7 Jan

http://www.amnestyusa.org/about-us/civilians-must-be-protected-in-gaza-and-southern-israel/page.do?id=1011657

From the page: “Amnesty International has called on Israeli forces to immediately halt the unlawful attacks carried out as part of the escalation of violence which has caused over 400 Palestinian deaths and some 1900 injuries since December 27. Amnesty International also condemns the rocket fire by armed Palestinian groups including Hamas that have resulted in the death of 4 Israelis with several dozen injured.

This is the highest level of Palestinian fatalities and casualties in four decades of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Scores of unarmed civilians, as well as police personnel who were not directly participating in the hostilities, are among the Palestinian victims of the Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip.

From January 2008 until the cease-fire agreement in June 2008, 420 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces, half of them unarmed civilians, including some 70 children. In the same period, Palestinian armed groups killed 24 Israelis (six by rocket fire from Gaza), 15 of them civilians, including four children. Although there was relative calm during the cease-fire with no Israelis or Palestinians killed in the area, sporadic rocket fire into Israel continued and Israel further tightened restrictions at Gaza crossings.

The attacks of December 27th have come at a time when the civilian population already faces a daily struggle for survival due to the Israeli closure which has prevented even food and medicine from entering the Gaza Strip. According to a report authored by Amnesty International, OXFAM, CARE, and several other organizations, the humanitarian crisis is at an all-time low and is now worse that it has ever been since the 1967 Israeli military occupation. Rising unemployment, crippling prices of food and basic supplies, and inadequate medical facilities have created a man-made disaster.

More than 80 percent of Palestinians in Gaza rely on humanitarian assistance, with UN food aid going to around 1.1 million people – three-fourths of the population. The report also stated that the number of families dependent on the UN agency for the Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has increased ten fold since 1999.”

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