SA rescue workers soon on their way to Gaza


Gift of the Givers is currently doing everything in its power to provide aid to civilians in Gaza. However, the humanitarian relief group’s rescue workers are under great “physical, emotional and mental” stress due to the ongoing bombing.

They also fear for the well-being of their families, says Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman, director of Gift of the Givers.

“Mobility, communication and safety are serious challenges,” explains Sooliman.

Currently, only Palestinian members of the organization are involved in rescue efforts there, but according to Ali Sablay of Gift of the Givers, they are currently preparing a team of South African rescue workers to leave for Gaza “soon”.

Gift of the Givers has already purchased medical supplies, medication and wheelchairs for the injured from various hospitals since the Hamas terrorist group launched a surprise attack on Israel last weekend and that country began its retaliation campaign.

Meanwhile, the humanitarian relief group funds fuel for ambulances and patients receive clothing upon their arrival at the hospital.

However, a total of 15 hospitals and 23 ambulances were deliberately targeted, says Sooliman.

An angry Israel cut off the power and water supply to Gaza last week. Gift of the Givers now provides water to thousands of civilians with the help of its three desalination plants.

Generators have also been made available.

Hot meals and food parcels have been provided to thousands of people in the past week.

Sooliman says Gift of the Givers is now planning a much larger humanitarian intervention with diverse supplies for when goods are allowed through the Rafah border. A special relief flight is also being considered.

“We have asked our Gaza team to employ more staff and increase networks to ensure continuity of distribution for when people die, which is a very strong possibility given the risks they have to take.”

Fleeing Palestinian citizens with suitcases, plastic bags and even mattresses in hand are a common sight in Gaza by this time.

RNews earlier reported that at this stage Palestinians are being forced to flee south of the enclave with as many possessions as possible, while Israel is gathering thousands of troops outside the enclave in preparation for what it calls a land, air and sea attack.

However, the arrival of hundreds of thousands of people puts further pressure on resources in the densely populated south.

Residents of Gaza are actually trapped at this stage as Israeli-controlled crossings are closed. Egypt also closed the Rafah border in the south.