News Release

Gaza: Is it the “Largest Prison in the World”?


A physician and community activist in northern Gaza, El-Farra wrote in Monday’s Boston Globe: “Most Gazans … believe that Israel’s latest assault was pre-planned, that the soldier’s capture is merely a trigger. Israel dropped thousands of shells on Gaza, killing women, children and old people, long before his capture. This time, Israel attacked Gaza within hours of a national consensus accord signed by Fatah and Hamas, which could have led to negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. That would have pushed Israel to give up control of Palestinian land and resources.”
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Cindy and Craig are the parents of Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in the Gaza Strip on March 16, 2003, while trying to prevent the demolition of the home of a Palestinian pharmacist, his wife, and three young children.

Cindy Corrie said today: “We visited Gaza in December and January. The situation is devastating to our friends there, and we are eager for an immediate withdrawal of the Israeli military from the area. The U.S. government should be working to make that happen.” The play “My Name Is Rachel Corrie,” after having its opening canceled amid charges of censorship, is once again slated to open in New York City in the fall.
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Shawa is Palestinian NGO Network Coordinator for Gaza. He said today: “Gaza is fundamentally the largest prison in the world, under siege. A woman who had surgery in Egypt and was attempting to return home died today because she, with thousands of others, are just stuck at Rafah crossing — Israel is refusing to let them into Gaza, or let them return to Egypt.”

Late last year, before stepping down as Mideast envoy, former World Bank head James Wolfensohn had warned “that Gaza was in danger of becoming a ‘giant prison.'”

UN agencies, including the World Health Organization and UNICEF, issued a statement Monday: “United Nations humanitarian agencies working in the occupied Palestinian territory are alarmed at developments following Israel’s incursion into Gaza, where innocent civilians including children have been killed in actions that have brought increased misery to hundreds of thousands of people and will wreak far-reaching harm on Palestinian society.”
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A freelance journalist and photographer, Omer writes the Rafah Today blog. His web page is regularly updated with photos from Gaza, including pictures of another photographer, Mohammed al Zanoun, who was shot in the face.
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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