-Mark Hage, Vermonters for Justice in Palestine

A 2018 report by the World Health Organization found that “there was an unprecedented number of attacks on healthcare in the Gaza Strip in the context of the Great March of Return.”

Over the course of last year, there were 369 attacks against healthcare workers and service providers in Gaza, resulting in the killing of three health workers and 570 injuries; 41 of the injuries resulted from live ammunition.

Today, Rana Hussein, a nurse in Gaza City, “says that more than 60 cancer drugs are unavailable in Gaza. Treatments for diabetes and some kidney complaints are hard to find, too.”  There are also “250 patients with thalassemia [a blood disorder] who lack medication.”

Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations’ Middle East envoy, stated in September this year:

“Gaza’s health system remains on the brink of collapse. In July, 44% of essential medicines in Gaza were completely depleted and 26% of essential medical disposables had less than a month’s supply remaining.

“Over 1000 people injured in Gaza will require complex limb reconstruction treatment or may risk losing limbs due to infection.”

Since the start of the Great March of Return protests in March, 2018, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 316 Palestinians have been killed, including 62 children, and 34,137 injured. 7,545 people suffered gunshot wounds, of which 6,590 (87%) were limb injuries.

 

Basketball Camp in Gaza

#RaptorsDontGo to Israel

(And They Didn’t!)

In late October, the Canadian BDS Coalition declared victory in the campaign to persuade the NBA 2019 champions, the Toronto Raptors, from traveling as a team to Israel.  The press release said:

“Our campaign was launched in June 2019, immediately following the Raptors victory in the NBA championship; and after team co-owner Larry Tanenbaum received extensive coverage in the Israeli media stating he would bring the team to visit Israel if they won the championship. The Israeli Embassy in Ottawa highlighted the issue, and tweeted the Raptors promising ‘we’ll call you…to help with the arrangements.”

Campaign activists attributed the success of their organizing to several factors, chiefly, though, widespread, negative reaction to the idea of the team traveling to Israel by many basketball fans.   .