Cape Town - A Rylands-based non-profit organisation hopes to raise $1 million (R14 million) for the purchase of crucial medical supplies and take it to the Gaza Strip.
Truth Collective South Africa (TCSA), focusing on social and philanthropic initiatives both locally and internationally, is set to embark on an expedition to the besieged Gaza Strip, during the first week of June.
A more than week-long bombardment by Israeli Defence Forces have left the area in ruins, with aid for the injured desperately needed. The supplies will be purchased in Egypt, prior to its delivery into Gaza.
The relief mission has been made possible through efforts of the Ambassador of Palestine in South Africa, Hanan Jarrar with the Palestinian Embassy, the Egyptian government and the Egyptian Red Crescent, with TCSA.
Five TCSA members with four doctors, delegates from the Palestinian Embassy in South Africa, will be taking part in the relief mission, with more volunteers expected to come on board.
One TCSA director Razaan Jacobs said, “We are travelling into Gaza to take medical aid and supplies directly into the hospitals and also for the doctors to assist in these hospitals. Travelling is scheduled the first week of June, we will have confirmation on dates once the Egyptian government approves all visas.”
The trip is scheduled to take 10-12 days, of which a week will be spent in Gaza.
“We are hoping to raise $1m which we are very far from at the moment, our collection thus far is approximately only R50 000 as we have only done two actual collections.”
TCSA founder and chief executive Baker Al-Maharmeh, a Palestinian based in Cape Town, held discussions with the Palestinian Embassy on the mission.
“They need a lot of medical (aid) urgently so that is why we are taking this forward to Gaza. I am a Palestinian and this is my brothers and sisters, this is my family and I take that on my shoulder to take it forward to them and help each and every Palestinian in Gaza for what they need. We are all here for the same cause.”
Jarrar said plans were on track and that the embassy had liaised with the Health Ministry in Gaza to assess what was needed and a list of the most crucial supplies was given.
“It's a great initiative and we support everything that comes from South African organisations in this regard. It is a motion for solidarity for Palestine and the Palestinian people.”
A call out was sent for doctors, journalists and volunteers to join, however, it will be done in their individual capacities.
Individuals and corporates are urged to donate. Bank detail are: FNB: account name: TCSA South Africa; branch code: 210835; account no: 6287 9494 442 or alternatively call 021 300 6159/ 021 633 0480.