Posts Tagged ‘gaza’

Since December 26th, 2008, the shelling of 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza by Israeli forces has resulted in the death of at least 425 Palestinians, in addition to over 2000 wounded. The majority of the deaths and injured are civilians, many of whom are children. This death toll is mounting by the hour.

Moreover, the humanitarian situation, already dire due to the frequent closure of the Gaza Strip over the past year and the consequent depletion of food, medicine and petrol stocks, has been greatly aggravated. The UN warns that there is now a “critical emergency” in Gaza, despite the arrival of some humanitarian shipments.

CEPAL opposes all use of violence, including Hamas’ launching of rockets into Israel; however, CEPAL believes that the measures adopted by Israel in Gaza have been drastic and disproportionate. CEPAL regrets the Canadian government’s description of Israel’s assault on Gaza as self-defense. This position only allows Israel’s assault on Gaza to continue, leading to the continued loss of innocent lives and the destruction of vital civilian infrastructure. In the interest of human rights for all those affected by the current crisis, CEPAL therefore urges an immediate ceasefire and the use of diplomacy to resolve the conflict.
Many of CEPAL’s partner NGOs in Lebanon have begun protests and sit-ins to condemn the attacks. Starting Friday, January 2, 2009, a solidarity tent for Gaza will be set up near the entrance of Bourj Barajneh camp in Beirut. A number of activities will take place, including:

• Open phone lines to Gaza for those who wish to send their words of encouragement and solidarity to those in Gaza
• Card making activities for children who wish to draw cards for children in Gaza
• A mock funeral for the consciences of the Arab regimes who have failed to respond to the calls of their own people in condemning the Israeli government’s recent acts of aggression, along with a reception area for those who wish to offer their condolences for the families of those who have lost loved ones
• A donation box for those in Gaza, whose proceeds will be delivered via an NGO who has access to Gaza.

The initiative is being organized by a group of local NGOs in Bourj Barajneh camp who have come together in the past, such as during the 2006 July War, in order to organize emergency relief efforts and activities. The Emergency Forum for Relief has stressed the non-political nature of this initiative, and their concern as local development professionals for the well-being of their fellow Palestinians. All interested NGOs are welcome to participate, and should contact either Hiba Izdahmad or Hekmat Staytee for how they can become involved. Activities are scheduled to begin at 12:30pm on Friday, and will continue until 7 pm. The tent will remain open each day following from 9 am until 7 pm, and will host different activities each day. In case of inclement weather, activities will continue in a nearby shelter. For Canadians wishing to show their solidarity with the victims in Gaza, a Facebook group, Solidarity for Gaza in Lebanon, is scheduled to up in the next few hours, and will have a listing of current activities at the solidarity tent, as well as other activities in Lebanon in support of those in Gaza.

For more information, please contact (in Lebanon):

Hiba Izdahmad, Media and Outreach Coordinator, 03 053 290 (Arabic and English) Hekmat Staytee, Logistics Coordinator, 03 580 836 (Arabic)CEPAL thanks you for your support,

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