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Cumartesi, Nisan 20, 2024

TURNING A BLIND EYE: Reflections On Gaza From Those Who Know

Mutlaka Oku

By Janet Ekstract NEW YORK- The travesty of Gaza is ‘turning a blind eye.’ No one knows better about what is really going on than the intrepid journalists reporting on the ground, human rights officials, international aid workers and the plethora of eyewitnesses that include international doctors, Palestinians and others living in dire conditions in Gaza.  An article from The Guardian dated March 27, shares the story of a human rights official, Annelle Sheline who newly resigned from the U.S. State Department because she said the Biden administration is hiding Israeli human rights abuses. Sheline said the State Department has plenty of evidence that demonstrates Israel violated U.S. law and that according to the Leahy Laws -it’s forbidden for a country to provide assistance to foreign military units implicated in atrocities, and section 620 (1) of the Foreign Assistance Act in part states that no assistance should be given to any government that “restricts, directly or indirectly, the transport or delivery of United States humanitarian assistance.’ Meanwhile, even more telling is the final report submitted by United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories Italian Francesca P. Albanese who is a former lawyer for the Palestinian U.N. Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) and though lauded for her work in some circles, said she receives threats on a daily basis because of her findings on Gaza. Albanese did not mince words in her U.N. report that said there is unequivocal evidence of “genocidal acts” by Israel. Israeli officials want to see her fired from her unpaid position and have banned her from entering Israel. 

According to UNICEF global spokesperson James Elder who spoke to CNN, he said that dignity for young women and girls in Gaza is non-existent. He said UNICEF workers spoke with teenage girls who said they’re rather die than endure current conditions in Gaza. Elder said the conditions are so dire that “For a girl, it’s 850 people to a toilet. For an adolescent girl, it’s three-and-a-half thousand people to a shower… the dignity being denied these young women is kind of like we haven’t really seen before.” He added that a ground offensive from Israel “would lead to potentially the biggest catastrophe of this war.” In addition, over a month ago, Doctors Without Borders called out the Israeli army for targeting patients and doctors at major hospitals in Gaza while international aid workers on the ground in Israel, reported that Israeli soldiers shot and killed Palestinians waiting in line for humanitarian aid as well as Israeli soldiers firing on convoys carrying the aid. What’s ironic is that Israel doesn’t deny firing on innocent Palestinians and the commentary via video from some Israeli soldiers is decidedly dispassionate even going so far as being ho-hum. As one soldier told the international press “People are going to get killed, that’s just what happens in war.” Human rights officials and human rights workers see it far differently as do journalists and those in the government who can do nothing but wait as talks toward a ceasefire and hostage release, drag on.

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