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Methodical shooting of limbsIntroduction

The deliberate injury of the limbs of 23 boys by high velocity weapons has been logged and described by Defence for Children International – Palestine Branch (DCI-P) since March 2010. (1) Some of the facts have been published in national newspapers. These barbarous acts contravene international and national law but there are no judicial responses. The caring professions see the physical and mental pain of those who suffer and they should be in the vanguard in calling for this great cruelty to cease forthwith. Political leaders have failed to act. The Geneva Conventions Act 1957, which is of central importance in holding war criminals to account in the jurisdiction of the UK, is being emasculated.


Most of the 1.5 million population of the Gaza strip is impoverished. Half are refugees from Mandate Palestine or their children. About 50% of the male population is without work. It has been isolated and occupied for decades. A commercial port was being built in 2000 but that was bombed by Israel. The isolation and the hobbling of its commerce was increased by a siege which was started in March 2006 in response to the election of a majority of Hamas members to the legislature. It was further tightened in June 2007 after the Hamas government pre-empted a coup by the Fatah faction that was led in Gaza by Mohammad Dahlan.

Piracy 1. the practice of attacking and robbing ships at sea
Compact Oxford English Dictionary

The British have affection for Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta The Pirates of Penzance. These pirates are jolly rascals. No such description can be applied to the pirates of Somalia and even less to the Pirates of the Levant, the Israeli navy.

Wide publicity has been given to piracy in Somalian waters since Captain Phillips of the American-crewed Maersk Alabama was captured. The arrival of a US missile cruiser and US destroyer added the tension and glamour required by the Hollywood confederation. The killing of three young Somalians and the release of the captain provided the blood and the triumph for the star spattered banner. Piracy in the Gulf of Aden and along the long shoreline of Somalia started in 1995 in response to rapacious fishing, mostly by Chinese, Taiwanese and Korean vessels. The dumping of toxic waste by European nations stoked more resentment1. Foreign fishing boats were the first targets but when these got protection from local warlords, the Somalian pirates turned to commercial and cruise shipping. With at least 20,000 vessels on passage they had plenty to choose from. Since the US navy Seals shot their men, over sixty more seamen have been taken hostage.

Why is it that little is heard of the piracy off the coast of the Zionist entity and the strip it dominates called Gaza? In contrast to the actions of young Muslim fishermen from an impoverished and broken Somalian nation, the entity carries out its piracy under the title of the Israeli Occupation Force, out of a country with the greatest wealth and with the pretense of a fully fledged legal system. As it turns out, its maritime law is the British Maritime Law of 1856, a hangover from the British Mandate.

"The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fall. Freedom and slavery are mental states." - Mahatma Gandhi

The rain has ceased for a while. The splendid purples of the heathers are in harmony with the grey of granite and the greens of lichen. Only a few thousand humans share the wide open spaces of the Dartmoor National Park on this sabbath.

Sleek bodies are being oiled against the Mediterranean sun in Netanya. There is music murmuring from I Pods; there is affluence and even opulence. But beneath the satisfaction there is deep unease.

By Leslie Bravery – April 14, 2008

Political ideology
The signatories to Israel's May 14, 1948 Declaration of Independence, identified themselves thus: “. . .
We members of the People's Council, representatives of the Jewish Community of Eretz-Israel and of the Zionist movement . . .”
The key to understanding the Israeli state and its relations with both the Palestinian people and its neighbours lies in the reference to the Zionist movement. Founded by Theodor Herzl in the late nineteenth century, Zionism holds that hostility to Jews is natural and inevitable and that Jews can only be secure through the creation of a Jewish state. The movement shared the outlook of European colonialism and most people would be astonished to learn of revisionist (as it became) Zionism's affinity with the fascist movements of the early twentieth century, its eventual co-operation with Nazism and its betrayal of non-Zionist Jews.

Water for Gaza's 1.5 million People

I will use a broad brush in this talk. I am no expert on water so I use my ordinary medical knowledge and environmental insight. It is a very technical subject and it is easy to lose sight of the wood for the trees. My interest was stimulated by knowing that the public water supply was undrinkable in the main and by my concern that the potently toxic and non-degradable dioxins, PCBs etc were probably present in the groundwater due to the burning of plastic etc at low temperatures. These can be teratogenic, carcinogenic and mutagenic. Also the charity I founded - the Dove and Dolphin, decided to provide stainless steel tanks for drinking water in schools. I wanted to be sure the bowser water used was pure.

A brief history. Settlements were recorded here in Gaza in 3000 BC. One writer said it was rich with trees. This stop on the Via Maris was a good one for a very good reason no doubt - there was sweet water in the wells and in the river to the south. It was truly an oasis. Dr Eyad Sarraj told me that as a boy just after WW2 he remembers running down to the beach with birds in the trees and fish to see in sparkling sea. At that time the population of Gaza was around 70,000 I am told. The population of Palestine was 1.85 million, one third being Jews - almost all of whom were of recent immigres from Europe, and two thirds Palestinian Arabs. Now there are 11 million people living in Palestine, 6 million being in that part which is named Israel. So the population has grown sixfold in sixty years.

Second Response to BMJ re Boycott of Israeli Medical Association
I perceive there is a good deal of denial within many responses. Where there is not denial, there is ignorance about the grotesque injustice and suffering that has been meted out to these people over 59 years.

Moshe Machover sent me this statement yesterday.

5 Birzeit students arrested as Israeli army targets student population Right to Education Campaign, Birzeit University, 1 August 2007

In the last 3 days, 5 Birzeit University students were arrested by the Israeli army, most of whom belong to the university's Student Council. The detainees are; Eyad Omar Abu Arqub, Fadi Yunis Jaber, Jalal Hosni Abu Khaled, Omar Abdelrazaq Abdellatif (all members of the Student Council) and Ahmad Mahmoud Hassan.

Correspondence in Rapid Response BMJ re Boycott of Israeli Medical Association
I recently returned with six colleagues from my seventh visit to the remnants of Palestine. The suffering of the 3.7 million people has never been greater. The siege that was put in place by 29 nations, including Israel, in March 2007 was another cruel and unlawful turn of the screw.

And yet the picture painted by Dr Blachar in the letter quoted by Owen Dyer is one of IMA interest and benevolence. Unlike the British press, the Israeli fourth estate is searching and pulls no punches. It is fair to assume that the members of the IMA are well informed about their neighbours in the Occupied Palestine Territories - OPT.