Nashville Green Heading to Gaza
Native Nashvillean is a part of a UN delegation to the Gaza Strip
Rose Davis of the Green Party of Middle Tennessee is participating in a trip organized by the US-based peace group CODEPINK into the Gaza Strip via Egypt from May 28-June 5. She will travel at the invitation of the United Nations Relief and Words Agency (UNRWA) as UN delegates. Their focus will be on the children of Gaza.
In March , a 60-person CODEPINK delegation traveled to Gaza to pay tribute on International Women's Day to sorely neglected mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives who are struggling to hold their families together. They asked CODEPINK to please return with the purpose of giving much needed attention to the children.
At least 431 Palestinian children (and no Israeli children) were killed during the Dec. 27-Jan 18 Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip. 1,872 were wounded. Children make up more than half (56%) of Gaza's population, and this next generation- who will help decide the future of the region- is struggling with extraordinarily high rates of malnutrition, homelessness, depression, and PTSD. An estimated 1,346 Gazan children were left without one or more of their parents as a result of the Israeli assault. Many are in the hospital suffering devastating injury from the 22 days of bombings. The people of Gaza face shortages of water, electricity , food, medicine, heat, fuel, and shelter. Over 100,000 people have been displaced from their homes. According to the United Nations, "Children are hungry, cold.....they're terrified."
The plan is to enter Gaza for five days. The March delegation was allowed entry for 48 hours only. There is always the possibility that the Egyptian government won't let us cross the border- in fact, many individuals and delegations have been denied entry. In that case , they plan to set up an encampment near the border to call attention to the need to open the borders and end the siege of Gaza.
Rose's group will be meeting with UN program staff, humanitarian and development agencies, teachers, students, health workers and political analysts . They will visit areas devastated by Israeli attacks. They will be taking a truckload of at least a thousand backpacks filled with school and art supplies, and toys to the children, and provide emotional support. They will also attempt to bring in supplies to build three playgrounds.
The purpose of the trip is to provide support to the children and children's organizations in Gaza: exert pressure on U.S. , Egyptian and Israeli governments to lift the blockade and promote peace, reconstruction, and human rights in the region.
Contributions may be made through the web site www.womensaynotowar.org.
Rose said that she hopes to raise awareness of this expedition, as Americans have only recently been allowed any entrance into the region. She will be available for interviews before and after the trip , and progress reports during the expedition.
For more information contact:
Rose Crockett Davis