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Archive for September, 2012

End trade with illegal Israeli settlements
Israeli settlements are areas of Palestinian land where Israeli citizens have illegally established houses, communities, businesses and towns.These settlements are illegal under International Law. They infringe on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, property, equality, an adequate standard of living, and freedom of movement.

Each year, illegal settlements export approximately €100m worth of goods into Europe. This trade helps make the settlements economically viable.

Trócaire is launching a new campaign calling for an end to trade with illegal Israeli settlements.

Click here to take action

Click here to watch video - Signs from the West Bank
The European Union, Ireland and the UK condemn the settlements as illegal, yet continue to trade with them. This means that illegal settlement products, including fresh fruit and vegetables, cosmetics, wine, plastic goods and flowers, end up on our supermarket shelves.We share the problem. We can also share the solution.We urgently need your help! EU Foreign Ministers will meet on October 15th. This meeting is an important opportunity for the Irish and UK Ministers to urge the EU to take concrete action on illegal Israeli settlements.

If you too believe that illegal Israeli settlements are causing huge injustices in the region, then contact your local representative to demand strong EU action on settlements!

Click here to take our e-action

More about the new campaign:

Read our new report ‘Sustaining Injustice: EU trade with illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory’

Visit our new campaign website: trocaire.org/Palestine

Signs from the West Bank

 

Trocaire on facebook Trocaire on twitter

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A Man, A Myth and A Legend..

We have a story to tell,

You may all take what you want from this story, It is  for some a heart warming story, for some  perhaps a silly story  and for others perhaps just a story…….But, It is a true story, as it happened …………….. and it happened on September 17th 2012, 3 days ago , one hour after the verdict in the trial of the murder of Vik……..

We arrived home from Court, back to our Apartment in Gaza, near Al Meena, ( the port) 3 of us, Myself, Derek and Dani……..3 friends who had just attended the last court hearing for the murder of a good, true friend and fellow activist Vittorio, murdered in Gaza,

We sat in the main salon area , drinking tea and reflecting on things, Derek was on the phone so walked in to one of the bedrooms, and spotted a bird, quite a large bird, perched on the window sill. He motioned to Dani and I to come and look, and all 3 of us walked right up to the open window to less than 1 meter away from him. The bird stayed.. large and proud, fearless and watching……. We stood there looked,chatted and even took pictures and the bird just stared back at us, …… as if he was part of the group.

After some time, he flew to a roof opposite ,  perched there and continued to look back at us.

Some time later that evening the bird , for some reason, was still on my mind, so I sent the picture to a friend , an expert on Birds and also checked it out online, the Bird was a Hawk………….A sparrow Hawk…

When we researched  the Symbolism of “Hawks” this is what turned up….

“Hawks often act as the bearers of souls “heavenward.”

“In Teutonic mythology, the sparrowhawk, known as krahui or krahug, is a sacred bird in Old Bohemian songs and lives in a grove of the gods. Holy sparrowhawks perch on the branches of an oak tree that grows from the grave of a murdered man, and “publish the foul deed.”

“Hawks, eagles and falcons are known to be messengers of the sky, and are symbolic of spiritual awareness and spiritual rejuvenation”

“Hawks are known as Messengers of the gods to bear the soul to the afterlife”

We will keep fighting for Vik, for the truth, We will keep fighting for a free Palestine, but,  for  those of us who knew him, who loved him,  We will always love him, Always miss him, But , Maybe , we can have a litte bit more Peace … Perhaps Vik has found a little Peace now………..

Perhaps Vittorio has finally found his ” Utopia”……..

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A UN report warned this week that  damage to the coastal aquifer in Gaza will be irreversible without immediate remedial action,” .The section of the aquifer underneath Gaza cannot cope with the demographic pressures of the tiny strip  and s contaminated with untreated sewage due to Gaza’s dilapidated wastewater treatment infrastructure.“There will be virtually no reliable access to sources of safe drinking water, a lack of clean drinking water is one of the region’s greatest concern”.  The report states that the water needs of Gazans has increased by 60 percent, and that urgent action is necessary to protect their current water source, a single aquifer that is estimated to become unusable by 2016.  The report also says that more desalination plants will be needed in the near future.

The lack of clean water is also hugely affecting the Health sector and medical complaints of the people  in Gaza.

“We have respiratory diseases, skin diseases, eye diseases, gastroenteritis, which can all be linked to polluted water,” said Mohamed Al-Kashef, general director of the international cooperation department in the Gaza health ministry.

One of the child diseases connected to polluted water is Methemoglobinemia, or the blue-baby syndrome, which has occurred among babies born in Gaza. It is believed that high nitrate contamination in groundwater is causing the disease.

“Diarrhea, which has become very common in the Gaza Strip, is most likely linked to poor hygiene standards and lack of clean water and sanitation.  For the International community, these reports and facts should be taken as an advantage, it is rare opportunity to have pre-warning of an impending disaster and another reason to demand the lifting of the siege to avoid such a humanitarian disaster.

The Waqaf, Water 4 Gaza project is also another ample opportunity to highlight these problems. This project, honourable and badly needed in Gaza is not sustainable. Yes, it is providing half a million bottles of water to all sections and sectors of the Strip, but for how long?. Donations like this are , right now, the only option for Gazans to have clean water but longer term, more sustainable solutions are needed and this is the second objective of PGPF, to highlight the fact that Gaza needs  constant, consistent supplies of clean , fresh water, to survive,  That the Siege on Gaza is literally , draining the life out of Gaza by the denial of repairs and reconstruction to it’s water , sewage and Sanitation services Infrastructure.

This week we continued in our distributions to the Hospitals….. General Hospitals, Pediatric and Psychological hospitals in Gaza . We spoke to and Interviewed the staff from these hospitals who reiterated the desperate need’s of the patients and staff and their gratitude to Perdana for this help.

We also distributed directly in areas of the north of the strip, to areas and people living ” on the front line”, the buffer zone, who have little or no access to services or infrastructure, whose homes and livelihoods are regularly under attack from Israel. This distribution was done with the help and co-operation of employees from the Yazegi Group, ( the bottling plant actually producing the quantity of water for Perdana) and local Initiative group from Beit Hanoun. We drove the truck into the area and literally handed out the cartons of water to the children around the truck and  into peoples homes who could not make it out.

We will continue with more Hospitals, as well as the Christian area, Al amal orphanage and some Cultural and Childrens Centre’s this week. We appreciate your support in sharing this blog, this project , the pictures etc………….and we ask you to continue to use this project to highlight the effect of a crippling siege on Gaza.

People can make a difference, get in touch with your MEP’s, your Politicians, Lobby these people, use your media outlets , Demand a lifting of the Siege. …

This siege has been in effect for 6 years, in another 6 years it will be too late for many of these people…ACT  NOW  !!! 

Pictures by :

Hussien Amody  facebook , http://www.hussienphoto.weebly.com/

and Local Initiative group, facebook

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