Voices from Gaza: MECA Calls for Immediate End to Israeli Attacks Which Kill Palestinian Children Daily Eyewitness Accounts Available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (510) 548-0542/ [email protected]                      
 

Voices from Gaza: MECA Calls for Immediate End to Israeli Attacks Which Kill Palestinian Children Daily
Eyewitness Accounts Available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (510) 548-0542/ [email protected]                      
 

Voices from Gaza: MECA Calls for Immediate End to Israeli Attacks Which Kill Palestinian Children Daily
Eyewitness Accounts Available

BERKELEY, Calif. — As Israel’s assault on Gaza enters its second week, the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) calls for an immediate end to Israel’s attack on Gaza and for journalists and media outlets to cover the situation of Palestinian children in Gaza.  MECA is outraged at the loss of life and the damage to homes, schools, and vital infrastructure.

In this current military bombardment, dubbed Operation Protective Edge by the Israeli military, OCHA estimates that 77 percent of the casualties in Gaza have been civilians.  At least 34 children have been killed, one just two-years-old, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Defence for Children International – Palestine Section.   In addition, at least 386 Palestinian children have been injured and over 22,800 children have been heavily traumatized by the large-scale Israeli bombings of crowded urban areas.  These families have experienced death, injury and/or destruction of their homes and are in need of immediate psychosocial support.

Dr. Mona El-Farra, MECA Director of Gaza Projects, appeals to the international community: “We are not just numbers. We are human beings with stories, dreams, anger, laughter and everything in between. There are 1.7 million people under very serious attack. And we hardly sleep, not only us health workers, I mean the entire population of Gaza is not sleeping because of the intensity of the attacks. Everybody here in Gaza is looking for ceasefire and a lifting of the siege.”

MECA has a team on the ground, including a medical doctor who is treating injured patients daily at the Red Crescent Society Hospital in Gaza City.  Dr. El- Farra wrote yesterday: “For an entire week, we have lived with the drones and jet fighters in the sky, with gunboats or warships hitting Gaza from the sea. Now tanks and soldiers are lining up on the border to raid Gaza any minute. And this assault against Gaza is on top of a very deteriorating humanitarian situation, with shortages of almost everything, including clean water, electricity and sanitation.  Every day I go to the Red Crescent Society to treat children, women and men who are coming in with terrible injuries—head wounds and missing limbs, severe burns and shrapnel in their bodies. And we are running out of medicine.”

Safaa El Derawi, an environmental engineer and Gaza Project Assistant living in Nuseirat Refugee Camp recalls a particularly difficult night in her home: “We spent all night in fear and tension without electricity trying to calm the children. No matter how hard we tried, they did not stop crying.”

MECA is coordinating an emergency fundraising campaign to purchase medicine for local hospitals and distribute milk and food staples to children and their families. Our staff in Berkeley are in touch with people in Gaza around the clock.

Interviews are available with:

  • Dr. Mona El-Farra, a physician by training and a human rights and women's rights activist by practice in the occupied Gaza Strip.   Dr. El-Farra is also the Health Chair of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip and a member of the Union of Health Work Committees.
  • Barbara Lubin, Founder and Executive Director, a life-long peace, justice and disability rights activist.  For over 26 years, she has worked for the rights of children in the Middle East by sending humanitarian aid, supporting projects for children and traveling regularly to Gaza to further projects, including the Maia Project & Let the Children Play & Heal.
  • Safaa El Derawi, Gaza Project Assistant for Middle East Children’s Alliance, an environmental engineer living in Nuseirat Refugee Camp, Gaza.  In addition to her work with MECA, she volunteers with youth groups working on issues related to water and the environment and providing awareness to the community about the causes of Palestine’s water crisis, their water rights, and the suggested solutions.
  • www.mecaforpeace.org