January 30, 2009
The Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC) has released a report on the effect of the current conflict in terms of agricultural production for use as food in the Territory. It is an interesting read, and says, in part:
For twenty two days and nights so far, no one night witnessed any changes of the previous night or day with air activities of surveillance and bombing by helicopters and fighter-bomber F16s and war vessels. They left no stone unturned as they targeted homes of civilians, playgrounds, and public gardens! For example, in al-Nasser neighborhood, last night [17 January 2009], at least 9 homes were hit by F16s! All of it was apartments in high-rise residential buildings On Wednesday, January 14, F16 missiles landed in the Sheikh Radwan graveyard destroying 17 tombs and bringing up its dead bodies! This has put forward a question of where else they will hit, and this also makes one wonder what other places the Israeli army commanders have in mind to destroy! Gaza medical authorities announced a death toll of 1,300, including 418 child and 118 woman, 118 elderly, plus 5,500 injured. Let alone those traumatized, and panicked by the Israeli invasion. Let alone those who have not been saved or rescued and died under rubble or in the green fields! Medical doctors mentioned that hundreds of the injured will never recover and return to normal life! Hundreds will live as physically handicapped.
....Thousands of tonnes of donations in terms of food stuff, basic supplies and fuel have been coordinated to arrive to Gaza across the Rafah crossings. UNRWA stored it in the precincts of its headquarters in Gaza city; unexpectedly, all of a sudden, on January 15th the whole world was surprised and shocked when the stores were burnt during an attack by Israeli aircrafts. The whole stores were set ablaze! The whole world condemned the attack! The attacked raised the humanitarian predicament of thousands of displaced and refugee families in Gaza Strip.
As a result of the attacks, 90,000 people have fled from their homes. They have either lost their homes (4,200 completely destroyed and 5,600 damaged) by air raids, shelling and bombing, or they escaped from immediate combat zones, or they were ordered by the Israeli army to evacuate their homes! Thousands are staying with relatives or friends in what they think are safer areas inside the cities and towns. But those who have no relatives to resort to found only one place to hide; they packed themselves in UNRWA schools. Unfortunately, three of those schools where targeted by the Israeli forces; the UNRWA school in Jabalia was bombed by three shells from a tank; 67 of the refugees died in that attack, and more than 40 were injured. A third UNRWA school was hit in Beit Lahia village; at least 10 people died and dozens injured. Therefore, at the present time, 40 UNRWA schools embrace Palestinians escaping from war. In each school, there are 120 families taken care of by UNRWA which provided them with blankets and offers them three meals a day to survive. Other relief efforts are provided by other local NGOs including the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC).
Read the rest. It is a chilling story that adds much to what the media has NOT been reporting. I continue to try to find a similar report issued by a reputable Israeli group on theri damages. The UN Food & Agricultural organization (FAO) in its own report on Gaza echoes many of the same sentiments as those provided above.