Australian Dr JEAN CALDER AC – Gaza Digest 30 June 09 June 30, 2009

Dear Friends,

The situation of the Palestinian people continues to go largely un-noticed as the conditions of occupation worsen. There are talks and talks abouttalks, but they seem to lead to nowhere.  The settlements on the West Bank continue to expand while the demolition of Palestinian homes continues. The siege of the Gaza Strip continues. The people are tired and wonder if the impossible situation with which they are faced will ever end.

Australians for Palestine
have on their websites “An open letter to President Obama from Christian Peacemaker Teams” – June 26th 2009 which gives a clear picture of ongoing oppression and harassment that occurs with little or no comment.

Free Gaza  - Two ships– Free Gaza and Spirit of Humanity – were organized to set sail from Cyprus on June 25th but were not able to leave because of  Israeli refusal.  The specific supplies being carried on these two ships are 3 tons of medical supplies and 5 tons of cement. [Cement and other construction items are items that Israel will not permit to enter the Gaza Strip – thus the people of Gaza have not been ableto make repairs nor rebuild following the massive destruction caused by the Israeliwar on Gaza [Dec 08 – Jan 09].

Finally Spirit of Humanity left from Cyprus with aid and 20 passengers on Monday 29th June.  Early morning of 30th June, while still in international waters, the ship was intercepted by the Israeli navy and forced to land at the Israeli port of Ashdod.
Ø       Israel Stops Aid Ship to Gaza.
Ø       Israel intercepts Gaza aid boat – activists. [30th June 2009 – Reuters –Alertnet
Ø       see report on the outcry over Silwan demolition plans – continuation of actions of the Israeli  authority to remove Palestinians from East Jerusalem.

Ø       UN Human Rights Mission Collects Gruesome Testimonies from Gaza.  30th June 2009
Ø       Settler Violence Increases as Obama calls for settlement freeze.  23rd June 2009
Ø       Gaza Frozen in Time. [from <>  ]
Ø       The World insists on Settlement Freeze, Israel does not. [June 21 – June 27]
Ø       Israel defies Obama with settlement expansion – Announcement of 1,450 new homescomes ahead of Washington meeting.  [ By Ben Lynfield in Jerusalem ]
Ø       West Bank: illegal settlements cause hardship for Palestinians

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