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Gaza Update: A Letter from Our President

Palestinian refugee girl washes clothes while living in a refugee camp. An aid worker reaches out to comfort the girl.

I wish I were writing to tell you things are improving in Gaza. However, if you watch the news you already know the truth is that the situation on the ground is largely unchanged. 


HOM has continued to participate in the ongoing emergency aid drops. We also regularly communicate with our friends and aid workers in Gaza, offering as much support and coordination as possible. Currently, we are helping with two cases in which injured children must leave Gaza to receive medical treatment.


The first case is a young boy, Hazem, who had a building fall on him as a result of an airstrike. Hazem's leg is crushed and being held together with screws. If he doesn’t have surgery soon, he will lose his leg. The second is that of a young girl, Lara, who was injured with shrapnel after an explosion. Her most pressing injury is to her eye, causing an infection in her head and the likelihood of losing her eyesight. 


Gaza hospitals used to have the ability to perform the life and limb savings surgeries these children need. However, bombardment by the Israeli military destroyed the hospital equipment necessary to treat their injuries. 


We have worked with the local authorities to get these children and a guardian moved from al Shifa Hospital in the north of Gaza (which you may have seen horror stories of on the news) to Rafah in the south. We then had to acquire passports for them – which is very difficult since the Palestinian people don’t have a country. Once the process is complete and all permissions are granted, we will get these children and their guardians to Egypt for medical treatment. 


As you may imagine, the process of getting these children out of the Gaza Strip is arduous and costly. It requires coordination with the Israeli and Egyptian governments as well as the Palestinian Authority (the Palestinian governing body in the West Bank). While there may be many pieces to the puzzle, we are determined to help and see the process through. 


So many young lives have been needlessly lost in this conflict. We want to do all we can to make sure Hazem and Lara are not another two who lose their lives to injuries that medical care should be able to save.


In addition to helping with cases like these, we continue to provide the Jordanian Army with as much aid as we can acquire. Working with the Jordanian Army continues to be the most effective means of delivering aid to Gaza.


We’ve sent multiple containers of goods from the U.S. and gathered supplies locally in Jordan. Our staff in Amman, Jordan, diligently compile all of our goods according to the army’s requirements and deliver them in regular increments. The Jordanian Army then airdrops the aid into Gaza.


The rapid decline in Gaza and the conditions on the ground are beyond alarming. The desperation among the population is unlike anything we have encountered before - and we have been working in the Middle East for almost 25 years. Every aid organization we know in the region is saying the same thing. Without an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, countless more innocent civilians will perish. 


While this may not be the most encouraging update, it’s real. Please know that we are doing everything we can to help the civilians in Gaza. Thank you for your ongoing support of our work here. Your partnership allows us to continue this vital and lifesaving work.


Please consider supporting our aid efforts in Gaza. Every dollar makes a difference and helps us continue to sponsor cases like Hazem and Lara.


Together changes everything.


With gratitude,

Peter Omran, President

Heart of Mercy, International

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