After the war I switched the donation section from being to keep me in Gaza for 6 months (which between us we had successfully covered!) to be a route for you to aid Gaza folk directly.
As of April 20th, I’ve left Gaza, though I will be giving you a few more posts via this website with my remaining stories, and also information re a UK speaking tour…soon! For donation purposes, my colleage E, who blogs at InGaza, and I have been pooling the projects we are working on. Since she still has some Gaza time ahead, she’s trying to open a Paypal account (technicalities meant I didn’t manage this with my account.) and you will be able to donate via her site.
WHERE DID YOUR DONATIONS GO?
Small amounts regularly went on random things like bringing sweets, fruit, or toys to the people I visited (as well as fruit to give out daily to all the kids that have been on the street begging since the war) or more specific things – like we bought a chess set for E’s friend Abd, paralised from the waist down by a sniper in March 08 at age 17, who spends 5 days a week in Al Wafa hospital.
Further money has gone towards Dr H’s family’s house repairs (damaged due to being next to a targetted mosque, and they have been unable to obtain any aid money) and via my colleage E to Zarka Street residents Saud and Fathiya al Bateran and Hamsa Bateran, whose families are some of the poorest but don’t receive UN aid and won’t be receiving any of the aid which comes in for post-war-on-Gaza support. With some of your money, Hamsa has bought chickens, and something he thought he’d never have again – a new horse, his means of livelihood. You have also covered a month’s rent for J and L & kids in their “second home” in Faraheen, and provided some financial support to a friend’s family who have one child with cerebral palsy and another child with a long-term illness. E and I also visited 19 yr old Mousa Samouni and his 7 younger siblings; they lost both parents and 2 older brothers; some money from you went to Mousa to help him care for his family. Amer Al Helou, the father whose baby girl and own father were shot dead in front of him, and his brother wounded, also lost his means of livelihood in the war. Formerly, he supported his family via his work delivering bread. The van was bombed, burned, during Israel’s assault on Gaza. We delivered a small lump sum to him from you, we said that people have given it towards a van but will understand if some of it goes on more immediate needs. You have also given some financial aid to the family of Rafiq abu Reala, a fisherman shot in the back on 14 February by Israeli naval soldiers who attacked the small fishing craft just two nautical miles off Gaza’s coast. The exploding ‘dumdum’ bullets which broke into numerous tiny pieces lacerated his spine and punctured one lung. Rafiq’s family, including his pregnant new bride, were dependent on the income he added to the extended family. The fishing industry has been greatly destroyed by the Israeli-imposed siege, by the War on Gaza which damaged numerous fishing vessels, and most of all by the continual presence of Israeli gunboats patrolling Gaza’s waters and shooting on unarmed fishermen. This limits their ability to fish in deep waters, or at all, and means a much-diminished income.
Donations from you have gone to the young families of farmer Anwar, killed while harvesting parsley, and his deaf cousin Mohammed, wounded also while harvesting parsley only a few weeks later.
A small donation has also gone towards the medical care of my ISM comrade Tristan Anderson, shot in the head by Israel earlier this year. It could have been any of us.