Last May, the Israeli military attacked Gaza. At least 253 Palestinians were killed, including 66 children. At the height of the attack, over 113,000 people were displaced from their homes. All of this as COVID-19 continued to spread through a population with very limited access to vaccines.
The bombings happened as AFSC was fundraising for hygiene kits to distribute to elderly Palestinians and their families, many of whom live in poverty. Because so many had damage to their homes, we adjusted our plan to include kitchen supplies for those who urgently needed some means to prepare meals.
This month, we made our final distribution of supplies. Thanks to the generosity of the AFSC community, over 360 elderly people in Gaza received hygiene kits with masks and other supplies to help protect against COVID-19. We also delivered winter blankets and lighting kits, to assist those who don’t have reliable electricity.
AFSC has worked since our founding to prevent wars and help people heal in their aftermath. We are committed to not just giving out immediate relief, but resolving the political crises that lead to violence. For decades now, Palestinians have lived under Israeli occupation. In Gaza, they also live under a blockade that restricts peoples’ movement and blocks or limits access to material goods, clean water, medical care, building materials, and other basic supplies.
We are grateful to the AFSC community not only for supporting our humanitarian efforts, but also for helping us work for a just and lasting peace.