8th July 2014. A date many Palestinians will never forget.
They called it #OperationProtectiveEdge . One of their many names given to describe the tragedy that was, at the time, about to hit the Palestinians in Gaza. The Gaza strip was attacked by Israeli military offensive that resulted in the destruction and mass displacement of thousands of Palestinians, their homes and their lives.
Over 2,200 Palestinian deaths, 11,200 injured, 500,000 displaced at the time leaving over 350,000 children needing psychological support.
This crisis was the biggest of its kind, whereby 1.8 million people witnessed the attack while living under the blockade during the holy month of Ramadan.
18,000 homes were destroyed, and only 3,000 were rebuilt, leaving many Palestinians homeless.
Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr now bring an unwanted memory for all the Palestinians in Gaza due to the severe damage this assault has caused. Many are still recovering from the aftermath.
Interpal’s Emergency Response – Gaza 2014
Due to safety issues and lack of transport at the time, many Palestinians were unable to receive medical treatment and urgent support. Interpal, however, was able to provide aid and support including delivery of medicine, food and non-food items, financial aid, and water aid both during and after the conflict.
The still-existing blockade prevented many basic supplies and necessities from entering the Gaza strip including medical tools and items that were desperately needed during the conflict. Through the Gaza Field office, Interpal was able to contact the hospitals and medical centres and immediately provide them with what they needed. Some of these items included assistive tools such as walkers and wheelchairs, medicinal items like antibiotics and painkillers, medical equipment such as infusion pumps and syringes. Interpal focuses on ensuring continuous support for the Palestinians not only during the time of such conflicts taking place but also post periods of distress and assault.
Two years later, Interpal continues to offer various forms of aid including psychological support for children suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, including emotional withdrawal from peers and family, behavioural problems and nightmares.
The 2014 assault unfortunately was the third attack on Gaza. Even though the assault ended two years ago, there is still a long way to go before Palestinians can gain back their lives and fully recover from the tragedy that is conflict under the blockade.