Our thoughts are currently with our brothers and sisters in the Gaza Strip who have to endure another war, the third explosion of violence and war crimes in the last six years for the 1,8 million people living there. The number of lives taken keeps on rising, and though they all concern individuals with a name, with a father, with an age, with a wish, we still mention the numbers to face the huge destruction that is done by the Israeli army. Let the confrontation with this unbelieveable high number force us to stand up.
20th of July at 4AM Palestinian Ministry of Health had to place the death toll at 348.
This was excluding the massacre of Shuja'iyya neighbourhood that took place Saturday on Sunday night.
On the 22nd of July at 7PM the Palestinian Ministry of Health had to put the death toll at 624 people, more than 3750 injured.
Now today, the 30th of July, after several days of bombing UNRWA schools, mosques, streets and markets, the Palestinians killed by Israel have reached 1325. This present a huge escalation in the last few days, with an average of 100 people being killed every day and more than 10 children every day.
Karama volunteers made a video after the first days of this massacre to spread the word about the generally situation in Palestine and also mention Gaza. How little the move, the aim is the influence public discourse by showing a part the Palestinian story.
Many people all over the world, including Karama staff in London and Belgium have been showing their anger and frustration on the streets.
See the photo's from these protests online and please share your own pictures if you participated as well!! We would love to see them!
The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli military occupation since 1967, like the West Bank. Many of its residents are refugees from villages ethnically cleansed by Israel in the 1948 Nakba, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from their homes in order to create a Jewish majority state. The 'Gaza Strip' is not, as it can sometimes seem from media reports, some kind of separate country of its own. Rather, it is a fenced-in, open-air prison, of 360 square meter, in which Israel has sealed off 1.8 million Palestinians. This is part of a much wider regime of apartheid and colonialism where Palestinians are, either under military rule, second-class citizens, or, violently excluded from their homeland entirely (because they are not Jewish).
The unilateral “disengagement” from Gaza in 2005 does not mean Israel is not occupying this part of Palestine anymore. According to International Humanitarian Law it remains the Occupying power who has duties and obligations towards the territory, which Israel breaks on a daily basis. This is the context in which Palestinians continue to claim their rights and show resistance to the sure expulsion and division of Palestinians - from each other and from their land. The Palestinian unity-government signed in April 2014 has been the target of Israeli punishment since the beginning. With first the West Bank cities reoccupied and army raids spreading fear and restricting movement, and more than 600 people arrested – now Gazan families are being targeted with bombs from the air, sea and land. This has led to huge destruction; homes, public spaces, mosques, hospitals and media centers are attacked and destroyed.
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This spring has been full of news about our rooftop gardens, while we also continue to improve our services to the children by making our center even safer. We are gearing up as well for the summer camps - will you join us to get ready?!
Spreading the word of our green roofs
A great motivator for all the people surrounding this project was the visit of a TV crew from Al Jazeera, an international news channel broadcasting all over the world. For their Arabic channel, they filmed the rooftop gardens and some of the participants involved to display the story of the Palestinian refugees. On the 14th of May, this report was broadcast on their TV channel!
This report comes at the occasion of the remembrance of the Naqba - the term that refers to the expulsion of Palestinians before and after the creation of the state of Israel. All around Palestine this expulsion continues. Bedouin are still forced of their lands, villages have their land seized for settlements and the land and few houses left from before the Naqba remain out of reach for the refugees and are even under threat of demolition. There is no better day to show the occupation and the world with our project that we as refugees will never give up. That we are able to create everything out of nothing and that we can turn the naqba into revolution. The participants are proud of the project and feel the connection to their land - even if they don't have access to it yet.
Some of them shy, some of them bold they shared their story in front of the camera and we hope you will enjoy watching the clip! Especially for our international supporters we have translated the report and provided subtitles, so quickly watch the video and share if you like! Watch the video on our youtube channel.
Training for the women
Constructions in our playgrounds
In the meantime the outside areas are being prepared for a season full of activities. With the support of Humanium we can make our backyard even safer, while we also placed some seating along the side. If you have been here in previous years, you almost won’t recognize the place! Now the walls, water system and grass floor are almost completed, the children are starting the eagerly anticipate the day we will have our first football competition.. or shall we try the new badminton gear first?
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Getting ready for our summer camps!
Remember our summer camps from last year? We pioneered with a special collaboration between the youth from Khirbet Zakaria and Deheishe. This was an important first step to bring the isolated community of Khirbet Zakaria in connection with other people, while it also opened the eyes and hearts of all participants involved. Warm contacts remained and further actions to fight the immediate threat to their basic rights need to be taken! One of these actions will be a repetition of these successful summer camps in July or August this year.
You can consider volunteering online from your home or give us 5 seconds of your time and spread the word online:). Open one of the links and share our online volunteer opportunity or page on Global Giving on Facebook of Twitter. Because any small amount from your community will help to let another child participate! This summer camp will be the continuation of something beautiful, where the children can grow and enjoy in a fun and safe environment so different than their daily reality.
Help the children of Deheishe today! Donate to Karama!