KUWAIT/GAZA: HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received on Friday a phone call from Palestinian Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniya. During the call, Haniya expressed utmost appreciation for Kuwait’s deep-rooted stance with the Palestinian cause and unwavering support for the Palestinian people, as well as Kuwait’s backing of all international efforts to resume the peace process in the Middle East, wishing everlasting health to HH the Amir.
HH the Amir reaffirmed Kuwait’s firm stand with the Palestinian people until having its sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital in accordance to relevant international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative. HH the Amir further stressed that the Palestinian cause had been and will always be Kuwait’s top and central cause.
Kuwait also launched on Friday an urgent relief campaign to support the Palestinian people. The campaign was organized by the ministry of social affairs in cooperation with the ministry of foreign affairs and some charity associations. The campaign began on Friday afternoon with the participation of more than 31 charitable societies that launched a website to raise funds aiming to rebuild Gaza after the bombing attacks. Around KD 2 million ($6.5 million) from more than 48,000 people was raised in the first several hours of the campaign.
In Gaza, Palestinians tried to piece back their lives yesterday after the devastating 11-day conflict with the Zionist entity that killed more than 200 people and made thousands homeless in the impoverished Palestinian enclave. Authorities started distributing tents, mattresses and covers to those in need in the Gaza Strip, an AFP reporter said, a day after a ceasefire ended deadly Zionist air strikes on the besieged coastal enclave.
Attention turned to rebuilding the territory controlled by Hamas, with the United Nations saying yesterday that at least 6,000 people had been made homeless. Rescue workers searched for bodies or survivors in mounds of rubble, as residents tried to assess what was left of their previous lives.
The latest round of bombardment killed 248 people in Gaza, including 66 children, and wounded more than 1,900 since May 10, the Hamas-run health ministry says. The United Nations says more than half of those killed, the overwhelming majority in Zionist air strikes, were civilians. The Zionist entity claims it has killed “more than 200 terrorists”, including 25 commanders.
In front of a flattened tower block where she used to rent out apartments, Aisha Mousallem was wearing black. “Even if I lost no one in my family, I’m in mourning,” she said. Sarah Muscroft, the head of the UN humanitarian agency (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territories, said the intensity of the bombardment had led to “extensive damage in across Gaza”. “Over 6,000 people have been rendered homeless as a result of the hostilities,” she said.
More than 1,042 housing or commercial units were estimated to have been completely destroyed, and 800,000 people have no regular access to water. “The building effort is going to be really quite profound,” she told AFP. Earlier yesterday, shopkeepers assessed the damage, finding many supplies coated in thick layers of dust.
Shopkeeper Wael Amin Al-Sharafa said he had stocked up his shop with new clothes to sell during the usually busy season of Eid Al-Fitr at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. “But now it’s all lost,” he said. “Who will pay for all this? I have no idea.”
Rami Abu Amira and a dozen other fishermen prepared their nets before heading out to sea for the first time in two weeks. “We need to eat,” he said after the Gaza coastguard allowed fishing again. Abu Amira said, however, he would stick close to the coastline, adding: “We, fishermen are scared the (Zionist) navy will shoot at us. It’s up to everyone to decide whether to go or not.”
Convoys of lorries carrying aid began passing into Gaza Friday through the Kerem Shalom crossing after it was reopened by the Zionist entity, bringing much-needed medicine, food and fuel. The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund said it had released $18.5 million for humanitarian efforts. The latest round of Zionist bombardment forced 91,000 people to flee their homes in Gaza, according to OCHA. Thousands returned to their homes on Friday to examine the damage.
Both the Zionist entity and Hamas were fast to claim victory, as two Egyptian security delegations arrived to monitor the deal. Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Zionist entity’s bombing campaign had been an “exceptional success”. Hamas’ Haniya said they had “dealt a painful and severe blow that will leave its deep marks” on the Zionist entity, and thanked Iran for “providing funds and weapons”. The Hamas authorities said government offices would reopen today.
The international community welcomed the ceasefire. US President Joe Biden pledged to help organize efforts to rebuild Gaza and said creating a Palestinian state alongside the Zionist entity is the “only answer” to the conflict. “We still need a two-state solution,” he said. Peace talks have stalled since 2014 including over the key issues of the status of occupied east Jerusalem and Zionist settlements in the occupied West Bank.
In a reminder of ongoing tensions despite the ceasefire, Zionist police on Friday fired stun grenades at worshippers in Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound. Zionist forces beat an AFP photographer who was covering the unrest there. The incident was reminiscent of the tensions in Jerusalem that sparked the latest round of conflict.
Zionist security forces had cracked down on protests against the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes to make way for Jewish settlers in the annexed east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. And they had also moved in on worshippers at Al-Aqsa, Islam’s third holiest site.
Hamas on May 10 launched rockets from Gaza towards the Zionist entity, in “solidarity” with Palestinians in Jerusalem. The conflict sparked mob violence in the Zionist entity, and clashes between Zionist forces and Palestinian protesters in the West Bank. Zionist forces have killed 25 Palestinians, including four under the age of 18, in the West Bank since May 10, the authorities in the territory say. – Agencies