Rights activists begin to enter Gaza as bombing intensifies

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Child's bicycle in bombed out home in Gaza, November 19, 2012
A child’s bicycle can be seen in a bombed out home in Gaza City, November 19, 2012, shows the innocent victims who can be greatly impacted under conflict. Image: Derek Stoffel/CBC

(WNN) Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, U.S.: A delegation from Code Pink – Women for Peace, a ‘self-described’ “women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations and to challenge militarism globally,” are on their way to to arrive November 25 to join over 500 Egyptian and global protesters who have been crossing the border from Egypt into Gaza as conflict between the Israeli government military forces and Hamas led Gaza forces has continued over the past six days.

The goal of Code Pink is “…for an emergency delegation to witness, report on the destruction and bring aid,” said Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin in an email message sent to members of Code Pink today, who is hoping to reach Gaza with a Code Pink delegation as soon as possible following their arrival in the region.

To date over 100 casualties with 800 injuries have been reported in the Gaza strip region. Recent Palestinian casualties include over 200 children. Rockets from Hamas have also killed 3 Israelis over the weekend.

In Ashkelon, Israel, which has received much of the rocket violence from Gaza, bomb sirens and mounting fear are affecting numerous Russian immigrant families who live in a direct line that is caught between the conflict. In Gaza City, civilian family members have been part of those who have been listed with the injured, as well as those killed, from bomb mounted strikes coming from the Israeli government. A criss-cross of drones, airstrikes and rocket bombs have been part of Israel’s military response to what spokesperson Capt. Eytan Buchman says has been “…a significant increase in Hamas’s capabilities.”

While the process leading to a temporary Middle East cease-fire in the impacted region is hoping to finalize tomorrow as Egyptian officials step in to help coordinate peace efforts, the outcome in the region is still too unstable to guess.

“The laws of war require forces to take all feasible precautions to ensure that attacks are only carried out against military targets, not civilians, and attacks should be canceled if it becomes apparent the target is not military. It is unlawful to carry out an attack in which the expected civilian loss is disproportionate to the anticipated military gain,” said Human Rights Watch, one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights.

“I am deeply saddened by the reported deaths of more than ten members of the Dalu family, including women and children, and additional Palestinian civilians killed as a result of the ongoing violence in the Gaza strip.  I am also alarmed by the continuing firing of rockets against Israeli towns, which has killed several Israeli civilians,” said United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon yesterday as he also conveyed that he would personally be going to the region to contribute toward efforts for peace in the region.

“This must stop. I strongly urge the parties to cooperate with all efforts led by Egypt to reach an immediate cease fire. Any further escalation will inevitably increase the suffering of the affected civilian populations and must be avoided,” continued UN Secretary General Ban.

Gaza’s main and largest Al-Shifa hospital, where 80 percent of the casualties have been sent after their injuries, is suffering like many other medical facilities in Gaza, under a “severe shortage of drugs and disposables, cotton wool gauze, antiseptics, I.V. fluids and so on,” said Tony Laurance from the WHO – World Health Organization. “More than half of those kind of items were out of stock before all this began,” Laurance continued on Sunday in a live interview with the BBC.


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