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The last four weeks terrible images has reached us from Gaza. The war has brought massive devastation. More than 1 800 Palestinians have been killed, most of them civilians, and 400 of them children. In support of the civilians affected, the Olof Palme International Center has started a fundraising campaign.

The war in the Gaza Strip has had devastating consequences for a society that was already under heavy pressure due to the Israeli blockade and internal conflicts. Since July 8, more than 1,800 Palestinians have been killed. About 80 percent of them are civilians, including 400 children. 67 Israelis have died in the war, of which 64 soldiers. Almost 10,000 people in Gaza have been injured, nearly one-third of these are reported to be children. 30 percent of Gaza’s population has been forced to flee their homes and 65,000 persons are estimated to have had their homes destroyed.

Great humanitarian efforts are needed to alleviate the population’s suffering in Gaza: food and water, housing and medical care. But there is also a need for efforts to prevent the war from reoccurring. Lasting peace can only be reached through dialogue and cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians. To achieve this, strong support is needed from the rest of the world.

Swedish labour movement has a long tradition of commitment to promote dialogue in the region. The Olof Palme International Center manages a number of projects, both in Gaza and the West Bank. The projects are focused on cooperation with local civil society organizations, especially with the aim of pursuing the opportunities of women and young people to actively participate in political processes. The work has led to good results: participation of women in society has increased and young leaders have been elected to local government.

The work of our partners in Gaza during the war

Because of the war, our partner organizations can not pursue their ordinary work. At present they are focused on humanitarian activities:

• Palestine Peace Coalition is mobilizing its volunteers to visit the most affected families in vulnerable areas like Beit Hanun. They distribute food and visit the wounded children in hospital to comfort them and give small gifts and support their parents.

• Filastiniayat, an organization that works with young journalists, is now disseminating information on the situation in Gaza and what kind of support is needed, through social media. They also provide psychosocial support, mostly for their volunteers, so that they in turn can help the women in Gaza.

• DWRC normally works with social and economic rights. They are now mobilizing and organizing people to clean up among the ruins.

• Pyalara, that usually spreads knowledge on environmental issues and works with children and young people, now engages in helping the orphans to readjust to new environments.

• Civitas Institute is making analyses of what aid Gaza’s residents need.

• In the West Bank are our partner Leaders usually work with leadership training. They have now mobilized their trained managers to gather and distribute necessities for Gaza, ranging from water, food and clothes to toys for children.

Publiceringsdatum: 2014-08-12

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