Government, employees, and students for Gaza [Archives:2009/1223/Front Page]

January 8 2009

By: Enas Ahmed
and Nisreen Shadad

SANA'A, Jan. 7 ) Yemeni activities in support of the Palestinian plight in Gaza are on going as a national campaign on various levels.

Over 700 students at Sana'a University lead by the General Union for Yemeni students held a number of activities in a two day solidarity event with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

On the governmental level, the Cabinet approved a full day's pay of all state employees' salaries, general and mixed sectors, and private funds as a humanitarian donation for the residents of Gaza.

Similarly, a six day solidarity event was launched Jan. 5, under the logon “Al-Quds Arab Culture Capital 2009”, by the Yemeni foundation for Sponsorship of Palestinian (Takaful). Culture Minister, Abu Bakr Al-Maflahi, condemned the attacks and commented that such an event is an opportunity to support our brothers in Gaza financially as well as spiritually.

Abdul Sheikh Abdulmajeed Al-Zendani member of the Showra Council and director of the Iman University, condemned the silence of Arab governments and for immediate cessation governments should open the fences for people to go to Gaza or establish a military camps to be able to support them.

Moreover, a media alliance to support Palestinians was lunched by Fathya Abdul Wasee, Women and Child Assistant Deputy of the Ministry of Legal Affairs jointly with the women section of al-Quds foundation in Yemen.

Sadiq al-Ahmar, the leader of Hashid tribe in Yemen called on Yemenis to support the Palestinians to continue their struggle with absolute strength and steadfastness.

Mohammed Siyam, an official at Hamas office, attended this festival and said a poem, which describes the situation of Palestine.

Osama al-Ashqar, the head of the Arab Culture Capital national campaign: “Gaza is experiencing shortages in medicine, power and basic supplies due to the Israeli blockade and attacks; therefore, this campaign is to display the pitiful situation of Gaza Strip. Since Gaza cannot celebrate with us, so we should celebrate to highlight their situation more.”

The two day university students' activities, included a visual exhibition that bears testament to the suffering of the innocent civilians in Gaza. Money was also raised by selling snacks at a number of food stalls. All money raised will be donated to Gaza

The money raised will be sent through reliable and official organizations like Al-Aqsa and Shaml net. According to Redwan Masood, Head of the General Union, “These activities have been a success, with the donated amount exceeding YR 500,000 (approximately USD 2,500).

“Most Sana'a University students are very glad they could express their feelings and stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza,” Masood said.

“We all know that the government of Egypt is collaborating with Israel on what's going on in Gaza. It's so clear they're afraid that if Hamas would win that might strengthen the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt,” Masood added.

In this festival, there were stands for all foundations in Yemen that have been working for supporting Palestine. In the stands, there were many posters and all crime wars took place in Palestine, including the new attacks across the besieged Gaza Strip. Moreover, there was a big sale, involved Palestinian products.

Representative of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, in Yemen, Jamal Essa attended the event which served to highlight the Israeli atrocities in Gaza. “Hamas is working on making bigger weapons in order to kill more than a million Israelis, and Hamas is definitely winning because victory is always for the good and just,” he said.

Professor Khalid Tameem, Head of Sana'a University, attended the carnival and spoke about the situation in Gaza. He thanked the government of Yemen for being cooperative.

“These kinds of activities are usually useful because it could be a threat to the enemy and show it how much we care about Gaza,” says Fahd Wahead, a student in the faculty of Linguistics.

Almost 700 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and over 3,000 wounded since the war began on December 27th. Seven Israeli soldiers and three civilians have died in the same period.

In a statement made by Palestinian Interior Minister Sa'eed Siyam, Israel bombed most of the civil defense buildings and a number of fire trucks and ambulances. He called on the Red Cross and the international human rights organizations to shoulder their responsibilities towards the protection of headquarters and crews of civil defense and medical care.

John Ging, the director of United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) operations in the Gaza Strip, has called on Israel, Palestinian factions and European leaders to reach an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Ging described what is happening in the Gaza Strip as “madness” that never occurred before in human history.

About 100 people were wounded in Tuesday's strike on the school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the third school to come under fire in a single day.

Ging also asked Israel to allow entry of fuel to the Gaza power plant, underling that one million Palestinians (two thirds of the Gaza population) were living without electricity while 700,000 (almost half the population) were living without running water.

He told the world leaders that they should stop eating, drinking and even sleeping until they stop the killing of innocent people in the Strip.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Gaza was now in a “full-blown” humanitarian crisis.

The International Criminal Court says war crimes are defined as the violation of the laws and customs of war. These include the murder, ill-treatment, or deportation of civilian residents of an occupied territory. War crimes also include the extensive destruction of cities, towns, and villages, and any devastation not justified by military necessity.