Pretoria – The South African humanitarian organisation, Gift of the
Givers, is en route to Gaza with 16 tons of emergency medical supplies
valued at R15 million.
The organisation was last week granted entry into Gaza with medical
teams, equipment and ambulances.
According to Gift of the Givers’ founder and director Imtiaz Sooliman,
the medical teams departed OR Tambo International Airport last night to
Egypt, where they will connect to Gaza.
“Items donated by American NGOs to Gift of the Givers will also be
released from Cairo customs into our possession [on Wednesday]. The
team will enter Rafah in the afternoon and the supplies will follow a
day later,” he said.
Sooliman thanked the Department of International Relations and
Cooperation for securing permission from the Egyptian Government for
Gift of the Givers teams and supplies to cross the Rafah border into
Gift of the Givers has delivered R4 million worth of supplies inside
Gaza since 8 July.
The United Nation estimates that the latest wave of violence, which
began eight weeks ago, has killed 2 101 Palestinians and 67 Israelis,
in addition to forcing 475 000 Palestinians to seek refuge at UN
facilities inside Gaza.
Ceasefire for Gaza
On Tuesday, an open-ended ceasefire for Gaza, brokered under Egyptian
auspices, came into effect.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made the announcement, which he hopes
will lead to a political process aimed at achieving a durable peace.
“A brighter future for Gaza and for Israel depends on a sustainable
ceasefire. It is up to the parties to live up to this responsibility.
“After 50 days of profound human suffering and devastating physical
destruction, any violations of the ceasefire would be utterly
irresponsible,” said a UN statement.
Ban noted that any peace effort that does not tackle the root causes of
the crisis will do little more than set the stage for the next cycle of
violence. He called for, among others, an end to the Israeli blockade
of Gaza and addressing Israel’s legitimate security concerns.
The Secretary-General said the two-State solution is the only viable
Ban urged both parties to return to meaningful negotiations towards a
final status agreement that addresses all core issues and ends the