As part of its solidarity work for Palestine, Brighton & Hove PSC raises considerable amounts of money to support development and regeneration projects in the occupied territories. One vital source of funding is the collection tins in the Taj grocery shop in Western Road. There’s one next to every check-out till, and generous shoppers donate hundreds of pounds every month, with a particular focus on Gaza.
The situation in Gaza is desperate, and is deteriorating all the time. The devastation caused by two major military assaults in 2008-09 and 2012 receives a certain amount of publicity. But the seige of Gaza that began in 2006 has wrought dreadful damage to the quality of life. The closure of all borders with Israel and Egypt results in a virtual stranglehold on the econony, with few goods leaving for international market and few goods entering for distribution, including medical and building supplies. Gaza has often been described as the largest prison in the world for the 1.7 million Palestinians living in this tiny strip of land.
At the end of 2013 two of our supporters spent six weeks in Gaza carrying out research and supporting a number of projects. They took with them £2000 that we had raised, for distribution to several of these projects, including:
- The Beit Hanouun Local Initiative, where local farmers are helped to reclaim their land and plant wheat in the dangerous buffer zone, where they are prohibited from earning a living by the constant attacks and harassment by the Israeli army. Further information here and here.
- The Afaq Jadeeda Youth Project ‘Never Stop Dreaming’ which provides cultural and therapeutic activities, as well as psychological support for young people. Also the Afaq Jadeeda Womens Project. Find out more here.
- Jamila’s Kitchen Women’s Cooperative (money for building renovation). Further information here.
Our members and supporters regularly visit Palestine to forge links and engage in practical ways to support local non-violent Palestinian communities and organisations in the West Bank and Gaza. We offer support and advice for people wanting to visit either individually or in groups. We also offer financial support and assistance to Palestinian speakers etc wishing to visit the UK.