April 20, 2010

Volcanic ash: Gaza and freedom of movement

Gaza, April 20, 2010 (Pal Telegraph)

It’s been over a week since the environmental crisis began in Europe and other parts of the world such as the Middle East, North Africa Canada the US. A cloud of volcanic ash drifting from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano continues to keep airspace shut down; affecting millions of travelers around the world and causing a tremendous crisis in the aviation industry.

The ash drifting from the volcano is formed from dust, small atoms of glass, crushed rock, sand and other components. The plumes of dusty materials become stuck in the airspace and it makes aviation risky and dangerous since it could cause great damage by paralyzing aircraft engines thus risking people's safety and lives.

Hundreds of thousands of flights have been cancelled; millions of passengers are trapped and stranded. People are deprived of the freedom of movement. A loss of billions of dollars has been documented due to flight cancelations and the resultant consequences of shortages delivered by air as well as the losses from air travel.

Politicians are seeking a way out.

A meeting of European Union ministers met to discuss the issue as part of their moral and legal responsibility. The whole international community is troubled over the disaster. Even presidents and high profile politicians are trapped in their offices. They have turned to other means of transportation until the volcano stabilizes.

Not far from this crisis, another disaster has been taking place in the Middle East for the past 4 years. It’s an Israeli-made disaster against the people of Palestine, both in Gaza and in the West Bank.

Tens of thousands of normal civilians are being seized and imprisoned in an open jail called Gaza. These people have never tasted the meaning of freedom. Whenever they try to travel - they can’t. Not because of a volcanic ash crisis, but simply because Israel says NO. Families are shattered in Gaza and abroad they never get united. It's as if your family is being separated, you can’t see your dad, sister, brother or mother for years! Israel violates all human basic rights by preventing people from traveling.

In a phone call with one of the trapped people in Gaza, Ahmed Abu Ali, age 24, I heard frustration, sadness and despair.

Abu Ali said: “I have been trying to attend my college in Egypt but I can’t travel. Its 2 years now! I have no freedom at all. Very strange to see how the world upset about the crisis of volcanic ashes while they are silent about our imprisonment. Europe, America, Britain are all partners in depriving us the freedom of movement. People who are trapped could feel us now, but their government could never.”

It’s shameful that the European Union is participating indirectly in imposing the siege on Gaza. The USA is backing and partially funding the Israeli siege as well, due to political reasons (collective punishment, which is illegal according to the Geneva Convention as well as unethical by all human standards). Innocent civilians are trapped,  hungry and in need of life's basic, essential necessities.

Angry People
People trying to travel photo by Sameh Habeeb
Muneer Al Rifi, age 34, a teacher in Gaza, mockingly commented on the issue of volcanic ash. “People in Europe are confused just because they can’t travel as the airlines are suspended. They are lucky enough! They share us the feeling of imprisonment now - but they are lucky as they still have enough food, fuel, power, internet and all basics while we barely have these things."

Clarifying more of what he means as lucky, Muneer said, “They are lucky because they are granted food, education, freedom, and relaxation. But, we are unlucky as we live in fear, hunger and constant Israeli bombings.”

More than 10 thousand people who wish to travel and have visas are trapped in Gaza. The siege and closure of crossings and passenger terminals in Rafah and Iretz are forcing them to 'live' in an open air prison. A great number of them are students while the rest are families’ employers.

Harsh Siege

In addition to the infringement on freedom of movement, people in Gaza are barely getting goods and food. The Israeli army only allows a few trucks to get into Gaza now, in contrast to the 700 trucks per day that were streaming into Gaza prior the siege.

Around 505 people died in Gaza because they were denied freedom of movement for treatment. Some of them died due to lack of medicines. EU, US, Britain and other countries are calling on Israel to end the siege, however, it's only lip service since no actual pressure has ever been made.

In the case of Iceland, the cause of the disaster is from a natural source: the earth's fluctuating lava flow which is making the volcano spew plumes of toxic smoke and ash, whereas in Gaza, the disaster is man-made by Israel and its allies, and thus, reversible immediately. If only the world were to demand a stop to the desperate, humanitarian crisis. 

Source: http://gazatoday.blogspot.com


  1. Πανικοβληθήκαμε, θυμώσαμε επειδή καθηλωθήκαμε στα αεροδρόμια και δεν μπορούμε να πετάξουμε λόγω της στάχτης. Στη Γάζα, το Ισραήλ έχει φυλακίσει ουσιαστικά τους Παλαιστίνιους, μην επιτρέποντάς τους την ελεύθερη μετακίνηση...

  2. Πες τα, βρε Swell, που ολοι κοιτανε τη ''βολη'' τους, γιατι εκτος απο περιπτωσεις εκτακτης αναγκης που διαβασα, με καποια μοσχευματα που επρεπε να τα μεταφερουν, δεν νομιζω οτι ειναι τοσο μεγαλο το προβλημα μιας προσωρινης,τουλαχιστον,απαγορευσης
    πτησεων! Ειδικα μαλιστα οταν σκεφτει κανεις οτι για καποιους το προβλημα της μετακινησης ειναι μονιμο και απαγορευτικο,εξ αιτιας της πολιτικης του Ισραηλ, που με το ''ετσι θελω'' και την υποστηριξη των ΗΠΑ,(φυσικα),
    παιζει το ρολο του δεσμοφυλακα Παλαιστινιακων ψυχων στη Λωριδα της Γαζας.. Ντροπη τους και ντροπη σε οσες κυβερνησεις συνδραμουν τετοια ιμπεριαλιστικα καθεστωτα!

  3. @Εlva: Το περίεργο, Ελβα μου, είναι ότι ακόμα και τώρα σκεφτόμαστε μόνο το δικό μας πρόβλημα, που δεν μπορούμε να μετακινηθούμε. Κι εννοούμε να αγνοούμε και να αδιαφορούμε για οποιονδήποτε άλλο βρίσκεται στην ίδια θέση με μας, ακόμα και όταν αυτό συμβαίνει για πιο σοβαρούς λόγους.

    Λες και το μόνο που έμαθαν από την "καλοπέραση" που τους επεφύλαξε ο Χίτλερ, ήταν το πως να κάνουν τα ίδια.

  4. τα αγγλικά μου είναι επιεικώς χάλια,
    αλλά αυτό:

    Πανικοβληθήκαμε, θυμώσαμε επειδή καθηλωθήκαμε στα αεροδρόμια και δεν μπορούμε να πετάξουμε λόγω της στάχτης. Στη Γάζα, το Ισραήλ έχει φυλακίσει ουσιαστικά τους Παλαιστίνιους, μην επιτρέποντάς τους την ελεύθερη μετακίνηση...

    είναι μια ολόκληρη ανάρτηση

  5. @Τiktos: Θα σου το στείλω μεταφρασμένο αύριο.


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