A Tale of Two Cites goes to Gaza

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Break the Silence Mural Project (Via our Fiscal Sponsor PEACE DEVELOPMENT FUND)

The MAIA MURAL PROJECT will be a series of collaborative murals focusing on environmental justice, specifically water or ‘maia’ in Arabic.  We will work with youth and artists in Gaza to paint murals at sites of water purification units that the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is installing at UNRWA schools and kindergartens. The quality of water in Gaza has been eroded, particularly in the Israeli assault of 2008-9, creating a severe health hazard to which children are most vulnerable.  In addition we will work on two large-scale public murals that will address the issues of the universal right to water and international solidarity.  To read more about this humanitarian crises please see: http://www.mecaforpeace.org/project/maia-project.

The MAIA Mural Project joins the ESTRIA Foundation’s Water Writes Project and will be the 10th mural in a series of projects in 10 cities around the world in 10 focusing on the universal right to water.  The project is also sponsored by MECA, Break the Silence Mural Project, the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice and the Gaza Community Mental Health Programe.

The MAIA Mural Project is the Gaza part of “A Tale of Two Cities- The Olympia-Rafah Mural Project” located in Olympia WA.  These projects make connections between struggles and movements for social justice around the world.

You will be able to see our work as it unfolds on our blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.  We will also be uploading video and interviews with our Palestinian partners, giving you a real sense of what we are experiencing and whom we are working with.  This extensive documentation will become part of a growing global conversation about resources, water, solidarity, cross-movement building and non-violent resistance to oppression.

Videos About Water Crisis in Gaza

Gaza, Summer 2011MECA has also developed a downloadable factsheet for raising awareness and funds for the Maia Project

Articles About Water Crisis

Palestine Center for Human Rights

Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Fishermen in Gaza
Wednesday, 05 May 2010 00:00
The Fishing Sector in the Gaza Strip

Since mid-2009, increasing numbers of fishermen and other workers have begun working in the fishing sector in the Gaza Strip. This increase is a result of the high unemployment levels among Palestinian workers who were previously employed in other economic sectors that suffered significant deterioration. Hundreds of workers and fishermen who abandoned the fishing industry in the past because of the Israeli attacks along the shore in the Gaza Strip resumed their work in the fishing industry. According to statistics provided by Gaza’s Fishermen Union, since the beginning of the current year, the number of fishermen and workers in the fishing sector has increased from 7,457 to 8,200 fishermen and workers. These fishermen and workers provide for approximately 50,000 individuals. Since the beginning of this 2010, the number of fishermen in Gaza has increased from 3,403 to 3,700. They are distributed among the different areas of the Gaza Strip as follows: 200 fishermen in the northern Gaza Strip; 1,900 in Gaza City; 500 in the central Gaza Strip; 700 in Khan Yunis; and 400 in Rafah.

The number of fish traders and amateurs who fish irregularly has also increased – from approximately 1,054 in 2009 to approximately 2,000 in May 2010. This number is distributed among the various areas of the Gaza Strip. The number of workers in occupations associated with fishing has increased from approximately 2,000 in 2009 to approximately 2,500 in 2010. These workers in professions associated with the fishing sector manufacture and maintain fishing boats, prepare fishing nets, manufacture ice needed to preserve fish, or clean and sell fish.

This increase in the number of fishermen and workers in the fishing sector is reflected on fishing equipment ownerd by Gaza’s fishermen. The total number of fishing boats has increased from 975 boats of various sizes to 1,249 boats, distributed among the different areas of the Gaza Strip as follows:

Table I: Number of Fishermen and Fishing Tools, May 2010
Area Number of fishermen Number of boats
Northern Gaza Strip 200 275
Gaza City 1,900 582
Central Gaza Strip 500 170
Khan Yunis 700 107
Rafah 400 115
Total 3,700 1,249

Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Fishermen

Between 1 January 2010 and 30 April 2010, there was a significant increase in the Israeli attacks on the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) documented 19 attacks launched by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) against Palestinian fishermen at sea. PCHR documented 9 incidents in which IOF fired at Palestinian fishermen, including two incidents in which two fishermen were injured. These fishermen are Hazem Ahmed Juma’a al-Qur’an, 27, and Yousef Husam al-Habbash, 15, both from Deir al-Balah. The documented attacks took place as follows:

At approximately 09:30 on 25 March 2010, IOF gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats that were sailing approximately 800 meters off the northern shore of the Gaza Strip, opposite tthe al-Waha resort in the northwest of Beit Lahia town. Hazem Ahmed Juma’a al-Qur’an, 27, from the central Gaza Strip town of Deir al-Balah, was wounded by shrapnel to the head. Al-Qur’an was wounded while on his boat, which was heavily damaged due to the heavy shooting. At approximately 09:55, al-Qur’an arrived at Kamal ‘Edwan Hospital in Beit Lahia. Medical sources at the Hospital described his condition as moderate to serious. At approximately 10:45, he was transferred to Shifa hospital for additional medical treatment.

Jamil al-Aqra’a, a fisherman who was at the scene at the time of the incident, told PCHR:

“The gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats directly. Al-Qur’an, who was on his boat with another two fishermen, was wounded in the head as a result. They left their fishing nets in the water and rushed to rescue him.”

On 21 April 2010, IOF gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the Rafah shore. Yousef Husam al-Habbash, 15, was wounded in the right hand as a result.

PCHR also documented a additional 3 attacks against Palestinian fishermen at sea. In these attacks, IOF arrested 11 fishermen. PCHR also documented 6 attacks on fishing boats and nets at sea, including 4 attacks in which IOF confiscated 4 fishing boats. PCHR documented 2 incidents in which IOF destroyed fishing tools and equipment at sea.

Table II: IOF Attacks against Fishermen in 2010
Description Firing Wounded persons Arrests Confiscation of fishing tools Destruction of fishing tools Total
February 3 – 2 3 1 9
March 2 1 1 1 1 6
April 3 1 – – – 4
Total 8 2 3 4 2 19

Thank you in advance for your help and support.

This project would not be possible without you!  THANK YOU!

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