Monday, January 5, 2009

FPA Statement 10 on the Massacre in Gaza

Gaza under Fire and the Struggle Continues

This is the tenth consecutive statement, marking 10 days of vicious Zionist assault on the Gaza Strip. To date, more than 540 Palestinians have been killed and over 2,500 have been injured, many in critical conditions. Medical personnel are reporting their inability to keep up with the number of casualties as a result of the intensity of the attacks on all including medical rescue personnel. Currently, there is an alarming absence of power, equipment, medical supplies. Essentially, Gaza's infrastructure has fully collapsed, making rescue efforts nearly impossible. There are no effective communication lines remaining, water, power, or food supplies.

Additionally, there are various reports that the internationally- banned white phosphorous bombs are now being used by the Zionist army, causing severe burns. These are the explosives that have been shown on all news agencies that engulf the attacked areas with white smoke, essentially raining fire on one of the densest areas of the world.

Despite facing the onslaught of the strongest military power in the region and one of the most powerful in the world, the Palestinian people are resisting with everything they have. Heavy fighting has been reported throughout the areas where the Zionist army is invading, causing the Israeli government to begin releasing reports of casualties in their own ranks, despite their typical attempts to hide such reports.

The FPA is renewing its call to sustain a widespread popular protest, and to heed a call for a National Emergency Plan of Action issued by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, MAS Freedom, the Free Palestine Alliance, the National Council of Arab Americans, and Al-Awda. We call on our community to join the National March on Washington on January 10, as we have an obligation to send a loud and clear message of condemnation and outrage to the Bush administration and to the incoming president, Barak Obama, who has arrived to Washington awaiting his inauguration.

For details and to find out about a protest near you, please go here.
For all previous FPA statements, go here.

As this sea, air, and ground assault continues, presumed diplomatic efforts are underway on multiple fronts. Of note is the French president visit. We remind President Sarkozy of the French colonial legacy in Algeria, where despite attempts by French colonists to destroy that Arab and African country, Algerians nonetheless triumphed. We remind Sarkozy of the words of Jean-Paul Sarter, in his preface to Fanon's Wretched of the Earth, as he tells the French who were upset by the anger of the Algerians: "Our victims know us by their wounds and shackles: that is what makes their testimony irrefutable." We tell Sarkozy, Obama, Israeli and Arab Zionists, and for that matter, the world, the same: You are known by the wretchedness of the wicked lives of dispossession you have imposed, the death you have delivered to children; and the suffocation that fills the air.

Again, as was the case for all colonists, Sarkozy and others seem to relegate the misery of the victim to the margin, and focus primarily on the colonial need of the colonists. Such has been the disgraceful performance of the UN Security Council and the European Community, not to mention their functionaries, the Arab regimes. What must happen for a position to be taken, we ask? The answer is clear. Positions by colonists, imperial powers, and their despots are taken only to cement colonial and imperial designs. The examples are far too many.

Lest some buy into the insulting and false argument being floated at the UN that this is a "war" between two equal parties, it is critical to know the reality of the Gaza Strip and its people.

The impoverished Gaza Strip is located at the most southern portion of the Palestinian coast on the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of no more 1.33% of Palestine. It has no oil fields, no army, no tanks, no planes, no artillery, no major industry, and no financial markets. In addition to its once beautiful sea and once fantastic citrus groves, it now only has its determined and very proud and resilient Palestinian Arab people. It is 41 kilometer long and between 6 and 12 kilometers wide, for a total area of 360 square kilometers.

The Gaza Strip is considered one of the densest areas in the world, with a density of 55,000 persons per square kilometer in the highly crowded eight refugee camps. Beach Camp, located in western Gaza City, has a registered population of over 81,000 living in less than 1 square kilometer. As a reference, the average density of major urban and dense areas in India is 15,700 and is 29,400 in Hong Kong (persons per square kilometer).

The majority of the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip are refugees displaced in 1948 mostly from areas immediately to the north, particularly from the City of Yafa and surrounding villages and towns. The eight major refugee camps in the Gaza Strip are: Jabalia, Rafah, Beach, Nuseirat, Khan Younis, Bureij, Maghazi, and Deir el-Balah. All of these camps are under severe bombardment and all have been under siege for an extensive period of time.

Indeed, this is a standoff between colonial wrath and the will of a proud people, who have been dispossessed multiple times, and who insist on liberation and freedom in total. The people of the world has a duty to stand in solidarity.

The Free Palestine Alliance
January 5, 2009

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