Gaza Strip: University Teachers Association Press Releases
What follows are three press releases sent to me by Haidar Eid of the University Teachers Association in Gaza. Two are from the Teachers Union. The third is from the Cape Town Anti-War Coalition. Shades of the late seventies, early eighties. the attacks on education. the seige of whole communities. The ravages of imperialism, colonialism and empire.
-Emma Rosenthal_Cafe Intifada
July.1.2006<> Press Release- University Teachers’ Association-Palestine END THE ASSAULT ON GAZA AND RELEASE PRISONERS
The University Teachers’ Association condemns in the strongest terms the Israeli war crimes committed against our people in the Gaza Strip. We call on the international community and the Arab and Islamic worlds, to take up their responsibility to protect the Palestinian people from this heinous aggression and immediately terminate the continuing Israeli
policy of collective punishment. Nothing whatsoever justifies the Israeli savagery, including the severing of access to the water and electricity supply to 1.3 million people.
Since Tuesday, June 27, 2006, Israel has destroyed vital bridges, water and electricity stations. As a consequence, more than two-thirds of the population have been denied access to water and electricity. Children, the sick and elderly are the first to be affected. Given that it is the height of summer in Gaza and temperatures are in the region of 30-35 degrees:
Food, as scarce as it is, cannot be preserved;
People are already experiencing severe dehydration due to lack of water;
There is a an increasing threat of the spread of disease because of damage to the sewage system.
Israel has also arrested more than 64 elected Palestinian Legislative Council members, city mayors and cabinet ministers. The Palestinian people had already been under siege for the past few months as collective punishment for exercising their democratic choice in elections in January 2006. Israel has turned the Gaza Strip into the largest concentration camp with the largest population of prisoners in the world and called it “withdrawal”. The international conspiracy of silence towards the genocidal war taking place against the 1.3 million civilians in Gaza indicates complicity in these war crimes.
Gaza University Teachers’ Association calls upon the international community to demand that the rogue State of Israel end its siege and compensate for the destruction of life and infrastructure that it has visited upon the Palestinian people. We also call upon all Palestine solidarity groups and all international civil society organizations to demand:
– An end to the siege that has been imposed on the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of their exercise of democratic choice.
– The protection of civilian lives and property, as stipulated in International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law such as The Fourth Geneva Convention.
– The immediate release of all political prisoners, including all elected representatives of the Palestinian people.
– That Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip and West Bank be provided with financial and material support to cope with the immense hardship that they are experiencing
-An end to occupation, Apartheid and other war crimes.
-Immediate reparations and compensation for all destruction carried out by the Israeli Occupation Forces in the Gaza Strip, including psychological counselling for the collective mental trauma of Palestinian civilians.
For Comments contact:
Dr Abu Ala’a, Gaza Strip, + 972 599 441766<>
Dr Asaad Abu Sharekh, Gaza Strip, + 972 599 322636 Dr Ayoub Othman, + 972 599 412 826
<>Press Release: 28 June 2006
University Teachers’ Association-Palestine
Last night the Israeli Occupation Forces began the grotesquely named “Operation Summer Rain” on the Gaza Strip. Rafah, scene of the May 2004 Rafah massacre by Israel, was re-occupied by Israeli tanks.
Gaza City was bombed by Apache helicopters and F16 and V58 fighter planes. The main electricity grid for Gaza City was bombed as was the water reticulation plant. Almost
750 000 of Gaza’s residents have no water or electricity today. Three main bridges which connect different parts of the Strip have been destroyed, slicing the Strip into two parts, and separating its people from each other, their places of work, schools, colleges and universities.
In addition, the Israeli military used powerful sonic bombs throughout the night and during the day. These bombs damage eardrums, create extreme feelings of fear and anxiety and prevent the whole Gaza Strip population from sleeping at night. They also induce feelings of terror in children and babies, who are already exhibiting anxious and clinging behaviour.
These air-strikes and sonic bombs which damage essential infrastructure and terrify the civilian population are a form of collective punishment against the Palestinian people and are war crimes which are forbidden under international humanitarian law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prescribes the manner in which armies must treat civilians during times of conflict.
We call on the international community to exert pressure on the Israeli Occupation Forces to conduct itself within the boundaries of international humanitarian law and ensure the protection of all Palestinian civilians.
We also demand the immediate halt of the Israeli Occupation Forces’ attacks on the Gaza Strip and an end to the closure and isolation of the Strip, both of which are exacerbating an already desperate humanitarian situation inside the Strip.
University Teachers’ Association
Dr. Haidar Eid Ph.D English Literature and Philosophy _______________________________
<>—– Original Message —– From: Cape Town Anti War Coalition To: email@example.com Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2006 4:21 PM
Subject: Press Release: Israeli bombardment of Gaza, including universities, continues
Press Release: 29 June 2006
Israeli bombardment of Gaza, including universities, continues
The Cape Town Anti-War Coalition spoke with the University Teachers’ Association of Gaza this morning. According to Dr Abu Ala’a, Israeli forces in hundreds of tanks entered Gaza City from the north last night. Shelling from Apache helicopters and F16 fighter jets continued all night with the Islamic University being partially bombed.
The population of Gaza was again subjected to terrifying sonic bombs for the entire night. 20 Members of Parliament were arrested. The Deputy Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority has been kidnapped by the Israeli Occupation Forces and taken to an unknown destination.
The Cape Town Anti-War Coalition condemns the ANC government’s silence on the brutality currently being meted out to the Palestinians. In two nights, the Israeli Occupation Forces have not shown any signs of wanting to seriously look for the Israeli soldier, a person whose job is to man the tanks that have always shelled Gaza. Instead they have merely bombed billions of rands worth of essential services and infrastructure that the international community will have to rebuild through donor funds.
Gaza City’s 750 000 residents are still without electricity and water. The University Teachers’ Association members say that by later today if tanks have occupied the whole city, people will not be able to leave their homes. Nobody is able to go to work because the three main bridges which connect different parts of the Strip have been destroyed, slicing the Strip into two parts, and separating its people from each other, their places of work, schools, colleges and universities.
For comment call:
Shaheed Mahomed, Cape Town, 082 2020617
Dr Abu Ala’a, Gaza Strip, + 972 599 441766
Dr Asaad Abu Sharekh, Gaza Strip, + 972 599 322636
Dr Ayoub Othman, + 972 599 412