It is exactly six months now that a ceasefire put an end to 51 days of war in the Gaza Strip. I am sitting with Jabber Wishah in his garden, a few kilometers south of Gaza City. We are watching the stars in the sky as we talk. “The main problem is normalization”, Jabber sighs, “people are starting to regard the situation here in Gaza as normal. Both you Europeans and the people in Gaza themselves.”
Fifteen local health activists met in the evening of March 1, 2015 with the People's Health Movement (PHM) solidarity delegation to Palestine. Among them were people from different local organizations like the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, the Union of Health Work Committees, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. Also dr. Mahmoud Daher from the local WHO office attended the meeting.
In the aftermath of the Gaza war of July 2014, Physicians for Human Rights Israel undertook a fact finding mission (FFM) in Gaza. Eight independent medical experts undertook three missions between August and November. They interviewed victims and spoke to doctors and paramedics. They present their findings in a report. Dr Louis Reynolds, a retired paediatrician living in South Africa and member of the People's Health Movement, was one of the experts. We talked with him on his experiences during his visit to Gaza and the works of the FFM.
A secret discussion note for the Trade in Service Agreement (TISA) – leaked today by Associated Whistle-Blowing Press- uncovers that negotiators discuss reforms to the national health care systems in favour of international trade and the commercialisation of health care. This proposal, made by Turkey, has been discussed by the member states of the EU during the TISA negotiations that took place in Geneva in September 2014. We received the text through Public Services International.