Education International is launching a call for solidarity in support of our Palestinian colleagues in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the General Union of Palestinian Teachers (GUPT), the General Union of Workers in Kindergartens and Private Schools (GUWKPS) and the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE).
The impact of the armed conflict between Israel and Hamas has caused loss of human life in both Israel and Gaza and has left education communities and the whole world in shock. EI immediately expressed our global solidarity with our members organisations in Israel and Palestine.
More than 10,000 people, half of whom are children, have been killed in the past month and an overwhelming majority of the Palestinians killed are civilians. At the present moment at least 42 per cent of all housing units in the Gaza Strip have been either destroyed or damaged. The bombings have also destroyed 258 educational institutions, 9 Universities and most health structures. Our sister organisations in Palestine reported at least 130 teachers killed.
Due to the Hamas-Israel war, the people of Gaza are facing disastrous living conditions and lack the basic necessities: shelter, food, water, fuel, electricity, sanitation and health. Education facilities remain closed, denying more than 625,000 students access to education. Many educational facilities are used as shelters, despite being unsafe due to damage or the threat of further attacks.
EI member organisations in the West Bank – the General Union of Palestinian Teachers (GUPT), the General Union of Workers in Kindergartens and Private Schools (GUWKPS) and the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE) – have mobilised networks, among others through the UN agencies UNRWA and UNICEF, to meet the most urgent needs of teachers and students. This includes the distribution of blankets to face the cold temperatures at this time of the year, and food items, as well as books and toys for children.
While EI affiliates are primarily operating in the West Bank, where their members actively engage in advocating for the rights and well-being of educators they have forged connections with teachers in Gaza. GUPT, GUWKPS and PFUUPE are collecting resources to use their networks to support teachers in Gaza and where necessary they intend to work with those United Nations agencies which are still operational in Gaza.
EI seeks your financial support to help our sister organisations in Palestine in their efforts to assist teachers and students in need in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. You can contribute to the Solidarity Fund according to your financial capacity by making a donation to:
Please do not include the word ‘Palestine’ in labeling your payment, as banks are getting increasingly suspicious of bank transfers concerning countries at war or undergoing political instability.
With the help of our sister organisations in Palestine, we have identified secure ways to transfer funds and deliver assistance to those in need. By closely collaborating with workers from UN agencies present on the ground, we will make sure that our assistance reaches the teachers and students in need while we continue our call for an end to this terrible war, the release of all hostages and end to the indiscriminate violence.
We thank you in anticipation for your support and generosity.