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JfJfP comments


06 May: Tair Kaminer starts her fifth spell in gaol. Send messages of support via Reuven Kaminer

04 May: Against the resort to denigration of Israel’s critics


23 Dec: JfJfP policy statement on BDS

14 Nov: Letter to the Guardian about the Board of Deputies

11 Nov: UK ban on visiting Palestinian mental health workers

20 Oct: letter in the Guardian

13 Sep: Rosh Hashanah greetings

21 Aug: JfJfP on Jeremy Corbyn

29 July: Letter to Evening Standard about its shoddy reporting

24 April: Letter to FIFA about Israeli football

15 April: Letter re Ed Miliband and Israel

11 Jan: Letter to the Guardian in response to Jonathan Freedland on Charlie Hebdo


15 Dec: Chanukah: Celebrating the miracle of holy oil not military power

1 Dec: Executive statement on bill to make Israel the nation state of the Jewish people

25 Nov: Submission to All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

7 Sept: JfJfP Executive statement on Antisemitism

3 Aug: Urgent disclaimer

19 June Statement on the three kidnapped teenagers

25 April: Exec statement on Yarmouk

28 Mar: EJJP letter in support of Dutch pension fund PGGM's decision to divest from Israeli banks

24 Jan: Support for Riba resolution

16 Jan: EJJP lobbies EU in support of the EU Commission Guidelines, Aug 2013–Jan 2014


29 November: JfJfP, with many others, signs a "UK must protest at Bedouin expulsion" letter

November: Press release, letter to the Times and advert in the Independent on the Prawer Plan

September: Briefing note and leaflet on the Prawer Plan

September: JfJfP/EJJP on the EU guidelines with regard to Israel

14th June: JfJfP joins other organisations in protest to BBC

2nd June: A light unto nations? - a leaflet for distribution at the "Closer to Israel" rally in London

24 Jan: Letter re the 1923 San Remo convention

18 Jan: In Support of Bab al-Shams

17 Jan: Letter to Camden New Journal about Veolia

11 Jan: JfJfP supports public letter to President Obama

Comments in 2012 and 2011



Swine flu hits Gaza


Vaccinating Gaza 23 December 2009

The closure of the Gaza Strip is tight enough to make life difficult for residents, but fences and checkpoints don’t prevent viruses from passing through, as became apparent earlier this month. Despite predictions that the closure of Gaza might protect it from exposure to the Swine Flu, the virus was identified in the Gaza Strip two weeks ago, and already some 185 people have been diagnosed as infected, 13 of whom have died.

Not only has the closure of Gaza failed to protect it from the virus, but the restrictions on the passage of equipment and fuel are making it difficult to contain the virus’s spread.

During the military operation last winter, 15 hospitals and 34 medical institutions were damaged, and their repair has not been possible due to Israel’s refusal to allow building materials into the Gaza Strip. While Israel boasts of permitting increased quantities of humanitarian aid to Gaza, it continues to restrict the entrance of medical supplies, claiming security risks. Thus, Israel is making it difficult to send batteries needed for the UPS systems that protect sensitive hospital equipment during the frequent power outages and is limiting the supply of additional medical supplies, such as X-ray equipment.

The Swine Flu, however, known for its tendency to breach borders, is not treated like other illnesses, and Israel has allowed 6,000 vaccinations purchased by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah into Gaza. The vaccinations are destined for Gaza residents who participated in the pilgrimage to Mecca (the Hajj) and for the medical professionals treating patients diagnosed with the virus. It is estimated that more than 400,000 vaccinations are needed for people in high risk groups.

Allowing vaccinations through to Gaza residents is surely a nice public relations photo opportunity, but preventing the outbreak of an epidemic requires appropriate sanitary conditions and infrastructure, too. Frequent and extended blackouts (8 hours a day, 4 days a week), due to Israel’s refusal to allow the transfer of the required amount of industrial diesel to the Gaza power station, interfere with the proper functioning of local hospitals. Hospitals rely on back-up generators during the power outages, but limitations on their power production interferes with the heating and ventilation systems that are vital for maintaining proper air-pressure. Likewise, the ongoing shortage of gas limits the ability to run hospital washing machines needed for basic hygiene. This past week, only 34% of the gas n eeded by Gaza residents was supplied (518 tons out of the 1,500 tons needed per week).

Other types of infrastructure systems which are needed to deal with infectious diseases are the sewerage and water purification systems, which also rely on fuel and supplies limited by Israel. A roof over the heads of the thousands of residents uprooted from their homes and the hundreds still living in tents since their homes were destroyed in the war is another basic requirement.

Some people resort to prayer to protect them from the Swine Flu. We would make do, for starters, with policies that allow the ongoing transfer of equipment required for sanitation and the proper functioning of the health system – out of respect for the rights of the 1.5 million people who live in the Gaza Strip.

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