Thanks to Freedom Flotilla Coalition member Kia Ora Gaza out of New Zealand who have been leading the FFC support on this ambulance project.
Soon after the ‘Peace Train’ solidarity convoy of 27 ambulances broke through the siege and rolled in to Gaza yesterday, convoy representative Abdullah Al-Hajjar from ‘Miles of Smiles’ partner, Medics Worldwide, addressed the welcoming ceremony:
Abdullah Al-Hajjar addresses the welcoming ceremony for the convoy in Gaza yesterday.
Last May, over the course of eleven days, the Israeli occupation launched an unjust aggression on the Gaza Strip, where civilians were directly targeted. The aggression has led to more martyrs, including children, women and people with special needs, as well as thousands of injured people, in addition to material damage to facilities and infrastructure.
In light of a stifling crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, and in the conditions of a suffocating siege that the Gaza Strip has been going through for 15 years, which has prevented the entry of new ambulances that can cope with the great health care needs, the recent Israeli attacks came to further complicate the matter.
The high number of civilian casualties and the great destruction caused by the bombing, as well as targeting facilities, health care experts, emergency crews and their cars, in violation of international and humanitarian laws, the need for ambulances to transport more wounded and injured also increased.
Since the first moment of the aggression against the Palestinian people, Medics Worldwide (MEDICS) have been working on the ground with an intervention plan that targets the immediate and most urgent needs as well as the continuing and long-term needs, by providing urgent support and assistance to the affected people of all categories, whether they are wounded or displaced whose homes have been destroyed.
We also supported the efforts of the civil defense teams in the work of removing the rubble and rescuing the victims who were under the rubble of the destroyed houses. In addition to urgent relief, we have also worked on more sustainable solutions aimed at developing infrastructure and rebuilding the destroyed health institutions.
At MEDICS we believe in the importance of joint action and the necessity of coordination between humanitarian workers, especially in light of wars and disasters. This project is the culmination of great efforts made to unify work and maximize the benefit by providing (37) ambulances equipped with full technical equipment, supported by humanitarian institutions in various countries of the world.
Here we must thank our partners from Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Algeria, Jordan, South Africa, Britain, New Zealand [Kia Ora Gaza], Norway and Canada [Freedom Flotilla Coalition campaigns] for their generous support to ensure the success of this project. We also thank our partners in the Miles of Smiles convoys for their continuous effort to complete the required preparation [of the vehicles] and high coordination with the relevant authorities in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Arab Republic of Egypt with the aim of breaking the siege and allowing [the ambulance convoy] to enter the Gaza Strip.
We stress here the need to continue the gift of the free world to confront this fierce and unprecedented attack, which indicates the solidarity of the global human conscience in the face of the injustice inflicted on the besieged people of the Gaza Strip. Thank you to all the institutions that support and fund this modest effort, and the peoples of the free world for their constant support for the Palestinian people in all circumstances.
We also extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for their permanent support for the Palestinian people and for facilitating the entry [of the convoy ambulances] into the Gaza Strip.