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A Loss for Words: The Continuing Crisis in Gaza

January 2008

How many times can one use the words “crisis” or “disaster” before they lose their meaning? So many posts about Gaza begin the same way; describing how increasingly desperate the situation has become and how truly horrible life has become for the people trapped within its borders. And yet, words are failing – failing to describe the extent of the suffering and the draining of hope in Gaza.

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve talked a lot with our friends in Gaza – We’ve heard about the fear and anger of Ahmed whose 15 year old son was seriously injured by shrapnel in an Israeli air raid; we’ve heard about the sadness of Mohammed who left Gaza in 2006 to go to school and has been unable to get back into Gaza to see his family, including a daughter who was born shortly after he left; and, we’ve heard about frustration experienced by Israeli and Palestinian human rights activists when their convoy of humanitarian aid – essential, life-saving medicines and supplies – was turned away at the border.

Saturday, January 26th has been declared an international day of action for Gaza and events are taking place around the world as part of the World Social Forum Global Day of Action. On Saturday, the Israeli Committee Against the Siege, a coalition of Israeli organizations including (among many others) Gush Shalom, Combatants for Peace, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and Physicians for Human Rights will send a relief convoy to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. A demonstration in solidarity with Gazans will take place on the border with a parallel Palestinian demonstration planned inside Gaza by the Palestinian International Campaign to End Siege on Gaza.

Grassroots International strongly urges you to contact your representatives to demand an end to collective punishment in Gaza. Check out the US Campaign’s website for more information and for ideas of other ways to get involved.

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