Seventeen members of families who lost relatives in Israel’s 2008 war on Gaza staged a mass suicide attempt in protest over unpaid compensations from the Hamas government, a representative said. Alaa al-Barawi, speaking on behalf of the families, told Ma’an News Agency that 17 people related to those who died in the fighting attempted to hang themselves after a 39-day sit-in went unanswered. Witnesses said ambulances arrived at the scene and took a number of the family members to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Al-Barawi added that the families would continue seeking promised financial compensation from the government, which has paid families who lost loved ones in the 2008-2009 war.
Israeli attacks killed over 1,400 Palestinians in the “Cast Lead” operation which began in late 2008 and lasted three weeks.
From Ma’an News Agency, Dec. 4
Amnesty demands Israel ‘immediately’ lift Gaza blockade
British human rights organization Amnesty International condemned the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip in a statement released on Dec. 2, demanding Israel “immediately lift its blockade” on the besieged coastal enclave “by allowing the delivery of fuel and other essential supplies into the territory without restrictions.”
The statement highlighted that the situation in Gaza had deteriorated significantly in the last month, as “Gaza’s 1.7 million residents have been living without power for most of the time and in the shadow of a public health catastrophe, after their sole power plant was forced to shut down, causing the failure of several sewerage and water plants.”
“This latest harsh setback has exacerbated the assault on the dignity of Palestinians in Gaza and the massive denial of rights they have experienced for more than six years because of Israel’s blockade, together with restrictions imposed by Egypt,” Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International, was quoted as saying in the report.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade for nearly seven years. However, since the July military coup, Egypt has strictly enforced the blockade and targeted underground tunnels that used to provide the strip with a vital lifeline to the outside world.
The report stressed that the rapid deterioration of the situation in recent weeks was caused by Egypt’s post-coup crackdown, but also highlighted that, “as the occupying power, Israel has the primary responsibility for addressing the current crisis by immediately increasing fuel supplies to Gaza.”
From Ma’an News Agency, Dec. 4.