A Christmas message from MAP’s West Bank Director

Dear friend,

When will life return to “normal”? Around the world, lives have been upturned and changed in countless ways by the pandemic. We have adapted our societies and daily interactions to try to protect ourselves and those around us. Many of us have been separated from loved ones for long periods. A return to normal, it is hoped, means a return to safety and human contact.

For many Palestinians, however, a “return to normal” is not a hopeful image. Here in the West Bank, this year, we have witnessed dozens of deaths and thousands of injuries as a result of Israel’s military violence. Attacks by settlers and the demolition of Palestinian homes have once again surged. This is “normal” life under 54 years of military occupation and discriminatory control.

In Gaza, “normal” means painfully slow recovery – of both homes and shattered limbs – following yet another devastating military assault, and the ongoing economic and healthcare deprivations caused by Israel’s illegal 14-year blockade. For Palestinians in Lebanon, “normal” is a perpetual humanitarian crisis caused by more than seven decades of forced exile.

At Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), we are not working toward a return to an unacceptable “normal”. Instead, we want to see a future where all Palestinians can live their lives in health and dignity.

This year, with your support, we have made important progress. Not only have we been able to respond rapidly to emergencies, delivering essential medicines and equipment to hospitals during violence in Palestine, and food parcels to at-risk families in Lebanon. We have also helped build skills and capacity among health workers and communities, from developing cancer services in Gaza to training family medicine practitioners in the West Bank, ensuring that our support has a lasting impact.

Our supporters’ voices have also helped us challenge the root causes of Palestinian health needs. This year thousands have joined our campaigns against vaccine discrimination and impunity for attacks on health workers.

Together, we are working to ensure that Palestinians are not forced to return to “normal”, but rather to a future of hope, health and dignity. We look forward to continuing our journey with you in 2022.

With heartfelt thanks for your support this year, I wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas.

Aisha Mansour, MAP West Bank Director

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