Palestine in Asia-Africa-Oceania Newsletter No.7

Tuesday 26 August 2014

IBBY Asia-Africa-Oceania Newsletter, August 2014

Palestine: Aggression on Gaza- Aggression on IBBY Libraries

These last weeks and these days are dreadful and extremely sad. Our people in Gaza are living a permanent horror with sleepless nights as they are facing death, loss, destruction, displacement. There is a sharp shortage of food, medical needs, water, and electricity; with no safe place and no shelter. The most heart breaking is the indiscriminate and horrific killing of hundreds of children and wounding thousands. A United Nations official said ‘every hour an innocent child is being killed’!

It is not any exaggeration to say that the Israeli aggression on Gaza’s 1.8 million inhabitants is a genocide and a crime against humanity. The targeting of an occupied community and defenceless civilians by a highly armed occupier with the most advanced high tech weapons, is a blatant ethnic cleansing to overpower Palestinian steadfastness and resistance.

To understand more about the aim of the Israeli governments’ horrendous aggression on Gaza it is important to understand the root causes of the Palestinian problem. This is not a war on Hamas but on all the Palestinian people who have been dispossessed (1948), occupied (1967) and under siege (2007). In these atrocities against the Palestinian people, is similar to war crimes in Lebanon, when Fateh was then the ‘terrorist’. Then Israel killed and wounded thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians, and during Israel’s barbaric invasion of Lebanon in 1982, culminating in the Sabra and Shatila massacre which killed in cold blood thousands of

In this traumatic saga it is important to mention that 80% of Palestinians in Gaza are refugees, and children form more than 40% of the population. Children are the third/ fourth generation of refugees uprooted from their homeland in al Nakba, where Israel killed thousands of civilians, destroyed more than 450 villages and forbade the return of refugees despite multiple UN resolutions. These refugees have lived for these long years in camps and later in shacks and slums called refugee camps.

Civilians have been the main victim of this racial cleansing reaching around 85%; the loss and suffering of children has been horrendous. At the time of writing, 463 children have been killed 2,111 have been wounded. Complete families have been exterminated, and complete residential areas. More than 500,000 have been displaced. 800 homes have been destroyed and thousands of houses have completely or partially destroyed by Israeli shelling. Civilian
infrastructure is targeted including schools, universities, hospitals, and libraries.

The damage will be lasting:

Over 1.2 million people will not have adequate access to water. More than 141 damaged schools will not be ready for the upcoming school year, added to
the existing shortage of almost 200 schools. The trauma faced by over 373,000 children will go untreated with essential, direct psychosocial

Over 490,000 IDPs will not receive the immediate food assistance they need to see them through these months of crisis. Over 40,785 housing units with major to minor damages will be left unrepaired, and the families that called them home will have no place to return to.

Source: http://www.ochaopt.org/

Seven UN schools that are shelter of displaced Palestinians have been bombarded by Israel. This is added to similar massacres by Israeli forces and to the two Qana massacres against Lebanese civilian in 1996 and 2006.

The eight year of siege on Gaza had its toll in the acute shortage of basic human needs. From the first day of aggression the Israeli forces targeted civilians, the infra- structure, food and medical supplies, including Gaza›s only Power Plant. All the UNRWA storage deposits have been destroyed, two days ago all the medical storage of the Ministry of Health.

The ICRC representative in Gaza said: «I’ve never seen such devastation, so much destruction, so much blood...»


International law forbids targeting of civilians for any reason. The UN officials confirmed that ‘No Weapons found in UN Facilities’

Yet, the UNSC failed to pass a resolution of deterrence or even condemnation
of Israeli atrocities, due to the unlimited and shameful support of the US government to Israel. Crimes go on, death, blood and tears do not stop!

Thus the Geneva Conventions, the International Humanitarian Laws and the Child Rights convention are dead in Gaza! Now, a six years child would have been exposed to three ethnic cleansing dreadful wars!

Today with the variety of the satellite TV and with the vital role of the social media, these atrocities are seen by everyone around the world. No manipulation, no lies, and no reverse of truth and reality! Public opinion around the world is enraged and cannot believe how these massacres are allowed to continue. Unlike the shameful position of the US government and its allies, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are demonstrating against this horrific aggression on Gaza, demanding its halt, an end to the siege and an end to occupation of Palestine as the real road to just peace!

IBBY raised its voice from the first few days

Open Letter from IBBY Foundation President

IBBY Statement Regarding the Current Situation in Gaza 11 July 2014

There was a statement on IBBY Libraries in Gaza - 19 July 2014

Update on the IBBY Libraries and colleagues in Gaza - 29 July 2014

This is a video of the destruction of Beit Hanoun Area where the library is located.

UK IBBY prepared a letter British that was published in the The Guardian, Tuesday 22 July 2014, signed by a broad range of signatories from the UK children’s world (around 70) this was published.

Academics Call for a Ceasefire and Just Peace Agreement

UK IBBY also developed a social media campaign.

PBBY extends its thanks and appreciation to all the solidarity and expressed by many IBBY Sections and Friends around the world; there were tens of shares of the IBBY posting on the subject and posted it on their WP and FB; some translated it, like the Catalán Branch of Spanish IBBY and the Iranian IBBY who translated IBBY statement and updates into Persian and posted them on their webpage and other sections and friends that we might not be aware of.

We cry for the loss of lives and for the tremendous sufferings; however, we are all determined to struggle for liberation and peace. With the support of our IBBY wonderful family, IBBY libraries will be restored and brought back to life, we will never lose faith in the Power of Books!

* These pictures were added here by PBBY

Palestinian girl looking for her books under the ruins of her home.

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Pictures of destruction in Gaza:

War Art

Pictures from library before it was destroyed:

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