What have we done to deserve this ??
We haven’t done anything to any one and yet the world seems to have forgotten us.
That was the question everyone was asking Marion and myself while we were in Gaza.
What they meant is, why is Israel and now Egypt closing all the borders with Gaza and stopping us from having any kind of a normal life just like every one else in the world. As the land, air and sea blockade of the coastal territory continues, many there in Gaza, blame their suffering on what they describe as the international conspiracy of silence. Gaza is the world’s largest open-air prison,
” David Cameron used a visit to Turkey back in 2010 to make his strongest intervention yet in the intractable Middle East conflict when he likened the experience of Palestinians in the blockaded Gaza Strip to that of a “prison camp”.” Cameron’s comments, in a speech to business leaders in Ankara, But until this day there has been no improvement or progress in the living conditions for the Palestinians, in fact day by day they have had their dignity taken away from them.
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And yet we may have forgotten and given up on the Palestinian people but they haven’t forgotten or given up on our Solders from 1914 -1918, The Arabs who had lived under Turkish rule for centuries. In June 1916, the Arab Revolt began against Turkey, an ally of Germany, and preventing them from fighting against regular allied forces, in June 1917, the Arab forces won their first major victory, seizing Aqaba, a strategically important Red Sea port for the allied forces,. Success continued as they gradually made their way north pushing the Turks out of the middle east. And again in 1939-1945 war as they have always respected the the solders that gave up their lives for freedom and peace.
Should we even care what is going on over there ??
Answer Yes and why.
We give someone else’s land to someone else and it wasn’t our land to give away,
David Lloyd George, the new Prime Minister, appointed him as Foreign Secretary, and consequently was responsible for the Balfour Declaration in 1917 which promised Zionists a national home in Palestine. all started when Lord Arthur James Balfour who made the Balfour Declaration on the 2nd of November 1917 which was a formal statement of policy by the British government stating that :
“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home of Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non- Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
England agreed on that and started to make this Declaration real. So this land was occupied by European Jews mostly victims of the seconded world war and the land was taken from Palestinian people, most of them were forced to leave their houses,lands and their lives, because of both Israel and Briton, some 4.99 million Palestinians live in Arab countries now living in camps in Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria and they are around 636,000 elsewhere, they are not allowed even to visit Palestine. God help them, and set Palestine Free Soon. We owe it to them.
Remember Over 1.7 million Palestinians live in Gaza
about 2.6 million in the occupied West Bank, including east Jerusalem.
Israel’s population in September 2011 was about 7.8 million, of which 5.8 million were Jews, according to Israeli government figures.
I thought it would have been much better for the people in the Gaza strip by now Since the Egyptian Revolution in January 2012 but since then, there has been a military takeover on July 3 this year. which have put in an interim government in power.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are a people under siege. Israel has occupied Gaza and the West Bank back since 1967. Although Israeli forces withdrew from Gaza in 2005, they Have maintained a blockade on the territory. Over 1.7 million Palestinians suffer to this very day from very high levels of poverty and depend on aid from the UN.
The blockade has prevented the reconstruction of Gaza’s infrastructure – badly damaged during Israel’s two successive bombing assaults on Gaza in recent years. Life in Gaza is not easy, the lives of cardiac and dialysis patients and babies in incubators who are dying, and the general population suffers daily hardship with blackouts of Electricity lasting for up to 12 -14 hours because of the shortage of generator fuel. Israel refuses to allow in the spare parts needed to rebuild the broken-down infrastructure. And will only allow limited amounts of fuel to reach Gaza from Israel well below the bare minimum required. Incursions and attacks on Gaza continue on almost a daily basis.
And now Egypt has also cut off any generator fuel that had been going in before the military takeover. The Rafah border crossing is mostly closed as it is the only way for the Palestinians to travel to other countries and getting in or out of Gaza. Thanks to an Egyptian quota which allows only about 400 people to travel each day.
Gazans have told me the problem has escalated and got worst as the border is only open from 10am until 2pm. The border is not open ever day, I know what it is like to be rejected and told to come back tomorrow, it took Marion and myself 4 attempts to get back out. Most Palestinians and their families have to wait for weeks if not months to get in or out. The terminal has been closed most of the time since the ousting of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi on July 3 2013.
On top of that within the last few months the Egyptians have also been busy demolishing tunnels leading to the besieged Gaza Strip. Although the Egyptian authorities claim that the tunnels with Gaza were used for smuggling weapons, they were actually used to smuggle basic food stuff and other commodities for the people to survive. Many fear of an economic crisis in Gaza now.
Egyptians demolishing the tunnels between the Gaza strip and the Sinai Peninsula
Trade between the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula provides a livelihood for the people on both sides of the border. The ministry of health in Gaza announced that fuel for electricity generators and ambulances will run out within days. “We are facing an unknown future with the closure of the tunnels,” a statement said. Israel does not allow enough fuel through its crossings with Gaza. Tunnels between Egypt and Gaza have been the main life line to the 1.7million residents of Gaza since the Israeli siege was imposed in 2006.
Gazans are already suffering financially from Egypt shutting down hundreds of smuggling tunnels under its border with Gaza. Those tunnels have for years been a pipeline and lifeline for cheap fuel, consumer goods and construction materials, and without them, thousands of Gazans have been out of work and facing higher prices for products imported from Israel.
“About 9,500 families were removed from the UN food program, “Mr. Hasna said, “because their economic situations had improved, while 5,400 poorer families were added”. An additional 4,000 had their benefits increased. Gaza — almost half the population — receive rations of flour, oil, sugar, rice and other commodities every three months.
Media outlets are reporting, the Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy that his country may use military force against the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian army has set a backup plan for bombing specific places in the Gaza Strip –
Again the “Friends of Gaza” are back there to see the Projects of the children’s centre’s that we have been funding, projects like the ‘Family Development Association;in the north of Gaza an organization working with the local families in a place called Beit Hanoun. It was the first time for Marion to see the projects and meet the people in Gaza.
Finally get the chance and see the Children’s play-ground
All three centre’s were supported and funded by the “Friends of Gaza appeal” the ‘Family Development Association was given money to help them build a new playground – built on the land next to the centre – where around 1000 children will be able to play. To see these plans come to fruition, we need as much money as possible. raising over $24,000 to help these centre’s.
The Canaan Institute of New Pedagogy which teaches young Palestinian men and women to organise and work as animators implementing some activities with the smaller children in their centre’s helping these children to have a child’s life.
The Director Mr I Saba, took Marion and I around Gaza showing us some other Centres. Mr Saba’s young animators work all over Gaza in most of the children’s Centre’s
Another children’s centre called “Hekr El James’a Youth Centre”, in Deir al-Balah a Refugee Camp south of Gaza City this centre have been funded with tables, chairs and Cupboards.
Like all the people in Gaza, from the north to the south had lost almost everything since the 22 day war in 2009 and again war in 2012 when Israel attacked the Gaza strip Many of them have lost members of their families, and thousands of others lost their homes.
Apart from visiting the centres we have been supporting over the last few years, we also had meetings with other organisations to see how we maybe able to help them,
(A) HFG needed help for a new minibus,
(B) The Deir al Balah centre still needs further help with their centre,
(C) A meeting about how and if we could help handicapped/disabled children.
Other projects needed help were:
(D) Happy Family Garden two.
(E) Rehabilitation Kinder garden centre.// Children Initiatives
(F) Aisha Association for women.
(G) Children’s music Club.
(H) Islamic Relief Centre helping over1,500 poor families with food parcels.
( I ) The Sunshine Project Targeting the very poor families,and poor Children within these families.
We came across an ingenious idea by a Palestinian through sheer resilience, frustration and determination had came up with a USB transformer and battery to give Electricity when they have blackouts.
As I have said before the Electricity blackouts are one of the biggest problems for the families since the land, air and sea blockade, Children and families have been killed trying to do their home work / cooking by candle light, causing many accidents, homes have been badly burnt, or using small generators that are to be used for emergency lighting only not for every day use as these generators can and do blow up, House fires are a significant cause of Children deaths. Many families have been killed when sleeping by smoke inhalation and from the fumes of these generators.
The “ Friends of Gaza” Committee would like to thank everyone who has helped us over the last few year’s to help the Children in Gaza, our main objective has always been to work with the poorer families with children who are desperately in need of help.
Anyone who would like to help us in our work:. One way you and your church or organization really can help us to make a difference, is by sending a donation to:
“Friends of Gaza” Mrs Janette Brett, Treasurer 6 Fairford Road Maidenhead SL6 7AL
(Please make cheques payable to “Friends of Gaza”) All donations, however small, will be appreciated and gratefully received.
Let us remember one of our all-important Principles “The Brotherhood of Man”.
“We just need to reach out and touch another’s soul and communicate: We can all do it. we just have to want to do it”
A) description of someone feeling that there is no hope and that the person can do nothing to improve a difficult or troubling situation. That is where the “Friends of Gaza” does help.
Click the link below for more information on Gaza.