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Palestine: UN report finds disabled people hit hard during siege of Gaza

Posted 13/10-09 at 11.24

A recent UN human rights report on the Israeli siege of Gaza details the horrendous plight of civilians, many of whom were severely injured, unable to get medical attention and consequently will become permanently disabled.

During the fighting disabled people found it extremely difficult to escape and many lived in continual fear of being left behind. The lack of power supply meant vital equipment could not be used and wheelchair users were often stranded because of rubble in the streets and the destruction of buildings. Many people, including children, experienced serious psychological trauma which is expected to result in a substantial increase in mental health problems.

There are many terrible stories recounted in this report. For example, the Mission heard that a pregnant woman was told by an Israeli soldier to evacuate her home immediately with her children and to leave behind a child with learning difficulties. She refused to do so. In another incident a wheelchair user had to abandon his chair and be carried from his destroyed house. A Deaf person sheltering in a school was badly traumatised because he could not communicate and, therefore, was unable to understand what was happening.

Hamas, the civil authority in Gaza does not escape criticism for human rights abuses, however, the UN Mission found that Israel had been guilty of violating international law and many human rights conventions by, among other actions, deliberately imposing collective punishment on the civilian population

The report, Human Rights In Palestine And Other Occupied Arab Territories. Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, can be found at:

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/specialsession/9/FactFindingMission.htm

Comments:

Comment added 29/12-10 at 16.38 by: author (cristina@coida.it)

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Cristina Marangoni

Comment added 29/12-10 at 16.37 by: author (cristina@coida.it)

Please visit the web coida.it.
Thank you.
Cristina Marangoni

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