Occupied Territory: Civilians at Rafah

Thousands of civilians were unable to return to their homes in Gaza strip. Defend International urged the Israeli, Palestinian and the Egyptian authorities, as well as Hamas leadership in Gaza to do whatever it took to spare civilian lives. In July 2007, an agreement was reached and soon Rafah crossing was re-opened.

 

Results of DI Campaign:

  • An agreement was reached on July 29, 2007 with the Israelis to let some 6,000 Palestinians stranded in dusty Egyptian towns cross into Gaza through other terminals along the Egyptian-Israeli border.
  •  Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza re-opened on September 30, 2007, giving the stranded Palestinians a chance to return after a long wait.

 

Campaign Status: Closed

Name: Several thousand civilians

Sex: Males & females

Authorities: Israeli / Palestinian / Egyptian

Category: Concern about the civilian’s health and condition

The case:

The road in northern Egypt is closed in the face of thousands of Palestinians and they are unable to return to their homes in Gaza strip. Rafah crossing is the only gate between Gaza and Egypt; it connects Gaza strip with sinai Peninsula. The crossing was closed by Israeli authorities since June 9th 2007. Afterward, particularly on June 15, 2007 the Israeli authorities had declared that the crossing would remain closed until further notice.

Hundreds of people are now camped nearby the crossing border; they can’t leave the area fearing the crossing will be opened temporarily in their absence. Although they can’t bear the bad situation, they have chosen waiting, because they simply desire to return home.

Many of them don’t have sufficient quantity of food, water, shelter and other necessary sustenance. They are suffering because of high temperature and dried weather; under this situation their health is in danger.

Rafah crossing is the only gate for people in Gaza; it connects them to the outside world. The Israeli authorities closed it when Hamas took Gaza strip under its control after clashes between Hamas’s supporters and members of Fateh party led by Mahmoud Abbas.

 

Civilian’s Health Condition:

While UNRWA announces that about 852 thousands out of residents of Gaza’s 1.5 million are categorized as refugees, and they currently are receiving rations from UNRWA; and WFP helps about 200 thousand inside Gaza, there are hundreds of others facing difficulties to return to their homes after undergoing medical treatment in Egypt. The treatments for many diseases such as cancer are not available in Gaza strip and patients have no way except traveling to Egypt for health care.

Some civilians had no other choices than selling their properties to pay the costs and debts upon their extended stay in Egypt; others have run out of drugs. Some parents and children are unable to join their families in Gaza.

 

DI Demands:

Defend International (DI) urges the Israeli, Palestinian and the Egyptian authorities, as well as Hamas leadership in Gaza to do whatever it takes to spare civilian lives. DI also calls for them to be granted access to any medical treatment they may require.

 

DI campaign:

Please copy the following appeals, add your signature and address and send them to arrive as soon as possible.

With thanks and appreciation

Defend International

 

نفس الحملة بالعربية

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Ehud Olmert
Prime Minister of Israel
Office of the Prime Minister,

3 Kaplan Street,

P O Box 187, Kiryat Ben-Gurion,

Jerusalem 91919,

Israel
Fax: +972 2 566 4838
Email: rohm@pmo.gov.il

 

Dear Prime Minister,

Herby I am expressing my concern for the health and safety of the thousands of civilians waiting at the Rafah Border Crossing, with little or no access to medical services, adequate food, water, electricity or fuel. I would like to mention that those who are trapped include elderly disabled people, children and women, as well as pregnant women, including some in urgent need of medical care not available to them in the Gaza Strip.

Furthermore, I call on all concerned parties to spare no effort to facilitate for the passage of persons and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip, prioritizing the protection of human rights of Gaza residents over political advantages.

I hope for your urgent attention to this matter!

Respectfully yours,

 

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Mahmoud Abbas
President of the Palestinian Authority
Fax: +972 2 296 1370 or +972 2 298 1370 or  +972 2 296 317

 

Dear President

Herby I am expressing my concern for the health and safety of the thousands of civilians waiting at the Rafah Border Crossing, with little or no access to medical services, adequate food, water, electricity or fuel. I would like to mention that those who are trapped include elderly disabled people, children and women, as well as pregnant women, including some in urgent need of medical care not available to them in the Gaza Strip.

Furthermore, I call on all concerned parties to spare no effort to facilitate for the passage of persons and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip, prioritizing the protection of human rights of Gaza residents over political advantages.

I hope for your urgent attention to this matter!

Respectfully yours,

 

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Ismail Haniyeh
Hamas leadership in Gaza
Fax: + 970 8 282 2159  or  +970 8 284 5040

 

Dear Mr Haniyeh,

Herby I am expressing my concern for the health and safety of the thousands of civilians waiting at the Rafah Border Crossing, with little or no access to medical services, adequate food, water, electricity or fuel. I would like to mention that those who are trapped include elderly disabled people, children and women, as well as pregnant women, including some in urgent need of medical care not available to them in the Gaza Strip.

Furthermore, I call on all concerned parties to spare no effort to facilitate for the passage of persons and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip, prioritizing the protection of human rights of Gaza residents over political advantages.

I hope for your urgent attention to this matter!

Respectfully yours,

 

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H.E. Muhammad Hosni Mubarak
President of the Arab Republic of Egypt,

Abedine Palace, Cairo,

Egypt
Fax: +20 2 390 1998
Email: webmaster@presidency.gov.eg

 

Dear President

Herby I am expressing my concern for the health and safety of the thousands of civilians waiting at the Rafah Border Crossing, with little or no access to medical services, adequate food, water, electricity or fuel. I would like to mention that those who are trapped include elderly disabled people, children and women, as well as pregnant women, including some in urgent need of medical care not available to them in the Gaza Strip.

Furthermore, I call on all concerned parties to spare no effort to facilitate for the passage of persons and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip, prioritizing the protection of human rights of Gaza residents over political advantages.

I hope for your urgent attention to this matter!

Respectfully yours,