‘We must remain united’ says Palestinian student
Up to 100 Palestinian students in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem have launched a campaign to collect stationery and satchels for their peers in the isolated Gaza Strip ahead of the new academic year, which starts next month.
“It’s a duty not a favour,” asserted Mohammad Abdel Aziz, a 15-year-old student.
“We must remain united and proffer a helpful hand to our schoolmates in the besieged Gaza Strip,” added Abdel Aziz.
The generosity of stationers in the West Bank gave the student’s donation drive a much-needed boost.
The students visited several West Bank cities to raise as much as they can from school items for the Gaza students.
They dressed in white T-shirt carrying the campaign’s motto: “Gaza and West Bank…One Homeland.”
“In launching this campaign, we declare our rejection of the inter-Palestinian conflict and underline the unity of the occupied Palestinian territories,” said Naser Lahham, the director of the World Movement for Defending Children, one of three NGOs who organised the campaign.
“We want to keep children away from the Hamas-Fatah infighting,” he added, noting that the campaign is aimed at collecting 10,000 satchels and another 10,000 stationery.
“Even token donations stresses the message of a Palestine united,” said one organiser.
“Our goal is to get the Gaza students pursue their studies away from the stray bullets and trigger-happy militants,” he added.
“We might succeed in what the politicians have failed, who knows.”
The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling economic boycott after the West cut its aid in March of last year when Hamas was voted to power.
The deteriorating economic conditions, which worsened over the past two months, forced many students to drop out and join the labour market to eke out a living and help support for their families in the impoverished territory where unemployment rates towered to more than 60 per cent.