Monday, February 7, 2011

'Gaza patients in critical condition'

The Gaza Health Ministry has warned that the current shortage of medicine due to Israel's blockade has caused a serious health disaster for Palestinian patients.

According to the ministry, more than 170 medicines and 140 medical consumables are currently out of stock, a Press TV correspondent in Gaza said on Sunday.

According to the ministry, both Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) are to be blamed for the increase in the deaths of patients who are in dire need of medicines.

Chronically ill patients, especially children and the elderly, are the worst hit.

The Israeli regime has imposed a travel ban on the Gaza Strip. Some of the patients are referred for treatment to hospitals outside the besieged coastal enclave.

However, many of them have had their applications for exit permits denied or delayed by Israel and have missed their medical appointments. Many of these patients die before getting their permits to leave Gaza.

The ministry also said the shortage in medicine is getting worse day by day and has reached critical levels.

Gaza health officials have called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to put an end to its prolonged siege of Gaza.

"With the continued lack of necessary equipment and medicine to deal with the relatively high number of patients in Gaza's hospitals, chronically ill patients could face an imminent death unless they receive the necessary treatment on time," said Munir al-Bursh, a Gaza health ministry official.

Human rights organizations accuse Israel of violating international humanitarian laws, specially the 4th Geneva Convention, which outlaws torture, collective punishment and the resettlement by an occupying power of its own civilians on territory under its military control.

The United Nations has repeatedly appealed for the opening of all crossings into the Gaza Strip, warning of the severe negative impact on Gaza's population.


World to observe Israeli Apartheid Week

Activists across the world are preparing to hold “Israeli Apartheid Week” (IAW) next month, amid growing international outrage against Israeli actions.

IAW organizers plan to hold the event in support of Palestinian Civil Society's call for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

Due to the popularity of IAW, which is held for the seventh consecutive year this year, organizers have extended its duration to allow the participants from different regions with different schedules to take part.

The occasion will be held from March 7 through March 20 across the world and March 21 through March 26 in Britain, the IAW website reported.

Israel is expected to face a barrage of international criticism prior to and during the occasion.

The aim of IAW is to underline the apartheid and racist nature of the Israeli regime.

IAW has been held across the world every year since the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban in 2001.

Last year, over 55 cities worldwide marked IAW.


'Egypt Revolution to change the world'

Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah says the Egyptian Revolution will leave an impact on all regional and global developments.

“It has always been said that Egypt is the mother of the world. This is right and you (Egyptians) who are there, you are the great people who can, with your will and solidarity, change the face of the world,” Nasrallah said in a speech on Monday.

“You are waging the war of Arab dignity. Today, with your voices, blood and steadfastness, you are retrieving the dignity of the Arab people; the dignity which was humiliated by some rulers of the Arab world for decades.”

He explained that the delay in announcing Hezbollah's stance was not because of hesitance or any confusion.

Hezbollah was afraid if it announced its stance earlier, the protesters in Tunisia and Egypt would be accused of being moved or controlled by Hezbollah or the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and they would be accused of serving a foreign agenda, Nasrallah added.

Now that the people are overcoming the Mubarak regime, “We are gathering here to announce our solidarity and our standing side by side in support of the people of Egypt … We are also side by side with the people of Tunisia,” the Hezbollah leader said.

Nasrallah elaborated on some fundamental points about the Egyptian revolution.

“We are witnessing a real popular revolution; a real Egyptian nationalist revolution. Muslims and Christians are participating in this revolution. Islamic factions, secular parties, nationalist parties and all walks of life are participating,” he said.

“This revolution is the result of the determination and commitment of the Egyptian people,” and contrary to the US and Israeli propaganda that say it is just “a revolution for bread,” the movement is also a “political, humanitarian and social revolution,” he pointed out.

Millions of Egyptians have for two weeks taken to the streets across the country to call for the ouster of the Mubarak regime. More than 300 people are estimated to have been killed since the protests began.

People from all walks of life are flooding into Cairo's Liberation Square and many have been spending nights at the square despite heavy military presence.

Also in Alexandria, people have gathered at the city's main square chanting their revolution will not die.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian revolution coalition has reportedly rejected negotiations with the government of Vice President Omar Suleiman.

On Sunday, millions of Egyptians were out on the streets in the capital and other major cities to honor hundreds of their countrymen killed during the anti-government rallies.

Hostility toward the United States is widespread among the protesters as they hold Washington responsible for Mubarak's grip on power. Demonstrators say they will not leave the streets until Mubarak steps down.