On Friday, I visited the Rafah Crossing between Egypt and Cairo. Dr. Mona wanted to assess the situation at the border before coming with our trucks next week.
Trucks of aid waiting to enter Gaza. Friday, January 9, 2009
A bomb hits Rafah, just a few hundred feet from where we are standing at the border. Friday, January 9, 2009.
Dr. Mona and I met people working with the Arab Doctors Union at the border. This turned into a great partnership as the Union offered to pay for the transportation of our shipment to the border. Now all of the donations to MECA can be used on buying much-needed medicine and supplies. Friday, January 9, 2009.
Dr. Mona and I browse different wheelchair models from a company in Cairo. I know quite a bit about wheelchairs and was able to select the best model to send to Gaza. Saturday, January 10, 2009.
After two weeks of constant Israeli attacks and almost two years of living under siege, the children in Gaza are very traumatized. One of our trucks will include crayons, coloring books, toys, and soccer balls. In a way, these items are emergency supplies too. Saturday, January 10, 2009.
We are waiting now for our ambulance to be ready (it will take a few days) and then we will head back to Rafah with our trucks holding the ambulance, wheelchairs, powdered milk, baby cereal, emergency room supplies including anesthesia drugs, and children's toys. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip will meet us at the border and distribute these supplies to help children and families in Gaza.
Meanwhile the WHO is sending four tons of medications for children and infants by air to Tel Aviv and then into Gaza. MECA purchased this shipment at a discounted rate thanks to the help of Medical Teams International.
I am so thankful to all of MECA's supporters and partners who are making this shipment possible. In the face of so much death and destruction, your support for children in Gaza means so much.
But what the children need more than anything is an end to the Israeli airstrikes, tank shellings, and ground invasion. Please continue to send letters, write op-eds, attend demonstrations, and build campaigns for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. It is up to all of us to make Gaza a safe place for children.