PLEASE GIVE TO OUR GAZA DISABILITY FUND
The most recent Israeli attack on Gaza lasted 51 days killing more than 2,000 Palestinians including 513 children. Some 11,000 Palestinians were wounded, including 3374 children, 2088 women, and 410 elderly people. Of the injured children, the UN estimates that around 1000 will suffer a lifelong disability.
Also, at least 24 medical facilities were damaged in the bombardments. One was a special needs facility in northern Gaza, which killed two women who both suffered from severe mental and physical handicaps; the other was the only rehabilitation clinic in Gaza Al Wafa Hospital for patients recovering from brain and spine trauma. It was attacked on three separate occasions.
This is a brief background to the humanitarian disaster in Gaza left in the devastating wake of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge.
Dr Mona El Farra health chair and vice-president of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in Gaza gave a searing account of what she witnessed after 24 days of bombardments with no knowledge then of what she and the people of Gaza would still have to endure in the weeks ahead. Dr El-Farra’s house was also bombed and nine members of her family were killed in the attack, including five children.
It is worth reading her heartbreaking account:
“I’m still alive. I don’t know what this means, but I can say that
most of the time I can still walk and do some work with people who need help. It all depends on my luck. And here, for people living in Gaza, luck means how close to you the bombs fall from Israel’s tanks, planes, or warships. Some hours it’s raining bombs. Americans say “It’s raining cats and dogs.” In the new Gaza idiom, we say “It’s raining bombs and shells.”
Today I started my day in the Red Crescent Society’s medical center. The electricity has stopped, but the X-ray still functions, so we received many patients. Let me share with you some of what I saw.
First is the story of an unnamed child we called “Number 6.” He was around three years and had identifying stickers on his arms saying “Unknown” and “Number 6.” I was shocked and immediately asked the nurses and ambulance drivers, “What is his name?” I was told no one knew his name. They found him in a mass of destroyed houses and he was the only survivor in his family. He had a head injury and wounds on other parts of his body. Immediately I asked, “Doesn’t anyone remember where the house was?” They said that in the area where they found him, all the buildings were destroyed and the rubble was mixed up with each other and sometimes the children’s bodies were thrown from one area to another. So they didn’t know where he had lived.
And then I realized he’s Number 6, and that means there were five other unknown children before him and many more children after him.
Second, there is the story of Reem Ahmad, six years old. Reem arrived in the X-ray unit also. She has a name and she used to have a family. She is the only survivor of her family. She lost her parents and brothers and sisters. She is injured in the head.
Third is the story of a fifty-two year old woman who arrived at our clinic with her son. Her son is a nurse and he was panicking. His mother had gone outside to her garden to take care of her plants. Some shrapnel hit her head and her son was crying like crazy and he said in very few words “We are a simple family staying in our home. This shrapnel flew all around the garden and hit my mom. I want my mom to live.” This woman is named Buthaina el-Izraia.
Fourth is the story of my colleague Afaf Jabar, a nurse on our team. Afaf lost her daughter Leena, who was also a nurse, her two grandchildren and her daughter’s husband when one bomb fell on their house in Bureij refugee camp.
We have gone through a lot in Gaza. But this is a new kind of war. Israel is committing new massacres every day. In the Red Crescent clinic we receive at least 200 patients a day. And we are not an emergency clinic. A lot of diseases are appearing in Gaza because of the Israeli destruction of the water systems, the electrical system and ongoing stress and fear from over three weeks of bombings. People are experiencing different illnesses: gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, breathing and skin problems, and most of the patients are the most vulnerable of all, children.
We have a real crisis now. Thanks to your donations, we managed to get some medicine for several clinics and hospitals in Gaza and to distribute hygiene kits, milk, and food to more than 1000 families. But right now we are facing a lack of medicine. I want people to know this and contribute and support us and help us get the proper medicines and supplies so we can treat these people who are suffering. Please share my message about what I’ve seen in just this one day of the Israeli assault and also let your friends and family know how they can help us to buy more medicine.”
All proceeds from donations made during the Run for Palestine will go direct to Dr Mona El-Farra to assist with medical supplies and equipment for Gaza’s disabled children.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS)
The PRCS is a full member of the International movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and therefore adheres to the movement’s basic principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.
With decades of deteriorating economic and humanitarian conditions due to Israel’s siege, occupation and recurrent attacks, the PRCS is committed to the rehabilitation of disabled children to provide not only medical treatment but also to ensure that they play an active and productive role within society. This includes all those suffering from physical, mental, hearing and speech disabilities.
For more information on PRCS projects in Palestine see their website
PHOTO: Abed Rahim Khatib/APA/Landov
PLEASE DONATE WHAT YOU CAN TO HELP THESE CHILDREN ACHIEVE SOME QUALITY OF LIFE IN THE MOST INTOLERABLE OF CONDITIONS.
• Replant olive and other trees in damaged Palestinian lands.
• Support Palestinian farmers and families through creating job opportunities for them to generate income.
• Help Palestinians retain and reclaim their lands.
• Protect and preserve the environment.
• Raise awareness of Israel’s expulsion of Palestinians from their agricultural lands.
• Network with and establish international contacts to promote the program through media campaigns and advocacy materials.
You can read more about the One Million Trees Campaign at the following link.