Latest edition of Witness: Time for action

The latest newsletter from Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) comes at a critical time, as Palestinians mark the 50th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the 10th anniversary of the blockade and closure of Gaza. Inside, we report on what this means for Palestinians, and ways you can get involved to support their rights to health and dignity. 

Read the newsletter

You can also read about our work bringing burns treatment closer to patients in Hebron who would otherwise have to travel many hours to receive critical care; the training MAP provides to medics in Gaza who are often denied opportunities to travel outside to improve their skills; and how our team of community midwives are caring for the youngest members of Lebanon's Palestinian refugee communities.

We also have a feature about a recent trip to the West Bank with MAP taken by UK comedians Jeremy Hardy and Imran Yusuf, and our Give it up for Palestine comedy fundraiser in February this year.

The newsletter is the first from our new CEO, Aimee Shalan:

“This is my first edition of Witness as the new CEO of Medical Aid for Palestinians. I have returned to MAP after almost three years, having formerly been MAP’s Director of Advocacy and Communications.

I have re-joined the charity at a critical time for Palestinians. This year marks 50 years of Israel’s military occupation and 10 years of tightened blockade and closure in Gaza. Last year ended with a sliver of hope in the form of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israel’s settlement enterprise and highlighted its obligations as the occupying power.

Yet 2017 has so far provided few reasons for optimism. The Israeli authorities continue to demolish Palestinian homes at an alarming rate, while simultaneously expanding illegal settlements in the West Bank, including the announcement of the intention to build the first new settlement for 20 years. In Gaza, the closure has tightened further, not least for patients attempting to access urgent care outside. Meanwhile, Palestinians in Lebanon continue to be forgotten by the rest of the world amid ongoing crises in the Middle East. In neighbouring Syria war rages on, with Palestinian refugees amongst those hit hardest. Thousands have been killed, and more than 70,000 have risked their lives on perilous routes to Europe seeking shelter and a better life.

At a time when MAP’s work is so crucial, it is revitalising to return to an organisation that can reach out to more Palestinians than ever before. MAP’s training projects are ensuring that patients in Gaza can access high-quality modern care inside the beleaguered enclave, so that fewer are forced to endure the lottery of Israel’s permit regime to access care outside. We are set to launch a second Burns Unit in the West Bank, bringing specialised care closer to people who would otherwise have to travel many hours to receive it. In Lebanon, our team of midwives are bringing comfort to pregnant women, mothers and babies living in the marginalised Palestinian camps. We also continue to raise our voices against ongoing violations of Palestinian rights to health and dignity

With no political solution on the immediate horizon, it is ever more vital that governments like the UK take meaningful action to help end the protracted occupation of Palestinian territory and the obstacles it poses to Palestinian health and wellbeing. In March, however, the UK Government showed a lack of will to do so when it failed to support UN Human Rights Council resolutions on the issues of illegal settlements and accountability for violations of international law in the occupied Palestinian territory.

We are encouraging all MAP supporters to join with Palestinians as they demand health and dignity, and to show your support by joining our campaign, and taking part in our 50 Days of Action starting this May.

You can read about how you can get involved – and about the work our teams are doing in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank – inside this edition of Witness. MAP is providing hope and care to those who need it most. This is only possible thanks to you and our many other generous supporters. Thank you.”

 Read the newsletter

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