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One Year Later: What is the International Community Doing About Gaza?

One Year Later: What is the International Community Doing About Gaza?

One year ago December 27th was the beginning of a 22-day Israeli raid on the Palestinian territory of Gaza. In this attack, estimates counted nearly 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis killed, and severe damage was inflicted on Gaza’s infrastructure. Today, a year after the attacks, Gaza is still struggling to recover.

Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, released a statement posted on the UN website saying he is “deeply concerned that neither the issues that led to this conflict nor its worrying aftermath are being addressed.” He also noted that residents of Gaza are “denied basic human rights” and urged Israel to end its “unacceptable and counterproductive blockade”.

What the UN is saying is right: the reconstruction of Gaza after the damage of last year’s attacks is not being addressed adequately, and Gazans are struggling to survive. Israel is currently bloackading Gaza and only allowing humanitarian supplies in, such as food and medicine.  However, this does not allow for any materials to repair homes, schools, and hospitals damaged in the attacks.

Of the 1400 Palestinians killed in last year’s attacks, 916 were civilians, and 326 of those were children under the age of 17. Of the 13 Israelis killed, 3 were civilians.

Furthermore, the responsibility to help reconstruct Gaza falls largely on Israel — but not solely on Israel. The international community at large is responsible for the rebuilding of Gaza as well. And for one year, we have all neglected that responsibility.

Jeremy Hobbs, director of the international aid organization Oxfam, said that “world powers have failed and betrayed Gaza’s ordinary citizens,” and called for world powers to increase pressure on Israel to end its tight blockade on Gaza.

However, the situation in Gaza continues to remain stagnant a year later.

Sunday, activists around the world initiated a four hour campaign to tweet about Gaza in an attempt to make #Gaza a trending topic on Twitter, hopefully raising public awareness about the issue. The mainstream media is hardly covering the story — but activists have taken to Twitter to air their concerns and are hoping to bring media attention to the issue through this unconventional new media strategy.

Froma human rights standpoint, the situation in Gaza is dire no matter which side of the political fence you stand on. Innocent civilians and children are struggling to survive — and the international human rights community should be taking action to rectify this situation swiftly.

Do you have ideas about helping to change this situation?  Comment here.

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131 comments

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12:33PM PST on Nov 21, 2012

Hamas and Israel will never come to peaceful terms because their religious hatred is to embedded into their culture. How many years has the Middle East be at each others throats so far in history? There is no solution and never will be. Children are brought up with hatred in their blood so there is a never ending supply of angry people being bred up into the system. This is one reason I'm an atheist. Religions are dangerous organizations and can never come to peaceful terms as their hatred is part of their religious beliefs. If it weren't for the oil matters would have solved themselves years ago. We would have let things go and termed it a civil war! How can a war ever be labelled as CIVIL?

4:58AM PST on Feb 6, 2010

The international community has failed in their responsibilty to rebuild Gaza. Gaza is still suffering, the israelis are still being cruel and inhumane and the majority of the world has yet to even start paying attention. How many more inncent lives have to be lost so the world starts looking? How many woman and children have to brutally killed and bombed before the UN and the world, the US in particular as it's no secret they support Israel, and by supporting Israel, they're saying 'yes' to inhumane killings and bombings (and yet Haiti is supported to no end - those lives were lost due to natural disaster, these lives are lost due to human actions). When will the world act?

And Israel has to stop pulling the Holocaust card. However cruel the nazis were does NOT give Israel the right to do the same and worse to other humans.

6:56AM PST on Feb 2, 2010

Wow! gaza still suffers.

8:06AM PST on Jan 9, 2010

"If Mexico started to rocket the U.S. it would not be the same at all would it? Afterall the U.S. Armed Forces have not targeted Mexican civilians or stolen their land or poisoned their crops. Well at least not lately."

Yes, it would be the same......white Americans stole Texas from Mexicans then enacted laws (the first marijuana laws in the U.S.) which enabled them to deport the lion's share of the native, Mexican population. If Mexicans democratically elected a government hell-bent on the destruction of the U.S., then started lobbing missiles at El Paso, you know damn well the American population would be screaming for military intervention.

"Israel is given the choice between Christ and Barabus, Barabus was choosen over Christ."

Again, more of this blood libel, the Jews killed Jesus crap. I though half-witted "christian" fundamentalists were supposed to be behind Jews having all of ancient Israel so the rapture can happen and all we Jews can be exterminated in a flood of fire.

12:51AM PST on Jan 3, 2010

The failure of US foreign policy has sustained Israel emotionally and financially,has ignored all of its transgressions and its utter contempt for International law.The American tax-payer still supports this State with billions of dollars each year. According to the BBC, the USA is currently helping to build an impenetrable wall made of super-strength steel 6-7 miles long and extending 18 metres below the surface along the Egyptian border with Gaza.This will complete the hermetical sealing of Gaza by land,sea and air and the illegal punishment of a whole population., whose crime has been to resist the brutal occupiers of their land.Palestinians were not responsible for the Holocaust which has been used to justify Israeli behaviour,yet they are paying dearly for it.Marek Edelman, the Commander of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising,stated in 2002 that Palestinian resistance fighters in the 2nd Intifada were the inheritors of the Jewish fighting organization of the Warsaw Ghetto. They are no more terrorist than the Jews fighting the Nazis in Warsaw.Ideas about helping to change the situation in Gaza? Recognize Israeli sophistry, insist on adherence to Geneva Conventions, negotiate HONESTLY with the democratically elected Hamas government,including those members arbitrarily imprisoned by Israel after the election, stop the "divide and rule" tactics vis-a-vis Hamas and Fatah, and maintain a balanced even-handed approach to Israelis and Palestinians.And America, give effect to your oft-sta

8:31PM PST on Jan 2, 2010

Marco C. I think your confusion and frustration stem from the mainstream media intentionally confusing the middle east issue.

To get another perspective and angle I recommend you view the documentaries on the website www.freedocumentaries.org. Start with "peace, prosperity,and the promised land".

7:41AM PST on Jan 2, 2010

If ever there was a issue that deserved the gold medal for pig headed stubborness, this is it - the Isrealies vs the palestineans. Each has valid points of contention, each playing a game of cat and mouse, alternately offering up a concession only to withdraw it and / or take liberties somewhere else sabatoging a resolution or progress.

I begin to find it too exhausting to spend any more of my resources intellectual, emotional or economic on attempting to aid either of these two groups with the hell that they have created for themselves and which they so diligently maintain and fervorently hold on to. Life is obviously too good for them to bother to make any changes in how they manage their affairs. It seems that they enjoy the attention and sympathy (and resources too) that they get from the rest of the world and see no need and have no desire to make any changes toward peaceful resolution to their clever little shell game.

I will invest my resources where the promise of a return has at least an equal chance of return. Good bye and good luck mid east, you're on your own.

6:46AM PST on Jan 1, 2010

something has to be done.

9:07AM PST on Dec 31, 2009

Harriet B. of Dec 29.
Not quite correct. Rightly or wrongly the majority of Germans attributed their economic woes of the twenties and early thirties to Jewish financiers. This enabled Hitler to gain support for his anti-Semitic antics. Admittedly economic persecution is not as destructive as rocket attacks, but when anybody is stealing your land you might be excused for being somewhat peeved!

7:08PM PST on Dec 30, 2009

This midddle east Palestine story begins mostly with Jewish terrorist like the Stein gang, the Irgun, and Menachum Begin forcing Palestinians off their land, with the help of England, by the use terror. The rock throwing, suicide bombing, and feeble rockets was an attempt at self-defense on the part of the Palestinians against highly mechanized weapons supplied by Americans and other western powers.

Israel had a choice between land and peace. Israel choose the land, and have been expanding ever since. Israel also had the choice between Rabin and Sharon, they choose Sharon and killed Rabin. Earlier still, Israel is given the choice between Christ and Barabus, Barabus was choosen over Christ. If there is a God, and I think and hope there is, these choices will condemn you to hell!

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