Tag: Israel

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The effects of the weapons used in Gaza

White phosphorus: A destructive chemical weapon, harming beyond the battlefield. Pollutes air, soil, water, harming life and violating international law. White phosphorus is a chemical weapon [1] of war and is designed to inflict harm and destruction. Unfortunately, its impact goes beyond the immediate targets on the battlefield. When white phosphorus is deployed, it releases toxic substances into the air, soil, and water, leaving behind a trail of environmental destruction. [2]

One of the most alarming consequences is the contamination of soil. White phosphorus can persist in the ground, making it infertile and unsuitable for agriculture. This not only affects the livelihoods of those in conflict zones but also has long-term consequences for the ecosystems that support diverse forms of life.

Furthermore, when white phosphorus comes into contact with water sources, it leads to water pollution. The release of this chemical weapon can contaminate rivers and lakes, harming aquatic life and disrupting the delicate balance of ecosystems. The long-lasting environmental damage caused by white phosphorus affects not only the current generation but poses challenges for future generations as well.

According to The 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons [3] its prohibited to use incendiary weapons like white phosphorus against civilians. Unfortunately, it has been used against civilian in the Gaza Strip on 10th of October of 2023. We, as responsible global citizens, should condemn the use of white phosphorus as a weapon of war.

Another huge hazard is the release of asbestos in war inflicted areas. Asbestos is relatively safe when trapped in cement in building however poses a hazard when the building is destroyed such as demolition of buildings in Gaza. The consequences are alarming, as millions of tons of highly hazardous, asbestos-contaminated rubble are left in the wake of such destruction, presenting a long-term health threat. According to WHO expose leads to breathing difficulties and lung cancer.[4] Not only does it harm humans but animals too. Cats, dogs, and other animals can develop asbestos related illness where treatment option is limited and survival is low. [5]

Shortly, the devastating impact of white phosphorus extends far beyond the conflict area, leaving an lasting mark on both the environment and human lives. Additionally, the release of asbestos in conflict areas, poses an ongoing health threat for both humans and animals.

BY AYNUR BALKAS

 

References
[1] https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/white-phosphorus
[2] https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tfacts103.pdf
[4] https://geneva-s3.unoda.org/static-unoda-site/pages/templates/the-convention-on-certain-conventional-weapons/PROTOCOL%2BIII.pdf
[4] https://www.preventionweb.net/blog/rebuilding-ukraine-imminent-risks-asbestos
[5] https://iris.who.int/bitstream/handle/10665/107335/9789289013581-eng.pdf?sequence=1

Israeli air strikes hit Hamas targets in Gaza
Articles & Statements

Peace is not a choice; it is the only way out

HRS supports all rights-deprived individuals, condemning terrorism and excessive Israeli actions in Gaza, urging respect for human rights and peace. As Human Rights Solidarity it is our duty to stand in solidarity with all human beings deprived of their rights.
When terrorism hits Israeli civilians, we stand with them.
When Israeli operations in Gaza surpass the limits of self-defense and cause harm to unarmed Palestinian civilians, we stand with the Palestinians.
Occupation may beget terrorism, but both deserve condemnation.
Israel is hijacked by a populist regime.
The Palestinian cause is hijacked by a terrorist organisation.
We implore both sides to respect human rights as enshrined in international conventions.
We implore third parties to help protect Gaza from a looming humanitarian crisis and to help to return kidnapped Israelis to their families.
Peace is not a choice; it is the only way out.
Occupation and terrorism should not be seen as available courses of action, even when no other clear options are seen in the horizon.

palestine-nakba
EventsYAct Committee

The Nakba is not a memory; it is a continuous uprooting

HRS Youth Committee members supported the “Freedom for Palestinian people” march organised in London on the 75th anniversary of NAKBA.

ASIYE BETUL

Saturday May 13th saw dozens of protests take place across the UK, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Nakba. 10,000 people were marching in central London showing their stance against the illegal and inhumane oppression and displacement of Palestinians. People of all ages marched together from the BBC Portland Place building to Parliament square, as proof that the younger generation will not forget and forgive the 75 years of humanity crimes and injustices.

 The Nakba, is a period of ethnic cleansing, colonialism, and dispossession that started with the establishment of Israel in 1948. It resulted in the expulsion of more than 750,000 Palestinians and the disappearance of more than 500 towns and villages off the map.

Nakba, meaning calamity and catastrophe, signalling the destructiveness of the date, was remembered by Palestinians and thousands of people on its 75th anniversary.

Last Saturday, my friends from Human Rights Solidarity and I joined the march and showed our solidarity with the Palestinian people. Alongside protesters, we chanted calling for the end of the apartheid and occupation, and claimed that Palestine will be free ‘from the river to the sea’.

 We were reminded of Mahmoud Darwish’s words ‘The Nakba is not a memory; it is a continuous uprooting’.

 Nakba is the present. Nakba is now the Nakba, with all the significance that using the word in Arabic entails, rather than just another disaster like so many others. It is an act of resistance against the ongoing displacement of Palestinians, and proof of the existence and validity of the Palestinian territory and its people. History, more than ever, serves as resistance and the reminder of the catastrophe brought with the formation of a nation.

 End Apartheid. Free Palestine.