half-an-hour," Dr. Khalil Nahal, of the Intensive Care Unit in Shifa Hospital, Gaza Strip's main medical facility.
Even after the hospital was able to secure more beds for its patients, the medical staff is having trouble coping with the numerous patients coming in. "Normally, I have 11 beds in the ICU, in its full capacity," said Dr. Nahal. "Now I have 95 beds in three locations in the hospital. We only have four more ICU beds available right now."
A former physician at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, Dr. Nahal found himself caring for many civilians caught in crossfire. Should the fighting continue as it has over the weekend, said Dr. Nahal, Shifa may soon arrive on to the brink of collapse. "There is a shortage in beds, in drugs, in resuscitation devises, in needles, medical supplies and blood."
The Gaza blockade, he added, makes it impossible to transport those seriously wounded for treatment in the occupied territories. "We called on Gazans to donate blood and many have come to do so, but we have no way to transport (critical) patients to Israel – the crossings have been closed since Wednesday."
Physicians for Human Rights published a statement denouncing harming innocent civilians on the Strip and called on both sides to make proper medical treatment available to the wounded. "The great number of civilians under threat is horrifying and the leaders of both sides must lay down their arms and begin negotiations. During wartime it is imperative that health and medical facilities be allowed to remain in full working order in order to deal with the wounded," said the statement.
RESISTANCE RETALIATES WITH ROCKET BARRAGES
Meanwhile, the Palestinian resistance retaliated with more rockets that landed in the western Negev area and Ashkelon's vicinity. Some 20 rockets hit the region since the early morning hours. Four settlers were wounded and a dozen others suffered shock after a Qassam rockets landed in Sderot and western Negev communities. On Saturday, the Palestinian resistance fighters killed two Israeli occupation soldiers.
The Israeli aggression against the Palestinians in Gaza demands an instant action from the international community especially from those governments that claim democracy, not to mention the Arab World. To all these governments and to the Arab countries we say: Wake up people, what are you waiting for? "