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    Misery is the word which comes to mind when trying to describe the reality of more than one point eight million people. In one of the most highly concentrated areas in the world, GAZA, continues to be a place where dreams are NOT made of. After being devastated in Israeli onslaughts on the region which has left thousands dead, tens of thousands wounded and at least one hundred thousand homeless, Gaza is in a critical state. All of this at the same time while the Israeli siege on the area continues to control everything coming in and out of the region.

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    Bureaucratic nightmare to visit Gaza and see the plight of its people
    Article #1 at by Harry Fear / Gaza

    I have just arrived in Gaza for my maiden visit and I want to share my experience of getting here by means of this how-to guide on how to cross into the Strip.

    I came from Britain with a human rights-orientated purpose in Gaza, and so my how-to guide is most appropriate for those in a similar situation. The Gaza Strip has three crossing points; two are designed for civilian entry and exit. The first, ‘Erez’, is controlled by Israel and is under near-total lockdown. The other, ‘Rafah’, borders with Egypt and is essentially under Egyptian control.

    The Rafah Border Crossing (‘Rafah’) is open at least 5 days per week and is the size of a small airport terminal. On each operating day, Palestinians and internationals attempt to enter and exit the Strip. For Palestinians, entry and exit via Rafah is renowned as one of the most cumbersome and bureaucratically difficult crossing points in the world. Rafah also represents an often difficult crossing for internationals too, but this how-to guide will help with many of the tiring details in getting to Gaza. With this guide, visiting Gaza (via Rafah) should be substantially more simple and straightforward.

    (I give indicative pricings below in British pounds. The Egyptian currency (EGP) is the ‘guinea’.) Getting from Britain to Gaza

    You need a pretext to enter Gaza. As the situation stands, you cannot simply visit Gaza for ‘tourism’. Perhaps you will volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) to help document human rights abuses. Whatever the purpose of visiting, you need a signed letter from a notable Gaza-based organisation (like ISM) to personally invite you for a set period of time. This organisation is sometimes referred to as your ‘host’.

    You then, via email, submit your personal details, the dates of your planned visit and the letter of invitation from your host to the Egyptian embassy in London. Within 2–3 weeks you will receive a permission letter from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry; this permission letter permits you to use the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing.

    Book your flight to Cairo International Airport. Return tickets start at about £250 with the Egyptair airline (or similar); return tickets start at £380 if you book at the last minute. Fly from London Heathrow (or similar) to Cairo’s airport. The flight usually takes about 5hrs.

    Your ‘guide’ will be someone who you will have previously organised to kindly act as your guide in Gaza and will likely be your contact at the host organisation that invited you to Gaza. Your guide (or someone from your host organisation) needs to visit the Residence and Foreigners Affairs Admin office of the Ministry of Interior & National Security about a week before your arrival to apply for your Palestinian Entry Permit. The Palestinan National Authority needs to have issued your Entry Permit for you to be permitted entry. Make a printed copy of the Entry Permit for your possession.

    On arriving at the airport you will need to purchase an Egypt entry visa ($15 or ~100 EGP [£10]) before you can pass through the passport control stations.

    Take a taxi from Cairo’s airport to the centre of Cairo. Such a journey normally costs £20.

    (Optional) Take a night’s rest in Cairo. Cheap hotels start at around £9 per night.

    Take a taxi from Cairo to the Rafah crossing. This long-distance journey usually takes 6 hours so one hires a private driver, costing about £45. Drivers like to start the journey at about 3am to arrive at Rafah as the crossing opens at 9am. Your driver will likely stop two-thirds of the way through the journey to have breakfast at a cafe-restaurant. A driver can be sourced by your hotel in Cairo, or perhaps by a personal contact of yours in Cairo.

    On arriving at Rafah, show your passport, the Egyptian permission letter, the Palestinian Entry Permit and the Gazan-based organisation invitation letter to the guard at the gate. You will have to wait for between 10 minutes and 1 hour while they authenticate your documents. On completion, they will invite you to enter the crossing through the gates.

    Follow the flow of pedestrians and enter the Egyptian side’s Rafah terminal building. Go to the Passport Control desk and get a non-Egyptian entry form. Fill it in and get it stamped (for 2 EGP [£1]). Take the entry form, your passport and your two (permission and invitation) letters back to the Passport Control desk. Your details will once again be checked. You will usually have to wait for an hour before your name is shouted out by a Passport Control agent. You may need to sit or stand particularly close to the Desk so you don’t miss hearing your name being announced, as the public announcement system is intermittent.

    [Inside the Egyptian Rafah Crossing]

    Once your name is called out you will be given back your passport which will have been stamped with an Egypt exit stamp beside an Egypt entry stamp you received at the airport. Proceed through the terminal building, passing through another Egyptian guard desk; your passport will be checked for an exit stamp and a guard will want to read your permission and invitation letters.

    Before you exit the Egyptian side’s terminal you will need to pay for an exit ticket (105 EGP [£11]).

    Follow the flow of pedestrians. Purchase a coach ticket (20 EGP [£2]). Board the coach, which will take you through to the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing. [Congratulations! You are now out of Egypt and almost in Palestine.]

    Enter the Palestinian side’s terminal building and present your passport and two letters to an officer at one of the passport control booths.

    Security officers will ask you to be seated while they ask you a few questions on the purpose of your visit, the location of your Gaza accommodation and which Gazan will be guide. It will take between 5-30 minutes to satisfactorily verify your story. Ask the officers to place a telephone call to your guide to invite them into the terminal to collect you and help validate your story. Your guide and you will complete a form about your visit.

    You may also be asked to fill in an exit registration form, informing authorities of the date on which they should expect to receive you at the border to exit into Egypt.

    On the forms’ completion you will be given a Palestinan entry stamp and then continue through the terminal. You have successfully entered the Strip. You will then probably want to take a taxi to your specific destination in Gaza with your guide.

    Cost in total

    : £340 (flight booked in advance) or £470 (flight booked at the last minute). Travel time in total: 25 hours.


    In conclusion, you will need:

    A reason to visit Gaza
    An invitation letter from a Gazan organisation
    A permission letter to use the Rafah crossing from Egypt’s Foreign Ministry
    An airline ticket to Cairo
    A guide who’s willing to be a good behaviour guarantor
    An entry permit from Gaza’s Ministry of Interior & National Security

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    What if Slain Gaza Children Had Been Jews?
    By reversing the position of Jews and Palestinians, Robert Bonomo inadvertently reveals the essential nature of the New World Order. Illuminati Jews are taking the place of God. Good and evil are being redefined in terms of their perverse self interest. To reproach them is the modern blasphemy, i.e. "anti Semitism."

    "We shall purify the idea [of God] by identifying it with the nation of Israel,which has become its own Messiah. The advent of it will be facilitated by the final triumph of Israel... " Otto Kahn Illuminati Banker
    by Robert Bonomo (

    Let's do a thought experiment and imagine that the Arabs had gotten the better of the Israelis in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and after years of conflict, all that was left of Israel was the Gaza strip. Assume for a moment that instead of Palestinians, over 1.8 million Jews were crammed into the 11 mile Gaza strip and the state of Palestine, subsidized and supported by a superpower, was administering the calories to the Jews in Gaza, keeping them to a limit of 2,300 a day. Imagine that instead of Palestinian children, it was Jewish children living under a Palestinian embargo that denied them toys, books, music and until a few years ago, even pasta. How do you think the world would react? Imagine if it were Palestinian commandos who had assaulted a peaceful cargo ship attempting to break the embargo to bring supplies to Jews in Gaza, killing nine, including one American. Do you think 85 US Senators would have signed a letter supporting the embargo on Gaza and the deadly attack on the cargo ship if that ship had been on a humanitarian mission to help Jews in Gaza?

    NBC correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin reported first-hand the death of four boys playing on the beach in Gaza. "The attack - and its heartrending aftermath - was witnessed by NBC News. Moments earlier, the boys were playing soccer with journalists on the beach. The four victims were named as Ahed Atef Bakr and Zakaria Ahed Bakr, both 10 years old, Mohamed Ramez Bakr, 11, and Ismael Mohamed Bakr, 9." Ayman Mohyeldin, who is Egyptian-American, was later ordered by NBC to leave Gaza. Glenn Greenwald reported that, "numerous NBC employees, including some of the network's highest-profile stars, were...indignant," and that Mohyeldin had been removed from Gaza allegedly due to pressure from Neo-Con quarters which claimed Mohyeldin had been soft on Hamas. It's almost impossible to imagine that Mohyeldin would have been replaced if he had been reporting on the death of four Jewish youngsters at the hands of a Palestinian gunboat. What we see repeatedly in Gaza is how the media values Palestinian lives differently than Israeli ones.

    The day after the attack, Samantha Power, US ambassador to the United Nations, began her comments this way: "The United States is deeply concerned about the rocket attacks by Hamas and the dangerous escalation of hostilities in the region. In particular, we are concerned about the devastating impact of this crisis on both Israeli and Palestinian civilians." It's unimaginable that if a Hamas rocket had landed in a park and killed four Israeli children that Ms. Power would have begun her remarks this way:

    "The United States is deeply concerned about the Israeli incursion into Gaza and the dangerous escalation of hostilities in the region..." Why is this inconceivable? Because Ms. Power and the government she represents support Israeli apartheid and simply do not value the lives of Palestinian children the same way they value the lives of Israeli children. As reported by MSN, CNN reporter Diana Magnay was removed from Gaza because:

    Israelis lounge as Gaza is bombed.JPG"Magnay was reporting live on the air as a group watched the Israeli bombardment of Gaza around her. After the report was over, she wrote on Twitter: 'Israelis on hill above Sderot cheer as bombs land on #gaza; threaten to 'destroy our car if I say a word wrong.' Scum.' CNN said in a statement Friday that Magnay was referring specifically to those who threatened her. CNN said the network and Magnay are sorry if anyone was offended. The network said Magnay has been reassigned to Moscow." If the people on the hill above her had been Arabs cheering on a Palestinian artillery battery hammering Jews, would Ms. Magnay have been reassigned to Moscow for calling those who threatened her 'scum'? I think not.


    Of course in Europe, the coverage is somewhat more balanced, but Roger Cohen of the NY Times let's us know what's behind that. He begins by quoting poet James Lasdun, "There is something uncannily adaptive about anti-Semitism: the way it can hide, unsuspected, in the most progressive minds." Then Cohen continues, "...the war has also suggested how the virulent anti-Israel sentiment now evident among the bien-pensant European left can create a climate that makes violent hatred of Jews permissible once again." What Mr. Cohen is saying is that if one applies the full measure of moral outrage towards the Israeli slaughter of children, as the Europeans are doing and the Americans refuse to do, then you are toying with anti-Semitism of the National Socialist variety.

    A good example of Cohen's logic at work was when Jimmy Carter used the the word 'apartheid' to describe the situation in Gaza and was branded "dangerous and anti-Semitic" for simply stating the obvious. While there has been some limited criticism from the United States regarding the Israeli invasion, no one should doubt who is calling the shots in the US/Israeli relationship. During the last conflict in Gaza in 2009, Condolezza Rice was going to vote for a UN resolution calling for a cease fire but Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would have nothing of it. He explained what happened in a speech: "When we saw that the secretary of state, for reasons we did not really understand, wanted to vote in favour of the UN resolution ... I looked for President Bush and they told me he was in Philadelphia making a speech. I said, 'I don't care. I have to talk to him now'. They got him off the podium, brought him to another room and I spoke to him. I told him, 'You can't vote in favour of this resolution.'

    He said, 'Listen, I don't know about it, I didn't see it, I'm not familiar with the phrasing.' He gave an order to the secretary of state and she did not vote in favour of it - a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organized and maneuvered for. She was left pretty shamed and abstained on a resolution she arranged." Who decides when a child deserves books, toys, and pasta or is better served by an artillery barrage? Mr. Netanyahu and his accomplices in the American government and media have no doubts about who deserves what.

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    An open letter for the people in Gaza

    We are doctors and scientists, who spend our lives developing means to care and protect health and lives. We are also informed people; we teach the ethics of our professions, together with the knowledge and practice of it. We all have worked in and known the situation of Gaza for years. On the basis of our ethics and practice, we are denouncing what we witness in the aggression of Gaza by Israel.

    We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression. We challenge the perversity of a propaganda that justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre, a so-called “defensive aggression”. In reality it is a ruthless assault of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity. We wish to report the facts as we see them and their implications on the lives of the people. We are appalled by the military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists. This is the third large scale military assault on Gaza since 2008. Each time the death toll is borne mainly by innocent people in Gaza, especially women and children under the unacceptable pretext of Israel eradicating political parties and resistance to the occupation and siege they impose.

    This action also terrifies those who are not directly hit, and wounds the soul, mind, and resilience of the young generation. Our condemnation and disgust are further compounded by the denial and prohibition for Gaza to receive external help and supplies to alleviate the dire circumstances. The blockade on Gaza has tightened further since last year and this has worsened the toll on Gaza's population. In Gaza, people suffer from hunger, thirst, pollution, shortage of medicines, electricity, and any means to get an income, not only by being bombed and shelled. Power crisis, gasoline shortage, water and food scarcity, sewage outflow and ever decreasing resources are disasters caused directly and indirectly by the siege.1

    People in Gaza are resisting this aggression because they want a better and normal life and, even while crying in sorrow, pain, and terror, they reject a temporary truce that does not provide a real chance for a better future. A voice under the attacks in Gaza is that of Um Al Ramlawi who speaks for all in Gaza: “They are killing us all anyway—either a slow death by the siege, or a fast one by military attacks. We have nothing left to lose—we must fight for our rights, or die trying.”2 Gaza has been blockaded by sea and land since 2006. Any individual of Gaza, including fishermen venturing beyond 3 nautical miles of the coast of Gaza, face being shot by the Israeli Navy. No one from Gaza can leave from the only two checkpoints, Erez or Rafah, without special permission from the Israelis and the Egyptians, which is hard to come by for many, if not impossible. People in Gaza are unable to go abroad to study, work, visit families, or do business. Wounded and sick people cannot leave easily to get specialised treatment outside Gaza. Entries of food and medicines into Gaza have been restricted and many essential items for survival are prohibited.3 Before the present assault, medical stock items in Gaza were already at an all time low because of the blockade.3 They have run out now. Likewise, Gaza is unable to export its produce. Agriculture has been severely impaired by the imposition of a buffer zone, and agricultural products cannot be exported due to the blockade. 80% of Gaza's population is dependent on food rations from the UN.

    Much of Gaza's buildings and infrastructure had been destroyed during Operation Cast Lead, 2008—09, and building materials have been blockaded so that schools, homes, and institutions cannot be properly rebuilt. Factories destroyed by bombardment have rarely been rebuilt adding unemployment to destitution. Despite the difficult conditions, the people of Gaza and their political leaders have recently moved to resolve their conflicts “without arms and harm” through the process of reconciliation between factions, their leadership renouncing titles and positions, so that a unity government can be formed abolishing the divisive factional politics operating since 2007. This reconciliation, although accepted by many in the international community, was rejected by Israel. The present Israeli attacks stop this chance of political unity between Gaza and the West Bank and single out a part of the Palestinian society by destroying the lives of people of Gaza. Under the pretext of eliminating terrorism, Israel is trying to destroy the growing Palestinian unity. Among other lies, it is stated that civilians in Gaza are hostages of Hamas whereas the truth is that the Gaza Strip is sealed by the Israelis and Egyptians.

    Gaza has been bombed continuously for the past 14 days followed now by invasion on land by tanks and thousands of Israeli troops. More than 60 000 civilians from Northern Gaza were ordered to leave their homes. These internally displaced people have nowhere to go since Central and Southern Gaza are also subjected to heavy artillery bombardment. The whole of Gaza is under attack. The only shelters in Gaza are the schools of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), uncertain shelters already targeted during Cast Lead, killing many. According to Gaza Ministry of Health and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),1 as of July 21, 149 of the 558 killed in Gaza and 1100 of the 3504 wounded are children. Those buried under the rubble are not counted yet. As we write, the BBC reports of the bombing of another hospital, hitting the intensive care unit and operating theatres, with deaths of patients and staff. There are now fears for the main hospital Al Shifa. Moreover, most people are psychologically traumatised in Gaza. Anyone older than 6 years has already lived through their third military assault by Israel.

    The massacre in Gaza spares no one, and includes the disabled and sick in hospitals, children playing on the beach or on the roof top, with a large majority of non-combatants. Hospitals, clinics, ambulances, mosques, schools, and press buildings have all been attacked, with thousands of private homes bombed, clearly directing fire to target whole families killing them within their homes, depriving families of their homes by chasing them out a few minutes before destruction. An entire area was destroyed on July 20, leaving thousands of displaced people homeless, beside wounding hundreds and killing at least 70—this is way beyond the purpose of finding tunnels. None of these are military objectives. These attacks aim to terrorise, wound the soul and the body of the people, and make their life impossible in the future, as well as also demolishing their homes and prohibiting the means to rebuild. Weaponry known to cause long-term damages on health of the whole population are used; particularly non fragmentation weaponry and hard-head bombs.4, 5 We witnessed targeted weaponry used indiscriminately and on children and we constantly see that so-called intelligent weapons fail to be precise, unless they are deliberately used to destroy innocent lives.

    We denounce the myth propagated by Israel that the aggression is done caring about saving civilian lives and children's wellbeing. Israel's behaviour has insulted our humanity, intelligence, and dignity as well as our professional ethics and efforts. Even those of us who want to go and help are unable to reach Gaza due to the blockade. This “defensive aggression” of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity must be stopped.

    Additionally, should the use of gas be further confirmed, this is unequivocally a war crime for which, before anything else, high sanctions will have to be taken immediately on Israel with cessation of any trade and collaborative agreements with Europe. As we write, other massacres and threats to the medical personnel in emergency services and denial of entry for international humanitarian convoys are reported.6 We as scientists and doctors cannot keep silent while this crime against humanity continues. We urge readers not to be silent too. Gaza trapped under siege, is being killed by one of the world's largest and most sophisticated modern military machines. The land is poisoned by weapon debris, with consequences for future generations. If those of us capable of speaking up fail to do so and take a stand against this war crime, we are also complicit in the destruction of the lives and homes of 1·8 million people in Gaza. We register with dismay that only 5% of our Israeli academic colleagues signed an appeal to their government to stop the military operation against Gaza. We are tempted to conclude that with the exception of this 5%, the rest of the Israeli academics are complicit in the massacre and destruction of Gaza. We also see the complicity of our countries in Europe and North America in this massacre and the impotence once again of the international institutions and organisations to stop this massacre.

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