Gaza Appeal Update

12 June 2024

The generosity of the Methodist people is amazing! Last week we transferred £20,000 from our Gaza Appeal to the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR) which is part of the Near East Council of Churches (NECC) and the Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre. However, I recognise it is more than generosity, it is a loving and compassionate response to the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza. Thank you so much.

Recently, I was sent videos of Gaza City where I visited in Oct 2022, I could not recognise anywhere in the images. The streets that had been alive with people where empty and the buildings that housed families, shops and businesses were bombed out shells. This should not have surprised me as it has been revealed that by the end of April Israel had dropped 70,000 tons of bombs on the Gaza Strip since October 2023, exceeding the World War II bombings in Dresden, Hamburg and London combined.

In conflict we see what humanity looks like when all humanity is lost. A belief that violence, bombs and bloodshed can solve issues. This current conflict has left over 37,000 people dead and over 86,000 people injured. The vast majority of whom are Palestinian. The truth is that too many people have died, too many lives have been shattered by injury, pain, disease, malnutrition and loss, and too many livelihoods have been destroyed.

Against this backdrop of violence there are those who refuse to let humanity be lost. The people and organisations who work under incredibly difficult situations and continue to offer love, and through that love - hope. Princess Basma and DSPR, the projects that our Gaza appeal is supporting, are examples of this. Both organisations are working under atrocious conditions and are having to adapt on a regular basis as things changes.

The following is an extract from a recent report of the work of the DSPR…

‘Since opening of the DSPR’s clinic in Rafah in November 2023, our staff worked day and night under unsafe and very dangerous situations, most of them and their families were forcibly displaced from their homes in different locations like hundreds of thousands of people, many refuged to Rafah as the Israelis named it “The Safe Area”. The work continued until 6th of May, when the Israel started its invasion of Rafah, controlled Rafah crossing point and ordered the people to move to designated locations, as Rafah is not a “Safe Area”.

The work in the Rafah clinic stopped, this is a result of inability to work as we became the “eye of the storm”. A mobile clinic was started, where a microbus has been rented and adapted to be used as a reception point and pharmacy, and another car rented for transporting the team that consists of physicians, nurses, pharmacist, social worker, management and logistic staff.’

I have heard a similar story from Princess Basma…

Al Zahraa’, our therapist, who had been working in Rafah was displaced for the fourth time since the beginning of the war and is now in a temporary shelter in Deir in Balah, working out of a Red Crescent clinic.

The big news for us this week is that in response to a WHO appeal for post-operative rehabilitation in Gaza, we recruited a general medical doctor and another physiotherapist to start work with Musa, our existing social worker at our satellite unit in Al Ahli Hospital. You may remember our rehabilitation unit was to be opened last Autumn. Although it has been damaged, our multidisciplinary staff there have made three rooms within it safe and have begun to work with children following trauma surgery at the hospital.

Your gifts have helped to ensure that both Princess Basma and DSPR can adapt, respond and develop their work so they can continue to offer high quality medical care even as this, already dire, situation deteriorates. Your generosity has been a lifeline to both these organisations as their finances and staff are stretched. It is a lifeline to ordinary Gazans facing life changing injury, malnutrition and disease as a result of the ongoing Israeli offensive in their land.

You can still support the appeal by following this link: Gaza Appeal - Methodist Church.

I leave the last word to the Executive Director of DSPR:

‘Thank you for the great solidarity and the successful campaign you organized, your efforts will never go in vain, it’s helping and healing as well as contributing to have a better world for all.’

Revd David Hardman

Methodist Liaison Officer, Jerusalem