How do people with disabilities cope when Israel bombs Gaza?

When Israel invaded southern Gaza in 2014, Alaa al-Nahal, who is deaf, could not hear the Israeli attacks but he could feel them. Above, several men assist a woman wounded in the 2014 Israeli airstrikes on Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

Ramadan El-Agha APA images

Emad Qudeih was sitting with his friends on the road close to his house in Khan Younis when a loud explosion shook the area. It was May 2016, and he was only 13. Everyone panicked and fled, leaving him alone.

“I attempted to flee, but I didn’t know what road was safe,” Qudeih, now 20, said. “I’m blind. I just froze and awaited my fate.”

He remained still, frozen in fear, until his father rushed to his side and took him home. The Israeli military had bombed the area, and this was not the first time Qudeih had been caught in the violence of the occupation.

In the 2014 war, Qudeih and his family had to evacuate their home during Israeli ground invasions of the southern Gaza Strip.

All Palestinians in Gaza are vulnerable during Israeli attacks, but blind Palestinians are even more at risk.

Medications of no use

Qudeih was not born blind; he lost his sight gradually.

In the first grade, he lost sight in his right eye due to retinal detachment. Two years later he lost sight in his left eye for the same reason. He was 7 years old.

Between the ages of 7 and 14, he had surgery after surgery at St. John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital.

“The surgeries proved successful, and I was able to see for a while,” Qudeih said, “but a haze would eventually obscure my vision.”

It turned out that there was bleeding in his retinas. The doctors said the bleeding would go away with time and medications like eye drops.

“But the medications were of no use,” Qudeih said.

In 2015, when he was 12 years old, he traveled to Spain and underwent five surgeries in three months, but he lost vision completely several months after the surgeries.

Qudeih spoke to The Electronic Intifada at the Islamic University of Gaza, where he is pursuing a degree in English translation.

“In addition to proving myself to my professors,” he said, “it took me time to learn to navigate university facilities.”

He counts his steps while walking, so he can retrace them. He has also memorized various routes to help him get around.

“I want to be an activist who appears on TV, speaking both Arabic and English,” Qudeih said, “describing our needs as both disabled people and as Palestinians.”

“No one is going to hire a deaf person”

Alaa al-Nahal, 52, was watching the news on television during Israel’s 2014 war on Gaza, when suddenly he felt rumbling very close to his home, though he heard nothing.

“I felt the floor shaking and understood that the Israelis were bombing very near,” he said. “My wife hurried to me, telling me that it is better to evacuate the house.”The family gathered their belongings to evacuate Rafah – Gaza’s southernmost city. Israel declared a ground invasion on the Gaza Strip from the south.As the family were preparing to leave, a strong explosion shattered the windows.“They didn’t give us any warning [of the bombing],” al-Nahal said.Despite the terror of that night, al-Nahal said he didn’t face any special challenges during the war.“I found no difficulties other than not feeling safe in my house.”Many Palestinians in Gaza, living under siege, might say the same thing. But when al-Nahal was born, he had a fever that caused his hearing loss.Al-Nahal communicates with sign language, and his wife translated for us during our interview at their home.

He said his condition does not feel isolating, though he wishes he could find work.From 2001, al-Nahal had worked as a driver to support his four daughters and one son. However, when his car broke down in 2020, he had to sell it. Currently, the family receives social welfare payments to provide the daily necessities – though those payments are not always reliable.

“There is no income, and no one is going to hire a deaf person,” al-Nahal said. Sometimes his siblings help him out. But unemployment is already over 40 percent in Gaza, the result of the Israeli blockade, and his chances for work are small.

Occupation doesn’t differentiate

Hasan al-Zaalan, the head of the Palestinian General Union of People with Disabilities, explained how people with disabilities face many obstacles during Israel’s attacks.“People with disabilities face many obstacles amid wars, such as having limited mobility as they escape the bombing,” he said.

“The occupation does not differentiate between people with disabilities and others in wars. They do not respect their rights. In the last war, we had three … martyrs [who had disabilities] and others were injured.”

On 6 April 2018, Mahmoud Malakha, 34, who lives in the Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, was going to retrieve the key to his coffee and snack shop from an employee who was attending the Great March of Return along the boundary with Israel.

He was among the other protesters when he “felt a powerful electric shock in my leg and fell to the ground,” he said. “A sniper’s bullet struck my leg.”

After he fell to the ground, people crowded around him and he was carried to an ambulance.

This was not the first injury inflicted on him by an Israeli weapon.

In the 2009 war on Gaza, he was on a bus with his friends when an Israeli airstrike hit the bus. Malakha was the only survivor. It is not a day in his life that he feels comfortable talking about in detail.

“I spent one year and seven months lying in bed, unable to move my hands or neck,” he said. “I had to wear diapers because I was not able to go to the bathroom.”

Nine years later, he was again rushed to the hospital. Doctors there insisted on immediate amputation, but Malakha refused.

Over the next two years, he had dozens of surgeries to help him regain use of his leg. When he developed bone cancer in 2020, he underwent chemotherapy, but amputation of his leg was the only way to eradicate the cancer completely.

In September 2022, Malakha had his 89th surgery, by his own count. He woke up seven hours later to continue his life with one leg.

“I approached the situation with a sense of normalcy,” he said. “After the operation, I returned home, rested, woke up the next morning and went to the market.”

As compensation for his lost leg, Malakha receives about $165 each month. A compensation that barely puts food on the table for his wife and the four children.

To support his family, Malakha opened a coffee shop in Gaza’s port. But there were too many challenges to overcome and it failed.

So he became a taxi driver.

“Surrendering to people’s opinions and the harsh reality would only lead to excessive overthinking and stress,” he said. “I made a conscious decision to not give up.”

In the 2014 war, when he still had both legs, his house was damaged by a nearby strike, and his family had to evacuate.

“There is no doubt that getting out of the second floor is hard. I can focus my mind on the difficulty, but I don’t want to. It will only hurt me and destroy my children. Adapting to this reality is the only option I have.”

Khaled El-Hissy is a journalist from Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip.

Angelo Baracca ci ha lasciato

Angelo Baracca ci ha lasciato ma certo non ci lascia quello che ha rappresentato come compagno e collega per molti di noi.

E’ la prima volta che scrivo “in memoria” e lo faccio solo perché sono convinta che lui ne sorriderebbe e condividerebbe quello che vi racconto del contributo che ha dato, oltre che a tante altre iniziative di conoscenza e denuncia, alla nascita e formulazione dei compiti del gruppo di lavoro sulle nuove armi, diventato poi newweapons research group.

Con Angelo parlavamo, entrambe sostenevamo quello che si chiamava Scienziati e scienziate contro la Guerra, un gruppo di informazione anche scientifica sulle conseguenze delle guerre sulla popolazione civile, allora gruppo di ricerca osservazionale, ma non di lavoro sul campo nè di indagine analitica.

A Genova nel 2006 eravamo riuniti insieme ad Angelo con i movimenti antiglobalizzazione e per un mondo migliore a ricordare la repressione del forum sociale mondiale del 2001 e a parlare della situazione terribile in Iraq ed Afganistan.

Intanto gli attacchi Israeliani sul Libano e simultaneamente, seppure più brevi su Gaza, erano iniziati nella prima settimana di Luglio e molto presto io ero stata raggiunta dalla richiesta di medici da Tiro e Sidone in Libano e da Gaza che riportavano di ferite mai viste prima e con esiti inaspettati, ferite senza frammenti alla autopsia o nelle ferite delle vittime, e chiedevano aiuto a capire cosa le procurasse e come intervenire.

Con Angelo discussi come fosse il caso di prendere la responsabilità di passare dalla denuncia e dall’osservazione circostanziale allo studio di queste ferite per comprenderne le cause ed eventualmente, se possibile i rimedi. Discussi di fare cioè il nostro mestiere di scienziati applicandolo alle circostanze.

In quel periodo la letteratura militare lodava la sperimentazione di “armi a raggio di impatto ridotto, capaci di ridurre le vittime collaterali” negli omicidi mirati, e di armi “aumentate con polveri di metallo”, che, oltre che l’uso di proiettili ad uranio impoverito, si candidavano ai nostri occhi di scienziati come invece “armi a raggio di effetto incontrollato e i cui residui potevano permanere nel tempo e causare danni a lungo termine alla salute”, cosa che poi abbiamo dimostrato succedere a Gaza.

E ancora in quel periodo, il giornalismo investigativo, in particolare in Italia Maurizio Torrealta, parlava di un tipo di queste armi di nuova generazione chiamato DIME che sarebbe stato “aumentato” con titanio, un metallo tossico e potenzialmente carcinogeno.

I casi di vittime per cui dal Libano e da Gaza ci si chiedeva aiuto avrebbero potuto essere dovuti a queste armi, ma bisognava agli occhi di alcuni di noi, Angelo con me, passare dalle osservazioni e induzioni, all’ottenimento di prove e allo studio scientifico ed analitico delle sostanze nelle armi e documentare le implicazioni sulla salute. Bisognava dunque lavorare nei luoghi di queste guerre ed iniziare a raccogliere evidenze materiali. Il primo passo fu l’invio in Libano da parte mia di protocolli per la raccolta di materiale biologico dalle ferite. Analogamente protocolli furono inviati a Gaza. In entrambe i posti i campioni furono raccolti dai chirurghi.

Il secondo passo nel settembre 2006 fu quello di inviare un collega infermiere in una prima missione in Libano, per raccogliere le circostanze e le diagnosi e gli esiti delle ferite stesse. Che lo studio sarebbe stato difficile da portare avanti fu subito chiaro in Libano dal fatto che tutti i campioni bioptici appena finiti gli attacchi furono sequestrati ai chirurghi di medicina di emergenza che li avevano raccolti, dal governo Libanese che disse li avrebbe mandati ad analizzare, si rifiutò di interloquire con scienziati internazionali e mai riportò i risultati di alcuna analisi pubblicamente o ai medici locali. Salvo un singolo campione portato via ancora durante gli attacchi da un giornalista tedesco e poi messoci a disposizione per analisi, che furono però limitate dal trattamento precedente fatto sullo stesso campione.

Dal Libano però avemmo una ottima interlocuzione anche nella successiva mia visita a novembre con i chirurghi e la descrizione precisa sia delle circostanze dell’attacco su più decine di vittime, sia le foto delle loro ferite, sia il report delle procedure di intervento e dell’esito di questo. Queste informazioni aiutarono a formulare ancor più chiaramente che armi senza frammenti e mirate, di vario impatto con carica sub o letale erano state introdotte in quella guerra da Israele. La similitudine con le informazioni corrispondenti fornite dai medici di Gaza era molto grande, ed in questo caso i campioni biologici erano stati preservati e ci furono resi disponibili per analisi.

Lo studio analitico dei tessuti delle ferite delle vittime di Gaza ci confermò che queste contenevano varii metalli pesanti carcinogeni e capaci di produrre difetti negli embrioni e feti in quantità elevate, e danni sulla salute in generale, ma non contenevano titanio.

Mai prima informazioni dirette di questo tipo erano state ottenute e la contaminazione presente nel tessuto sede delle ferite senza frammenti era quella che si definisce “prova di fatto” che  fossero state usate armi con contenuto di metalli pesanti in forma di particelle molto piccole che possono agire come “seghe molecolari” quando sono ad alta temperatura. Questo implicava il potenziale di questo tipo di armi di diffondere metalli pesanti che non scompaiono dall’ambiente e che si accumulano negli organismi viventi e sono patogenici a lungo termine. Abbiamo verificato che subito dopo gli attacchi nel 2009 la contaminazione da metalli era infatti molto alta in più del 60 % dei circa 100 bambini testati.

Anni di lavoro di indagine sul campo a Gaza (2010-2020) hanno poi portato prove dirette che difetti congeniti e nascite pretermine, le due cause principali di mortalità alla nascita, ed entrambe di problemi più o meno gravi ai sopravvissuti, sono associate a contaminazione dei neonati e delle madri da metalli pesanti e che questa contaminazione nella fase immediatamente successiva agli attacchi militari è dovuta alla esposizione documentata obbiettivamente delle donne gravide a questi attacchi.

Nonostante questi dati siano stati oggetto di molte pubblicazioni scientifiche in giornali internazionali, non molto è stato diffuso in Italiano un po’ per la natura “tecnico-scientifica ” dei dati ma soprattutto per la nostra limitata capacità di coprire i diversi fronti dell’informazione.

Vedo Angelo sorridere per il fatto che per celebrare lui ho colto l’occasione di raccontarvi questa storia, e so che condividerebbe che lo faccio. A volte, o forse sempre, la somiglianza nelle motivazioni, la competenza generale in un campo e la complicità nella lotta sono i vademecum per l’avanzamento delle conoscenze e per la scoperta di verità difficili da digerire.

Gaza è adesso diffusamente contaminata da metalli pesanti, la popolazione ne è cronicamente affetta. Così è molto probabilmente per tutti i territori dove Israeliani e Nordamericani e loro “compratori di armi” hanno operato in tutti gli anni del secolo. Infatti, mancando indagini puntuali, ci però sono osservazioni di incremento dei danni alla nascita in tutti questi paesi. Mentre a Gaza altri potenziali agenti che possono produrre questi danni sono stati esclusi dal lavoro di ricerca, certamente in altre circostanze i danni possono avere anche altre concause, ma forse ora  è purtroppo troppo tardi per indagini scientifiche puntuali che le dimostrino o escludano.

Allora, Angelo che mi sorridi, grazie ancora per la complicità, lo scambio di idee e conoscenze e la condivisione di intenti, e che la terra ti sia lieve come tu lo sei stato con i tuoi amici.

Iniziò cosi il lavoro del gruppo di ricerca NWRG

Paola Manduca






British Warmongering Is Driving Europe Towards Catastrophe in Ukraine

From lobbying for fighter jets to supplying depleted uranium, the UK is making sure escalation is the only way forward

All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the Translate Website button below the author’s name.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky made an unexpected trip to Britain last week on a whistle-stop tour of European capitals, pleading for more powerful and longer-range weapons to use in his war against Russia. 

What was hard to ignore once again was the extent to which the UK is playing an outsize role in Ukraine.

Last year, shortly after the start of the war, the then-prime minister, Boris Johnson, hurried to Kyiv – presumably on Washington’s instructions – apparently to warn Zelensky off fledgling peace talks with Moscow.

At around the same time, the Biden administration made clear it favoured an escalation in fighting, not an end to it, as an opportunity to “weaken” Russia, a geo-strategic rival along with China.

Since then, the UK has been at the forefront of European efforts to entrench the conflict, helping to lobby for the supply of weapons, training and military intelligence to Ukrainian forces.

British tanks and thousands of tank shells – including, controversially, some made from depleted uranium – are being shipped out. Last week, the UK added hundreds of long-range attack drones to the inventory.

And an unspecified number of £2m-a-blast Storm Shadow cruise missiles, with a range of nearly 300km, have started arriving. Last week Ben Wallace, Britain’s defence secretary, said the missiles were already in use, adding that Kyiv alone was deciding on the targets.

Storm Shadow allows the Ukrainian military to strike deep into Russian-annexed parts of Ukraine – and potentially at Russian cities too.

A recent leak revealed that the Pentagon had learnt through electronic eavesdropping of Zelensky’s eagerness for longer-range missiles so that his forces were “capable of reaching Russian troop deployments in Russia”.

Lip service

Britain now pays little more than lip service to the West’s claim that its role is only to help Ukraine defend itself from Russian aggression. The supply of increasingly offensive weapons has turned Ukraine into what amounts to a proxy battleground on which the Cold War can be revived.

During Zelensky’s visit to the UK last week, Johnson’s successor, Rishi Sunak, effectively acted as an arms broker for Ukraine, joining with the Netherlands in what was grandly dubbed an “international coalition” to pressure the Biden administration and other European states to supply Kyiv with F-16 fighter jets. 

Washington appeared not to need much cajoling. Three days later, Biden dramatically changed tack at a G7 summit in Japan. He effectively gave a green light for US allies to supply Ukraine not only with US-made F-16s but similar fourth-generation fighter jets, including Britain’s Eurofighter Typhoon and France’s Mirage 2000.

Administration officials surprised European leaders by suggesting the US would be directly involved in the training of pilots outside Ukraine.

After a highly staged “surprise” visit by Zelensky to the summit at the weekend, Biden said he had been given a “flat reassurance” that the jets would not attack Russian territory.

British officials, meanwhile, indicated that the UK would start training Ukrainian pilots within weeks.

‘Rightful place is in Nato’ 

No 10 has made clear that Sunak’s purpose is to build “a new Ukrainian air force with Nato-standard F-16 jets” and that the prime minister believes “Ukraine’s rightful place is in Nato”.

These statements seem intended once again to block any potential path towards peace. President Vladimir Putin repeatedly spoke out against Nato’s growing, covert involvement in neighbouring Ukraine before Russia launched its invasion 15 months ago.

It is hard to imagine that the UK is heading off-script. More likely, the Biden administration is using Britain to make the running and soften up Western publics as Nato becomes ever more deeply immersed in the military activities of Russia’s neighbour.

Ukraine is being gradually turned into the very Nato forward base that first set Moscow on course to invade.

At the same time, Britain appears to be exploiting the Ukraine war as a showcase for its weaponry. After the US, it has been the largest supplier of military equipment to Ukraine.

This week it was reported that UK arms exports hit a record £8.5bn, more than double last year’s total. The last time Britain was so successful at selling weapons was in 2015, at the height of the Syrian war.

Risk to health

Europe’s weapons largesse is, we are told, the precondition for Ukraine to mount a long-awaited counter-offensive to take back territory Russia has seized in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine.

Speaking candidly in Florence this month, Josep Borrell, the European Union’s top diplomat, ruled out peace talks. Ukraine needed massive supplies of arms because otherwise “Ukraine will fall in a matter of days”, he said.

Borrell’s warning not only suggested the precariousness of Ukraine’s situation but implied that, out of desperation, its leaders might be prepared to approve ever riskier combat scenarios.

And thanks to British meddling, the heavy toll of casualties as the war rages on – among the Ukrainian population and Russian soldiers, as well as potentially inside Russia’s borders too – may be felt not just over the coming months but for decades.

In March, Declassified broke the story that some of the thousands of tank shells Britain is supplying to Kyiv are made of depleted uranium (DU), a radioactive heavy metal produced as waste from nuclear power plants.

Keir Starmer’s opposition Labour party has said it “fully supports” the UK government’s supply of these armour-piercing shells to Ukraine, despite the long-term risk they pose to those exposed to the chemically toxic contamination left behind.

DU shells fragment and burn when they hit a target. One analyst, Doug Weir, from the Conflict and Environment Observatory, told Declassified that the ammunition produces “chemically toxic and radioactive DU particulate [microscopic particles] that poses an inhalational risk to people”.

Nonetheless, British ministers insist the threat to human health is low – and worth the risk given the military gains in helping Ukraine to destroy Russian tanks.

Cancer deaths 

As Declassified has highlighted, however, a growing body of evidence following the use of such shells by the US in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and by Britain and the US in Iraq a decade later undermines these reassurances.

Italian courts have upheld compensation claims against the country’s military in more than 300 cases where Italians who served in the police or as soldiers in Bosnia and Kosovo have died of cancer after being exposed to DU.

Many thousands more Italian former service-people are reported to have developed cancers.

In 2001 Tony Blair’s government downplayed the role of DU in Italy’s deaths to avoid upsetting the new administration of George W Bush. Both leaders would soon approve the use of DU rounds in Iraq, though the UK admitted a “moral obligation” to help clean up some of the contamination afterwards.

The West has taken little interest in researching the effects of DU weapons in Iraq, even though local civilian populations have been the most exposed to its contamination. DU shells were used extensively during both the 1991 Gulf war and more than a decade later during the US and British-led occupation of Iraq.

Iraqi government statistics suggest the rates of cancers leapt 40-fold between the period immediately before the Gulf war and 2005.

The city of Fallujah, which the US devastated after the 2003 invasion, is reported to suffer “the highest rate of genetic damage in any population ever studied”. Birth defects are said to be roughly 14 times the rate in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki regions of Japan, where the US dropped atomic bombs.

In 2018 the British government reclassified a 1981 report into the dangers of DU weapons by the Ministry of Defence’s Atomic Weapons Research Establishment it had made available three years earlier.

Meanwhile, James Heappey, the armed forces minister, has misleadingly suggested that international bodies such as the World Health Organisation and the United Nations have found no long-term health or environmental hazards associated with DU weapons.

But as Weir told Declassified in March: “None of the entities cited by the MoD has undertaken long-term environmental or health studies in conflict areas where DU weapons have been used.”

In other words, they simply don’t know – and possibly don’t care to find out.

Weir added that the WHO, UN and International Atomic Energy Agency had all called for contaminated areas to be clearly marked and access restricted, while at the same time recommending that risk awareness campaigns be targeted at nearby communities.

British officials have also recruited the Royal Society to their efforts to claim DU is safe – as the US did earlier, in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, citing two of its reports published in 2001 and 2002.

However, the Royal Society has vocally distanced itself from such claims. A spokesperson told Declassified that, despite the British government’s assertions, DU was no longer an “active area of policy research”.

Back in 2003, the Royal Society rebuked Washington, telling the Guardian that soldiers and civilians in Iraq “were in short and long term danger. Children playing at contaminated sites were particularly at risk.”

At the same time, the chairman of the Royal Society’s working group on depleted uranium, Professor Brian Spratt, warned that corroding shells could leach DU into water supplies. He recommended removing ordinance and conducting long-term sampling of water supplies.

Voices silenced 

By lobbying for more overtly offensive weapons and introducing DU shells into the war, Britain has raised the stakes in two incendiary ways.

First, it is driving the war’s logic towards ever greater escalation, including nuclear escalation.

Russia itself possesses DU weapons but is reported to have avoided using them. Moscow has long warned that it regards use of DU in Ukraine in nuclear terms: as the equivalent of a “dirty bomb”.

In March Putin responded to the UK’s decision to supply DU tank shells by vowing to move “tactical” nuclear weapons into neighbouring Belarus. Meanwhile, his defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, said it put the world “fewer and fewer steps” away from “nuclear collision”.

But Britain is also creating a situation where a catastrophic move, or miscalculation, by either Russia or Ukraine is becoming ever more likely, as events last week highlighted only too clearly.

Russia struck a military ammunition depot in western Ukraine, creating a giant fireball. Rumours suggested the site may have included British DU shells.

Whether true or not, it is a reminder that Moscow could hit such a storage site, intentionally or accidentally, spreading contamination widely over a built-up area.

With Ukraine soon to be in possession of a full array of offensive weapons, largely courtesy of the UK – not only long-range drones, cruise missiles and tanks but fighter jets – it is not hard to imagine terrifying scenarios that could quickly bring Europe to the brink of nuclear conflict.

Moscow hits a DU ammunition depot, exposing a large civilian population to toxic contamination. Ukraine retaliates with air strikes deep inside Russia. The path to a nuclear exchange in Europe has never looked closer.

Those who warned that peace talks were urgently needed rather than an arms race in Ukraine are looking more prescient by the day. For how much longer can their voices continue to be silenced, not only by western leaders but by the western media too?

progetti sostenuti con i fondi Otto per Mille della Chiesa Valdese

NWRG ha realizzato, o sta realizzando, i seguenti progetti sostenuti con i fondi Otto per Mille della Chiesa Valdese:

OPM/2021/22715 Sostegno allo screening per malattie infettive neonatali nella striscia di Gaza, Palestina, concluso. Contributo totale utilizzato per il progetto: € 43.065,22
Il progetto ha permesso di fornire al laboratorio del Ministero della Salute a Gaza i materiali per la diagnosi e cura delle sepsi neonatali nei reparti di cura intensiva neonatale, che, data la situazione di carenza attuale, ha reso necessario un intervento esterno per garantire la continuità di questo
servizio essenziale

OPM/2022/32180 Provvedere medicine essenziali e strumenti per salvare neonati immunocompromessi ed altri neonati a rischio a Gaza, Palestina, in fase di verifica finale. Contributo totale assegnato al progetto: € 47.000,00
Il progetto prevede di procurare medicamenti (gamma immunoglobuline), necessari per la sopravvivenza di neonati ad alto rischio di morte perché immunocompromessi, e un ventilatore portatile, necessario per la ventilazione di neonati gravi che richiedono trasferimento in ospedali specializzati. Il ventilatore è stato consegnato nel febbraio 2023 all’unità di cura intensiva neonatale dell’Ospedale pediatrico Nasser di Gaza City. Un totale di 67 fiale di immunoglobuline, dopo un lungo periodo di ricerca dei necessari quantitativi di tale farmaco, attualmente di molto difficile reperimento, è stato consegnato in due lotti, nel giugno e nel luglio 2023, alla farmacia centrale del Ministero della Salute di Gaza per la sua distribuzione alle tre unità di cura intensiva neonatale degli ospedali Al Shifa (GazaCity), Al Taheer (Kan Younes), Al Nasser (Gaza City).



LETTER TO URSULA VON DER LEYEN Posted in Statements | 8 May 2023


ECCP letter to Ursula von der Leyen concerning the statement issued on the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.

To the attention of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Dear Ms. von der Leyen,

We, a coalition of 42 European organisations, write to express our deep concern and, frankly speaking, our anger, regarding your statement issued on the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.

Your statement ignored the historical fact that the State of Israel was founded on the ethnic cleansing of two thirds of the indigenous Palestinian people between 1947 and 1949. This fact has been well documented by Palestinian and Israeli historians and researchers. Palestinians commemorate this period as the Nakba (‘catastrophe’ in Arabic) that marks the beginning of the process of planned dispossession and expulsion of the majority of the Palestinian people.

More than 500 towns and villages were systematically destroyed and depopulated by massacre and mass expulsion. As a result more than 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly exiled and became refugees. Many of those refugees and their descendants still languish in impoverished refugee camps, denied their inherent and UN-stipulated right of return after 75 years. This dispossession process, what Palestinians call the “ongoing Nakba” has never ended. It continues today, as Israel continues to occupy and annex Palestinian land, steal resources, demolish homes, schools and hospitals, and arbitrarily arrest, injure and kill Palestinians, including women and children.

By omitting facts and by blindly adopting the narrative of Israel, you erase the history, memory and rich culture of the Indigenous Palestinian people, with their diversity, who have inhabited Palestine for centuries. By endorsing the narrative that “Israel made the desert bloom” you replace history with myth, employing a colonial trope that attempts to ‘greenwash’ Israel’s settler colonial and apartheid regime over the Indigenous Palestinian people. Such ignorance is not expected from the president of the European Commission.

Since the beginning of 2023, the world has again witnessed an increase in Israeli attacks on Palestinians, including military raids carried out by the Israeli military in the West Bank cities of Jenin, Jericho and Nablus. These preceded the pogrom in Huwara and its neighbouring villages and the violent raid on worshippers in the Al Aqsa mosque during the month of Ramadan just three weeks before your statement. Is this the country you praise for its “dynamism” and shared “culture and values”?

It is painful to hear you praise “the 75 years of dynamism, ingenuity, and ground-breaking innovations” of a state that imposes a repressive, racist, and brutally violent settler-colonial policy on a population that it subjugates and controls. Israel’s regime of control over the Palestinian people is increasingly recognised as constituting apartheid by major human rights organisations, including Israeli human rights organisations. True, Israel has developed “a dynamic, ingenious and ground-breaking” technology in the field of military, cyber warfare, spyware, disinformation and election rigging by using the captive Palestinians under its control as test objects. Israel is one of the world’s leading exporters of these destructive high-tech products, with its military and “security” exports enabling dictatorships and authoritarian regimes worldwide to perpetrate grave human rights violations.

Your racist statement not only betrays historical facts and reality on the ground, but also directly contradicts internationally accepted principles and norms and the very values on which the EU is based. By ignoring the existence of the Palestinian people who have lived under decades of Israeli oppression or enforced exile, you ignore their right to self-determination, an inalienable right enshrined in the UN charter.

In December 2022 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to commemorate the Palestinian Nakba. This historic resolution, although shamefully only supported by two EU member states, acknowledges the 75 years of injustice inflicted upon Palestinian people. As the president of the European Commission, an institution that claims to uphold international law and the authority of the UN, you cannot sideline the decisions of the UN General Assembly.

On May 9th the EU will celebrate Europe Day, which Palestinians are boycotting this year because of your statement. We sincerely hope that this celebration may be in the spirit of recognising, and repenting for, the past racist and colonial history of EU countries, and that Europe Day will celebrate the UN charter which ensued from this history. That would obviously imply that the EU would stop paying service in words and in deeds to the values and policies of Israel, which itself rejects in words and in deeds the common UN charter.

Palestinian civil society organisations, as well as the Palestinian Authority, have vehemently denounced your statement. Amnesty International has also criticised the statement, and urged you to recognise that Israel is committing the crime against humanity of apartheid. We, in the European civil society, wholeheartedly echo them.

We demand that you retract your statement, and issue an apology to the Palestinian people for publicly erasing their culture, history and civilisation, as well as turning a blind eye to the violations currently being committed against their inalienable rights.

We demand that the EU publicly recognises that Israel is committing the Crime of Apartheid, and that EU institutions act to immediately end all complicity in the commission of this crime. We also kindly request that you answer this letter.


Pubblicato /Dichiarazioni | 8 maggio 2023

Lettera dell’ECCP a Ursula von der Leyen in merito alla dichiarazione rilasciata in occasione del 75° anniversario della fondazione dello Stato di Israele.

All’attenzione di: Ursula von der Leyen, Presidente della Commissione Europea

Gentile signora von der Leyen,

Noi, una coalizione di 42 organizzazioni europee, scriviamo per esprimere la nostra profonda preoccupazione e, francamente, la nostra rabbia, in merito alla sua dichiarazione rilasciata in occasione del 75° anniversario della fondazione dello Stato di Israele.

La sua dichiarazione ha ignorato il fatto storico che lo Stato di Israele è stato fondato sulla pulizia etnica di due terzi del popolo palestinese indigeno tra il 1947 e il 1949. Questo fatto è stato ben documentato da storici e ricercatori palestinesi e israeliani. I palestinesi commemorano questo periodo come la Nakba (“catastrofe” in arabo) che segna l’inizio del processo di espropriazione pianificata ed di espulsione della maggioranza del popolo palestinese.

Più di 500 città e villaggi furono allora sistematicamente distrutti e spopolati con massacri ed espulsioni di massa. Di conseguenza più di 750.000 palestinesi furono esiliati con la forza e divennero profughi. Molti di quei rifugiati e dei loro discendenti languono ancora in campi profughi impoveriti, e gli è stato negato il diritto al ritorno un diritto intrinseco e sancito dalle Nazioni Unite dopo 75 anni. Questo processo di spoliazione, quello che i palestinesi chiamano la “Nakba in corso”, non è mai terminato. Continua oggi, mentre Israele continua ad occupare e annettere terra palestinese, rubare risorse, demolire case, scuole e ospedali e arrestare, ferire e uccidere arbitrariamente palestinesi, comprese donne e bambini.

Omettendo i fatti storici e adottando ciecamente la narrazione di Israele, lei cancella la storia, la memoria e la ricca cultura del popolo indigeno palestinese, con la sua diversità, e che ha abitato la Palestina per secoli. Sostenendo la narrazione secondo cui “Israele ha fatto fiorire il deserto”, sostituisci la storia con il mito, impiegando un tropo coloniale che tenta di “rinverdire” il regime coloniale e di apartheid dei coloni israeliani sul popolo indigeno palestinese. Non ci si aspetta una tale ignoranza dal presidente della Commissione europea.

Dall’inizio del 2023, il mondo ha nuovamente assistito a un aumento degli attacchi israeliani contro i palestinesi, compresi i raid militari effettuati dall’esercito israeliano nelle città della Cisgiordania di Jenin, Gerico e Nablus. Questi hanno preceduto e seguito il pogrom a Huwara e nei villaggi vicini e il violento raid contro i fedeli nella moschea di Al Aqsa durante il mese di Ramadan, avvenuto appena tre settimane prima della sua dichiarazione. È questo il Paese che lei loda per il suo “dinamismo” e per la sua “cultura e per valori” condivisi?

È doloroso sentirla elogiare “i 75 anni di dinamismo, ingegnosità e innovazioni pionieristiche” di uno stato che impone una politica coloniale repressiva, razzista e brutalmente violenta su una popolazione che soggioga e controlla. Il regime di controllo di Israele sul popolo palestinese è sempre più riconosciuto come costitutivo dell’esercizio di apartheid da parte delle principali organizzazioni per i diritti umani, comprese le organizzazioni israeliane per i diritti umani. È vero, Israele ha sviluppato una tecnologia “dinamica, ingegnosa e rivoluzionaria” nel campo dell’esercito, della guerra informatica, dello spyware, della disinformazione e dei brogli elettorali usando i palestinesi prigionieri sotto il suo controllo come cavie. Israele è uno dei principali esportatori mondiali di distruttivi prodotti ad alta tecnologia, con le sue esportazioni militari e di “sicurezza” che consentono a dittature e regimi autoritari in tutto il mondo di perpetrare a loro volta gravi violazioni dei diritti umani.

La sua dichiarazione razzista non solo tradisce i fatti storici e la realtà sul campo, ma contraddice anche direttamente i principi e le norme accettate a livello internazionale e gli stessi valori su cui si basa l’UE. Ignorando l’esistenza del popolo palestinese che ha vissuto decenni di oppressione israeliana o di esilio forzato, si ignora il suo diritto all’autodeterminazione, un diritto inalienabile sancito dalla Carta delle Nazioni Unite.

Nel dicembre 2022 l’Assemblea generale delle Nazioni Unite ha adottato una risoluzione per commemorare la Nakba palestinese. Questa storica risoluzione, sebbene vergognosamente solo due Stati membri dell’UE la abbiano sostenuta, riconosce i 75 anni di ingiustizia inflitta al popolo palestinese. In qualità di presidente della Commissione europea, un’istituzione che afferma di sostenere il diritto internazionale e l’autorità delle Nazioni Unite, non può certo mettere da parte le decisioni dell’Assemblea generale delle Nazioni Unite.

Il 9 maggio l’UE celebrerà la Giornata dell’Europa, che quest’anno i palestinesi stanno boicottando proprio a causa della sua dichiarazione. Ci auguriamo sinceramente che questa celebrazione possa essere nello spirito del riconoscimento e del pentimento per la passata storia razzista e coloniale dei paesi dell’UE e che la Giornata dell’Europa celebri la Carta delle Nazioni Unite che è derivata per superare da questa storia. Ciò implicherebbe ovviamente che l’UE smettesse di servire con parole e fatti i valori e le politiche di Israele, che a sua volta rifiuta a parole e con i fatti la carta comune delle Nazioni Unite.

Le organizzazioni della società civile palestinese, così come l’Autorità palestinese, hanno denunciato con veemenza la sua dichiarazione. Anche Amnesty International ha criticato la dichiarazione e vi ha esortato a riconoscere che Israele sta commettendo il crimine contro l’umanità dell’apartheid. Noi, nella società civile europea, facciamo eco con tutto il cuore.

Le chiediamo di ritirare la sua dichiarazione e di scusarsi con il popolo palestinese per aver pubblicamente cancellato la sua cultura, storia e civiltà, oltre a chiudere un occhio sulle violazioni attualmente commesse contro i suoi diritti inalienabili.

Chiediamo che l’UE riconosca pubblicamente che Israele sta commettendo il crimine di apartheid e che le istituzioni dell’UE agiscano per porre immediatamente fine a ogni complicità nella commissione di questo crimine.

CALL FOR EMERGENCY ACTION: Tell your MFA to hold Israel accountable for its attack on Palestinians and act for the protection of Palestinian people!

Since the beginning of 2023, three deadly raids have been carried out by the Israeli military in the West Bank cities of Jenin, Jericho and Nablus. These preceded the pogrom in Huwara and its neighboring villages. At the time of writing, 84 Palestinians have been killed by either Israeli occupation forces or illegal colonial settlers; an average of one person killed every day of 2023, 15 of them were children. This goes hand in hand with an increase in expulsions, house demolitions and a settlement expansion.

There must be a political and economic price attached to Israel’s systematic oppression of Palestinians. The reaction of the international community to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows us that such punitive actions are possible when there is political will to undertake them. Yet that will has been absent when it comes to the rights of Palestinians.

Tangible actions, including lawful sanctions, are the only way to compel Israel to comply with international law, to cease human rights violations, and to ensure protection of Palestinians.

Please send a message below to your Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ask them to uphold international law and impose sanctions on Israel for its attack on Palestinians.


Send this message to your Ministry of Foreign Affairs! (click on the name of your country below to send the message).


Congress members urge removal of UN official for antisemitism exposed by ToI

11 House representatives call on UN chief to oust Palestinian rights official Francesca Albanese for comments, saying her anti-Jewish bias ‘undermines credibility

UNITED NATIONS — US Congress members on Monday called for the removal of a UN Palestinian rights official over antisemitic comments exposed by The Times of Israel.

UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese, who is tasked with investigating Israeli activities in the Palestinian territories, has a history of antisemitism but has not faced any repercussions from the UN or issued a clear apology.

Albanese said during a 2014 conflict between Israel and Gaza terror groups that the “Jewish lobby” was in control of the United States.
Israel’s Judiciary: Reform or Ruin?

She has also sympathized with terror organizations, dismissed Israeli security concerns, compared Israelis to Nazis, accused the Jewish state of potential war crimes, said Israel controlled the BBC, and claimed that the Jewish state started wars out of greed.

Albanese attempted to distance herself from the comments in a statement to The Times of Israel, but since the report exposing the comments last month, has denied that the comments are antisemitic and brushed off criticism as “yet another politically motivated attack.”

as NWRG Onlus we defend the rights and approach thriugh international law adopted by previousand specialtapporteur and bythe internal special commission of UNHR council on Israel Palestine

Regarding Ahmad Manasra, aged 20.  Currently held in Beersheva prison

His Excellency Isaac Herzog,
President of the State of Israel,
The President’s Residence,
3 HaNasi Street,
23rd December 2022                                                                Jerusalem, Israel.
Regarding Ahmad Manasra, aged 20.  Currently held in Beersheva prison
Dear Mr. President,
We, the undersigned medical practitioners, are writing to ask you to urgently intervene in the case of Ahmad Manasra, who has been held in Israeli prisons since his arrest in 2015 at the age of thirteen.  We are deeply shocked by the violent and unlawful treatment this young man has been subjected to for the past seven years by the Israeli judicial system, including the manner of his arrest, his illegal interrogation without lawyers or family present, his long periods held in solitary confinement and, now that he has served two thirds of his sentence, the refusal of the courts to even consider the weighty medical and psychiatric evidence which argues for his early release on compassionate and health grounds.

Ahmad Manasra was arrested at the age of 13, for being armed with a knife in the company of his cousin Hassan aged seventeen, who allegedly stabbed and seriously injured a thirteen year old Jewish Israeli boy. Hassan was killed on the spot. Ahmad suffered a skull fracture, having been hit by a car and was severely mistreated by the mob surrounding him. He was later seen being handcuffed in an Intensive Care Unit whilst in an induced coma. He was detained in a closed institution for criminal youths, and then transferred to another prison. A video, accessed by local and international media showed an interrogator bullying and insulting the terrified young prisoner who was completely alone and unrepresented. Ahmad at thirteen year old had not reached the age of criminal responsibility; yet his trial was delayed until he was fourteen years old. He was sentenced to twelve years in prison (subsequently reduced to nine years). It is important to emphasise that the judge at his trial recognised that Ahmad did not participate in any attack on a Jewish civilian.

During his lengthy imprisonment Ahmad Manasra has been deprived of visits from his parents and other relatives. He has been held in solitary confinement which is illegal under international law in the case of minors. All medical and psychiatric experts agree that solitary confinement has devastating and sometimes irrecoverable impacts on the neuro- development and mental health of adolescents. Under international law, solitary confinement for more than fourteen days is considered torture. The Israeli court has recently imposed a further four months of solitary confinement on the basis of ‘secret evidence’. Ahmad’s mental health has progressively deteriorated to the point that he is delusional and suicidal. His condition is worsening but, instead of considering the compelling psychiatric evidence that he can only be effectively treated in a psychiatric facility separate from a prison service, the courts have retrospectively applied anti-terrorist laws to his case, enabling them to refuse to even consider the application for early release to which he would otherwise be entitled. We find it hard to understand the cruelty and vindictiveness that these decisions appear to reveal.

There has been a powerful international campaign for the release of this young man. His case has been taken up by Amnesty International, by the UN Special Rapporteur and questions have been put to UK Government Ministers by Members of Parliament. All of this has been to no avail. We now turn to you.

We join our efforts with all those who have denounced these practices which are unworthy of a government purporting to abide by the rule of law. We ask you to urgently intervene to ensure that Ahmad Manasra is immediately freed and released to the care of his family and to the health professionals who can treat him.

We look forward to your response
Yours sincerely
 Dr Derek Summerfield
Full list of signatories attached:
Prof. Dr. Eia Asen, M.D., FRCPsych,  Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families University College London
Dr Ragnhild Aarrestad, Psychiatrist, Norway
Dr Diab Ahmed Hamid Aburish, PhD, General Director of the Palestine Center for Community Mental Health
Dr Hasanen Al –Taiar, Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist; Vice Chair RCPsych South Eastern Division; Chair of the South of England MHA Approvals Panel
Dr Mustafa Alachkar, Consultant Psychiatrist, UK
Dr Osman Ali, MRCGP, Gough Walk GP Practice
Dr Norbert Andersch, Consultant Psychiatrist, Italy
Dr Swee Ang, MBBS, MSc, FRCS, Consultant orthopaedic Surgeon, London, UK
Dr Jackie Applebee, MBBS, BSc, FRCGP, Tredegar Practice, London
Mr Nadeem Ashraf MD FRCS
Consultant Laparoscopic, General and Colorectal Surgeon
Basildon University Hospital
Dr Luce Bardagi, Physical Rehabilitation Specialist, St Blancard, France
Dr Hadi Bedran
Consultant Anaesthetist, Enfield
Dr Trude Bennett, Dr PH, Associate Prof. Emerita, UNC Chapel Hill School of Pubic Health, USA
Dr Elizabeth C. Berger, MD, Associate Clinical Professor, George Washington University School of Medicine, USA
Dr Richard Bischoff, Paediatrician, Germany
Dr Frank Boyce, Physician, Canada
Dr Patrick Bracken, Consultant Psychiatrist, Eire
Dr Tamar Lydia Brown, Centre Hospitalier de Montfavet, Avignon, France
Dr Dorothy Burlage, PhD,
Dr Tim Calton, Consultant Psychiatrist, UK
Dr Maria Canete, Consultant Psychotherapist and Group Analyst
Dr Filiz Capar, General Practitioner, Barkantine Practice, London
Sir Iain Chalmers, MD, DSc., James Lind Library, Oxford
Dr Martine Charlery, Psychiatrist, Angers, France
Dr David Church, MB, ChB, T, General Practitioner, Wales
Dr Miles Clapham, Consultant Psychiatrist, UK
Dr Alan Cooklin, MB, ChB, FRC Psych,
Dr Jack Czauderna MB.ChB.  Retired Family Doctor          
Dr Nadia Taysir Dabbagh, MBBS, BSc, MSc, PhD, FRCPsych, CCT, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, UK
Mr Rhodri Daniel BSc(Hons), FRCS(Ed), DO RCS(Lon), FRCOphth.
Dr S E Daniel BSc(Hons), MD, FRCPath.
Dr Veena deSouza, MBBChir, FFPH,
Dr James Deutsch, University of Toronto, Canada
Dr Moira Dick, Consultant Paediatrician (retired), London
Dr Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini, MB, BChir, MCEM, FRCA, Anaesthetic Consultant, Oxford University Hospitals
Dr Flavia Donati, Specialist in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Rome, Italy
Dr Mike Downham, BA, BCh, MRCP, DHC,
Dr Gary Duffield, MBChB, MRCPsych,
Dr Katrin Edelman, Consultant Psychiatrist, UK
Dr Morry El-Badry, MD, Rochester, New Hampshire, USA
Dr Kamilla El-Farra, Consultant Gynaecologist, UK
Sir Terence English, KBE, FRCP, FRCS, Cardiothoracic Transplant surgeon; Former President of the Royal College of Surgeons (retired)
Lady Judith English, MB, BChir, MRCP, FRCPsych, Consultant Psychiatrist; Former Chief of Staff, Boston VA Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA (retired)
Dr Ruth Erskine, D. Clin. Psych, QiCN, AFBPS, CQSW, (BA, BSc), Consultant Clinical Psychologist & Paediatric Neuropsychologist, London
Dr Arturo Ezquerro, Consultant Psychiatrist and Group Analyst
Dr Premila Fade, MB BS, MA, FRCP, Consultant Physician, Southern Health Foundation Trust
Dr Suman Fernando, Consultant Psychiatrist, UK
Dr Ann Finkelstein, MD, MPH, La Clinica de la Raza, Vallejo, California
Dr Brian Fisher, MBBCh, MSc, MBE, London
Dr Jonathan Fluxman MRCGP (retired GP)
Dr Tim Fox, BSc, MB, BS, MRCP, Member of the British Psychotherapy Foundation, UK
Dr P.H. Gasser, Psychiatrist, Uzes, France
Dr Tom Gilberthorpe, Consultant Psychiatrist, UK
Dr John Gleisner, FRCPsych, FRANZCPsych, (retired)
Dr Yves Glock, MD, PhD, Member of the European Board of cardiovascularand thoracic Surgery. Former Head of the Department of CV Surgery, University Hospital Rangueil, Toulouse, France
Dr Anya Gopfert, MBBS, BSChons, MSc Oxon, MFPH,
Dr Michael Gopfert, MD, formallyFRCPsych,
Prof Peter Gotzsche, Physician and Researcher, Denmark
Dr Elizabeth Greenhall, MB,BS , FFPH.  Retired consultant in Public Health, Oxfordshire 
Professor Colin Green, B. Vet. Med; PhD (Med); DSc (Med); FRC Path; FRCS England
(Hon). Royal Free Hospital, University College London
Dr Marta Guttenberg, MD, Philadelphia, USA
Dr David Halpin, Consultant Surgeon, UK
Dr Dougal Hargreaves, MA, MSc, FRCPCH, MD(Res), Imperial College, London
Dr Ben Hart, General Practitioner, Crisp Street Health Centre, London
Dr Deirdre Haslam, Chelmsford, Essex
Dr Rukyya Hassan, MBChB, MSc, MRCPsych,
Dr Richard Horton, Editor, The Lancet, UK
Prof Sushrut Jadhav, University College, London, UK
Dr Bob Johnson, Consultant Psychiatrist, UK
Dr Lynne Jones, OBE, Consultant Child Psychiatrist, UK
Dr Francois Journet, Psychiatrist, Villefontaine, France
Prof Jon Jureidini, University of Adelaide, Australia
Dr Ghada Karmi, Physician and Academic
Dr Lynne Kavin, LCSW,
Dr Ian Kerr, Consultant Psychiatrist, New Zealand
Dr Gaby G Kevorkian, MD, Old City, Jerusalem
Dr Asad Khan, Consultant Physician, UK
Dr Rajiv Khushu, Psychiatrist, Halifax, UK
Dr Abha Khushu, Senior Reg, Paediatrics, London, UK
Dr David Kirby, MA, MB, BChir, MSc, MRCP, MRCGP, General Practitioner (retired)
Dr Emmanuel Kosadinos, Psychiatrist, Marseilles, France
Dr Sebastian Kraemer, FRCP, FRCPsych, FRCPCH, Hon Consultant, Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust
Dr Vicky Lavy, MB, BCh, MRCGP, Retired
Dr Dianne Lefevre, Consultant psychiatrist, UK
Dr Anna Livingstone, MA, MSc, DipLSHTM, MB BS, FRCGP,DrCOG, DCH, DFSRH, London
Dr Ann Lorek, Consultant Paediatrician, London
Dr Sally MacLennan, MB BS, DO,
Dr Neil MacLennan, MB BS, MRCGP, DCH, DCROG,
Dr Brooke Maddux, MD, MPhil, Psychiatrist, France
Prof Paola Manduca, Prof of Genetics, Italy
Dr Mona Mange MD   Xavier Clinic,Tulsa OK USA
Dr Ruchama Marton, Founder of Physicians for Human Rights, Israel
Dr Rebecca Mather, BM, BCh, FRCPsych,
Dr Rob Mather, BM, BCh, FRCGP,
Prof Klim McPherson, PhD, FMed Sci,
Dr Tess McPherson, MA, MBBS, FRCP, MD,
Dr Claire Mestre, Psychiatrist and Anthropolist, CHU, Bordeaux, France, Association Ethnotopies
Dr Alan Meyers, MD, MPH, Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, USA
Prof Steven Miles, Prof Emeritus of Medicine and Bioethics, UK
Dr Pedro Molina,
Dr Ann Morris, MB, ChB, Member of the British Psychotherapy Foundation, London, UK
Dr Jan Willem Mulder, MD, PhD, Consultant Physician, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (retired)
Dr Loretta Mussi, MD,
Dr Mudasir Nazir, Academic Fellow, UK
Dr Julia Nelki, MA Oxon, MBChB, formally FRCPsych,
Dr Golda Ninan, MB, BCh, MRCGP,
Dr Anne Noonan, Psychiatrist, Australia
Dr Kingsley Norton, Consultant Psychiatrist, UK
Dr Brendan O’Brien, MB DCH. Retired General Practitioner, Edmonton, London
Dr Peadar O’Grady, Consultant Child Psychiatrist, Eire
Dr Tony O’Sullivan, MRCP, DCH, Consultant Paediatrician (retired)
Dr Tomasz Piercionek, Consultant Psychiatrist, UK
Dr Pino Pini, Psychiatrist, Italy
Dr Elinor Price MB BS MRCGP
Dr John W. L. Puntis, BM(Hons), DM, FRCP, FRCPCH, Consultant Paediatrician, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK (Retired)
Dr Cheryl Qamar, LCSWR, Hudson Valley, New York,USA
Dr Michael Radford, Consultant Psychiatrist, UK
Dr Saroop Raja, UK
Dr Nicholas Rose, MB, ChB, FRCPsych,
Dr Alice Rothschild, MD,
Dr Rachel Rubin, MD, MPH, Chicago, USA
Prof Andrew Samuels, DHL, Former Chair UK Council for Psychotherapy
Dr Benedetto Saraceno, Ornex, France
Prof Lara Sheehi, PsyD, George Washington University, USA
Prof Stephen Sheehi, PhD, William and Mary College, USA
Dr Gillian Shepherd, UK
Dr Ann Marisa Silverman, FRCPsych,
Dr Philip Smith, UK
Dr Cecile Spieser, Psychiatrist, France
Dr Peter Sporn,MD Chicago, Illinois 
Dr Derek Summerfield, BSC(Hons), MBBS, MRCPsych, Kings College, London, UK
Dr Gabriel Symons, UK
Dr Philip Thomas, MPhil, DPM, FRCPsych, MD, Consultant Psychiatrist (retired)
Dr Jane Thomas, MB, ChB, MRCPsych,
Prof Sami Timimi, Consultant Child Psychiatrist, UK
BaronessDr Jenny Tonge, House of Lords, UK
Dr Christine van Duuren, Member of the British Psychotherapy Foundation London, UK (retired)
Dr Maria van Hove, MD, MSc, MFPH,
Dr Sebastiao Viola, Consultant Psychiatrist, UK
Dr  Athena Viscusi, LICSW,  Washington  DC
Dr Rivka Warshawsky, Clinical Psychologist, Jaffa, Israel
Dr Petra Wempe, General Practitioner, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (retired)
Dr Judith Whale, MRCPsych, UK
Dr Cathy Wield, Specialist Physician, UK
Dr James H Williams, PhD, MSW, Tacoma, Washington, USA
Dr Richard Williams, General Practitioner (retired), London
Dr Pam Wortley, MBBS, MRCGP, General Practitioner (retired)
Dr Bernadette Wren, C Psychol, MSc Syst Psych,
Dr Venetia Young, General Practitioner, UK

Israel’s assaults on public health infrastructure amount to war crimes″>

Nowhere was the human toll of Israel’s May 2021 aggresssion felt more acutely than at al-Shifa hospital, which was frequently overwhelmed and chronically understocked Naaman Omar APA images

In May 2021, the Israeli military dropped hundreds of bombs on the Gaza Strip, destroying houses, schools, businesses, and health care facilities.

Perhaps nowhere was the human toll of that month more apparent than at al-Shifa hospital, the “only hospital in Gaza equipped for emergency assistance.”

Doctors worked for days on end, rarely sleeping or eating and unable to see their families as they frantically treated hundreds of wounded Palestinian patients – at least, those patients who could actually reach the hospital.

Outside the hospital grounds, streets were so badly damaged by Israeli airstrikes that paramedics struggled to bring patients directly to al-Shifa.

In the span of those 11 days in May, Israeli occupation forces wreaked havoc on Gaza’s already precarious public health system, damaging or destroying 19 medical centers, including the offices of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, a nonprofit that provides cancer treatment and medical prosthetics to children who are unable to seek care outside of Gaza due to Israeli blockades.

The Israeli military’s actions in 2021 were, unfortunately, nothing new. Numerous Israeli bombing campaigns have damaged or destroyed primary health infrastructure in the occupied Gaza Strip, including clinics and hospitals as well as key public health services like water treatment facilities, sewage treatment plants, and electrical grids.

This is not accidental. Israel relies on – among other strategies – the destruction of Palestinian health infrastructure, the targeting of medical personnel, and inhibiting Palestinian access to health care to enforce its regime of apartheid.

Yet Western health officials often overlook these acts, which are nothing short of war crimes, and this passive complicity violates our promise as health care professionals to do no harm. The physical and mental health of the Palestinian people is a central component of Palestinian liberation and must be discussed as such.
A health care void

Israel’s military offensives against Palestine have both created and exacerbated existing public health concerns within the occupied Gaza Strip and West Bank. Beginning with the Nakba in 1948, Israel has made it a matter of policy to destroy not only Palestinian homes and communities, but clinics, hospitals, and other health infrastructure.

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza in 2021 damaged or destroyed numerous clinics, a water treatment facility, and infrastructure related to COVID-19 testing and treatment. Nearly 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza were injured during Israel’s May 2021 military assault and hospitals were overwhelmed.

The outright destruction of Palestinian health infrastructure, such as the bombing of a clinic operated by Doctors Without Borders, is accompanied by direct physical violence against health care personnel.

The Israeli military have killed medical professionals, including doctors Ayman Abu al-Ouf and Muin al-Aloul in 2021 and paramedic Razan al-Najjar, who was killed by Israeli snipers in 2018.

Often leaders and pillars of their communities, doctors killed by the Israeli military leave behind both a physical and psychological void of health care and security.

The actions of the Israeli government and occupying military forces are indefensible by any interpretation of international humanitarian law, yet they are ignored at every opportunity by world leaders. In no other country and in no other war would such actions be left unaddressed by the Western medical community.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the American Medical Association has issued no shortage of press releases calling the targeting of civilians and healthcare workers “unconscionable.”

To be sure, the actions of Russia are unconscionable, but so too is the inaction of Western doctors and health care personnel to stand in solidarity with our Palestinian counterparts.
Bodily health is resistance

Along with the destruction of Palestinian health infrastructure and the targeted killings of Palestinian health care workers, the Israeli government imposes draconian restrictions on the movement of Palestinians seeking health care in Gaza and the West Bank.

Medical travel permits are often delayed, lost or ignored by Israeli occupation forces operating checkpoints out of Gaza. Figures from the World Health Organization estimate that the Israeli government and military accepted only 54 percent of medical travel permits in 2017.

Blockades and checkpoints operated by Israeli occupation forces grossly impede not only the day-to-day freedoms of Palestinians, but prevent ambulances from transporting critically ill and injured patients.

Despite the close proximity of the Israeli and Palestinian populations, infant and maternal mortality rates remain markedly higher for Palestinians, and life expectancy is almost 10 years shorter. The rates of stroke, hypertension, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and neonatal disorders range from three to seven times higher for Palestinians as compared with Israelis.

This is by design.

The Israeli government has removed or prevented the construction of systems of care and residences – denying building permits and demolishing homes. Living under a regime of occupation and apartheid carries with it a heavy physical toll, one that cannot be adequately expressed through statistics.

Bodily integrity and bodily health are identified as key components to individual prosperity. The right of self-determination and Palestinian liberation are incumbent upon the general health of the Palestinian population, both of which the Israeli government aims to destroy.

The health care workers and public health personnel living and working under Israeli occupation are a testament to Palestinian strength and resistance, and public health officials in Palestine must have their calls to action echoed by their colleagues internationally.

Outside of Palestine, health care professionals should be among the first to apply pressure to Western governments to end funding absent a change of Israeli behavior and to condemn and uncover Israeli war crimes.

Targeting the health care sector is a grave crime against humanity and in further analysis of global health policy, it is imperative we address Israel’s action as such.

Emily Hacker received her MPH degree from the University of Utah. Her research interests focus on public health infrastructure and emergency medical services in the context of war zones and refugee settings.

Stop al blocco di Gaza

Il 2022 segna il 15° anno di un blocco totale della striscia di Gaza da parte di Israele.

2,3 milioni di palestinesi vivono nella più grande prigione a cielo aperto del mondo, privati dei diritti umani fondamentali. Il blocco, applicato sistematicamente con intenzione, è parte integrante della politica dell’apartheid che frammenta la Palestina storica e domina il suo popolo.

Il blocco nega il passaggio di persone e merci dentro e fuori Gaza, rendendola totalmente isolata e invisibile dal resto del mondo. Il mondo viene a conoscenza di Gaza solo quando è sotto pesanti attacchi militari – 4 volte negli ultimi 15 anni.

Il blocco è una violenza silenziosa quotidiana e continua ed ha un impatto su ogni aspetto della vita. Sebbene gli abitanti di Gaza siano noti per la loro straordinaria capacità di recupero, 15 anni di blocco disumano li hanno portati a un punto di rottura. È necessaria un’azione urgente.


Lo scopo di questa campagna è quello di

· Evidenziare l’urgenza di una soluzione politica
· Pretendere la revoca immediata e incondizionata del blocco · Sostenere l’unità palestinese

Porgiamo la nostra mano ai palestinesi nei loro sforzi per l’autodeterminazione, la libertà e la dignità.


Le richieste elencate nel position paper

Non c’è Palestina senza Gaza e non c’è Gaza vivibile con il proseguimento del blocco

(Testo del volantino preparato per l’azione del 30 marzo a Genova, Italia)

Gaza è stata un punto focale degli attacchi di Israele attraverso un blocco continuo estremamente intenso per 15 anni.

Il blocco ha causato grave de-crescita, sofferenza e mancanza di beni essenziali per la vita della popolazione di Gaza: acqua potabile, medicinali e cure mediche, diritto di circolazione e commercio.

Il blocco ha vietato inoltre l’uso delle risorse naturali della terra e della zona di pesca e le produzioni autosufficienti manifatturiere e industriali.

Il blocco aggrava la negazione dei diritti all’autodeterminazione del popolo, già inibito dai 55 anni di occupazione della Palestina.

Il blocco ha reso impossibile la contiguità tra i palestinesi e ha promosso all’esterno la falsa idea che Gaza sia una questione separata, mentre piuttosto è il risultato di una forma grave dello stesso apartheid imposta all’insieme delle terre colonizzate.

Portare in primo piano la terribile situazione di Gaza, il rapporto tra Gaza e la Palestina e l’oppressione sistematica dei palestinesi, è il motivo per cui chiediamo l’arresto immediato e incondizionato del blocco di Gaza, come passo urgente ed essenziale per la libertà di Palestina.


Unisciti alla campagna “libertà per Gaza” ORA

Questa campagna è un’iniziativa dell’ECCP, il Coordinamento Europeo dei Comitati e delle Associazioni per la Palestina (ECCP) dedicato alla lotta del popolo palestinese per la libertà e la giustizia. ECCP ha sede a Bruxelles e ha uno status giuridico di organizzazione senza scopo di lucro ai sensi del diritto belga.


Appello all’azione il 30 marzo

La campagna “Stop il blocco di Gaza” inizia il 30 marzo, il Giorno della Terra, un giorno cruciale nella lotta del popolo palestinese per reclamare la propria terra dove ha vissuto per secoli. In questo giorno del 1976 il governo israeliano annunciò l’espropriazione di un’ampia fetta di terra palestinese che scatenò una protesta diffusa in tutta la Palestina storica, non solo nella Cisgiordania occupata ma anche all’interno di Israele. Questo giorno è quindi celebrato come il giorno del diritto dei palestinesi alla loro terra indigena e dell’unità.

Il 30 marzo segna anche l’inizio della Grande Marcia del Ritorno (GMR) a Gaza 4 anni fa (2018). Da 40.000 a 50.000 manifestanti hanno marciato verso la recinzione di confine che separa Gaza da Israele, sostenendo simbolicamente il loro diritto al ritorno e alla libertà di movimento sancito dal diritto internazionale e dalla dichiarazione sui diritti umani. Da quel giorno la GMR è continuata ogni venerdì per più di un anno. L’esercito israeliano ha aperto il fuoco contro i manifestanti disarmati. Ciò ha provocato un numero sbalorditivo di morti e feriti di civili tra cui donne, bambini e anziani, anche disabili. Questo è stato un crimine di guerra. Ma fino ad oggi nessun responsabile è stato imputato.

A Gaza, il costo umano per commemorare la GMR con un’altra simile protesta è stato troppo alto, vista la brutale repressione militare passata e presente. Il popolo di Gaza osserverà questo giorno ricordando i propri caduti e le proprie perdite, ma anche con rinnovata sfida contro il blocco, l’oppressione e l’ingiustizia. Mostriamo la nostra solidarietà alla popolazione di Gaza attraverso un’azione sui social media a livello europeo per commemorare la giornata e segnare l’inizio della campagna.


Unisciti a noi nell’azione sui social media il 30 marzo

Le locandine in varii formati in Italiano sono disponibili qui:


Gli hashtag

#LandDay #StopGazaBlockade #EndIsraeliApartheid #FreePalestine #ReunitePalestine

#Giorno della Terra #StopGazaBlocco #EndIsraeliApartheid #Palestina libera #Riunire la Palestina

Tutti gli hashtag e gli strumenti per i social

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