The Palestinian prime minister in Gaza has joined orphans in Gaza at the celebration of Arab Orphans' Day. The event was held at Al-Amal Orphanage in the central area of the Gaza Strip; Ismail Haniyeh was the main guest and watched as the orphans presented displays of Palestinian arts and crafts, including the Dabka, a traditional dance.
Mr Haniyeh announced a donation of $10,000 for the orphanage. The money will help staff to continue with important rehabilitation programmes, including trauma care, for the orphans, many of whom suffer from their exposure to violence during Israel's frequent military offensives against the civilians of the Gaza Strip.
"These children," the prime minister told the gathering, "are our leaders of the future." He called for businessmen to support the activities of Al-Amal Orphanage to enable it to continue its essential work.
There are 22,000 Palestinian orphans in the Gaza Strip. They are supported largely by international charities and individual sponsors from around the world. Since the beginning of the Israeli-led siege of the beleaguered territory, donors have had increasing difficulties in transferring orphan sponsorship donations to the beneficiaries in Gaza. This does not harm the government in Gaza, as Israel and it supporters claim, but orphaned children in desperate need.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad