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Archive for January 21st, 2009

Superpowers should cooperate with the UN to reach an immediate permanent solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for the sake of world Peace.

Posted by African Press International on January 21, 2009

Israel, popularly known as the Derailed Son of USA, now has called for a unilateral ceasefire in the Gaza strip after a three-week long genocide, leaving some 1500 Palestinian civilians killed and over 10,000 wounded.

Sources closes to the war sites said Israeli artillery still continuing their offensive what they said in reply to the rocket attack of Hamas. Who is continuing war is not our concern, our concern is the permanent solution of the Palestine-Israel conflict. It is fact that Israel has not yet pulled back their army from Gaza that has created doubt over its willingness to end the prolonged war.

More over, the US government has greeted Israel for the ceasefire, terming it Israels first step to move away from Gaza which doesnt give any positive indication of permanent solution of the conflict in near future. So, the upcoming summits of the world leaders would be turned into useless effort if the USA continues to favor Israel.

In the meantime, a UN committee on Palestine Rights failed to produce any fruitful solution due to direct or indirect interference of President Bush, who has distorted the bright image of the USA, doomed its economy and destroyed the valuable lives of many American soldiers while launching war against terrorism in different countries including Afghanistan and Iraq. All these burden of the Bush-Administration would be shifted to newly elected President Obama, which I feel would be a deep agony for the latter.

The newly elected President must realize that the worlds expectation from him is very high and there are lot of outstanding chronic problems like Palestine-Israel conflict that he have to resolve within shortest possible time, otherwise it would be pretty tough for him to retain the superiority of USA for a longer period.

In the context of Israel-Palestine conflict, Current UN Secretary General H. E. Ban Ki Moon seems to be active to end genocide in Gaza, but he should also remember that there is a UN committee on Palestine Rights, and he has some responsibility in this regard. He needs to take serious steps incorporating superpowers including USA to reach a permanent peaceful solution over the Palestine issue. There are other things to do on the part of the UN, if it fails to resolve the pending global issues its neutrality will no longer be acceptable to the world wrong strategy and past failures of the UN have caused loss of many lives in the world, it should not be repeated again and again. If so happens, all its goals including MDG, will be foiled and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would never be achieved in the history of the UN.

We think that still there is opportunity for the UN to play its due role in tackling global issues. So, we expect that the current UN Secretary General would take pragmatic steps to rejuvenate glorious role of the UN by strengthening the General Assembly and Security Council towards world peace. To exercise its power — the UN should no more bow down to the will of the super powers, rather it should act like the way it should.

It is high time for the most powerful body of the world to utilize its genuine power to warn the super powers to halt their unbridled aggressive activities including imposed-war, invasion and counter-terrorism in the name of curbing terrorism. Particularly, the Super powers anti-terrorism drives against their created elements are nothing but inhuman torture on the poor and weaker nations which is totally against UN Charter. The UN must voice against all these acts if it really wants to establish world peace.

Finally, I expect that the current UN Secretary General would do some thing for the world to turn UN into a meaningful and viable organization by encouraging Super Powers to find out political solution of the present global problems instead of using force. I strongly believe that undoubtedly it will benefit the next generation of the entire world including the Super Powers.

Thanking you

Shah Sufi Saleh Uddin Ahmed Chisty

International President and CEO,

Publication and Co-ordination Centre of Islamic

Ideology and Sufi-ism (PCCIIS International).

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Israel has tightly controlled information during its military operation, not allowing foreign correspondents into the Strip

Posted by African Press International on January 21, 2009

ISRAEL-OPT: Gazans heading back to their homes – if they exist


Photo: Free Gaza
Damage inflicted by Israeli airstrikes on Rafah town homes in the Gaza Strip

TEL AVIV, 19 January 2009 (IRIN) – As relative calm settles over Gaza for the first time in three weeks following the Israeli ceasefire, the scale of the humanitarian crisis is becoming evident. Some 100 bodies have been discovered in areas that were previously inaccessible.

The grim discovery brings the Gaza death toll since the Israeli offensive began on 27 December 2008 to over 1,300, according to officials of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNWRA) – and that number is expected to rise. Over 5,400 have been wounded.

Israel has tightly controlled information during its military operation, not allowing foreign correspondents into the Strip, although some Israeli media were allowed in briefly – but under the supervision of the Israeli army spokespersons unit.

News agencies still operating in Gaza report that many of the civilians who had fled their homes over the past few weeks were heading back, carrying whatever they had on donkeys.

But many will find they have nowhere to return to, aid agencies said. It is now estimated – by the Israeli army in conjunction with some Palestinian sources on the ground – that the Israeli army destroyed some 15 percent of buildings in Gaza and severely damaged infrastructural facilities.

Read more
Gaza reports in English
Gaza reports in Arabic

Hospitals

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) released an update on 17 January describing the difficult situation in hospitals across Gaza.

Although Shifa hospital continues to function in an effective manner, its capacity to cope with the high number of patients is stretched to the limit. Apart from receiving and treating the newly injured, it has had to care for 60 patients evacuated from Al-Quds Hospital and a rehabilitation centre in Gaza City, both damaged by shelling on 15 January, the ICRC said.

In the meantime, the influx of injured people continues.

Most of the wounds we’re treating are blast injuries, said Samir Kazkaz, a Qatari Red Crescent surgeon who recently joined the ICRC surgical team at Al-Shifa Hospital. “They are horrific and often require amputations. Twelve seriously injured people have had limbs amputated over the past 48 hours,” Kazkaz said on 17 January.

Israels newly appointed coordinator for humanitarian aid to Gaza, Welfare Minister Issac Herzog, toured southern Israel on 18 January, but his office has not yet said anything about humanitarian aid for Gaza.

td/ar/cb source.www.irinnews.org

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A number of areas, including parts of Beit Lahia, looked like the aftermath of a strong earthquake

Posted by African Press International on January 21, 2009

ISRAEL-OPT: Displaced Gazans seek shelter from the cold


Photo: Free Gaza
Finding shelter amid cold weather is one of the main concerns for displaced Gazans

TEL AVIV, 21 January 2009 (IRIN) – One of the chief concerns for displaced Gazans and aid agencies is to find adequate shelter in temperatures that can drop to less than 7-8 degrees Centigrade at night.

Thousands are still holed up in UNRWA shelters or schools. Some are able to return to their homes; others are erecting tents where their destroyed homes used to stand, according to local news agencies.

According to a field update by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) – based on reports from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights in Gaza – houses, infrastructure, roads, greenhouses, cemeteries, mosques and schools in the Al- Zaitoun, Tufah, Shaaf, Jabalia, Tal al-Hawwa, Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia areas of northern Gaza have been destroyed.

ICRC field staff said: A number of areas, including parts of Beit Lahia, looked like the aftermath of a strong earthquake.

Chris Gunness, the UNRWA spokesperson in Jerusalem, told IRIN by phone he was not aware of UNRWA distributing tents yet, though they might consider it.

OCHA puts the number of displaced still in UNRWA facilities at some 46,000.

UNRWA schools

UNRWA-run schools were due to start their second semester for 200,000 children on 17 January, so the agency is now trying to find alternative accommodation for displaced persons in the 44 UNRWA schools which are still being used as emergency shelters.

Aid workers say rebuilding the demolished homes might prove to be a problem unless Israel changes its policy of not allowing construction materials into Gaza.

The ICRCs Yael Segev Eytan told IRIN on 20 January the ICRC did not yet have a complete assessment of the number of displaced Palestinians in need of aid, but that teams were carrying out initial assessments.

Many people have lost all their belongings in the rubble of their homes. The ICRC, in cooperation with the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), is planning to assist some 8,000 households with food parcels, kitchen utensils, hygiene kits, plastic sheeting, blankets and other items, according to Eytan.

The ICRC will focus on emergency repairs to hospitals and other damaged infrastructure, such as water and power systems, to ensure access to drinking water and electricity. It said it was already providing tracing services to people who had lost contact with their relatives.

td/ar/cb source.www.irinnews.org

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