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Waltham woman to talk about Gaza

Posted by Tom Coakley  October 21, 2009 09:00 AM

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By Kathleen Moore Globe Correspondent

Waltham resident Ridgely Fuller will speak about her experiences in the Gaza Strip and discuss the recently released Goldstone Report on Oct. 22 at the Peace Abbey, 2 North Main Street, Sherborn.

Fuller’s talk is free and begins at 7 p.m.

“This will be a visual representation of the concerns Judge Goldstone cited in his report,” said Fuller, referring to the South African Judge, Richard Goldstone who headed up a United Nations investigation of the war that erupted on the Gaza strip in December 2008. The so-called “Goldstone Report” was adopted by the Human Rights Council in Geneva last week.

The controversial report says both Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas committed war crimes during the conflict. Israeli officials have strongly denied Goldstone’s allegations against Israel. Hamas has said the charges against the militant group are based on misinformation.

Fuller, a social worker, has visited Israel and Palestine several times, most recently in June when she was a part of 68-person contingent from Codepink, a women-inspired peace organization based in Washington, D.C. That trip, sponsored by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, enabled Fuller and her colleagues to focus on the impact that last winter’s Gaza war has had on the lives of Palestinian families and children.

Fuller said that more than 50 percent of the residents of Gaza are under the age of 14. She used her training in trauma therapy to work with children in hospitals, schools, and the community. The Codepink group also built three playgrounds during its two-week visit.

Fuller’s Thursday night presentation will include photographs that she says show the hardships Palestinians – particularly children – have suffered in the wake of last winter’s Gaza war and the ongoing siege of the region. Since returning from that trip, she has done more than a dozen presentations on the subject before legislators, churches, and community groups.

At the end of October she will return to the region for a month-long visit through the International Women’s Peace Service.

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