I would like later to write something about my own thoughts one year on. But more importantly, I would like to ask you to read Eva’s blog about this one-year-on anniversary, because she’s still in Gaza, telling the tales of Gaza folk themselves.
If you would like to send this press release below out to media local to you or journalists you have contacts for, please post a message asking me for the phone numbers to go with it as some are private numbers.
PRESS RELEASE DECEMBER 27 2009: International witnesses to Operation Cast Lead available for Interview
A group of human rights volunteers entered Gaza before Israel’s operation in December 2008-January 2009 aboard the Free Gaza Movement’s boats. All worked with emergency services, accompanying ambulances and evacuating the dead and injured throughout the attack. They also took testimonies from refugees and emergency workers.
Sharyn Lock, UK/Australia – Sharyn was in the Al Qds Hospital in Gaza City when it was shelled multiple times with white phosphorous by the Israeli army. She assisted in evacuating patients and local residents under fire. Sharyn has also written a book ‘Gaza Beneath the Bombs’ (Pluto Press) to be released January 2010. Main area of volunteering – Gaza City and Zaytoun
Ewa Jasiewicz, UK/Poland – Ewa was present in the Beit Lahiya Elementary School when it was bombed with white phosphorous and two boys aged five and seven were killed – Ewa accompanied a team which brought out seven year old Bilal Ashkar’s body. Ewa has written a book ‘Gaza: A ghetto unbroken’ (Ksiazka i Prasa) to be released in Poland in February 2010. Main area of volunteering – North and Central Gaza strip –Beit Hanoun, Jabalia and Beit Lahiya
Jenny Linnel, UK – Jenny was one of the only foreign volunteers to document the bombing of homes and the use of white phosphorous in the south eastern border village of Khoza. Main area of volunteering – Southern Gaza Strip – Rafah, Khan Younis, Khoza
Caoimhe Butterly, Ireland – Caoimhe accompanied medics to the extra-judicial killing of Hamas leader Sayed al Seyam by F16 bombardment in which nine people were killed including five members of the neighbouring Islim family (Palestinian Centre for Human Rights weekly report 15-21 January 2009) She is currently with the Viva Palestina convoy in Egypt. Main Area of Volunteering – North and Central Gaza Strip – Jabalia, Beit Lahiya, and Gaza City 0020 177 964 062 (Egypt)
Eva Bartlett – Canada/USA – Eva is still in the Gaza Strip, writing a daily news blog read by thousands http://ingaza.wordpress.com/ During Operation Cast Lead she was accompanying ambulances and taking testimonies, reported on her blog and to international press. She was in the Burj al Sherooq media tower when it was bombed by the Israeli Air Force – an event captured on film by Russia Today –and was in an ambulance attacked by Israeli snipers as medics attempted to evacuate a body during ‘cease-fire’ hours. The attack was documented by Spanish cameraman Alberto Arce. Main area of volunteering: Northern Gaza Strip – Jabalia and Beit Lahiya
The volunteers accompanied ambulances into the previously Closed Military Zones following the withdrawal of Israeli forces on January 18th They were the first to see the operation’s aftermath including destroyed property, land, and water wells, and remained long after the journalists left Gaza.
They assisted in picking up corpses which medical services had been unable to reach for weeks. All are available for interview.