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Human Rights Defenders speak from Gaza as Israel kills over 200 people

27th December 2008 – Human Rights Defenders from various countries are present in Gaza and are witnessing and documenting the current Israeli attacks on Gaza. Due to Israel’s policy of denying access to international media, human rights defenders and aid agencies to the Occupied Gaza Strip, many of these Human Rights Defenders arrived in Gaza with the Free Gaza Movement’s boats that have repeatedly broken the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

“At the time of the attacks I was on Omar Mukhtar street and witnessed a last rocket hit the street 150 meters away where crowds had already gathered to try to extract the dead bodies. Ambulances, trucks, cars – anything that can move is bringing injured to the hospitals. Hospitals have had to evacuate sick patients to make room for the injured. I have been told that there is not enough room in the morgues for the bodies and that there is a great lack of blood in the blood-banks. I have just learned that among the civilians killed today was the mother of my good friends in Jabalya.” – Eva Bartlett (Canada) International Solidarity Movement

“The Shifa Hospital is already overwhelmed with injured people and does not have the medicine or the capacity to treat them.” – Ewa Jasiewicz (Polish and British) Free Gaza Movment

“The morgue at the Shifa hospital has no more room for dead bodies, so bodies and body parts are strewn all over the hospital.” – Dr. Haidar Eid, (Palestinian, South African) Professor of Social and Cultural Studies, Al Aqsa University Gaza

“The bombs began to fall just as the children were on the streets walking back from school. I went out onto the stairs and a terrified 5 year old girl ran sobbing into my arms.”- Sharon Lock (Australian) International Solidarity Movement

“This is incredibly sad. This massacre is not going to bring security for the State of Israel or allow it to be part of the Middle East. Now calls of revenge are everywhere.” Dr Eyad Sarraj – President of the Gaza Community Mental Health Centre

“As I speak they have just hit a building 200 metres away. There is smoke everywhere. This morning I went to the building close to where I live in Rafah that had been hit. Two bulldozers were immediately attempting to clear the rubble. They thought they had found all the bodies. As we arrived one more was found.” Jenny Linnel (British) International Solidarity Movement

“The home I am staying in is across from the preventive security building. All the glass shattered here. The home has been severely damaged. Due to the siege there is no glass or building materials to repair the damage. This is more than just collective punishment.” Natalie Abu Eid (Lebanon) International Solidarity Movement

Human Rights Defenders in Gaza:
Dr. Eyad Sarraj: (Arabic and English)
Ewa Jasiewicz (Polish and English)
Dr. Haider Eid (English and Arabic)
Sharon Lock (English)
Vittorio Arrigoni (Italian)
Fida Qishta (English and Arabic)
Jenny Linnel (English)
Natalie Abu Shakra (Arabic and English)
Eva Bartlett (English)

For more information contacting the people in Gaza please contact:

Adam Taylor (ISM) – 972 59 8503948 or email [email protected]