International volunteers eyewitness Israeli bombings in Gaza
2:30am 29th December 2008 – Canadian Human Rights Activist Eva Bartlett has reported that the Israeli attacks into the Gaza Strip have escalated again, with the Israeli Navy shelling Gaza.
“The Israeli Navy have pulled in towards Gaza Port and are shelling the coastal area. The shelling is incredibly heavy.” Eva Bartlett – International Solidarity Movement
Earlier Eva Bartlett had reported from Al-Shifa intensive care unit in Gaza;
“Dr Khaled from Shifa hospital’s intensive care unit told me today around 10am that the majority of cases in the ICU are critical, with approximately 80% who will not survive. At that time, the 24 beds in the ICU were the fourth shift of critically injured, the former three having died from their injuries.”
Human rights defenders from Australia, Britain, Canada, Italy, Poland Spain and Lebanon are currently present in Gaza, and are witnessing the current Israeli attacks first hand.
Spanish citizen, Alberto Arce, said on Sunday evening that an international group would be accompanying fire-fighters in the Strip; “People are expecting more Israeli attacks. The fire-fighters here in Gaza have an impossible job dealing with the never-ending fires from Israeli air-strikes.”
Due to Israel’s policy of denying international media and aid agencies access to Gaza, they arrived in the coastal strip on the Free Gaza Movement’s boats. These voyages have broken the Israeli blockade five times now, and a sixth is due to depart from Cyprus on Monday.
The Free Gaza Movement boat “Dignity” will be leaving Monday afternoon on an emergency mission to Gaza, loaded with three or four tons of urgently needed medical supplies.
On board are four physicians, including Dr. Elena Theoharous, a surgeon and Member of Parliament in Cyprus. Also going are Cynthia McKinney, a former US Congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate, and Sami al-Hajj, an Al Jazeera reporter and former detainee at Guantanamo Bay.