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Gaza: the ceasefire is just the start

While the ceasefire raises the question of how to ensure a long-term peace, the task of rebuilding lives has just begun.

The ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians, in August, brought an end to seven weeks of relentless violence and suffering.

Thousands of innocent people were killed and injured, and an estimated 108,000 Palestinians were forced to flee their homes.

Farmers’ fields were flattened and fishing boats destroyed.

Even as the bombs were falling, our partners were on the streets of Gaza providing mattresses, hygiene kits and cooking supplies to people made homeless.

Our partner PMRS dress a young man's wounds

One of our partners, working in incredibly dangerous conditions, ran two mobile clinics providing desperately needed healthcare to about 8,000 people a day who had taken refuge in UN schools.

After the ceasefire, our partners were able to reach previously cut-off communities with vital medical care for the injured and others unable to access treatment during the fighting.

Road to recovery

Thanks to your generosity, our Gaza Crisis Appeal has already raised more than £1 million. We also received £500,000 from the DEC Gaza Crisis Appeal.

Now we can help people in Gaza begin the long road to recovery.

Through the work of our partners, we’re helping farmers recover their lands and livelihoods. We’re repairing vital infrastructure such as roads and irrigation systems.

And our partners have been documenting human rights violations, and will take up legal cases on behalf of victims.

Deep distress

With more than 373,000 children and young people reported to be in deep distress as a result of the atrocities they witnessed, one of our partners will be providing therapeutic care to start to relieve some of the trauma.

Our work is far from over. It is just beginning. And while we welcome the ceasefire, it must be the first step towards a permanent, just peace for all, which will allow people to rebuild their lives in the knowledge that they will not be threatened again by conflict.


‘It feels as if life has been completely stopped’

Azzam Al Saqqa was born and lives in Gaza, and works for Christian Aid. Here he gives his impressions of what life is like, post-ceasefire.

‘Things are trying to get back to normal. It does not always work – but we keep trying!

'Everything we do feels like a drop in the ocean – but a very important drop.

‘It feels as if life has been completely stopped – the ceasefire holds, but it is very fragile. People are trying to understand what is happening and how they can cope.

Destruction in Gaza

‘In some badly hit areas, it feels as if everything is happening in slow motion. People move about slowly: silent, gazing and shocked. They still can’t comprehend this massive destruction.

‘People’s only escape is to go to the beach. To see children play is one of the things that brings back hope; it’s remarkable to see how quickly children can restore their smiles.

They are so enthusiastic and energetic, but the minute a door is shut and makes a loud sound, they get scared in case it might be an explosion.

‘They had friends, parents, homes, places like the beach, as sources of comfort and peace, but now these places are associated with death and the dramatic events that they have experienced.

'They will need so much time to recover.'

 

 

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