Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Gaza in Crisis: As Military Siege Enters Fifth Month, Israel Threatens New Military Offensive

With Amy Goodman

"Israel has ratcheted up threats of a massive ground offensive in the Gaza Strip. Israeli troops backed by tanks, helicopters and drones have already staged ground operations in parts of Gaza in yet another escalation in the ongoing assault on the Occupied Territories.
For the past four months, the Israeli military has led a wave of intense operations along the length of the Gaza Strip. It began after the capture of an Israeli soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit, by Palestinian militants on June 25th. The Israeli military said its operations were intended to free Corporal Shalit and to halt Qassam rocket fire. Early on the Israelis bombed Gaza’s only power plant and they have kept Gaza’s crossing points to Israel and Egypt closed for most of the time.

Since the start of the operation - codenamed Summer Rain - more than 250 Palestinians have been killed. One in five were children. According to The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, which has investigated each case, the vast majority of the casualties are civilian.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian economy has ground to a halt. Unemployment levels stand at close to fifty percent and around eighty percent of households in Gaza are living in poverty. The crisis comes at a time when the two main Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, are deadlocked in their efforts to form a national unity government.

Dr. Mona El-Farra is a physician and community activst living in northern Gaza. She runs a blog called From Gaza, with Love. She joins us on the line from Gaza."

Read The Transcript of The Interview Today With Dr. El-Farra

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