Internationals Working With Ambulances

“Pieces of 10cm shrapnel are now flying into the Red Crescent Station. Ambulance crews cannot make it to injured people due to the massive Israeli shelling of the area” Alberto Arce (Spain) – International Solidarity Movement

“The ambulance crews have requested international assistance and so we will be working from the Red Crescent Northern Station in doing that. We have been working with the medics for the last three days and are first aid trained.” Sharon Lock (Australia) – International Solidarity Movement

They will be accompanying ambulances and medical teams in the Jabaliya, Beit Lahia and Beit Hanoun areas while working from the Northern Station of the Red Crescent in Jabaliya.

Other International Human Rights Activists are now based in Rafah and Gaza City.

International Human Rights Activists have been accompanying ambulances in the Gaza Strip since the murder of medic Mohammed Abu Hassera and Doctor Ihab Al Mathoon by Israeli missiles on the 31st December 2008.

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The Powerful Gang Up

(Reuters) – European Union president, the Czech Republic, said on Saturday an Israeli ground offensive in Gaza was “defensive, not offensive” action.

“At the moment, from the perspective of the last days, we understand this step as a defensive, not offensive, action,” Czech EU presidency spokesman Jiri Potuznik said. Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg is leading an EU delegation to the region on Sunday, and Potuznik said the presidency will wait to see the results of that visit.

Danger Close

From In Gaza, Dr. Haidar Eid is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature, Al-Aqsa University, Gaza Strip, Palestine-

“I was lying in my bedroom when the first strike happened, around 1:30 am. You know a strike isn’t just one explosion, it’s a series of explosions. Boom, boom, boom, boom. The whole building shook. I woke up and went to the bathroom first, and within 30 seconds the second strike hit. F-16s were bombing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, about 500m away. I could hear glass shattering everywhere. I went back into the bedroom and saw glass everywhere, all over the bed which is right up against the window. If I had been lying there still, it would have shattered all over me, would have seriously injured me, or worse, I don’t know. It was a very strong blast, and the glass must have hit the bed with great force.

I brought a mattress into the living room, which faces the sea, and lay down trying to sleep there. Moments later, I heard a huge explosion, the third strike, this time from an area closer to the sea. The front, sea-facing window exploded into the room, landing on the desk and the floor, thankfully too far from where I was lying.

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Ground Invasion

(Reuters) – A small column of Israeli military vehicles, backed by combat helicopters, rolled into the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday, a Palestinian witness said. The witness, a resident of the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya, said the column crossed the boundary fence under darkness. The witness could not immediately say how deep the Israelis penetrated into Palestinian territory.

(AP) — Artillery units joined Israel’s Gaza offensive for the first time Saturday while warplanes and gunboats pounded more than 40 Hamas targets and a mosque where 10 people were killed. Airstrikes waned during the day but gathered pace after dark Saturday. In a sign that the offensive was entering a new phase, military officials said Israeli artillery units attacked Gaza for the first time, something that could signal a ground invasion is nearing.

[Yes I know rubbish but ignore the rest and this small snippet indicates intent] (NYT)– The Israeli Army also dropped thousands of leaflets into some residential districts warning inhabitants to evacuate their homes. Because of “the activity of terrorist groups,” the leaflets said in Arabic, the army “is obliged to respond quickly and work from inside your residential area.”

Alexei Sayle on Gaza & Israeli Violence

“…as I say, I think it’s important that Jewish people who have a public profile, that we speak out to say that this is not being done in our name. I think that Israel has an idea of itself as being noble. Israeli people have an idea of themselves as being noble. When you attack somebody but you have this idea of yourself that you’re the good guy and you think that well, how can this be? I’m the good guy and I’m killing these people, and what you do is you blame the people that you killed and you hear all the time from Israeli spokespeople that they are angry with the people they have murdered for making them murder them.
And it is the foulest..kind of is the psychology of the murderer, it is the psychology of the rapist, it is the psychology of the bully. That’s what Israel is in this situation.”