News Release

Real Consequences of War: · Health · Environment · Terrorist Groups

CESAR CHELALA
Chelala, an international public health consultant, wrote a recent article titled “In Gaza and Lebanon, Children Have Become Pawns,” which states: “Despite a formidable set of international laws protecting children’s rights, including the Convention of the Rights of the Child signed by Israel, Palestinian children are still paying a high price in the current conflict. … The Palestinian economy has been devastated. More than half of the population is now living below the poverty line. Poverty has led to acute and chronic malnutrition in children as well as anemia both in children and in women of reproductive age. In June, the World Food Program estimated that 51 percent of Palestinians — 2 million people — couldn’t meet their food needs without aid and warned that the situation in Gaza was becoming critical. … The situation has deteriorated even further thanks to Israel’s bombing of power plants, roads and other civilian infrastructure. Twenty-two hospitals in Gaza don’t have electricity, and hundreds of operations had to be postponed. The lack of refrigeration has damaged not only food but also drugs and vaccines.”
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NINA JAMAL
WAEL HMAIDEN
Jamal is president of Green Line, a Lebanese environmental group located in Beirut. She said today: “The escalating Israeli attack on Lebanon did not only kill civilians and destroy its infrastructure, but it is also annihilating its environment. Last week, a 15,000-ton oil spill resulted from the Israeli air raid on the Jiyyeh power plant in the South of Lebanon. … After a few days of investigation, it became obvious that more than 100 kilometers of the Lebanese coast, from Jiyyeh in the South to Chekka in the North, has been hit by this oil spill.”

Jamal added: “The Lebanese coast is an important tourist destination, and, after the war ends, Lebanon will need every source of income to rebuild its infrastructure. Now the beautiful Lebanese white beaches are covered with a black layer, and fuel can be smelled [from] a good distance.” Hmaiden is coordinator of the oil spill team for Green Line.
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RANDALL HAMUD
Newsday recently reported: “On the eve of the U.S. presidential elections in 2004, Osama bin Laden finally explained why he attacked the World Trade Center. And his reason surprised even experts on al-Qaida: He was motivated by the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. In a videotape broadcast by the Al-Jazeera network on Oct. 29, 2004, bin Laden said he got the idea for destroying the Twin Towers as a young man watching the devastation wrought on Lebanon during the U.S.-backed invasion.

“‘When I saw those destroyed towers in Lebanon,’ bin Laden said, ‘it sparked in my mind that the oppressors should be punished in the same way and that we should destroy towers in America — so they can taste what we tasted and so they stop killing our women and children.'”
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Hamud is editor of the book Osama Bin Laden: America’s Enemy In His Own Words.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167