DURBAN – Saddened by the news of war on Gaza and the rising death toll, South Africa Muslims have launched a national campaign to raise money for food and medical supplies for the besieged civilians.
“This is tragedy, innocent children are being killed and the international community is standing by and watching,” Solly Suleman of the KZN (KwaZulu-Natal) Islamic Medical Association told IOL on Sunday, July 13.
“This is happening at the worst possible time now, the month of Ramadan.”
As the Israeli war on Gaza enters its seventh day, Muslims observing Ramadan were denied the happiness of the holy fasting month.
Israel has been launching relentless airstrikes against Gaza since Tuesday in which more than 170 have been killed and over 100 injured in the tiny coastal strip.
Israel has claimed that its new war on Gaza, under the title Operation Protect Edge, was a response to the rocket attacks being carried out by Hamas.
There have been no Israeli casualties from the hundreds of rockets that have been fired by militants in Gaza.
The Islamic Medical Association of South Africa (Imasa) and its local partner, PIMA (Palestinian International Medical Aid), have kicked off the fundraising campaign that aims to provide food, clothing, medicine and other supplies to the besieged Gaza strip.
“Gaza’s health facilities have been strangled over the past few years since the last invasion during 2009 with blockage of all access points and an embargo on essential supplies and equipment including fuel and electricity,” Dr Riaz Ismail of Imasa said.
“With the recent dramatic influx of casualties, Gaza’s health facilities and its personnel are struggling to continue its services.
“They urgently require medicines, surgical supplies and disposables, saline and other fluid.
“The displaced population require clothing, blankets, shelter, food, drinking water, sanitation and other humanitarian aids.”
In Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.
Muslims make up to 1.5% of South Africa’s 44-million population.
As the world’s attention was fixed on FIFA 2014 WC, hundreds of vulnerable Palestinian civilians were being bombarded by the Israeli strikes over the past days.
“Innocent lives are being lost in Ramadan and the world is focused on soccer. This is really a sad situation,” Yacoob Vahed, local coordinator for the Al Imdaad Foundation, said.
Founded in 2003 in Gaza, Al Imdaad has been hosting programs for orphans and widows in its female-only hospital.
After Israeli’s latest attacks on the strip, the hospital has been opened to all. Also Al Imdaad has been offering funds to Gaza strip recently to help the victims.
“We have sufficient medical personnel there but we don’t know how long supplies will last, and there is a problem replenishing because sometimes the border is open and sometimes it isn’t,” said Vahed.
Along with Imasa, PIMA and Al Imdaad, Gift of the Givers organization has been preparing food drives and medical supplies to Gaza.
“The provision of relevant medical supplies during this difficult period will be the main focus of Gift of the Givers,” Dr Imtiaz Sooliman of Gift of the Givers said.
“In the meantime we have been providing food parcels to poor families this Ramadan and are also involved in the construction of a five-storey Women and Child Care Centre in Gaza presently which is at a very advanced stage in spite of border closures and a shortage of building material.”
Along with donation campaigns, South Africa Muslims have also announced support for the calls to boycott the “Israeli products”.
With no safe areas to go, thousands of Palestinians fled their homes in northern Gaza on Sunday amid threats of intensifying the Israeli raids.
Thousands of angry demonstrators turned out to the streets around the world on Friday, July 11, to protest the Israeli war on besieged Gaza Strip that has resulted in the killing of more than 165 Palestinian and injuring of hundreds.
Condemning the killing of civilians in Gaza, the United Nations Security Council on Saturday called for a cease fire between the two rivals.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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