Since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead in Gaza a year ago, Israel’s subsequent blockade has left residents of the Hamas-ruled Strip unable to rebuild their homes and society. So finds a new report signed by over a dozen Western humanitarian groups, including OxFam and Amnesty International. Among other bulletpoints, the groups note that only 41 truckloads of construction equipment have been permitted into Gaza in the past twelve months, and that polluted water has allowed fatal diarrhea to run rampant, particularly among the young. The report was timed for the first anniversary of the beginning of the conflict, on December 27th.
Speaking of which: several international pro-Palestinian groups are planning “Gaza Freedom Marches” to commemorate Cast Lead, starting next Sunday. Most dramatically, on December 31st marchers from northern Gaza and from Israel will converge at the Erez Crossing and demand, nonviolently, that Israel make reopening that passage, one of few out of the 139-square-mile territory, its prime New Year’s resolution.
Rights Groups: World Has Betrayed the Citizens of Gaza [Haaretz/Reuters]
Global Anti-Israel Protests Expect on ‘Cast Lead’ Anniversary [Arutz Sheva]