The Head of the Popular International Committee to Support Gaza has called for more humanitarian support to be given to the Palestinian people as the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha approaches.
Dr Essam Yousef pointed out that at a time when Palestinians are experiencing extremely difficult living conditions under the Israeli occupation and siege, as well as the Coronavirus crisis, providing such support is both a religious and moral duty.
On Eid Al-Adha, Muslims traditionally commemorate the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his only son, Isma’il (Ishmael), by sacrificing a sheep or other livestock and sharing the meat with the poor.
“Donate your sacrifice to the poor and needy in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon,” said Yousef. “The number of Palestinians in desperate need grows by the day, so more charities and NGOs should encourage and provide humanitarian support like this for the Palestinians.”
The veteran activist explained that poverty and unemployment among Palestinians are on the rise. Human rights violations by occupation forces affect all Palestinians, including children, and the infrastructure simply cannot cope due to the measures imposed by the Israeli authorities.
“The statistics make horrific reading when it comes to the humanitarian situation in Gaza. At least 85 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line; 70 per cent of families are threatened by food insecurity; and 300,000 workers are unemployed. The average income per person is only $2 per day.”
The annexation crisis in the West Bank is just one aspect of Israel’s occupation which affects every aspect of Palestinian life, noted Yousef. “To the violations committed by the Israeli occupation forces must be added attacks on Palestinians and their property by illegal settlers, often protected by Israeli soldiers and police officers. Such suffering cannot simply be ignored by the world, or brushed aside as ‘self-defence’ by the Zionist state. Israel is breaking international law every single day, and has done for decades.”
The aid campaigner called on NGOS and charities to designate humanitarian projects and programmes in support of poor and needy Palestinians living in the occupied territories and refugee camps in neighbouring countries.
“We have faith in the generosity of ordinary people who are capable of extraordinary action when the need is great,” concluded Dr Yousef. “The Palestinians’ need has never been greater, and we call upon our brothers in sisters across the Muslim world to dig deep and help, especially during the Eid period.”