Anera on 5th Day of Gaza Bombings
December 31, 2008 | Washington DC Anera reports one staff member has vacated her house due to extreme structural damage caused by bombing near the Egyptian border as the general population of Gaza faces its fifth day of bombardment. Air strikes are now shifting to artillery barrage from ships off the coast. Fisheries and docks have been destroyed along Gaza’s coast while families living in Jabaliya and Beit Hanoun refugee camps face artillery shelling. The civilian death toll continues to rise.
Since November, no Anera shipments of medical supplies have been allowed into Gaza. Anera Vice President Philip Davies is in daily contact with all parties to secure Israeli approval so that valuable shipments can reach hospitals and clinics where they are desperately needed by doctors who are turning away severely injured civilians because they lack supplies. We were even looking into bringing shipments in through Egypt, which we’ve never done before. But that is not our preferred option, says Davies.
Shelves are running bare as bread, rice, sugar and all basic necessities are dwindling. The cost of the remaining items continues to rise, making survival harder for everyone living in Gaza.
Anera’s President Bill Corcoran says, “For a place that was already facing a nightmare situation before the shelling started this week, it is hard to convey just what our staff and other innocent families are going through right now.”
Ensuring the safety of staff living in Gaza is currently among Anera’s highest priorities. Daily check-ins via phone tree were set in motion from the first hours of air strikes Saturday, December 27, 2008. Mr. Corcoran is in daily contact with Salah Sakka, Anera’s Gaza Director.
“As a humanitarian organization with 40 years of experience in the Middle East, Anera is poised to respond to the tragedy the people of Gaza are facing,” says Corcoran. “We hope that the situation will stabilize soon and that aid will be allowed into the region.”