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“This has to stop” says Kiwi on the ground in Gaza

“This has to stop” says Kiwi on the ground in Gaza

Kiwi Alex Snary, World Vision's National Director of Jerusalem-West Bank Gaza, today provided a first-hand report of the conflict, after crossing into Gaza to work with the international development agency’s team on the ground.

“It is strange moving down the deserted streets, heavily damaged buildings, piles of rubble, the smell of death and garbage. The constant buzz of Israeli drones punctuated from time to time by screaming F16s followed by a boom and the earth shakes. Then comes the wails of ambulance sirens moving to the site of the latest civilian dead and dying,” said Snary

Snary, who hails from Tauranga, voiced concerns for the growing humanitarian disaster in Gaza.

“We are rapidly approaching the precipice of a total collapse in public services which will lead to a significant increase in the scale of the humanitarian emergency in Gaza. As an occupying power Israel has a legal obligation to cease targeting service infrastructure and personnel and ensure the delivery of basic services to the 1.8m people it is holding in Gaza”

To date, it is estimated that over 1717 people have been killed in the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, at least 377 of whom are children. Currently, over 485,000 people have been displaced, living in schools, informal shelters or with host families. World Vision are working with 7256 children across Gaza, of whom 5442 have been displaced from their homes.

“The numbers we’re seeing –and the fact we’ve lost five World Vision sponsored children – so clearly demonstrates, in the most tragic and heart-breaking way for us and our millions of supporters around the world, how indiscriminate this violence and shelling is," says Snary.

“These children have names, they have brothers and sisters and parents. We know these children, we’ve looked into their eyes and seen their suffering. This has to stop. Now. Children are not targets.”

World Vision is on the ground in Gaza providing emergency relief where it can. This includes providing psychosocial support for children who have been injured, have lost a family member in the attack, and those forced to take shelter. The international development agency has also procured medical supplies for a hospital in north Gaza, and distributed 200 food parcels to families.

It is estimated that over 300,000 children in Gaza have experienced death, injury or loss of their homes and will need psychosocial support, but the continued fighting means that more children are becoming witnesses to and victims of extreme violence.

To help the children of Gaza and donate to World Vision, please go to http://www.worldvision.org.nz/ways-to-give/emergency-appeals/gaza-crisis.aspx


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