Australian human rights worker Dr Jean Calder AC: Gaza Digest 21 July 09 July 22, 2009

Dear Friends,

I attended condolences [azza] for a friend during the week.  Her father had
died following a period of severe health problems. For more than a month
she had been working on obtaining papers which would permit her to travel
out of the Gaza Strip, through the Rafah crossing into Egypt. It was important
to her to visit her parents in Cairo and she was especially concerned about her
father who had been hospitalized.  When her father passed away last
Thursday, she still needed another paper before she would be able to travel –
but even if it had been received, the border was closed.

Stories such as this can be multiplied ten-fold or more in the life situation of
the Palestinian people.  The prevention on freedom of movement is denial of
a fundamental human right.

=  There was the noise of war planes overhead today.  TV disturbance from
the pilot-less surveillance planes is frequent.

=   With no construction materials being allowed to enter the Gaza Strip, the
devastation of the war on Gaza remains as it was – a constant reminder
of the vulnerability of the Palestinian people.

=   Some aid workers are able to come in to the Gaza Strip, others not.  There
is one British surgeon whom I know has been trying for months to enter the
Gaza Strip in order to follow-up on patients she has worked with previously
and to continue with training programs.

=  Soldier’s Testimonies Reveal Misconduct in Gaza War.  [20 July 2009]
[includes link to full document]
=  Gambling with peace: how US bingo dollars are funding Israeli settlements.
[Chris McGreal]
=  Newsletter of “The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music” which is
based in Ramallah – one of several cultural arts groups of Palestine.

=  Tuesday 21st July 2009, Palestinian children who sat for the Tawajhi exams
[final secondary school exams – university entry] will receive their results.
It has been an extremely difficult year for the children and for those in Gaza
settling back to school studies following the Israeli invasion at the beginning
of the year has not been easy.  Some schools were completely or partially
destroyed.  Many of the children lost their homes and as yet have not been
resettled into housing – still living in tents.  Many of the children experienced
injury or have friends or family with injuries or who were killed.

As in all countries, results in this exam become the key to further studies and
potential for development for the children.

The situation remains impossible.  The people show incredible resilience.
Hope is ever there – but it is impossible to understand why the injustice of the
situation of the Palestinian people is allowed to continue.

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